Directed by: Jess Franco
Starring: Shirley Eaton, Richard Wyler
The sixties saw its share of campy, titillating, sci-fi action adventure movies. Unlike the low budget releases of today they seemed to be as much about having fun as they were about showing skin to make a few bucks. These old movies laughed at themselves as much as the audience did.
Sumitra, a super feminist bisexual villainess (Shirley Eaton from Goldfinger) has built an entire city full of hi-tech weaponry and other devices exclusively for women called Femina (hilarious, right, admit it it’s funny). This city has been built on the backs of rich kidnapped men and women who visit Rio.
A playboy hits Rio and charming women in a posh resort. It becomes known to Sumitra that this playboy has stolen a substantial amount of money. So she decides to send one of her warrior princess’ out to bring him to Femina in the guise of a beautiful manicurist.
Her plan works perfectly, so she thinks. The girl kidnaps him and brings him to the city. Sumitra takes him on a tour of her city showing him proudly all that she has built and how her women, all scantly clad in sixties era sci-fi mini skirts and brandishing weapons, will rule the world only allowing men to live for there money.
Next she has him strapped down and warns him that he will be tortured if he doesn’t disclose where he has hidden his money. The first level of torture involves scantly clad women kissing him. This, surprisingly doesn’t seem to bother him to much (heh). The next level of torture involves a “ray gun” that will destroy the target’s organs. The weapon is aimed at another female prisoner. At this point he admits that there is no money. He has been sent by a crime boss to infiltrate Femina and save the female prisoner.
I won’t give away any more of the plot but you can imagine what happens next. but I will say the ending with the theme song is hilarious! Expect lots of scantly clad, but covered, women, brief nudity, a ton of campy sexual innuendo, and cheesy looking action sequences. All of the staples of sixties low budget adventure movies are here, extended music laden car chases, badly choreographed fight sequences, and plaid jackets!
The movie is guilty pleasure campy fun. The parts that are supposed to be funny usually are and many of the parts that aren’t supposed to be funny are quite hilarious. If you’re into sixties camp sci-fi such as Barbarella then The Girl From Rio is a must see.
There is the requisite grain and there’s also dust and scratches throughout but colors are very well represented. The colors of all the great sixties outfits and set pieces are vibrant and crisp.
Unfortunately all we get is a Dolby mono mix but for what it is it sounds pretty good. Voices, music, and sound effects are fairly clean and easy to hear.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The best of the bonus features is a set of interviews called Rolling in Rio. The interviews included are with Director Jess Franco, Producer Harry Alan Towers, and actress Shirley Eaton. These interbiews offer some behind the scenes stories of the films production and an interesting story of what the filmmakers did while they were waiting for Carnivale to begin.
Another interesting bonus feature is a text based history of the main character and how she started as a character in a series of books. Other than that we get a photo gallery and a Jess Franko biography. A commentary would have been really cool on this DVD. I would love to know more about some of the locations especially regard to Femina City.
The packaging is your basic amaray box with some fitting retro artwork.
The Girl From Rio is the true definition of the phrase “guilty pleasure”. It is an acquired taste but if you like the flavor it’ll taste good.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Movie 7/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 6/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10