< Linda

Released: 1981
Director: Jesús Franco as Jack Griffin
Notes: Spain/West Germany, softcore, 79 minutes. Official DVD releases by European Shock DVD (The Netherlands, English language with optional Dutch subtitles) & Substance (USA, English language), both Region 0, non-anamorphic, letterboxed.
Alternate Titles
  • Captive Women
  • Die Nackten Superhexen vom Rio Amore
  • Naked Super Witches of the Rio Amore
  • Orgía de ninfómanas
  • Orgy of the Nymphomaniacs
  • The Story of Linda
Notes and Reviews

Males include -

  • Antonio Mayans plays Ron Medford
  • Tony Skios plays Sheila’s henchman
  • Juan Soler Cózar, plays Mitsy’s customer

Plot Summary

Teenaged Linda travels to the locale where her older sister Betsy works as a hotel employee, unaware that Betsy has been forced to work as a prostitute for Sheila, who owns the hotel.

Some remarks

This film is a co-production between Spanish (Plata Films, S.A.) and West-German (Lisa Film; Rapid Film) production companies, corresponding to Franco’s period in association with Antonio Mayans, and incorporating some footage from Hubert Frank’s German film Vanessa (1977). The Spanish title might be translated as "Orgy of Nymphomaniacs", but I prefer the German title, particularly (and don’t ask me why) because it refers to a marginal character in the film (well, so does Ray’s Johnny Guitar).

There are really two stories here. One is of a sweet teenager called Linda (Katja Bienert) who leaves her convent school (where’s she’s already had experience with her female roommate) to fly to the city and meet up with her sister Betsy (Ursula Fellner). She fails to find her sister at the hotel where she works as a receptionist, and whiles away her time with a shy male teenager, with whom she is seen frolicking on the beach. The other plot revolves around Betsy. Sheila (Raquel Evans), the evil, narcissistic manager of the hotel where she works, has the hots for one of her employees, Ron (Antonio Mayans), but he is involved with Betsy. The jealous Sheila rigs up an embezzlement accusation against Betsy and, while she is on the run, has her kidnapped into forced prostitution at the clandestine brothel for which the hotel is a front. Ron soon finds out about this. Lots of melodrama ensues and the two stories converge at the end, but Linda will probably never know what has happened.

The point seems to be to intercut the "healthy" sex of Linda and her mates with the "decadence" of Sheila’s world, a bit like Elissa Landi being contrasted with Claudette Colbert in De Mille’s The Sign of the Cross. Franco still zooms because without zooms, he would get cold turkey, but the zooming here is more tactful than usual. The camera work is quite discreet in fact, with very slight movement, sometimes lateral tracking shots along the main hall of the brothel, compositionally taking in the hammocks, or a nice handheld movement towards the porch where Linda is resting. The meeting between Mayans and Annie (Andrea Guzon) is also well done in terms of filming and location choice (although this is followed by a singularly half-assed fistfight) and also noteworthy is the quasi-ceremonial scene of Raquel Evans’s massage leading to her lovemaking with Mayans. However, it all feels meandering and indulgent, with scenes that go on for too long. Also, lovers of camp will certainly warm to the "Love Boat" style score, song lyrics like "Oooooooh, I need a shot!!!" and the fact that lovers in action are forever ringing variations on the prototype line "You've got a great body!". Ursula Fellner’s performance is uniquely feeble, but Raquel Evans, a hot-and-cold performer, is effective here, her auburn hair dyed dark brown. Despite comparatively high production values, you may file this in the category of films Franco leaves half-finished prior to moving on, as if hoping for better luck next time.

Nzoog Wahlrfhehen

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