The Girl from Rio Review
Released in cinemas in 1969, The Girl From Rio is an original story by writer Harry Alan Towers based on the character of Sumuru, from the books by Sax Rohmer, and directed by Jesus Franco (Vampyros Lesbos). Sumuru played by Shirley Eaton (the gold girl in Goldfinger) is the bisexual, female Fu-Manchu, ruler of the all female City of Femina (yes I thought it sounded like a sanitary towel too). It is Sumuru's goal to rule the world and enslave men, and to this end she needs two things, an army and money. The female army is recruited by brainwashing, and anyone not coming up to standard is executed. The money is stolen, preferably from wealthy men, converted into gold bullion and stored in an underground vault in Femina. Along comes Jeff (Richard Wyler), with $10M in a briefcase recently stolen from a rich Spanish businessman. On landing in Rio he is immediately under close scrutiny by a band of local villains, led by Sir Masius (George Sanders), and by spies working for Sumuru. Captured at the airport by Sumuru before he can escape Jeff is transported to Femina to be tortured and relieved of his ill gotten gains. But all is not as it seems.
Described as a “carnival of sex and violence” on it's cinematic release, The Girl From Rio has not aged well. In fact it has dated rather badly. I suppose you either like the stuff that Franco churned out in the 60's and 70's or you don't. I am not an aficionado but on this evidence I don't. The film is laughable, and not in a good way. Clunky dialogue, and a feeble script are only the starters. Shot on Location in Rio but filmed almost entirely in what looks like a disused airport, with scenery by Blue Peter. Back this up with fight scenes that appear to have been choreographed by a 6 year old in the school playground, and sex scenes that were directed by his 5 year old mate, and you have some idea with what you are dealing with here. If you are at all titillated by this low budget tosh you need to get out more