99 Women

1969

Crime / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 4.7 10 1242

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 26, 2021 at 12:35 AM

Director

Cast

Luciana Paluzzi as Natalie Mendoza
Maria Schell as Leonie Caroll
Herbert Lom as Governor Santos
Mercedes McCambridge as Thelma Diaz
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
902.68 MB
1204*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S 48 / 57
1.64 GB
1792*1072
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nodriesrespect 7 / 10

Babes Behind Bars

From Eurotrash Emperor Jess Franco's comparatively respectable period comes this timid precursor to the WIP wave that was to engulf exploitation cinema of the upcoming decade, including of course many of Franco's own far more graphic ruminations on the subject. British-born producer Harry Alan Towers was still testing the waters as to how much sex and violence he could get away with at this pivotal moment in time for pictorial permissiveness, which accounts for the restraint in the representation of both. His past successes with a string of profitable Fu Manchu flicks based on the Sax Rohmer potboilers gave him the commercial clout to attract a "name" cast of mostly has-beens in desperate need of a paycheck, supplemented with a slew of sexy starlets prepared to pull down their panties. First among equals in the latter department was Towers' lovely young bride Maria Rohm a/k/a former Austrian stage actress Helga Grohmann who would shine most brightly in VENUS IN FURS and EUGENIE, both made by Franco for her husband. Playing Marie, the obligatory framed innocent, she's predictably overshadowed by the unrepentant bad girls headed by the ravishing Rosalba Neri's cynical Zoe.

Taken to a South American prison island (actually Alicante) where she's to be incarcerated in a magnificent fortress named El Castillo Della Muerte (the Castle of Death) for stabbing one of her rapists, shown in superbly stylized flashback, Marie (or number 99 as she will now be referred to) soon learns the ropes foolishly going up against head warden Thelma Diaz (Mercedes McCambridge hamming her way out of a mid-career slump) when another new arrival (ex-Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi) goes into cold turkey jitters. Like any other act of rebellion, this immediately lands her in solitary. An impromptu cat fight with dyed in the wool dyke Neri on account of her harassing Marie's friend Helga (Elisa Montés from Mel Welles' ISLAND OF THE DOOMED) risks making her a permanent resident there were it not for the unexpected appearance of social worker Leonie Carroll (revered German actress Maria Schell) come to inspect the prison's conditions following a number of recent deaths. This doesn't sit well with Thelma who not altogether wrongly suspects the intruder has come to take her place so she calls on the help of corrupt Governor Santos (a stoic Herbert Lom) whom she regularly supplies with inmates for intimacy.

Ticking off all the boxes (nudity, check ! whippings, check ! lesbian comforting, check !), the plot moves along as cheerfully as the grim proceedings will allow with hilariously hard-boiled dialog to keep fans grinning. McCambridge spits 'n growls her way through another turn for Towers and Franco that makes the one she gave in their JUSTINE look positively demure by comparison. Her once flourishing career might have gone down the drain but she was sure to kick up a stink. Half the fun's in watching her co-stars' perplexed looks on their faces as they attempt to keep from being blown off the screen by this one woman whirlwind.

By contrast, Schell seems all too aware she's slumming it, content to simper sympathetically and deliver the flattest line readings imaginable. Apart from Rohm and Neri, whose exploitation career would kick off in earnest with Ferdinando Di Leo's 1971 SLAUGHTER HOTEL, none of the top-popping floozies register very strongly, certainly not Paluzzi who - regardless of prominent billing - expires ten minutes into the movie and doesn't bare squat. A few years later, she would go proudly topless in Nello Rossati's entertaining THE SENSUOUS NURSE. Short-bobbed Brazilian bombshell Valentina Godoy (from Franco's THE GIRL FROM RIO) makes the most of the unfortunate Rosalie, cruelly ambushed during the botched prison break.

In light of the excesses this exploitation sub-genre was about to engender, 99 WOMEN appears almost innocent in its beat around the bush coyness. This approach forces Franco into ingenuity when it comes to boobs 'n beatings, displaying both with far more style than was his habit. Case in point being Rohm and Neri's then daring same-sex dalliance, spectacularly shot in a series of dissolves and close-ups of "non-vital" body parts by Franco regular Manuel Merino (who also photographed his COUNT Dracula) who achieves the scene's erotic effect through sheer suggestion. Bruno Nicolai's haunting theme song, The Day I Was Born (warbled by the incomparable Barbara McNair which suggests this was a recorded but unused track from VENUS IN FURS), appears in a number of starkly varying arrangements going from a jubilatory gospel rendition to a softly murmured version with minimal orchestration.

Reviewed by Ky-D 7 / 10

Serious Franco fare.

Given Jess Franco's penchant for uber-strange, dream-like, over-sexed affairs, this comes off as one of his tamest and most main stream movies...as main stream as WIP flicks can be that is.

The film follows follows a familiar pattern. A group of girls are brought to an inescapable fortress/prison were they are to serve out their sentence. The lead girl (played by the lovely Maria Schell) may or may not be innocent, regardless she decides she does not wish to remain in the inhospitable place any longer than she has to and an escape attempt forms.

As would be expected, the prison is host to assorted debauchery and sadism on the part of the prison staff. Prisoners are mistreated, dehumanized, etc. Compared to most any other WIP flick out there, this one is pretty clean content wise. Some clothed cat fights, limited nudity and one harsh (though thankfully brief) rape scene are the most the film offers in terms of exploitation.

Technically speaking, I would argue that this is Franco's most accomplished film. Light, color, sound are all good; even his use of camera angles exceeds what would normally be expected of him. The acting is all around what would be expected from this sort of affair, with the notable exception of Herbert Lom, who manages to be both a creep and oddly likable. A major down point is the script, which is so cut-n-dry that it never does a whole lot of anything.

An actually good Franco movie that may be too tame for his more fetish fans, but certainly worth a look.

(Note: This review is based on the regular edition of the film and not the badly re-edited hardcore version) 7/10

Reviewed by lastliberal 6 / 10

It's not meant to be a happy place!

Ah, women-in-prison and Jesus Franco. What can we expect.

It really depends on the version you watch, as there are versions from 70 minutes (UK) to 99 minutes (Argentina). The US and Sweden have 86 minute versions, although Sweden banned even that. This is a 90 minute unrated version.

One does not expect to find a double Golden Globe and Oscar winner in a Jesus Franco film, but here she is - Mercedes McCambridge (All the King's Men - 1949) as the prison superintendent.

Also Maria Schell, who has 2 BAFTA Film Award nominations and another 14 awards, as an inspector from the Ministry. She did get prisoner 99 (Maria Rohm) out of solitary on her first day.

More expected is Herbert Lom as the Governor, the only surviving member of The Ladykillers (1955), and a Razzie nominee for King Solomon's Mines.

It appears Franco was going for quality as it is more than a half hour in before we see a breast, and some girl-on-girl action. Even that was shot with a lot of Vaseline on the camera. Don't the women in this prison take showers? Marie (99), Zoe (Rosalba Neri), and Rosalie (Valentina Godoy) attempt to cross 30 miles of snake-infested jungle and swamp at night to escape. yeah, right. They find a lily-covered pond that looks the same as the one in Virgin among the Living Dead.

Of course, it isn't the snakes on the ground they have to worry about, but the snakes attached to the dozen male prisoners that saw them and are running after them. One doesn't make it.

A good drama with some famous actors, but disappointing as a WIP exploitations.

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