Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Girl Slaves of Morgana le Fay (Bruno Gantillon, 1971)

AKA Morgane et ses Nymphes.

This one rides the lines between many genres. It is a fairy tale, a Sapphic sexploitation piece, a supernatural horror, and at its base a sort of women in prison bordering on nunsploitation film.

Two young women, Françoise (Mireille Saunin) and Anna (Michèle Perello) are traveling through the French countryside. They stop at a tavern populated by men look like they are from the middle ages and a creepy hunchback dwarf. The innkeeper brings there drink, then warns them to leave. Before they notice, the dwarf has shuffled off. Returning to their car, the girls become lost, seemingly driving in circles. They find an abandoned farmhouse and decide to spend the night, keeping each other warm in an interesting fashion.

Come morning, only Françoise is around. She looks for Anna to no avail. She does, however, discover the dwarf who beckons her to follow. He leads her to the island castle of Morgana le Fay (Dominique Delpierre). The dwarf has vanished, but Françoise finds herself amongst Morgana's handmaidens, and discovers that not everything is how it seems.

The movie is a little slow paced, but beautifully shot. They take great advantage of the local scenery and usable parts of the castle. Despite the fantastical elements, it fits in with standard WIP protocol quite nicely. Morgana is obviously the warden, and Gurth (the dwarf) plays the head guard role. Morgana's three handmaidens are more "trustees" and act as HBIC together. Françoise as the new girl has captured the lust of Morgana, and the three HBICs, Yaël, Sylviane, and Sarah, decide to take things into their own hands. Also, Gurth is none too happy about his position.

The movie is not overly graphic, except a bit during the climactic lesbian orgy scene where Françoise makes her escape with the assistance of Gurth and the three handmaidens. The Mondo Macabro transfer is beautiful, and apparently taken from a very good print. There are very few film flaws, and everything is clear and sharp.

This is a great film for horror, Eurosleaze, LGBT, or Women in Prison fans, as it is not clearly any of those. Fans of legs and/or pervy dwarves will also be pleased.








10 comments:

Smatchimo said...

great review, your posts are easy to read and your incorporation of pics and video is very professional looking. thanks again. also, for some reason after reading your review, i thought of the movie The Antichrist... im not sure why.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Thanks! I am guessing you mean the 1991 Bodart Antichrist, as the only one I have seen was a Polish film about some kids who kill their evil leader who says he is the devil (2002, Guzinski) - or maybe that is the one you mean? Hmm...

dfordoom said...

It's a bit similar to Jean Rollin's films - lots of atmosphere and with a subtly surreal quality. Thee was certainly a distinct feel to French exploitation/horror movies of that era. I liked this one.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Unfortunately I heard that Rollin died today. I don't have much experience with his films, but want to check more out.

I was not expecting much out of Girl Slaves, but it was remarkably good. Very trippy, and the DVD quality is exceptional.

Yum-Yum said...

The "girl slave" in the middle of the "give me your soul..." pic has got it going on.

"Fans of legs and/or pervy dwarves will also be pleased."

Hee. :)

Darius Whiteplume said...

That would be Morgana, and she has that certain something that sounds like you'd buy it for muscle aches; icy hotness. :-)

Mickey Glitter said...

I am more intrigued now by this than I was before reading your post. The image of the women in their pastel robes is also upping the enticement ante. =)

Darius Whiteplume said...

@MG - It is pretty good. Not terribly original, but beautifully done.

Anonymous said...

where are the dl links? :)

Darius Whiteplume said...

Prolly on Google ;-)

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