When I decided to dive into the films of Jess Franco I figured I could try it two different ways. I could pick titles that many consider to be his best films or I could just jump right in and pull titles off the shelf at random. The second way appealed to me more because I have several Franco titles on the shelf but I haven’t taken the time to watch them. I tend to add more titles to the shelves faster than I can watch them; a hazard of being a collector. I guess deep down I had not prepared myself for the roller coaster ride I was getting myself on because when you jump from The Awful Dr. Orloff to Golden Temple Amazons your stomach is going to do flip flops!
|Bare breasted target practice|
Golden Temple Amazons is the story of Liana (Analia Ivars) who is the daughter of white missionaries living in the Amazon jungle. When she was a very young child her father discovers a secret golden temple and its plentiful mine located underneath. He takes a few rocks of gold from the mine and makes his way back to his house thinking he had not been seen.
|Analia Ivars contemplates her paycheck|
However the Amazons know that he had stolen from them and confront him at his home. He is given two days to return the gold but he refuses. The Amazons return and murder him and his wife. They spare the Liana however and she is raised by one of the natives. Fifteen years later the family friend Johnson (Olivier Mathot) comes to find Liana and reveals to her how her parents died. She then swears revenge to hunt down those responsible for her parent’s murder.
|An eye patch on an amazon.....really?|
Liana sets of on her journey with Koukou (Stanley Kapoul), a native witch doctor as her companion, along with a chimpanzee Rocky. She encounters three other travelers making their way through jungle who are also looking for the temple. They are all eventually captured by the Amazons and sentenced to death by their leader Uruck (William Berger), except for Liana who he determines could make a nice addition to his temple. He orders her to do battle with his main amazon squeeze Rena ( Lina Romay in a cameo) the eye patched captain of the Amazon honor squad.
Liana wins the battle but is promptly raped by Uruck but she is able to stab him to death afterwards. Liana, Koukou and one of the travelers escape from the temple and rescue a few of the other slaves. Her parents death avenged she now rides off into the sunset with the white traveler on the back of an elephant. I wish I could remember her newfound love’s name but my mind was incredibly numb by this point and I see no point in putting the DVD back in to find out.
So Golden Temple Amazons definitely did not stack up well against The Awful Dr. Orloff. Well, it did if you just want to compare it to the word “awful” in the title. I knew I was in trouble right from the opening credits which featured a slow motion shot of bare breasted amazon women on horseback accompanied by a really out of place synthesizer musical score. Thankfully bare breasted women are incredibly plentiful in this film. I think it is the only reason to keep watching this train wreck.
|The "realism" of the amazons.....*cough*|
|Ahhh Franco you never let us down|
The dubbing is atrocious and even though the storyline in essence sounds good on paper, it is horribly captured on film. There is absolutely no style applied in the film work and the golden temple set is about as cheap as you can get. For some reason Franco thought it best to get as many shots possible where the camera is positioned between a row of badly painted golden pillars. I guess they hid the rest of the bare bones set. There are really only two redeeming values found in this movie. There are some very nice waterfall shots throughout the film and Lina Romay’s cameo. Ok three redeeming values if you add the abundant nudity.
|Is that gold foil I see?|
A true blue “so bad it’s good” type of movie which really shows Franco at his dirt poor worse. The film was written by Franco and Eurocine proprietor Daniel Lesoeur. Eurocine and Franco had a history together throughout the 70’s so this team knew how to make a buck and churn out some really low budget outings. Golden Temple Amazons is definitely a fine example of this. I happened across the Shriek Show DVD release of this which also included another Jess Franco jungle romp; Diamonds of Kilimandjaro (1983) and Mario Gariazzo’s Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story (1985). This three DVD set was found for a whopping $3 at my local FYE so if you are into jungle boobs you might want to dig through the cheap bin.
I couldnt find a trailer for Golden Temple Amazons so sit back and check out the whole enchilada on youtube.com!