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Rio 70

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1969, released 1972; vt Future Woman; vt The Girl from Rio). Ada Films/Fine Products (US). Produced by Harry Alan Towers. Directed by Jesús Franco (credited as Jess Franco). Written by Bruno Leder, Harry Alan Towers (credited as Peter Welbeck) and Franz Eichorn (uncredited). Based on characters created by Sax Rohmer in his Sumuru series. Cast includes Shirley Eaton, Marta Reeves (credited as Martha Reeves), George Sanders and Robert Wyler. 94 minutes. Colour.

Arriving in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jess Sutton (Wyler) has ten million dollars in his briefcase, stolen from an unidentified source. He is almost immediately pursued by henchman of mobster Masius (Sanders) and Amazons from Femina, a nearby female-dominated City ruled by Sumuru (Eaton). He eludes them for a time but is captured by Sumuru's troops, and taken to Femina. There, he is shown around and told by Sumuru of her plans to eventually take over the world. She finances her operations by obtaining stolen funds such as his, or by ransoming kidnapped victims. Sumuru keeps prisoners in box-like cells made of some clear material (not glass). She has a sonic Weapon with which she can Torture and execute people. She is angered to learn that the ten million dollars does not exist: it is a ruse used by Sutton to be brought here in hope of rescuing Ulla (Reeves), currently held for ransom.

Managing to free Ulla, Sutton returns to Rio de Janeiro with her only to be captured by Masius, who is equally upset that the stolen money is a hoax. Escaping from him, the pair are quickly recaptured by Sumuru and shortly find themselves back in Femina, with Sutton to be executed shortly. An attack on the city by Masius gives Sutton and Ulla the chance to escape in the confusion; Masius is killed during the battle and Sumuru uses a self-destruct device (previously shown to Sutton) to destroy Femina. At the end Sutton is preparing to return Ulla to her family. Sumuru and some of her troops are seen to have survived the city's destruction; they board a ship and depart, destination unknown.

Produced as much as very softcore pornography as an adventure film with sf elements, Rio 70 is exceedingly mild by contemporary standards. Though set in Brazil, it was actually shot in Spain. An earlier "spy-fi" movie based on Sax Rohmer's Sumuru novels was The Million Eyes of Sumuru (1967) directed by Lindsay Shonteff, with Eaton in the same role; the character reappears in Sumuru (2003). [GSt]


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