• Slaves, The (Die Sklavinnen)

    Released by: Full Moon Entertainment
    Released on: July 18th, 2017.
    Director: Jess Franco
    Cast: Lina Romay, Martine Stedil, Vitor Mendes, Esther Moset, Jess Franco
    Year: 1976
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    The Movie:

    Also known as Die Sklavinnen and under the more salacious Swedish Nympho Slaves title, Jess Franco’s 1977 picture opens with a scene where a woman named Marta (Esther Moser) tries her damnedest to make her way through a treacherous jungle. Soon enough, she arrives at an oddly placed police station where she tells the cops in residence of how she was subjected to all manner of degradation at the hands of Madame Araminda (Lina Romay). It turns out that Araminda is running a den of ill repute called The Pagoda – and in no time at all the cops have locked her up on an island prison.

    Not long after her arrival, Arminda and fellow inmate Ebenholz (Aida Vargas) decide to make their escape. As they do so, they meet up with a mysterious man (Franco himself) who works for well to do
    Amos Radeck (Vítor Mendes). He wants Araminda to tell him what happened to his daughter Martine (Martine Stedil) and, just as importantly, the ransom money he paid to the madam to secure her release. When he doesn’t get what he wants, Araminda is tortured. From here, the movie explains what happened, how Araminda came to be in this unenviable position and how she ran her drugs and hookers to anyone with an open wallet and an urge. It’s here that we learn the depths to which Araminda would sink to keep her clients happy, her girls in submission and the cash flowing

    A solid slice of seventies sleaze, The Slaves finds Franco in fine form. The movie is quick in its pace and fairly graphic in its depictions of sex, consensual or otherwise. There’s a good amount of violence and degradation here, most of which is dished out by Araminda herself before she gets her comeuppance at least. She’s a cruel, perverse woman not above drugging her stable of prostitutes to keep them in line or murdering them if they get out of hand. While the production values are more or less on par with the other films that Franco was cranking out during this period of his career (meaning that props and costumes and what not clearly show that the film was made on a modest budget), the locations chosen are put to nice effect and make things feel a bit more broad in scope and scale than they could have otherwise.

    As to the cast, this is more or less Lina’s show all the way. The supporting players are fun – Franco is great as the henchman and the ridiculous Vítor Mendes is sufficiently gross and sleazy as Araminda’s foil. Martine Stedil and Aida Vargas both look great and do well with the material given them – but Lina gets pretty much all of the best scenes and handles herself really well. She’s not only very easy on the eyes but she exudes a primal and very sexual confidence here that allows here to play her part to the hilt.


    Full Moon presents Slave on DVD in an anamorphic widescreen transfer framed at 1.78.1 that appears to be a standard definition port of the HD transfer that made it to Blu-ray a few years ago via Ascot Elite. It’s a nice picture – there’s really good color reproduction here as well as solid black levels. Some minor compression artifacts pop up here and there but they’re really only noticeable if you’re looking for them. Skin tones look nice and natural and the image is very clean, showing little in the way of print damage.

    The only audio option on the disc is a German language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound option with forced subtitles provided in English only. It would have been nice to get the original mono here but that didn’t happen. The remix isn’t that obvious most of the time, however, it mostly just spreads out the score a bit. The track is clean, well balanced and free of any hiss or distortion.

    The main extra on the disc is the forty minute long Franco, Bloody Franco audio interview that has appeared on other Full Moon Franco releases as of late. Conducted in 1976, it allows the director to talk about making Jack The Ripper as well as his thoughts on filmmakers like Roger Corman and Paul Naschy. We also get a trailer reel of vintage trailers for other Franco films, menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    The Slaves sees Franco and Romay in their late seventies comfort zone, dishing out the kind of sleazy exploitation picture that they obviously made such a name for themselves with. This one is as twisted as it is trashy and Full Moon’s DVD offers it up in a very fine standard definition presentation.