The Girl From Rio BluRay Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Review of the Blue Underground BluRay release of The Girl From Rio.
In Rio, the beautiful city and former Brazilian capital (it was replaced by Brasilia in 1960) is the setting for another devious plot by the feminist Sumuru (Shirley Eaton), who governs a secret city called Femina with her army of female commandos and assassins. In her attempt to conquer the world, she is after the arrival of a presumed millionaire, Jeff Sutton (Richard Wyler), who seems to have fled prosecution in the USA and is trying to secure his 10 million dollars of mob money. After that money, British mobster Sir Masius (George Sanders) is also after. As Sumuru's chick army captures the millionare-cum-agent, Masius is going after Sumuru to attack Femina and recover the money. Sumuru however is willing to go down with her entire city before giving up, so a race against time unfolds.....
I have to say, The Girl From Rio is a silly movie with none of the charm and low budget inventiveness of its so-so prequel The Million Eyes of Sumuru. This one just bored the hell out of me, and they didn’t even make great use of the locations. They seemed to have picked only the cloudy sky days in Rio, or maybe the smog was terrible, anyways considering the title and the ample opportunity that a movie shoot in Brazil offers, the movie does not boast much of a colourful exotic look. It is a very uninspired piece of filmmaking that for some reason appears as if there was no motivation to make something special despite its low-budget B nature.
Whereas the prequel offered some hilarious cultural elements, crazy wild ambitions and exotic entangling of spy fanfare, that reminds the viewer of Enter The Dragon as much as it does of James Bond, The Girl From Rio is auspiciously tame and superficial. The thrills are rare, the frills are few. It does have some impressive architectural shots and an evil plot, some OK acting and a not so bad musical score, it just seems…. bland. I am sorry to judge so harshly a film that certainly did not set a very high bar for itself, but judging it in its context, it just feels less than what it could’ve been.
The dubbing could be concealing the villain’s intended name, by the way. It looks to me as if the characters are saying Sumuru but it was dubbed with Zamanda or Sumatra or Samantha. So depending on which language you are seeing or have seen the film dubbed into, it might be more or less of a direct sequel. Written and produced by the Henry Ford of exploitation films Harry Alan Towers and directed by Jess Franco, the movie was released in 1968 at the height of the hippie movement in Europe, and theaters were awash not only in the amazing cinematic masterpieces of that decade, but also of cheap thrills and knock-offs like this one.
Nonetheless, it is remarkably naive and of course a child of its time. It's mildly entertaining and of course there aren't all too many Richard Wyler movies out there either. The Girl From Rio somewhat delivers on its premise and manages to entertain for the approximate 80 minutes. For that I am happy I watched it, but it's certainly nothing outstanding.
Outstanding on the other hand once more Blue Underground's BluRay release which includes this one plus the prequel, The Million Eyes of Sumuru in a relatively stunning HD transfer that really looks way better than the film deserves. The English dub that's contained on the disc is also mighty fine. There's a 15min interview featurette included with contains interview bits with Jess Franco, Harry Alan Towers and Shirley Eaton. It gives a few background tidbits on the film, but overall it is a mere 10 minutes and the degree of information you get from these few minutes of interviews is not very high. Some interesting facts though, such as how they shot a sex scene with nudity that is supposed to show Sumuru but didn’t involve Eaton. Franco and Eaton also seem to have very different takes on their place in the business and so on, quite interesting nonetheless. There's a Poster and Still Gallery to round things up.
- Continue reading: The Million Eyes of Sumuru BluRay Review
Sebastian, co-founder and admin of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb). He also started The Spaghetti Western Database (SWDb), The Quentin Tarantino Archives, The Robert Rodriguez Archives, Nischenkino and Furious Cinema. Outside of movies, he works on the intersection of technology and policy. He lives in Berlin, Germany.