Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Girl Slaves of Morgana Le Fay (1971)

Hooray for artsploitation! Adeptly riding the line between lovely and sleazy, this femme-love-heavy flight into the fantastic tickles both my sense of aesthetics and my sense of lust. Bruno Gantillon utilizes a vibrant color palate and a sharp sense of unreality to lend a touch of needed respectability to his tale of witches, magic and lesbians; what in most hands would be nothing more than a barely "Barely Legal" scenario is thus transformed into a sort of modern-day fairy tale. That touch of respectability does, in the film's slack midsection, turn into a liability, as Gantillon's stylization starts to feel remote and aloof, like he can't be bothered to get down to ground level with us perverts (and it doesn't help that the semblance of plot we're given screeches to a halt, either); fortunately, he and the film recover for a marvelously screwy Sapphic climax, with all manner of naked chicks and interpretive dancing and midget abuse, psychological and otherwise. (Gurth the dwarf is probably the film's most interesting character, at turns monstrous, sympathetic and pitiable.) Fun stuff, if not exactly great; why is it that nobody, aside from possibly Jean-Jacques Brisseau, is making films like this today?

Grade: B-


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