Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Million Eyes of Su Muru/The Girl From Rio (Blue Underground Blu-ray)

These are two strange crime, espionage thrillers with a sexy edge were all the rage in the post-Bond late 60’s. Not all of them got it quite right and many went for comedy hi jinks over the, light humor, light action, suave, sexy Bond flicks. In the case of our double feature today from Blue Underground, The Million Eyes of Sumuru and The Girl From Rio almost got it right by emulating some of the more subtle points of movies like Goldfingers from 1964.  There’s something missing from each picture that doesn’t quite give it that appeal, most likely a Sean Connery as Bond is difficult to emulate especially when the focus is actually on a powerhouse villain vs. an secret agent for the “good guys”.

While she isn’t quite the counterpart or anti-Bond, Shirley Eaton (who appeared in Goldfinger) holds up her end of the good guy/bad guy spectrum as Sumuru. Eaton seems limited only by the era in which the film was made, unable to create a horrific villain based on what was socially acceptable in the films of the 60’s You almost end up with a comedy. It’s far from the cornball Dr. Goldfoot pictures but isn’t quite serious enough to become a regularly franchise. Eaton was given two movies to create an image of super-villainry, and she goes from moderately serious in Million Eyes to outright gonzo in Girl From Rio.

Yes these movie are swinging sexy with some pick me up music and pure late 60’s hipster qualities that are making a comeback today with the in crowd. I find it difficult to categorize them as Blue Underground has as Euro Trash. The Million Eyes of Sumuru features Frankie Avalon. The beach guru doesn’t quite trash it up enough for me. I suppose I’m used to Jess Franco’s later brand of sleaze that goes for less story and pours the skin over the celluloid. These pictures come in between the Orloff pictures for which Franco would make a name for himself and the De Sade picture. A year after The Girl From Rio is released, Franco will go sexplosive and give the world something to truly call EURO TRASH. The Girl From Rio does step it up a bit in terms of violence and nudity (the good stuff) which is still tame compared to what we’ll see in the 70’s but represents a shift in the code breaking and free love of the 1969. For an American audience, Franco will teach them what sex on screen is all about.

Both transfers look really good with minimal to no damage especially The Girl From Rio which sees a kind restoration here. Both are clean, taken from original camera negatives and restored by Blue Underground. Every so often you’ll find a reviewer critical of the BU scans, but it is evident here with adequate grain structure and minimal to no DNR present.  The extra packages are fair considering the scope of each release. The Girl From Rio actually has a commentary featuring Franco himself alongside star Easton and Producer Harry Alan Towers. You won’t find much available for these releases.

While these two releases are quite genre favorites for me, the camp elements and not-quite-Bond, Bond qualities make this enjoyable.  Check out the laundry list of aka’s for The Girl From Rio, each one more enticing than the last: The Seven Secrets of Sumuru, City Without Men, Sumuru Queen of Femina, Rio 70, and Future Women

Available now from Blue Underground:

Or from DiabolikDVD:[sl]-Girl-from-Rio-(Blue-Underground)-(Blu~Ray-All-Region).html

From Blue Underground:

The Wickedest Woman In The World!

Two years before THE GIRL FROM RIO, Shirley Eaton (GOLDFINGER) also starred as Sumuru, a beautiful but deadly woman with plans for world domination. When a couple of wise-cracking, swingin' secret agents uncover her scheme to eliminate male leaders and replace them with sexy undercover female operatives, they rush to Hong Kong and enlist the local police to stop her all-female army of assassins known as THE MILLION EYES OF SUMURU.

Frankie Avalon (MUSCLE BEACH PARTY), George Nader (ROBOT MONSTER), Wilfrid Hyde-White (MY FAIR LADY), Maria Rohm (99 WOMEN), and Klaus Kinski (CRAWLSPACE) co-star in this action-packed spy spoof from producer Harry Alan Towers (THE BLOODY JUDGE) and director Lindsay Shonteff (THE MAN FROM S.E.X.). Now THE MILLION EYE OF SUMURU has been newly remastered in High Definition from the original camera negative for its U.S. home video premiere!

A Carnivale Of Sex, Violence And Outrageous Style From Jess Franco!

In the tradition of BARBARELLA and DANGER: DIABOLIK comes this swinging '60s action orgy as bisexual super-villain Sumuru (the luscious Shirley Eaton of GOLDFINGER) launches a diabolical plan to enslave the male species with her army of lusty warrior women. But when Sumuru kidnaps a fugitive American playboy, she crosses a sadistic crime boss (Academy Award winner George Sanders of ALL ABOUT EVE and VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED) and ignites a battle of the sexes that will bring Brazil to its knees in more ways than one.

Richard Wyler (THE BOUNTY KILLER) and Maria Rohm (EUGENIE) co-star in this kinky cult favorite from producer Harry Alan Towers (THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU) and director Jess Franco (VENUS IN FURS). Also known as RIO 70, FUTURE WOMEN and THE SEVEN SECRETS OF SUMURU, THE GIRL FROM RIO is now presented in a brand-new HD transfer, totally uncut and uncensored with all its eye-popping nudity, torture and lesbianism fully restored from the original camera negative!

Theatrical Trailer
Poster & Still Gallery


Rolling in Rio - Interviews with Director Jess Franco, Producer Harry Alan Towers and Star Shirley Eaton
Poster & Still Gallery



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