There are some Jess Franco films that work for me from the very first frame.
FURIA EN EL TROPICO is one.
Somehow I feel drawn in the second the credits set to the droning synthesizer music (also heard in SADOMANIA) come up.
The simple but powerful story once again revolves around a women's prison in some Latin American dictatorship. Jess already explored this basic plot in such films as 99 WOMEN, BARBED WIRE DOLLS, WOMEN FROM CELL BLOCK 9 and SADOMANIA.
This prison scene is very similar in terms of framing to the one in BARBED WIRE DOLLS.
She's given something to work with, for once.
Her character is strong and resourceful. She does what she has to do to survive but also tries to shield fellow inmates from the warden's anger, letting herself be abused by the wardens and taking all the pain stoically - and we're with her all the way when at long last she gets the chance to pay her tormentors back.
Lina and frequent screen partner Antonio Mayans portray an unlikely pair of lovers very convincingly and have good screen chemistry.
Ricardo Palacios ( Claudio Fragasso's MONSTER DOG with Alice Cooper) is excellent as the seedy Colonel who never takes his shades off, not even during sex.
Having seen a few Franco WIP films before, I expected a downbeat ending but FURIA EN EL TROPICO, while grim and humourless from most of the running time, ends on a note of hope.
The script seems tighter than usual for Jess, cinematography is very competent with some fantastic natural light captured. There isn't much in the way of trippy imagery, the film is shot in a fairly realistic manner.
This is good low-budget filmmaking.