Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October Challenge: Morgane et ses Nymphes

Ok this one is hard to properly classify.  It has many elements that make it horror.  Old castles, villagers warning the heroes away from the dark forest, an immortal witch and her slaves, torture and death.  It is also soft-core Euro-cinema and while there is nothing out and out scary about it, there is the nagging feeling that something not right is going on.

Morgane et ses Nymphes (1971)

Also known as the "Girl Slaves of Morgan le Fay" this is a very sureal movie.  It starts out with best friends Anna and Françoise, travelling the countryside. Both women are young a quite attractive.  They are warned to stay away from dark country side, which they ignore. They spend the next few hours driving on and on so they decide to sleep in a barn they find once it gets dark.  After a figurative and literal roll in the hay.  Françoise wakes up to find Anna gone.  Françoise eventually finds a boat and lead to island full of beautiful women and their leader Morganne.  Eventually Anna is found here and she and Françoise spend time enjoying the company of the other women of the island.  Sure there is this creepy dwarf Gurth and the bit about giving up their souls to Morganne so they can live forever.
The biggest problem comes in the form of Yael, who does not want Françoise to become Morganne's new favorite. She and the other favorites, Sarah and Sylviane work to get Françoise out of the picture.  Françoise tries to escape, only to learn she does not have the magic to summon the boat, but Gurth does.
During the final scene where Anna and Françoise are to give their souls to Morganne, Françoise decides to seduce Yael.  Afterwards Gurth gets lowered into the pit for having the girls perform on each other for his own amusement.  There is some twisted irony in there.
Françoise gets his ring to summon the boat and then a horse. But it doesn't matter because once Françoise sees an old woman and a dead one she realizes she would rather be young and beautiful forever.  She calls out to Morganne who comes to get her.  They walk back to the boat but stop by the farm house where Anna and she had spent the night.  Inside still sleeping she sees Anna and Yael (at least I think it is Yael) sleeping in each other's arms, happy.  Françoise smiles.

Ok so. Is this horror?
Again there are plenty of elements of horror even if the movie is not scary.  Françoise does give up her soul to stay immortal and live with Morganne forever.  Judging by the number of women here it seems she is not lacking in volunteers.  Morganne is not an unkind witch, she does let Anna and Yael go off to live their own "happily ever after".
The girls though are still victims of Morganne, or are they all co-dependent on each other. Morganne needs them to live and they need her so they can remain forever young; trapped even in a moment in time. In the end that might make more horrific than any number of monsters or slashers.

Many have commented on the surrealistic nature of this film, and that is true.   It is like Françoise has passed over into a mytic land.  Sort like Mist of Avalon, if Morganne had been a lesbian.

Tally 25 movies, 22 new.

Game ideas: Obviously Morgane Le Fey is still alive and living on the Isle of Avalon.  I would fix this with Mists of Avalon and even a bit of my own Daughters of the Flame to get some interesting.

1 comment:

Trey said...

Good interview. It is an interesting film.