aka CARCEL DORADA/Des One of the more mind-boggling "Eurocine composites" including stock footage of Hong Kong, along with more footage from Eurocine's CRIMSON (Juan Fortuny, 1973) and Pigalle, Carrefour des Illusions (Pierre Chevalier, 1973), combined with new footage shot by Lesoeur and Jess Franco, the latter also involved as an actor playing the shady customer, "Mr. Caramelis." Footage from still another low budget action film appears under the opening credits (see above caps) which seems unrelated to the narrative which follows but provides a background of underworld violence as gangsters are gunned down and cars filled with gangsters speed around firing at other vehicles presumably containing rival gangsters. It's all inter cut with complete disdain for coherence. A narrator in the Spanish version attempts to calmly explain the atmosphere of mayhem existing in the city.
The version under review appears to be at least 10 minutes shorter than the 87 m runtime posted in some references, but seems overlong at even that abridged length. A lot of runtime is taken up by ultra-sleazy "erotic" performances of the female employees, who are taken to the cage in the back room and lashed in the titular Golden Cage for the edification of an upscale audience of sadistic voyeurs. Some of these displays were reportedly directed by Jess Franco, but they generally don't have the interactive delirium of similar shows in the director's more personal entries (cf NECRONOMICON. 1967). They just are the kind of dated fetishistic displays of cheesecake found in the US nudies of the late 50s and early 1960s, many of which are available on DVD/Bluray from SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO. Frequent Jess Franco composer-actor-associate Daniel White, appears as a vice detective.
The most amusing scene is when Franco's character orders a showing of an erotic loop which he watches with interest. Franco veteran Pierre Taylou (EXORCISM, TENDER AND PERVERSE EMANUELE) appears in two different roles, including one as the lead vice detective investigating Mr. Winter's operation and one as a brothel customer in footage from another film. The final police assault on Mr. Winter's Paris headquarters inter cuts shots from Fortuny's CRIMSON (with Victor Israel) and Chevalier's PIGALLE... (with Alice Arno). Evelyn Scott also appears in footage from two of the films which make up this composite. Very confusing and somewhat entertaining for the Eurocine/Jess Franco collector.
Other Eurocine composites include Chevalier's HOUSE OF THE LOST DOLLS (1973, as Peter Knight), which includes footage from a 1965 Jack Taylor spy film (AGENT SIGMA 3, MISSIONE GOLDWATHER, Gianpaolo Callegari).
Thanks to Nzoog for helping me see both the Spanish and French versions of this title.
(C) Robert Monell, 2016