Monday, 27 June 2011

I watch movies so you don't have to... (warning: spoilers and graphic images)

Womens Prison Massacre (1983)
Directed by Bruno Mattei

Today I'll treat you to a film from one of the sleazier sub genres of exploitation cinema, the Women In Prison movie. There are a few things can be sure of in these films.

- There will be communal showers.
- The female prisoners will be desperate for sex
- Most (if not all) of the prison staff will be sadistic psychopaths, who will take any opportunity to humiliate, degrade and punish "misbehaving" prisoners.
- There will be an evil tough girl running the show and a "good" tough girl trying to take over the running of the show.

Womens Prison Massacere have all of these, but also adds some more original elements, making it one of the more interesting WIP movies I've seen.

So, what is it all about? Laura Gemser plays Emmanuelle, an undercover journalist who has been wrongly imprisoned after having drugs planted on her by some powerful politician type (it's a bit unclear what has actually happened and only briefly discussed). The film kicks off with a theatre performance, which is rudely interrupted by evil Albina throwing tomatoes at Emmanuelle, who is one of the actresses. Straight away we know our bad girl, good girl set-up.

The following day in the canteen, Albina heads over to where Laura and Irene (the other two actresses from the play) are sitting. The following conversation takes place.

Laura: Don't bother her.
Albina: That'll be the day. Take my advice and die!
Laura: I'd like to bite your nipples off and I'll do it!

Erm. Yes. Then old crazy eyes Albina throws a bit of a hissy fit and challenges Emmanuelle to some arm wrestling.

A bit later we learn that Laura and Irene have a bit of a thing for each other. They're getting a little frisky in the showers, which Albina doesn't approve of. She tells the guards, who respond by almost drowning the two prisoners. Emmanuelle thinks this treatment is a bit over the top, so decides to tell the warden. Stupid idea. She obviously hasn't seen any WIP movies. The warden is of course mega evil and Emmanuelle soon finds herself in the wash room with two evil prison guards, who force her to keep her head under water.

Evil guards!

The evil guards let Albina in and leave her and Emmanuelle to fight it out. Emmanuelle is pretty bad-ass though, so she pulls Albina's hair. Guess what? It's a wig!

That must be why Albina's so mean!

We then find out that Irene (or is it Laura? I get confused) has a blow-up doll called Harry, which she is very fond of.


The guards are obviously determined to let Albina kick Emmanuelle's ass, so during the day's exercise in the courtyard the two are again left to fight it out.

Evil guards watching!

Despite being armed with a knife, Albina is yet again defeated by Emmanuelle who stabs her in the leg.


I was starting to get a bit bored here. The bad girl, good girl thing was getting a bit repetitive. But, lucky for me, a genius new plot element is introduced! You see, while this was going on, a group of four dangerous rapists/murderers are being transported to the prison to await their sentence. I'm not quite sure why they're sent to a women's prison, but there you go.

There's a bit of an attempt to escape and two policemen are shot, but luckily they can't get to Harrison, a totally awesome and badass cop.

Harrison, contemplating what to do after his colleagues are killed.

So, he manages to get them to the prison. There, the warden decides to put them in the wing where the most dangerous prisoners are kept. But, it's not as easy as that. They men overpower the female guards. Crazy Boy Henderson has been hiding a razorblade in his mouth! Oh no!

This is even too much for our good guy Harrison. He may be armed with a shotgun, but he's not gonna let that guard just die.

Unfortunately, he thinks about it a bit too long and Crazy Boy Henderson kills the guard.'s getting a bit horrible, messy and dark here. There are lighter elements in the film. Like the giant walkie-talkies! Look!

What do you want?

We want loads of stuff or they'll all die. Give us money and a plane etc.

This is where the film gets a bit weird....or even weirder if you like. The four escaped maniacs find themselves in a prison populated by sex-starved female prisoners. They can't even walk past the cells without having their clothes torn off.

Crazy Boy Henderson gets a bit upset when he finds the blow-up doll and forces Irene and Laura to dance with it. Erm. Yes. Then he kills the doll! Well, he cuts it with his razor blade.

While all these sexy shenaningans are taking place, the police are trying to storm the prison. They send in a rubbish team with a giant video camera, who all manage to get killed pretty much straight away.

I guess I shouldn't give everything away in case any of you would like to actually watch the thing. It gets gorier and gorier, tho.

Razor blades are inserted where they shouldn't be..

Leading to some well deserved pain...

We even get some Russian roulette...eventually there has to be a loser.


I'll leave it there, For a WIP movie, this is very well paced and when it gets going it never gets boring. The dubbing isn't too bad either. There are some subplots that are never properly explained, but it's only to be expected and we kinda get the idea anyway.

The film has been retitled many times. The current UK DVD version from Vipco is called Emmanuelle in Prison and can be bought from Amazon.


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  2. Oi, ya beat me to it!

    Yep, like Rot said, it's definitely a recommendation for the Eurosleaze & cheese crowd.

    Hopefully Retro Shock-a-Rama haven't cleaned up the print, movies like this need to be seen in their grimy, grainy, grindhouse glory. As cheap as that company is, I doubt that'll be a problem.

    free movies onlineI'll have to look for this. Don't have CAGED WOMEN yet.

    Then I'll probably give my old WPM disc away to some deserving soul.

    Or maybe it'll be a prize if we ever get an Exploitnation exploitation draft going.