THE JAIL: THE WOMEN'S HELL (2006)
Label: Intervision Picture Corp
Region Code: 1
Duration: 98 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Director: Vincent Dawn (Bruno Mattei)
Cast: Yvette Yzon, Dyane Craystan, Jim Gaines, Odette Khan
For his second-to-last film, the late writer/director Bruno Mattei returned to the genre that established his reputation as a true Maestro of EuroSleaze: When a group of women are sentenced to a jungle hellhole prison known as ‘The House of Lost Souls’, they’ll enter a sweaty nightmare of sadistic guards, menacing lesbians and rampant nudity. But Mattei – here under his alias ‘Vincent Dawn’ – also packs his final babes-behind-bars saga with enough degradations, perversions, jaw-dropping violence and over-the-top performances to set all-new standards of genre depravity. Yvette Yzon (ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD), Dyane Craystan (ZOMBIES: THE BEGINNING) and Jim Gaines (ROBOWAR) star in this Philippines filth-fest produced by Giovanni Paolucci (MONDO CANNIBAL), now presented uncut and uncensored for the first time ever in America!
The last few movies that notorious Italian exploitation director Bruno Mattei made before his death in 2007 are something to behold, a series of cheapie zombie and cannibal movies that went for broke with loads of depravity and gore. I truly think that Intervision may have saved his best golden years entry for last with the release of his second to last movie, the women-in-prison (WIP) shotgun to the face called The Jail - The Women's Hell (2006) starring the spunky Yvette Yzon as Jennifer, a bad ass criminal who at the top of the movie finds herself on a river boat with three other women headed for a tropical prison camp known as 'The House of Lost Souls'. The labor camp is run by a very cruel woman (Odette Khan) who barks out orders and sever punishments, she only has one setting, and angry bitch is it. The women are subjected to sexual abuse, thrown into sweat boxes and lashed with whips relentlessly. Mattei throws in about every damn WIP trope you could hope for and then amps it up to a ridiculous degree, comically so. One notorious scene of depravity features a woman tied to a bed while a python crawls over her nude body, just off camera it is implied the serpent crawls inside her womb, killing her, pretty sleazy stuff! Of course we have the mandatory nudity throughout, scene after scene of forcible water hosings, lesbian love among the prisoners, and they're forced into stripping and prostitution for a local assortment of crooked businessmen and politicians who frequent the prison camp.
Eventually the rebellious Jennifer a small band of the women have had enough of everything, they've seen too many other women die from abuse and torture, and they make a run for it. Escaping into the jungle where they know you either run for your life or suffer a slow and painful death at the hands of the sadistic prison guards. The way it plays out brought to mind the Brian Trenchard-Smith classic Turkey Shoot (1981), as the WIP film turns into a depraved version of The Most Dangerous Game, with some of the women falling prey to the guards and various booby-traps, not to mention booby-trauma. One of the women is tied to a tree, her tongue cut out, while one of the more maniacal guards slices off her breasts with way to much joy. Another is shotgunned multiple times by a group of guards, she's basically a slice of bloody Swiss cheese at the end, then she's gang raped. Mattei goes for broke with the wacky over-the-top violence which pushes this from just a distasteful WIP movie into straight-up trash classic, it's so over-the-top you cannot help but see the humor of it all.
Audio/Video: The Jail: The Women's Hell was a shot-on-video movie, using the digital cameras available at the time, which were not the highest quality stuff but it translates nicely to DVD from Intervision. In my opinion this is the best looking of Mattei's new millennium Filipino exploitation movies, some of the scenes could pass for 35mm, the dank and dark shots of the prison living quarters look particularly good. The English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo comes through strong, with the dubbed dialogue and synth score are nicely balanced, they're not going for the sound design Oscar here, it is what it is, serviceable.
Intervision continue to give back to the fans with more bonus content, the third in a series of interviews with producer Giovanni Paolucci and screenwriter Antonio Tentori clocking in at 22-minutes. There's also an interview with star Yvette Yzon and Alvin Anson who co-starred in with her in Bruno's final film, the gut-muncher Zombies: The Beginning (2007), both of whom recall having to adjust to the loud Italian director who always sounded mad onset.
- Acting For Bruno: Featurette with Yvette Yzon and Alvin Anson (9 Mins)
- Prison Inferno: Featurette with producer Giovanni Paolucci and screenwriter Antonio Tentori (22 Mins)
- Trailer (2 Mins)
If you're a fan of trashy exploitation cinema and have not looked into these late-period Bruno Mattei movies he directed under the pseudonyms Vincent Dawn and Martin Miller you are seriously missing out on some gloriously entertaining carnage. If you think about it no one was making movies like this in the new millennium, with the exception of Mattei who seemed determined to go out on top of the trash heap with a series of modern day exploitation films that in may ways rival anything the director created in the seventies and eighties, on a fraction of the budget - this is the best kind of sleazy movie making, Mattei went out on a high note, praise be to Intervision for bringing these to the trash-loving masses.