Tuesday, December 15, 2015

WOMEN'S PRISON MASSACRE (1983) (Blu-ray Review)


Label: Scream Factory 

Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 89 Minutes
Audio: Englis DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Bruno Mattei
Cast: Lorraine De Selle, Maria Romano, Laura Gemser, Ursula Flores, Carlo De Mejo, Gabriele Tinti

Italian schlock/hack director Bruno Mattei's aptly titled women-in-prison movie Women's Prison Massacre (1983) is the final entry in the Black Emanuelle movies starring Indonesian sex-kitten Laura Gemser, this playing a nosey investigative reporter framed for drug possession by a corrupt politician. Inside the big house she makes enemies of the tight-bunned prison warden (Lorraine de Selle, Cannibal Ferox) and a violent, pale-skinned prisoner named Albina, who is played with campy over-the-top delight by actress Ursula Flores, who I didn't recognize from anything else. Mattei plays up the depraved WIP tropes we've come to expect from the genre to the hilt with plenty of nudity and sex, a knife fight and some awesome trashy dialogue, with one prisoner threatening to bite off Albina's nipples! 

Throw into the mix four male death row inmates who invade the women's prison and you have all the makings of a trashy and fun WIP classic. The death row inmates are lead by Crazy Boy Henderson (Gabriel Tinti, Mario Bava's Lisa and the Devil), they take the women hostage, and have their way with them for a short time before the tables are turned. These guys don't seem to realize just how bloodthirsty these women prisoners are, with one distraught woman going so far as to place a razor blade in her vagina which leads to a bloody cock-shredding sex-scene topped off with some strangulation. 

Gesmer turns is a strong performance, she's always an attractive presence onscreen and with some decent acting chops. Ursula Flores makes for a wonderful villain as the campy bitch, a perfectly trashy performance with fun teeth-gritted English over-dubbing. Gabriel Tinti as Crazy Boy Henderson also makes for a menacing figure, a cut-throat scumbag capable of anything. There's a fun scene of Russian roulette as he eggs on one of the prisoner's to pull the trigger, which ends with his character with a mouthful of someone elses brains and blood, which cracked me up. I loved how everything about the movie is over-the-top, you cannot take any of it too seriously, it's played for camp and it worked for me. 

While Mattei was most certainly a hack director he absolutely knew how to make an entertaining movie and this WIP entry is no exception, it's fun stuff through and through. Women's Prison Massacre is also enhanced by a surprisingly fun synthesizer score from composer Luigi Ceccarelli (Rats - Night of Terror) which adds yet another dimension to the crazed depravity happening onscreen, Lovers of exploitation cinema are in for a treat with this one, a deliriously sleazy and warped women-in-prison movie from the master of Italian schlock. 

Women's Prison Massacre arrives on Blu-ray from Scream Factory in 1080p HD framed in 1.85:1 widescreen. The image is flat with over aggressive digital noise reduction, leaving facial features a bit on the waxy side, which is unfortunate. Colors are decent if a bit soft from time to time, with poor contrast levels that diminish the darker scenes. Audio is handled by an an English-dubbed DTS-HD MA Mono 2.0 track with the usual sync issues you would expect from a dubbed Italian production. Fidelity is good with no distortion, the Luigi Ceccarelli score sounds great, and there are optional English subtitles provided. This is a bare-bones release with no extras of any kind, not even a trailer. 

As WIP fare goes this is entertaining stuff with copious amounts of nudity, sex and rape and plenty of low-budget violence to keep you glued to the screen, and the dubbed dialogue is another value-added benefit with lines like  "I'll put a stop to your arrogance, your haughty hotten tart!". If you're a fan of Bruno Mattei's brand of cheap exploitation cinema this is worth a watch. 2.5/5