Home Video Hovel: Women’s Prison Massacre, by David Bax
In many ways, Bruno Mattei’s Women’s Prison Massacre is exactly the fun and cheesy type of exploitation movie its title promises. With its entirely dubbed dialogue full of ridiculous lines (“Take my advice and die!”), it’s sure to elicit plenty of laughs. Unfortunately, its sexual and physical violence too often crosses the line from sensationalism to plain old sadism.
Emanuelle, (Laura Gemser) finds herself in a corrupt prison where the guards allow the most psychotic of prisoners to maintain order, taking it upon themselves to dole out violent comeuppance to those who resist. Into this pressure cooker come four male escaped convicts, who rape, murder, take hostages and engage in shockingly cruel games with the women, all while attempting to negotiate an escape with the police outside.
Even before the men show up, Women’s Prison Massacre is a nasty movie, with the guards visiting sexual humiliation on the inmates who fall out of their favor and allowing a full-on knife fight to unfold in the yard.
After the men arrive, it gets even worse. Mattei is uninterested in distinguishing between the heroes and villains he’s already set up. Once things go haywire, they do so equally for all, from the guard whose throat is slit by a man wielding a razor blade between his teeth to the prisoner forced to play Russian roulette until she loses. Even at less than 90 minutes, Women’s Prison Massacre is an endurance test on your ability to withstand brutality.
Women’s Prison Massacre is a relatively recent film and, therefore, there are few age-related issues present in the transfer. It’s serviceable, though the colors aren’t as vivid as one would expect, assuming one is anticipating blood-drenched mayhem.
There are no special features.