Ah… Women in prison flicks. I almost feel like I’m home after that literal trip through hell last week. What’s interesting is that this movie sort of has a connection to that bonkers Bruceploitation movie.
Violence in a Women’s Prison stars Laura Gemser, an Indonesian actress who starred in a lot of Euro-trash exploitation fair. She starred in X-rated stuff too. This is mostly due to her playing “Black” Emanuelle. Yeah… Remember the “femme fatale” in last week’s movie? Her name was Emanuelle too. So what’s that all about?
Well, Emanuelle was a very popular erotic series from France. It’s a film series still going strong today. Never seeing a sleazy, exploitation or fake sequel they didn’t like, the Italians came along to make a series called Black Emanuelle starring Gemser… a decidedly NOT black woman. There were one or two official sequels with a quartet of quasi-sequels for the character throughout the late 70s and early 80s. This was one of them.
Violence in a Women’s Prison and the follow up Women’s Prison Massacre, were directed by… Oh boy. They were directed by Bruno Mattei. Mr. Vincent Dawn himself! There’s only one way for me to react – Vincent Dawn, you sunovabitch!
The movie begins with some chicks being transported to prison. A cop car shows up stops the guy from loading up and driving off and delivers Laura Gemser and says, “Don’t worry, her papers are all in order. If you weren’t expecting her, too bad, she’s yours now! BYYEEEEEE!” and drives off. You know this isn’t the U.S. because this shit is super shady as fuck. You can just show up with a babe in your cop car and say, “Yeah, here you go… I’m positive the paperwork is solid.”
I’m dubious of the legality of this.
So our babes get handed over to the women’s prison run by these broads who look an awful lot like villains from a Tom Baker Doctor Who story:
Apparently, Black Emanuelle is Laura Kendall, aged 26. She was a prostitute, drug pusher, and attempted murderer. She tried to kill her pimp or something. She’s taken to the doctor for a check up, that, naturally, happens in the nude. This guy is like, “Whoa shit! Laura Gemser is here, I better do that full physical stat!”
Meanwhile, the dark haired babe Black Emanuelle came in with on the van is Kitty. She’s kind of a badass. She’s been here before too. She’s rooming with this one tough inmate who has already made a bitch out of another girl in the cell.
After her checkup, Black Emanuelle meets her weird cellmate, Pilar, she has a pet cockroach that totally grosses Black Emanuelle out. I also have a real bad feeling this old lady isn’t going to make it through this entire movie. She’ll be nice and help Black Emanuelle out, and some bitch will shiv her.
In this opening reel we learn that the doctor, Moran, is possibly a criminal? He’s there on the Head Warden’s blessing as a bit of a pet for her. She’s not entirely sure about his fascination with Black Emanuelle. It would also seem that the various guards are a little cruel by teasing and condescending toward the inmates. The male guards straight up beat the shit out the guy prisoners.
Also, Dr. Moran is sent to the male infirmary to help a guy who had a little too rough of butt sex too. So there’s that.
It turns out that some of the guards also have needs that need to be met. The tough lady inmate, Heartha, brings her bitch, Malone, to Rescaut, the head guard, so she can watch them make out and such. Malone is seemingly strung out too as her mother tried to send her something hidden in a nasal spray bottle that Rescaut confiscated. Oddly, we know most about her because Malone also has a little boy that Rescaut teased in a previous scene that it’s too bad she won’t see him until he is a soldier. The two girls fuck to some pretty sexy electric guitar while most of the other girls in the prison listen and begin making out with each other. However, all the lovemaking gets very rudely interrupted when Rescaut starts beating the shit out of the girls she was just watched fuck.
You know what? 27 minutes in, and I’ve hardly talked about Black Emanuelle! And, no, I’m not using that as a race thing. Like I said earlier in the article, this was part of the Black Emanuelle series that Gemser starred in. I could call her simply Emanuelle, but it is relatively bonkers to me that a clearly Indonesian girl was marketed as a black girl.
I digress. B.E. is given an order by the guards to clean out a pot full of shit. She refuses and dumps it on them. They start beating her. Rescaut joins in and she gets beaten something fierce and tossed into a dark, dank dungeon cell for her insurrection. The cell, I should add, is lousy with rats. Rats that begin climbing on her. Biting her. You get the picture.
Elsewhere, Consuela, who came into the prison with Black Emanuelle and Kitty, is selected by Rescaut to be taken to the Head Warden. Kitty deduces pretty quickly it was Heartha who set this up for Consuela, a very meek and frightened girl, to be subjugated to some… Some… Terrib… Oh my god, she is going to be doing some real sexy shit…
Oh… Oh no. No this is not going to be sexy at all. Here’s what’s up, not only are we switching back and forth between Laura Gemser getting attacked by rats and the Head Warden in her absolutely stunning lingerie, but… This is a total scam. Consuela is tossed into the Head Warden’s office where a couple depraved men from the guy’s prison is tossed in there with her and they tear her clothes off and raper her while the Head Warden watches and gets fucked by the Chief Inspector who she has in her room with her.
The next day, Black Emanuelle is let out of the rat trap and returned to her cell. The rats have done quite the number of Black Emanuelle. Pilar, worried for her feigns illness to get the cell door open. She begs for the doctor and the guard doesn’t fetch Moran, she fetches Rescaut. After the other inmates make a fuss, Rescaut gets Moran. Pilar motions to Black Emanuelle. Moran demands for her to be put in the infirmary even after the Head Warden says that she is “mentally slightly disturbed”. I kinda feel like one more take on the overdub would have corrected that very awkward assessment of Black Emanuelle’s mental stability. But the fuck do I know?
Black Emanuelle gets better after a few days and Moran explains how he ended up in the situation he’s in. He basically did a mercy killing on his wife. No matter what, that’s basically a crime. So that’s why he was tossed into jail, and the Head Warden was able to bail him out and get him the position of doctor in the prison. I also suspect he wants to bang Black Emanuelle. HARD.
There’s this really weird scene that I think is meant to play for laughs, but this is a movie that had rats eating Laura Gemser, a bucket of shit tossed onto someone, rape, and so forth, so I’m not sure what’s supposed to be funny or taken seriously… Anyway, the guys are out in the yard and they get the attention of Heartha who tells Malone to show them something to make them happy, so she starts giving them a peep show with her massive tits. Leander, the prison gay guy who had to have Moran fix his butt previously, pleads with the guys to stop looking and being driven wild by her. He makes the mistake of bringing up how much he satisfies everyone in he cell block, so they beat him.
Moran, who was kind to Leander in his final moments, refuses to sign the death certificate because it lies about how he died. Moran takes a moral stand and forces the Head Warden to sign it herself. She threatens to make Black Emanuelle do hard labor if he doesn’t get his shit together. She beds him and Black Emanuelle is kept from having to do too much.
Because it has been a solid 15 minutes or so without one, a chick fight breaks out between Heartha and Consuela. Consuela gets tossed down a giant hill of rocks and killed.
Kitty flips the fuck out. But we ain’t got no time for that shit. Chief Inspector Boy Toy reads about how a news reporter has infiltrated a prison to expose the poor treatment of inmates and Head Warden Sexy Bitch Face knows who it must be. She goes into Black Emanuelle’s cell with Heartha (because, sure) and finds her diary with all her findings. Heartha, because killing Consuela just wasn’t enough for her, kills Pilar’s pet cockroach. So what do they do? Head Warden and her insane ass guards start torturing Black Emanuelle so she will explain herself.
Question… What the holy fuck do they think that will do? Wouldn’t that only make it more likely that she will expose all this shit even further? All things considered, she WILL get out of prison. She didn’t commit the crimes she is in for so she WILL get out. Are these people both smug and stupid?
After a bunch of torture, Black Emanuelle finally admits she is a reporter doing a survey for Amnesty International. Supposedly, she didn’t tell anyone where she went. Now, some people do notice she’s missing and they suspect she is languishing in some prison somewhere, but this is still very precarious for them to basically continue to torture her, and keep her.
Pilar, still pretty upset over her cockroach friend being squished, tells Moran about finding which cell Black Emanuelle is kept in so he can help her. She slips Moran a skeleton key that she pick pocketed years ago. He uses that to get into Black Emanuelle’s room and check her out. He realizes that the coffee the guards give her is poisoned.
She begins pretending to drink coffee but throws it out as soon as she is alone. That’s all fine and dandy, but then this fuck of a Chief Inspector decides he’s going to have a go at her one night. So he busts his nut and stumbles out like a drunken idiot.
Good news, though! Dr. Moran has gotten a letter to some sort of big wig inspector (a real one, not the drunken rapist one – man would THAT have been awkward?). To get Heartha out of the way, Pilar starts a fight with her and a few of the girls just beat the shit out of that asshole. While the girls take care of the guards, Kitty slips out of the mess hall and helps get Black Emanuelle out of her cell and to Dr. Moran. As they make their escape, it’s confirmed that Heartha is dead. Rescaut shoots Pilar for telling her that Heartha had it coming just like she did. And to get her back for that beating she took, Malone stabs Rescaut in the back with a surprisingly sharp spoon handle.
So it looks like things are going to end well. Well, for Moran and Black Emanuelle. The bitches who had it coming are dead, though it might have meant that to make that omelet, the Pilar egg had to be broken, but that’s okay. She was old and stuff anyway. Moran and Black Emanuelle get busy in their hideaway. It seems like things are going to be a-okay after all.
Well… Maybe not. With Pilar and Rescaut in the infirmary for their wounds, the guards go looking for Dr. Moran, but he ain’t nowhere to be found. That’s when it all comes into focus for Head Warden Whatshername and the manhunt is on for Black Emanuelle and Dr. Moran. And holy fuck they get found. There is no happy ending in a Bruno Mattei film, goddammit. They are taken to the Head Warden’s office where they see she and the Chief Inspector are in cuffs and that government big wig Moran wrote a letter two is there.
How’s about for a twist ending? Black Emanuelle is free and Dr. Moran will have his case reopened so he can be let off with time served for his mercy killing. Just when I thought it was going to end like Ilsa, the Wicked Warden with the death of our olive-skinned beauty, Mattei actually turns in a pretty good movie.
I mean it. Violence in a Women’s Prison is actually quite good. Oh sure, it is exploitation through and through, but unlike many Mattei movies, this isn’t a complete train wreck of epic proportions. Trust me, even with something like Shocking Dark for all its kookiness, it’s a massively weird and confusing movie. Zombie 3 is a disaster. But this? This is actually interesting even if it really doesn’t have any kind of message or any kind of plot. It’s well shot, it’s well acted, and it’s got a nice soundtrack. I… I like this… A lot!
Also, need I mention Laura Gemser? She’s just a treasure and absolute beauty.
It’s time to do another theme month. No, I’m not doing another “blue” month. But I do want to do something like I did a little over 2 years ago. Back in February 2017, I did Full Moon Fever, with four movies from Full Moon Features. I want to do that again, but with a twist. For June, I’m going to travel to Eastern Europe to take a look at Full Moon’s premiere vampire series!
So, come back here in one week for the first, Subspecies!