Sunday, October 16, 2011

Women's Prison Massacre (Bruno Mattei, 1983)

Yeah, well, I think you're wrong. Dead wrong, in fact. If you look closely, you'll notice the stay-up stockings worn by all the female prisoners are dark charcoal grey, and not, as you have so erroneously pointed out, black. It's true, the colour of the band near the top of the stay-up stockings are close to being black, but as for the rest of the stay-up stockings, they're dark charcoal grey. The warden's garter belt-assisted stockings, on the other hand, are definitely black. Oh, hello, it would seem that you have accidentally stumbled upon an argument... uh, I don't know if I'd call it an "argument," let's just say it's a "heated discussion." Okay, it would seem that you have accidentally stumbled upon the middle of a heated discussion I was having with myself over the colour of the prison issue stockings worn by the inmates throughout Women's Prison Massacre, Bruno Mattei's sleazy ode to albino enchantresses, girl-on-girl everything, weaponized vaginas, pithy putdowns, and, of course, women who happen to be in prison. You see, while I think they're dark charcoal grey, the other half of my brain (the half who likes to stay up all night watching reruns of The Nanny, a program awash with imagery that promotes a world where black is dominate shade of hosiery) thinks they're black. Oh, and just because I'm using the term "dark" does not necessarily mean that part me of secretly thinks they're black, they're just dark in terms of the grey spectrum. In all honestly, I have this sneaking suspicion that the part of me who thinks the stay-up stockings are black is just messing with me. They know the stockings weren't black, they just like to see me make a fool out of myself in front of all you good people over something as trivial as stockings. You see what they just did? They made me use the words "trivial" and "stockings" in the same sentence. Talk about an exacerbated pickle drowning in a tepid pool of unsubstantiated pandemonium. Here's some free advice: In the future, try to be a little more cautious whenever you get the temptation to pretend that you have some sort of split personality disorder, as the odds of saying something you might regret are quite high.

Okay, now that we've finally established the colour of film's signature legwear, let us move on to less pressing matters. The film opens with a shot of three women sitting on a darkened stage, as somber piano music plays on the soundtrack. Soon, the somber piano music is accompanied by cold synths, warm synths, and, my personal fave, eerie synths. Wait a second, what's going on here? This has got to be the strangest opening to a women in prison flick that I have ever seen. But you know what? I like it. And it gets better. Appearing out of the darkness, her face painted like Jordan from Jubilee, the first woman we're introduced to is Laura (Maria Romano), who is wearing what she likes to call her "snake mask." Describing herself as a praying mantis, Laura's monologue mostly revolves around emasculating men. The large breasted middle child of the prison soliloquy set, Irene (Antonella Giacomini) is up next. Calling herself "Irene, the slut," she goes on and one about how she's a "pleasure spring" (all the men want to drink from her shapely fountain). Rounding out this pokey production of the Vagina Monologues is Emanuelle (Laura Gemser), whose her lecture is all about love and freedom.

While she's prattling on about human rights, a mane of blonde hair can be seen piercing the sooty air like an iridescent bolt of lightning. Who do these golden locks belong to, you ask? Why they belong to Albina (Ursula Flores), a.k.a. the most beautiful human being to walk the face of the earth. Oozing gorgeousness with every sultry step, Albina, annoyed, and rightfully so, by the so-called "art" that she and the audience (a ragtag collection of inmates and guards) have been enduring for the past ten or so minutes, walks up to the stage and expresses her displeasure by calling their play "revolting," and by hurling a fist full of tomatoes in the general direction of Emanuelle's smug face.

After the tomatoes hit her in the face, Emanuelle jumps into the crowd and starts to wrestle with Albina (more veggies are hurled, more feelings are hurt). We might not know it yet, but what we are currently watching is the genesis of one of the greatest rivalries in the history of cinema. The first round of the Emanuelle-Albina conflict is a draw, as the guards break them up just as they were about to start pummeling one another. But if Albina's post-fight rantings are any indication, the war between them is far from over. The blondness of Albina's concise eyebrows vs. Emanuelle's chocolaty cheekbones is the primary plot line of Women's Prison Massacre. Oh, sure, it wants you to think the hostage situation involving a hirsute lawman and four deranged male convicts is the film's nitty-gritty in terms of nutritional value. But make no mistake, the fight for female supremacy that takes place between Emanuelle and Albina is definitely the main course.

If it seemed odd that the warden (Lorraine De Selle) appeared to take Albina's side when it came time to lay blame for veggie vagina altercation. Well, that's because Albina is in the warden's pocket. Yeah, you heard correctly, Albina takes her orders directly from the warden. But why does the warden want to make Emanuelle's stay at her prison so uncomfortable? Who cares, because round two of Emanuelle and Albina's epic struggle is about to commence.

Entering the cafeteria with a disquieting elan, Albina saunters over to where Emanuelle and her pals, Laura and Irene, are sitting and proceeds to antagonize the living fuck out of them. Mocking Irene's slut monologue, Albina basically calls her a "stupid bitch." When Laura tries to stick up for her friend, Albina quickly interjects by telling her to "take my advice and die." Unmoved by her morbidity of her suggestion, Laura threatens to bite Albina's nipples off (if anyone is going to gnaw on Albina's luscious nipples, it's going to be me, so back off, Laura). Shifting her attention to Emanuelle, Albina calls her "fancy talker," which she objects to by saying, "don't call me fancy talker." As you can plainly see, the dialogue in this particular scene is off the charts in terms of inventiveness. However, in my mind, it achieves legend status the moment the phrase "haughty hottentot" leaves Albina's chapped lips. Even as the alliterative put-down was in the process of being uttered, I knew I was in the presence of greatness.

Anyway, unfazed by the fact that she was called a "haughty hottentot," Emanuelle tells her pigment-deficient tormentor that she makes her sick. Well, after some mild maniacal laughter and some boastful statements pertaining to her strength, Albina finally reacts by challenging Emanuelle to an arm wrestling duel. The bout goes back and forth for quite some time, but, ultimately, Emanuelle comes out on top, which is weird, considering she has pipe cleaners for arms.

You'll notice as the two rivals are arm wrestling that two guards are watching over them. Which isn't that uncommon. After all, most prisons have guards. No, what you need to focus on is the fact that the guards are being played by none other than Franca Stoppi (Beyond the Darkness) and Françoise Perrot, two actresses who bring a certain butchy flair to their respective roles. The beguiling Miss Stoppi, in particular, as every time the camera would focus on her wonderfully crafted mug, I would start to hyperventilate. My favourite Stoppi/Perrot moment was when they're forcing Emanuelle to wash her face. While that doesn't sound all that bad, the catch is that she has to keep her face submerged in a sink full of water until they tell her to remove it. What I liked about this scene was that Franca and Françoise would exchange these sinister smirks with one another in-between beatings (every time Emanuelle pulled her head out of the sink, they would hit her with their clubs), as it implied that they enjoyed their work and each others company.

Staying within the dank confines of the women's lavatory, a naked Laura and an almost naked Irene (the way her skimpy white panties struggled to maintain their structural integrity as they desperately clung to her curvy frame was simply divine) can be seen making out with each other. When Albina's sidekick catches wind of this tawdry display, she immediately informs her pale master about the sapphic transgression that is transpiring within their midst. After staring at them with fake disgust for a few minutes, Albina gathers a crowd around them, which alerts the guards. Telling them that these "dogs in heat need to be cooled down," Franca and Françoise start dunking their heads in cold water. Keep an eye on Albina as they're being severely punished, her aura is steeped in gladness. And if Albina's happy, I'm happy.

Recovering from her own dunking incident (simulated drowning seems to be the preferred punishment at this particular prison), Emanuelle is surprised when Albina enters and offers to help her to her feet. This kindness doesn't last long, however, as right after she says, "fancy seeing you here, fancy talker" she hits her in the face with a towel. Uh-oh, a towel to the face? That can only mean one thing: it's time for round three, baby! As is customary in the realm of cellbock fisticuffs that involve women, Emanuelle grabs Albina's hair, only to find out that her bleached adversary is wearing a wig. Holding the wig in her hand, Emanuelle starts to laugh at Albina. This, of course, angers her immensely, and she attacks Emmanuelle, not before calling her a bastard and telling her how much she hates her (I think the exact line was, "You bastard! I hate you!").

Oh, man, Emanuelle is thrashing Albina with own wig! What the fuck? When is this humiliation going to end? Growing up pale and different, Albina has struggled to fit in her entire life. Picked on at school and ridiculed by the customers at the flower shop she probably worked at, Albina swore that she would one day get back at all those who made her life a living hell. She didn't realize it immediately, but being sent to prison was the best thing to happen to her, as her unique appearance and unpleasant disposition intimidated the other inmates. Eventually becoming the de facto ruler of the prison, thanks, in part, to her brash attitude and her willingness to snitch on others, Albina had it made. That is, until some fancy talking haughty hottentot came along and ruined everything.

Do I even have to tell you who wins round four? Well, if must know, round four takes place out in the prison's yard, and involves the guards leaving Emanulle all alone to face Albina, who's been given a switchblade. "Hello, fancy talker," she coos, as she makes her way across the yard's lush green grass (the gal sure knows how to make an entrance). If we were told to judge their various clashes based solely on the quality of the pre-fight bravado, I think most insane people would agree that Albina, hands down, wins them all. Only problem is, Albina can't seem to build up any momentum after her early successes, as her blemish-free bombast usually gets its exquisite ass lambasted in a matter seconds. And the outcome of her well-executed, yet ultimately doomed, screaming knife charge is no different.

Running toward Emanuelle, her knife raised, and screaming her head off, Albina tries to stab her, but instead, she ends up dropping her knife. As she's being choked by her wiry opponent, Albina must be thinking to herself: Why is this happening to me? I mean, I had a knife, I called her "fancy talker," what do I have to do to kill this insipid hosebeast? As they wrestle over the ownership of the dropped knife, Albina's dark charcoal grey stockings are becoming soiled with difficult to remove grass stains. Discerning perverts and chichi linguists alike will want to pay close attention to what happens next, as we catch a brief glimpse of Albina's white panties during this sequence. In fact, the intensity of the tussle has caused them to become partially ensnared between the colourless cheeks that make up the bulk of her creamy buttocks. However, laundry headaches and unforeseen wedgies are the least of Albina's problems, as she soon finds herself with a knife in her right thigh. And not just any knife, her knife.

I won't lie, the sight of Albina screaming in agony as a result being stabbed in the right thigh with own knife filled me with a shitload of sadness. It got to a point where I was so distraught, that I almost switched the movie off in a fit of misguided wretchedness. You know how I said that when Albina's happy, I'm happy? Well, when Albina's in pain, I'm in pain. Just the mere thought of her torn dark charcoal grey stockings languishing unloved in some dank prison laundry room is enough to put me on twenty-four hour suicide watch.

In a veiled attempt to placate my misery, I'm gonna start talking about Crazy Boy Henderson (Gabriele Tinti), Victor "Geronimo" Brain (Raul Cabrera), Helmut "Blade" von Bauer (Pierangelo Pozzato), Brett O'Hara (Robert Mura), because one of them treats Albina like the goddess she truly is. Oh, and, just to let you know, the four guys I just mentioned are convicted murders who take over the women's prison after they overpower the warden, kill a guard, and wound a police officer (Carlo De Mejo) with a beard during what was supposed to be a routine prison transfer.

Free to roam the prison, the four psychopaths (they're apparently the worst of the worst) wander the halls in search of inexpensive poontang. Since the hyperactive "Blade" likes to be groped en masse, he heads to straight for the cells and lets a throng of female prisoners paw at him through the bars; O'Hara makes Lorraine De Selle strip down to her black lingerie; Crazy Boy rapes Emanuelle against a wall; and Geronimo has decided to go to the prison's infirmary to look for drugs. What does Geronimo find when he finally gets there? Heaven on a stale cracker, that's what. Recuperating from her most recent stab wound (her right thigh is wrapped with a modest bandage), Albina stares inquisitively at the strange man poking around her room. "Where's the morphine"? he asks. "How should I know," she quickly shoots back (it's nice to know that the knife wound hasn't put a damper on her scrappiness). As he's looking, he suddenly realizes the woman lying before him, her ashen legs peeking out from underneath the sheets ever so slightly, isn't your average female prisoner.

Caressing her delicate shoulders ("your skin is exciting"), Geronimo tells Albina that everything about her turns him on. When he said that I was like, finally, someone who gets the irregular allure that is Albina. You haven't experienced real pleasure unless you've felt Albina's strong-willed heartbeat pounding against yours as she penetrates you with her soft, elegant flesh. Yeah, that's right. You don't penetrate Albina. On the contrary, Albina penetrates you. And that's exactly what happens to Geronimo, who, from now on, will be known as "the luckiest man in the entire universe." Of course, he ends up treating Albina like crap when she emerges from her chloroform-induced slumber (her supple, bee-stung lips are even more chapped than they were before). When she tries to make a deal with Crazy Boy, the luckiest man in the entire universe acts like her doesn't know her. It's gets to the point where he even allows his esteemed colleagues to call her names like, "Snow White" and "Dracula's Daughter." I know, what a little bastard.

While actress Ursula Flores, the actual owner of the aforementioned "soft, elegant flesh," deserves a lot of the credit for creating such a memorable character (the eye bulging and head tilting alone was award worthy), you shouldn't discount the work of dubbing artist Carolyn De Fonseca (The Lonely Lady), who's the voice of Albina in the English language version of Women's Prison Massacre. If it wasn't for her, lines like, "Take my advice and die!" and "I'll put a stop to your arrogance, you haughty hottentot!" would probably not have had the same impact. Anyway, I hope my you found my covert tribute to Albina to be informative and junk. I'd go into detail about the Russian roulette scene that takes place near the end of the film (round four), but just thinking about it makes this fancy talker extremely depressed.

video uploaded by saintbuff


  1. Wow...just wow. I wish we could have watched this together.

  2. Yeah, you could have consoled me, and I could have fed you day-old shrimp.

  3. Just know that my definition of consoling involves copious amounts of dry brushing ( fancy talk. So if you're interested give me a call.

  4. I have no idea what to say after reading this, so I'll just ask:
    Day-old shrimp?

    Hey, thought you'd like this.

  5. @spectacularopticalcorp: I love the dry brush lady's hair.

    Yippee ki-yay, fancy talker!

    @Karim Amir: I'll let my buddy Miller from Repo Man answer that: "Suddenly somebody will say like 'plate' or 'shrimp' or 'plate of shrimp', out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."

    As for the To Live and Die in L.A.-related link: Thanks. They really analyzed the shit out of that car chase. I hear a lot people are checking out TLADILA after seeing Drive. Which, I guess, is a good thing.

  6. Since Yum-Yum was talking about alleviating sorrow, I was almost convinced that being fed day old shrimp was a euphemism for something like this (

    But I could be wrong.

    Sorry, I feel like I hijacked your comment section away from discussing Women's Prison Massacre...soooooo,

    I do love me some WiP films and I'm surprised I haven't seen this one. I did just find a whole bunch of clips on YouTube to tide me over until I can get my hands on a DVD. While I love Laura Gemser, I'd be rooting for Ursula Flores as well.

    Great review as usual and I hope you recover from your depression.

  7. Fully-clothed erotica is where it's at. (Step on that fancy talker!)

    I'm currently addicted to WiP films.

    The DVD I watched was a two disc set that included another Bruno Mattei WiP flick as "an added bonus" called "Caged Women," a film that sported the exact same cast as Women's Prison Massacre. Except, this time around, Ursula Flores plays the weak prisoner (it's was weird seeing her without her trademark platinum blonde wig), Francoise Perrot is the bully/snitch character and Gabrielle Tinti is the prison doctor. Anyway, you should cherish these films, because other than an obscure zombie movie that hardly anyone has seen, they're pretty much it when it comes to the film career of the great Ursula Flores (if Jimmy Fallon can call Selena Gomez "the great Selena Gomez," I can call Ursula Flores "the great Ursula Flores").

    Thanks. I'm feeling a lot better. ;)

  8. I'm not following your tumblr?!? Oh yeah, it looks like I'm not. Let me correct that... Okay, done. My tumblr dash is clogged with so much crap nowadays that I don't even bother to check it anymore. The tumblrs I do reblog stuff from on a regular basis are bookmarked (hence, the reason I caught your "California Girls" posts)

  9. Wow, I now must see this film. Just the screen shots of Ursula Flores combined with the promise of charcoal-grey stockings has been driving me crazy. I don't know if I'll be able to make it, though.

  10. The scene in the prison's yard is the best in terms of scoping Ursula Flores' pale stems encased in charcoal-grey stockings.