Friday, 19 January 2018

Blacksnake (1973)

Blacksnake is the one Russ Meyer film that nobody seems to like, not even hardcore Meyer fans. It’s nowhere near as bad as it’s usually made out to be but it’s easy enough to see why so many people disliked it.

After his brief and less than happy experience trying to make big-budget Hollywood movies Meyer wisely decided to return to independent productions. He also decided to try a dramatic change of genres. This was understandable enough. Once hardcore porn appeared on the scene it was clearly going to be more difficult for Meyer to find an audience for the sorts of movies he liked to make. And Meyer was adamant that he was going to have nothing whatsoever to do with hardcore porn. His solution was to concentrate on violence rather than sex.

Blacksnake was however a departure from the usual Meyer territory in lots of other ways as well. It was his first period picture, and his first foray into the world of blaxploitation. Blacksnake was to be a savage indictment of slavery.

The setting is the West Indian island of San Cristobal in 1835. The British had by this time abolished slavery but somehow Lady Susan Walker (Anouska Hempel) is still getting away with running her plantation with slave labour. To protect her position she has a private army of French-speaking blacks led by Captain Raymond Daladier (Bernard Boston).

Sir Charles Walker (David Warbeck) is intensely interested in Lady Susan’s activities. One of her many husbands was his brother Jonathan who mysteriously vanished and is presumed to be dead. Sir Charles is convinced that Lady Susan murdered him. He manages to get himself a position as Lady Susan’s book-keeper and sets off for the West Indies to discover the truth about his brother.

He soon discovers that San Cristobal is suffering a reign of terror at the hands of Lady Susan and her henchmen, especially the sadistic white overseer Joxer Tierney (Percy Herbert). A slave revolt is in the offing although no-one on San Cristobal can see it coming. Sir Charles uncovers the horrifying truth about his brother and he is also caught up in Lady Susan’s dangerous sexual games. The violence is pretty much non-stop and builds to a frightening crescendo.

One of the major problems with this film is that Meyer seemed to want to make a sincere and serious anti-slavery film but at the same time he was trying to make an exploitation film (which is after all what he was good at). There’s violence in most of Meyer’s movies but it’s always very stylised and very cartoonish and mostly played for laughs. The violence in Blacksnake is the exception to this rule - it’s over-the-top but it’s also horrifyingly realistic. This was obviously a conscious decision by Meyer but it can be a bit jarring since there’s also (as always in Meyer’s films) a fair amount of comedy.

An even bigger problem is that I’m not sure exactly what kind of audience he expected to reach. Fans of his earlier films were not going to like the combination of realistic violence and virtually no sex and nudity. Earnest white liberals who liked message movies such as Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and To Kill a Mockingbird were not going to deal with the sadistic violence. Blaxploitation fans were not going to like it because there’s no black hero to relate to. The one memorable black character is Captain Raymond Daladier, an effeminate French-speaking homosexual. Art-house audiences were not going to go to see a movie by a disreputable exploitation film-maker (Meyer would eventually gain a following among the film school crowd but that was some years in the future). Mainstream audiences were going to be shocked and mystified. So the danger was that it would end up finding no audience at all, which was in fact what happened.

The biggest problem of all is the acting. Percy Herbert gives the sort of performance that would have been perfect in a typical Meyer movie but it doesn’t quite work in this one. David Warbeck is atrocious. He’s both bland and irritating and comes across as a pompous do-gooder. Bernard Boston’s performance is an absolute delight but it’s as if the the major male characters are all characters in entirely different movies.

And then there’s Anouska Hempel. Nobody has a good word for her performance. Personally I don’t think she’s all that bad but again there’s the problem of the movie being unable to decide if it’s going to be serious or campy. Hempel is slightly too over-the-top for her character to be taken seriously but she’s not excessive enough or sufficiently larger-than-life to make Lady Susan work as a cartoon villainess.

Yet another problem is that there is zero sexual heat in this movie. The most successful of all movies in this slavesploitation sub-genre was Mandingo and it was successful because it had lots and lots of sexual heat which made the violence and sadism easier to endure. With all its other faults Blacksnake could have worked if it had had that kind of overheated perverse sexual tension. Anouska Hempel’s performance is however entirely sexless. Even the brief moments of nudity manage to be sexless. I don’t think it was entirely her fault - with a leading man like David Warbeck giving the impression he didn’t even want to touch a woman she had nothing whatever to work with. Many Meyer fans feel that the problem was that she did not have the kinds of physical attributes that one expects from a leading lady in a Russ Meyer film. That may have been a problem in that Meyer thought she was too flat-chested to be sexy and I guess it’s a bit difficult to motivate yourself to convey sexiness if your director thinks you have zero sex appeal. I don’t really think this was the real problem though. She may not have had the bust measurements of a typical Meyer starlet but Anouska Hempel was still a very attractive young woman.

What it comes down to is that for the story to work we have to believe that Lady Susan is the sort of woman who can drive men crazy with lust and the sort of woman who has insatiable lusts of her own and we just don’t believe it. So we have a Russ Meyer movie totally lacking in sexiness and largely lacking in fun.

It’s not a total loss. Blacksnake was shot on location in Barbados and it looks sensational. It’s also very stylish. It’s not quite Meyer’s usual style (there’s not so much emphasis on lightning-fast editing) but it works and he does come up with some very striking (and occasionally very powerful) images.

The best thing about Blacksnake is that its failure finally convinced Meyer to forget mainstream audiences and mainstream critics altogether and go back to making the kinds of movies he liked making. It also seems to have convinced him to go back to doing his own cinematography and his own editing. His next movie would be the wonderful Supervixens, which is just about the archetypal Russ Meyer movie. Blacksnake is a failure, although it’s an interesting failure and worth a look if you’re a dedicated Meyer fan.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Love Is a Four-Letter Word (1966)

Love Is a Four-Letter Word (AKA The Love Girls) is a 1966 sexploitation movie believed to have been a lost film until the discovery of a print a few years back. It was written and produced by Bob Cresse and directed by Lee Frost, both key figures in the west coast sexploitation business.

Jerry is a pleasant if rather quiet young man. Life should be pretty good for him. He’s attending university. He has a beautiful girlfriend named Sheila. It’s Sheila that is the problem. While she’s happy to parade around in front of him wearing nothing but a towel she reacts with shock and horror if he tries to lay a finger on her.

Jerry has the feeling that everyone is having lots of sex. Everyone except him. His frustrations are increased by the fact that when he looks out the window he has a clear view into a neighbouring building and every window of that neighbouring building reveals the same thing - beautiful young ladies getting dressed or getting undressed or taking showers or just cavorting about in their birthday suits.

Jerry is starting to get seriously obsessed and seriously worried, especially when his psychology lecturer is droning on about sex offenders. It naturally occurs to Jerry that he might be a sex offender himself.

For Jerry the problem is not just his voyeurism. It’s the dreams. He’s starting to have trouble distinguishing between the dreams and reality. Naturally the dreams are always about attractive young ladies and naturally they’re always naked, or in the process of getting naked.

Frost handles this confusion between reality and fantasy rather well, with a couple of quite surreal scenes. The scene in the brothel is particularly disturbing. The movie was shot with synchronised sound but suddenly in this scene there’s no synchronised sound but we hear the two girls’ voices. But are they really saying the things we hear, or does Jerry just think they’re saying those things?

Equally disturbing is the scene in which Jerry is watching a nudie short in one of those old-fashioned coin-operated peep shows. The girl in the movie stares straight at the camera, and clearly Jerry has the feeling she really is looking at him. This idea crops up again when Jerry is watching a girl stripping at a party and he imagines that they’re at home in the kitchen and she’s doing the strip-tease just for him.

At times we are not quite sure if what we’re seeing is real or if it’s just happening in Jerry’s fevered mind. This kind of approach is fairly ambitious (and rather arty) for a sexploitation move but Frost is confident enough and competent enough to pull it off.

There are lots of lovely women in this movie and none of them spend more than a few brief moments fully clothed. As a sexploitation movie it therefore works very well but the great thing about this genre is that if you felt like making more than just a sex film there was nothing to stop you. You could add some arty touches or even attempt a bit of psychological insight. Most of the people seeing the movie at the time weren’t going to notice but if it gave you some satisfaction to feel like you were making a real movie you went ahead and did it. The results could be surprisingly interesting which is one of the reason the genre has gained a cult following. You just never know when a sexploitation movie is going to deliver a bit more than just naked flesh.

Love Is a Four-Letter Word does offer a little more, it does have those intriguingly surreal touches and with Lee Frost at the helm it’s executed with a certain panache.

I should also mention that there’s some fantastic surf music on the soundtrack.

Love Is a Four-Letter Word was released (under the title The Love Girls) on DVD a few years back by Cinema Epoch. There’s a very brief moment halfway through when there’s severe print damage but taken overall this is an excellent transfer. There’s not much in the way of extras but the brief essay by Bill Gibron does offer a few worthwhile snippets of information.

This movie turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The Wild Women of Wongo (1958)

It has to be admitted that The Wild Women of Wongo, released in 1958, is a pretty terrible movie. It’s the sort of Z-grade cinematic shlock that will either bore you to tears or delight you depending on taste.

The opening voiceover is provided by Mother Nature herself. She explains that while overall she thinks she’s done a pretty good job she has made one or two mistakes and she proceeds to tell us about one of her bigger errors of judgment. Ten thousand years ago she tried an experiment with two tribes, the Wongo and the Goona. She made all the Wongo women gorgeous and the men ugly and dorky, while she made all the Goona men handsome studs and all the Goona women rather less than beautiful. In fact much less than beautiful.

At first things went OK since the two villages were unaware of each other’s existence, until one fateful day Engor, the son of the Goona king, arrived with a warning about a marauding tribe of ape-men. The women of Wongo are stunned when they see Engor. They have never seen such a hunky guy. They get really excited when he tells them that in Goona he’s nothing special - all the guys are equally good-looking. Omoo (Jean Harkshaw), the daughter of the Wongo king, is determined to have Engor as her husband. The men of Wongo might be ugly brutes but they’re not stupid. They figure out that they’re going to have a real problem with their women so they decide to kill Engor.

Omoo and the other Wongo gals foil this dastardly plan and for this they are punished by being offered as sacrifices to the dragon god.

Meanwhile Engor returns to Goona and now the studly men of Goona know that Wongo is full of hot babes. As you can imagine they’re extremely excited by this piece of news.

There’s really not enough plot for the film’s 71-minute running time. That’s the main weakness here. Trimmed to an hour or so it would have been much more fun. The plot also tends to wander at times. The ape-men seem like they’re going to be a major threat but then they just sort of get forgotten.

The acting is generally atrocious. In my view that’s a plus. Good acting would have sunk a movie like this. There’s some horrendous dialogue and it sounds better when it’s delivered with such spectacular ineptitude.

Whatever its other deficiencies The Wild Women of Wongo does have some nice visual elements. The various locations (all in Florida) look quite good. There’s a reasonably impressive underwater sequence. What makes that sequence really fun is that it includes a fight to the death between Omoo and an alligator. He’s not exactly the most fearsome of alligators and he’s no match for a strong healthy girl.

Naturally given all the sexual tensions there’s going to be a cat-fight scene. It’s between Omoo and her deadly rival Ahtee and it’s rather amusing. There’s also some very weird dancing by the Wongo women. They might be beautiful but their dancing skills are somewhat questionable.

There’s one moment that is quite gruesome by 1958 standards, a guy getting chomped by a gator, or at least it would be gruesome had it not been so ludicrously (and delightfully) fake.

There are plenty of very attractive women in skimpy costumes but there’s no nudity, which gives it a kind of innocent charm. There’s ample eye candy for the ladies as well, provided by the hot guys of Goona.

The ending is not totally unexpected and it’s probably the only way the film could have ended. This is after all a light-hearted fun movie.

This movie has had several DVD releases, most notably in a jungle triple-feature from Something Weird (the other movies on that DVD being Bowanga Bowanga and Virgin Sacrifice) and as a double-feature from VCI paired with Jungle Girl and the Slaver as Volume 4 in their Psychotronica series. I’m told the VCI release offers the better transfer but not having seen it I can’t confirm that. The Something Weird version isn’t too bad. Image quality is generally OK but the colours are definitely faded.

The Wild Women of Wongo won’t please everybody and perhaps you have to be in the right mood to appreciate it. I happened to be in just the right mood. I found it to be both engagingly goofy and funny and and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can certainly recommend it for fans of jungle movies and prehistoric women movies.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 cult movie highlights

A lot of my cult movie watching highlights in 2017 seemed to be re-watches of old favourites.

Like 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) which gets better with each viewing.

And much the same can be said for Forbidden Planet(1956).

Dracula’s Daughter (1936) also stands up remarkably well to repeat viewings.

As for movies I hadn’t seen before, Hammer’s sci-fi horror effort Quatermass II (1957) was particularly good.

While The Black Raven (1943) is a very fine Old Dark House-style movie.

If you want sexploitation with some actual emotional depth then Joe Sarno’s Daddy, Darling (1970) could be just what you’re after.

Felicity (1978) is an Australia Emmanuelle rip-off that is quite a bit better than the film it's ripping off.

And Career Bed (1969) has all the outrageousness you could desire in an American sexploitation flick.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Goodbye Emmanuelle (1977)

Goodbye Emmanuelle (later retitled Emmanuelle 3) was the third of the official Emmanuelle movies. It was also intended by Sylvia Kristel to be her last appearance in the role (although that proved to be not quite the case).

Goodbye Emmanuelle came out in 1977, two years after Emmanuelle 2, and it marks a significant departure for the series. The first thing that is noticeable is that the simulated sex scenes are much briefer, and much tamer, than those in the previous two films. They’re very tame indeed compared to those in the very steamy Emmanuelle 2.

Even more startling is a dramatic change in tone. Goodbye Emmanuelle tries to be a serious look at the actual consequences of the sexual revolution that the first two movies celebrated with such enthusiasm. Whether it succeeds or not is a matter of opinion but director François Leterrier certainly seemed to have his own ideas on the direction in which the series should go.

Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel) and her architect husband Jean (Umberto Orsini) are now living in the Seychelles. There’s not much to do there other than have sex but luckily that’s all that Emmanuelle and Jean are interested in doing.

They still have their open marriage and of course they’re blissfully happy because how could you not be happy if you’ve overcome all those silly antiquated notions like jealousy and possessiveness? Emmanuelle and Jean are a liberated couple and being liberated is the key to happiness. And yet there are signs that perhaps Emmanuelle is not quite as happy as she should be. She is starting to suspect that men treat her like she’s a whore. She’s even starting to suspect that they may have some justification for doing so. She’s finding that maybe jealousy isn’t so easy to leave behind. And she’s starting to wonder if a husband who enjoys watching his wife have sex with other men (and women) might not be much of a husband. He might not even be much of a man. Could it be that she has discovered that sexual freedom comes at a price? And that maybe the price is too high?

Some of Emmanuelle’s friends are also discovering that sexual freedom has its downside. One even suggests to our heroine that the problem with sexual liberation is that one day you get old.

This all comes to a head when she meets handsome sensitive film-maker Grégory (Jean-Pierre Bouvier). She’s attracted to him so naturally the first thing she does when they meet is to perform oral sex on him. Curiously enough this doesn’t seem to make him like her, or respect her. Emmanuelle is very confused by this.

In fact everything about Grégory confuses and disturbs Emmanuelle. He has quaint old-fashioned ideas about love and sex. He even believes it’s only possible to love one person at a time! He thinks jealousy is normal and natural. He thinks there is more to love than just having sex. He doesn’t believe in orgies or threesomes. This guy is seriously weird. The worst thing is, she can’t stop thinking about him. She wants him desperately. She doesn’t just want to have sex with him, she wants to be with him. You know, walking hand-in-hand along the beach and all that outdated romance stuff.

Emmanuelle is, for the first time in her life, falling in love. She’s also learning that other people actually have feelings (something of which she was entirely unaware).

Of course this means that Sylvia Kristel has to do a bit more serious acting than in the previous Emmanuelle films, and she does give a more complex performance that suggests that Emmanuelle might have some actual depth to her character.

The fact that this movie has some serious ambitions isn’t the problem. There’s no reason why you can’t make a serious movie about sex. The problem is that for the story to work, really work effectively, there needs to be a much more intense erotic charge in the developing relationship between Emmanuelle and Grégory. We need to be convinced that for Emmanuelle sex with someone she cares about really is a whole lot better than the empty meaningless sex she’s had before. The sex with Grégory needs to mean something, but that erotic charge just isn’t there and the emotional intensity isn’t really there either. It’s not that the sex scenes need to be more explicit - they just need to be more intense and more passionate.

As director François Leterrier knows how to use the exotic location and how to give the movie the lush look that was the Emmanuelle trademark. Unfortunately he shows no flair for the erotic, which is a bit of a problem when you’re making an erotic movie. He deserves credit for trying to explore the emotional ramifications of Emmanuelle’s lifestyle but overall the movie is just a bit on the dull side. When you have Sylvia Kristel as your star and she spends a good deal of her screen time naked and your movie is still dull you’ve definitely done something wrong.

The Region 4 DVD offers a pretty good transfer, with negligible extras.

Goodbye Emmanuelle is an interesting experiment that had real potential. As an erotic movie it is however decidedly limp. Possibly worth seeing if you’re a Sylvia Kristel completist but it’s difficult to recommend this one wholeheartedly.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Sting of Death (1965)

Sting of Death, released in 1965, was the first horror movie made by low-budget Florida film-maker William Grefé (although he’d made a couple of race car movies prior to that). It was shot on location in the Everglades and like his next film, Death Curse of Tartu, it makes great use of the setting.

Dr Richardson (Jack Nagle) is a marine biologist. He has his own laboratory and a pretty fancy house complete with pool. His chief assistant is the young Dr John Hoyt (Joe Morrison) but he also gets help from his daughter Karen (Valerie Hawkins) and the slightly scary Egon (John Vella). Egon has a fairly severe facial disfigurement which we surmise was the result of an encounter with some very unfriendly marine creature. Egon has a bit of an obsession with the Portuguese man-of-war so that may have the creature responsible. Egon is hyper-sensitive about his appearance.

Egon also clearly has a bit of a crush on Karen. Possibly more than just a crush.

Grefé certainly understood pacing. He opens the movie with a major scare, with a beautiful young woman attacked by an aquatic monster. Then he slows things down and for the next half-hour it seems like we’re watching a beach party movie. It’s all girls, dancing, pop music and lightheartedness but Grefé makes sure we don’t entirely forget that there’s some mysterious and terrifying danger out there. Then he kicks the horror into high gear with a couple of impressive (considering the small budget) terror set-pieces.

The beach party elements come from the fact that Dr Hoyt has thrown a party for Karen and her friends who are spending their spring vacation at Dr Richardson’s place. Dr Hoyt has invited a bunch of kids from a nearby college. Hence the dancing and the pop music (supplied by Neil Sedaka who was a pretty big pop star at the time). It’s also a chance to have lots of scantily-clad babes dancing. There’s virtually no nudity in this film (apart from a brief shower scene) but there’s no shortage of eye candy. And it’s amazing how often the camera seems to zero in on the posteriors of the young ladies.

The sudden switch to outright horror is handled effectively and then the tension gets ratcheted up. We get a classic horror movie scenario. There’s a terrifying monster out there. We have a bunch of people isolated in a house and they’re out of contact with the outside world because the radio has, mysteriously, been smashed. There are only two men, they are armed only with revolvers, and they have a houseful of frightened teenage girls to protect. Worst of all, they can only guess at the nature of the menace they’re facing.

In fact the alert viewer might already have his suspicions as to the nature of the threat. The average sea-monster is unlikely to have the foresight to put the radio out of action before striking. Actually I suspect that Grefé intends us to guess the nature of the mystery right from the start and it actually makes things scarier.

Some facts just have to be faced squarely. The acting is awful. Absolutely awful. It doesn’t really matter since this can hardly be described as a character-driven movie and the characters are in any case pretty much stereotypes - the slightly eccentric older scientist, the hunky and brave young scientist, the beautiful and virtuous daughter, etc.

It has to be said that most of the young people in this movie are pretty unpleasant. They’re shallow and they’re thoughtlessly cruel. The one exception is Karen. She’s the nice girl. Not quite as pretty as some of the other girls but pretty enough and she has a sense of responsibility and an awareness of, and a dislike for, cruelty. The irony is that her caring ends up being more cruel than outright cruelty.

Grefé also includes some decent underwater sequences which is fairly ambitious for a zero-budget movie. The monster effects are mostly good although the head is a bit of a worry.

The formula established in this movie worked well so Grefé pretty much stuck to it for Death Curse of Tartu as well.

There are some definite hints of Beauty and the Beast here.

Something Weird paired this one with Grefé’s 1966 Death Curse of Tartu (also an entertaining flick) and of course they included plenty of extras including audio commentaries for both movies, the commentaries being done by Grefé himself. He’s a very amusing guy and these are well worth the listen. Somehow Something Weird managed to locate the original negative of Sting of Death and the transfer is superb. The colours are vivid and the image quality is absolutely top-notch.

Sting of Death is lots of low-budget horror fun. This is a great double-feature release. Highly recommended.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Olga's Dance Hall Girls (1969)

Olga's Dance Hall Girls was the fifth and last of the infamous Olga films, although it’s claim to be an actual Olga film can be debated.

The Olga series began in 1964. They were not quite roughies although with many obvious similarities to that sleazy little sub-genre. The Olga films upped the ante on the sado-masochism front with wall-to-wall torture scenes. Had it been possible to take these movies seriously they would have been very strong stuff indeed. In fact it was not possible to take them the least bit seriously. Their camp quotient was off the scale. That is their charm (if you happen to be an Olga fan). Their outrageousness is so excessive as to be almost cartoon-like. Director Joseph Mawra made the formula work rather well but what really made the Olga movies so appealing was Olga herself. Or more particularly it was the delirious performances of Audrey Campbell as the cruel ruthless mercenary Olga, glorying in her wickedness like a Victorian melodrama villain.

Four Olga movies appeared before Audrey Campbell departed. In 1969 the decision was made to do a fifth movie. The absence of Audrey Campbell is enough on its own to cast doubt on this movie’s claim to be an Olga film, but in fact it turned out to be an entirely different type of sexploitation movie, veering towards erotic horror. It’s impossible to imagine the real Olga bothering with Satanism. There’s just not enough money in it.

In Olga's Dance Hall Girls we find Olga running a dance hall which is a cover for a prostitution racket. The house’s specialty is beautiful young bored housewives. The assumption is that there will be enough allure in the idea of having sex with respectable wholesome housewives to turn a tidy profit.

Olga’s right-hand man Nick (Larry Hunter) is very pleased with his latest recruit. Carol Ross is a housewife and she’s stunning and he’s convinced she has the potential to be thoroughly corrupt and debauched. His judgment on that score is very sound. The problems for Olga’s organisation with come from Carol’s friend Jill, an attractive enough housewife but one who curiously enough seems to have no desire to embrace perversity and crime.

Then comes the surprise revelation that Olga is a servant of Satan, and of course she’s planning to sacrifice a virgin. Given that the young lady in question has worked in Olga’s dance hall for quite some time the audience could be forgiven for having some doubts about her virginity.

Olga's Dance Hall Girls shows serious signs of not knowing what it wants to be. For most of its running time it seems like it’s going to turn out to be a typical roughie. The witchcraft stuff is tacked on at the end and while I for one have no objection to sexy witches indulging in rituals that are almost certainly going to requite a minimal amount of clothing it just doesn’t seem to gel with the rest of the movie.

The other problem is that the major part of the film that is trying to be a roughie suffers from being too tame to be a real roughie. Some attractive young ladies get naked and there are some simulated sex scenes that are moderately hot by 60s exploitation movie standards (by 1969 American women had apparently discovered that if you’re going to have sex it’s an advantage to take your panties off although the men still cling to the tradition of keeping their trousers on). There’s very little real perversity and no real sense of menace or impending violence. There is also no torture whatsoever, and torture scenes were what Olga movies were all about.

Olga is played by Lucy Eldredge. She has an interestingly exotic look, not beautiful but striking in a slightly disturbing way. She convinces us that Olga is a predatory lesbian (an essential part of the character in the earlier films) and has no morals to speak of but she’s no Audrey Campbell. Her biggest problem is that most of her scenes require her to sit in one spot whilst engaging in rambling dialogues that go on for much too long. She just doesn’t get enough opportunities to demonstrate Olga-style wickedness. She could just be a very ruthless businesswoman.

Larry Hunter manages to make Nick seem sleazy and a bit dangerous which is all he’s required to do. Most of the actresses are of the standard you expect from sexploitation movies which doesn’t really matter since all they really have to do is take their clothes off when necessary.

The shining exception is the remarkable Linda Boyce who plays Carol Ross. She’s a very competent actress and she is able to make her character reasonably interesting. She has the ability (which she demonstrated in quite a few sexploitation features) to project a real sense of smouldering and dangerous sexuality. She also looks good nude and she’s nude a good deal of the time so all in all she has everything you’d want in a sexploitation actress and she effortlessly steals the picture.

The presence of the lovely Uta Erickson is also welcome and she gets to engage in a fairly good
cat fight scene in her underwear. It’s one of the movie’s better moments.

This movie is included in Something Weird’s three-movie Olga set. The transfer is by no means pristine but it’s acceptable. Since the disc includes two other better Olga movies it’s definitely a recommended purchase. It’s not a movie that would be particularly worth buying on its own but assuming you’re going to buy the disc anyway (and I can’t imagine any right-thinking person not wanting to do so) then there’s no compelling reason not to give Olga's Dance Hall Girls a spin. It’s not a real Olga movie and it’s not terribly good but it’s not entirely lacking in entertainment value and Linda Boyce is always worth watching.