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Sadomania – Hölle der Lust (1981)

Holy cow, where to begin with this one. Let me start off by saying that Sadomania is by no means a starting point for either Franco, trash cinema, WIP (Women In Prison) films, whatever. This is strictly advanced viewing, I can only imagine what a newbies’ reaction to this flick would be – I can guess though that they’d either jump off a bridge or stick there head in an oven, having lost just about all faith in humanity. To put it lightly, this film is fucked! I know that regular visitors to the site may be used to criticism that is slightly more insightful than this, but hey – look at the subject matter here! Sadomania is completely deplorable in just about every way and offers absolutely no redeeming qualities or social value to the viewer. But then again, would we have expected any less? Please folks, I beg of you, hold onto the bar!

In essence what we have here is a carbon copy WIP flick, the setup is all the same. The difference however, is made up in the bizarre and all too cruel methods of torture and degradation. More in tune with an Ilsa flick in nastiness than your average WIP flick, Franco even comments on this fact in the included interview. Yeah, we get MUCH more than a few fights and shower scenes in this one! The evil warden this time around, Magda Urtado is played by everyone’s favorite euro-cult transsexual Ajita Wilson. Then we have the ‘evil’ male lead, who encourages all of the deplorable activity within the prison, Gov. Mendoza as played by Antonio Mayans (credited as Robert Foster).

Now, we know that we need the good girl held captive, and this is where the nastiness all begins. Young couple, Olga (playmate Uta Koepke) and Michael take a wrong turn (on purpose mind you) and wind up in the clutches of the evil warden (Wilson). Michael is set free, Olga is detained, the charge you ask? Trespassing. Sheesh, I’d hate to see the punishment for stealing a stick of gum! Anywho, Michael leaves (a little too easily) – only to return a bit later, but we’ll get to that. The actual prison itself consists of about 50 topless women, wearing daisy duke shorts working in the fields, if you will. I have never seen so many topless women in one film before, it’s complete craziness. 97% of the women in this film are at least topless (sometimes bottomless) the entire running time. Oh and did I mention the topless horseback riding and chariots? These gals really know how to get around! Moving along, as with many a WIP flick, the film is less a cohesive whole, than a bunch of exploitative setups, much nastier and taboo this time around though.

There are some ‘interesting’ side plot developments – like the impotent governor, but I’m getting ahead of myself. So these women, topless and held captive (for whatever reason) are forced to brandish a pickaxe (for whatever reason) as the machine gun toting topless guards look on (for whatever reason). Every once in a while, a woman is plucked out to please either the governor or the warden. If the girls misbehave, they are naturally punished. This punishment ranges from being locked in a cage like a wild animal, to being hunted down in the swamp, till the death (once again, like a wild animal). It’s quite amusing to see Wilson traipsing through the swamp gunning the nude inmate, finally being subjected to Wilson’s grin of approval as a lone croc chomps down on the inmates lifeless body. Since the governor has a hard time getting it up, his wife, Loba Mendoza (Gina Janssen) will stop at nothing to help her viagre-less man. This includes getting it on with the prisoners herself, allowing him to get it on with the prisoners (this doesn’t work either) and ultimately allowing their German Shepard to get it on with one of the prisoners (oddly enough, this winds up titillating the good ol’ gov like you wouldn’t believe).

When Mrs. Mendoza is not seducing the inmates or attempting to get a rise out of the gov, she’s selling prisoners to a white slave trade. The women are shipped off, raped and eventually sold to a brothel (run by Franco himself) and forced into a life of prostitution. Franco not only plays the Brothel owner, but he plays him as a flamboyant gay man, and is even seen being sodomized in one particularly classy moment. Howard Vernon really missed out on the role of a lifetime, since this part of the brothel owner was originally intended for him. Eventually Michael (remember him?) makes it back to the prison with a friend (?) ready to revolt and save his woman, Olga (remember her?).

Ya, so there’s a whole lotta something and a whole lotta nothing going on here at the same time. From the viewpoint of nastiness, this film delivers the goods. Tons of gorgeous naked blonde women (some not so gorgeous) yet within the beauty of all this nakedness, herein lies one of the problems. All of these girls look alike, and there are so many of them it’s hard to keep up! But I digress, as this is only a minor complaint in a much larger scale. It’s difficult to critique a film like this, it’s intended for one sole purpose, and it totally delivers the goods that it promises. Naked chicks (and plenty of them) being brutalized and demoralized in every which way but loose (well, maybe a little loose). The bizarre subplots (impotent governor, white slave trade, illegal brothel owned by a gay man) only stand to confuse and offend even more, but not me – I’m so jaded I couldn’t tell this film apart from the latest Disney venture!

Not true, this film is pretty offensive, and at the same time – very entertaining. If you’re into the whole WIP scene, love the Ilsa flicks and are in constant need of being disturbed and set off, this is a flick for you. Never boring, always entertaining and quite often upsetting, Sadomania delivers the goods. Did I mention the hot naked chicks? Oh, and Ajita Wilson fans, or those ‘curious’ about the infamous transsexual need to pick up this disc based on ‘her’ presence alone. ‘She’ has quite a few nude scenes, that really do need to be seen to be believed…transsexual? Ya could have fooled me! Yeesh!

Blue Underground has done it yet again in the quality department. This is an outstanding transfer, crisp and clear, bold colors and very little to no print damage. Some scenes had to be pulled from multiple sources to make this edition more ‘complete’ than any other, so there are some variances in print quality during these scenes. There are English subtitles that automatically show up, as these scenes were never translated apparently. The quality overall is quite outstanding and on par with BU’s previous releases, shockingly good – just what you’d expect. Audio is presented in an almost laughable English dub, some of the dialogue is quite priceless. There is no distortion to speak of, no hiss or background noise, very user friendly and clean. Don’t forget about the few instances in which the English subs pop up either – just an FYI.

Once again, a major kudos to Blue Underground for another top-notch presentation of a truly trashy flick. This film is not for everyone, I repeat, NOT FOR EVERYONE, but if you are indeed brave enough, I can almost guarantee that you will NOT be disappointed. My hair is standing on end right now just thinking about it. Now where the heck did I leave that soap and scrub brush? So dirty, so…very…dirty!