Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Olga's House of Shame (1964)

Directed By Joseph P. Mawra
Starring Audrey Campbell, Alice Davis, W.B. Parker, Ella Daphne

 "She had charm alright, and in the right places."

Olga's House of Shame is an early BDS&M roughie that is the second of five Olga films. The film is unrated however after about forty minutes the bras come off. It could easily pass as an R-rated film today. Producer George Weiss also gets story credit. His biggest claim to fame is that he produced Ed Wood Jr's,  gender bending opus, "Glen or Glenda?".

   There are no gender bending hijinks in Olga's House of Shame, however. Filmed in black in white entirely on location in the back offices of a real abandoned coal mine, the flick embraces the utilitarian nature of these no budget, turn a fast buck affairs. It also  features enough beating, flogging, cutting, electrocuting,  nylons, belly dancing, girl on girl lovin', and bosoms to have satisfied just about all of grandpa's needs back in the day.

   The flick starts innocently enough as a car drives up a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, deep in the backwoods. But once the car stops the action begins as an obviously  distraught woman flees, but is subdued and smacked around by the driver of the car, a man that is revealed through narration as Nick (W.B. Parker), Olga's brother. Nick has contacts in a jewel smuggling operation that spans "an entire continent".

   This is but a third leg in Olga's triple threat enterprise that also includes  prostitution, and narcotics. Nick delivers the bound woman to Olga (Audrey Campbell), and she is informed that jewels are missing from the shipment. Faced with taking the blame out on her brother and senior business partner, or a lowly jewel courier, the choice is obvious. And we soon get down to the first beating of the film. A scant five minutes into the runtime, Elaine (Judy Young) the courier is bound, gagged, and slapped around.

   Throughout the film Olga manages her business, fields new hires, entertains  business associates, and manages to enjoy some "me" time in the process. But it can't all be fun and games for the sadistic entrepreneur.  As the story progresses it becomes clearer and clearer that someone in her ranks is not  being entirely loyal. And for Olga the best way to sniff out a rat is to punish,  beat, strip, and whip.

   Olga's House of Shame takes a long time to hit its stride. But much like the  public domain classical music that plays throughout the film, it does manage to reach a crescendo. As I mentioned earlier it takes about forty minutes for the bras to drop, and once they do, there is no stopping this runaway train of whips, double-crosses, horseplay, and lesbian antics till the 69 (!) minute run time is reached.

   To say the film uses narration as a crutch is an understatement. The plot is pretty straightforward and barebones. However somehow the narrator manages to drone on and on, the tone alternating between industrial film, public service announcements, and traditional film narration. And between these marathon spouts of boring  nonsense, plays the abovementioned classical notes. Actual dialogue is pretty sparse and only gains steam in the second half of the flick.

   But the draw for the Olsa franchise are the beauties, the bosoms, and the  beatings. And in that, this film does not disappoint. Unlike a lot of the other sexploitation films of the era, the women in Olga's House of Shame are actually attractive. Including the actress Brenda Denaut, who just so happens to be the late mother of the Arquette siblings. There is plenty of dancing, hip thrusting, and bosom heaving to make up for the myriad imperfections, and  the uninteresting setting of the film.

   Olga's House of Shame is well worth sitting through. It has an unsophisticated backwoods charm that is comforting in a way. And it doesn't take long for you to begin to root for the mistress. When Olga sneers, and begins administering punishment, it is with such a wink in her eye you will find yourself winking right back at her. Check it out.

Availability: Olga's House of Shame is out of print on DVD. However, it can be had (for a price) as part of an Olga triple feature at Amazon.


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