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Frauen für Zellenblock 9

Women in Cellblock 9
Flucht von der Todesinsel

Switzerland 1977
produced by
Erwin C. Dietrich for Elite Film AG
directed by Jess Franco
starring Karine Gambier, Susan Hemingway, Howard Vernon, Aida Gouveia, Esther Studer
written by Jess Franco, music by Walter Baumgartner

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Somewhere in the South American Jungle, Yana runs a woman's prison that, since it also houses some revolutionaries among the other prisoners, has a fine selection of instruments of torture & sadistic Doctor Costas (Howard Vernon), who relishes in using them. 

Among the revolutionaries imprisoned here is Karin (Karin Gambier), who is, with 2 other girls, kept naked in cellblock 9, forced to stand up straight all the time due to a chain around her neck. Costas' ways of torturing her soon break her, & after being penetrated violently by a horn first, then being threatened with having a mouse inserted in her vagina via a pipe, she tells him the names of all her associates. Back in the cell, where she & her 2 cellmates Aida & Barbara are joined by young Maria (Susan Hemingway), the foursome decides to seduce the guard in order to break out - & they actually succeed, doing some naked running through the jungle. In the end though, they are caught & executed by the violent powers that be ...

 

In the universe of Jess Franco realism never played a big role, it is filled with off-beat characters, sex for sex' sake & a strong dose of sadism. & while the same can be said of a lot of sexploitation dirtectors, what makes Franco's films outstanding is the genuine obsession he has for these subjects, plus his very own, triplike cinematic language, consisting of many zoom-ins & zoom-outs (often during the same shot), his unusual camera angles & extended use of close-ups. But though all those trademarks are apparent in this movie, it just doesn't work all that well here - mainly because the story is just a little too weak to incise any involvement & most of the characters aren't fleshed out at all, making this movie rather a pretty (& pretty sleazy) surface with little else to offer. Howard Vernon though gives a creepy & off-beat performance.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD