FILM REVIEWS

‘Virgins from Hell’ (1987)

Virgins from Hell (1987)

This movie opens on a curious premise. The leader of a female motorcycle gang infiltrates a casino by seducing the owner. She gets him alone; naturally, he is expecting something. She fights him off, kicks his ass, and then the rest of the gang drives a jeep through the front door and robs the place. Why didn’t they just drive a jeep through the door in the first place? Such is logic not to be questioned in the Indonesian women-in-prison epic Virgins from Hell.¬†If logic were applied, you might ask if the leader of an international drug ring would really wear such a wide variety of cummerbunds. I have not been exposed to very much Indonesian culture; perhaps their drug lords do look like they have raided Prince’s Goodwill donation pile. As curious as his choice in wardrobe is the fact that he changes clothes often throughout the film. I tried hard to determine if this was just a continuity problem, but it really seems to be on purpose.

Eventually, the drug lord captures the gang and holds them hostage in a dungeon underneath a laboratory where he is developing an ecstasy-type drug that makes women want to have sex. There is nothing subtle about the plot. I am not a huge fan of the women-in-prison genre, but this one is interesting for its naivete’. Most of the scenes seem improvised, until the action sequences, which are meticulously staged and still relatively incompetent. The exploitation aspects of the film are hard to take seriously which removes some of the power from the prison situations. For me, it works. Loaded with low budget spectacle, Virgins from Hell comes across as a sort of primary color version of Rambo II.

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