Steven Hellerstedt | 06/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's more or less (strong emphasis on the word `less') a plot for the 1964 sleaze/exploitation film OLGA'S GIRL. Olga (Audrey Campbell) is the proprietress of a stable of girls. As the movie begins we learn Olga is setting up a new syndicate in New York City, a syndicate that will service the city's appetite for narcotics and vice. Campbell played Olga in two previous movies, `Olga's House of Shame' and `White Slaves of Chinatown,' titles a little more descriptive of the contents, perhaps. They're all directed by Joseph Mawra, who would also direct movies with such provocative titles as `The Peek Snatchers' and `All Men Are Apes.' Anyway, a `white slaver' brings fresh flesh to Olga's pad, the slaver and Olga haggle a bit and eventually the flesh become Olga's girls. Most of the film shows the girls at work - funneling suspicious looking white powder in capsules, for instance - and play - the twist seemed popular at the time, and the girls throw a lot of parties.
There aren't any men in the movie, save for the slaver and some `syndicate' guys who show up for a two-minute scene in the middle of the movie to push the plot forward. There's a rather disturbing scene of two girls shooting up the `big H', although Campbell (with film journalist Andre Salas) assures us that there was no drug use on the set.
OLGA'S GIRLS spends a lot of time in the basement, the `dungeon', Olga's `Room of Persuasion.' A place where erring girls are taken for discipline, and there's a lot of erring going on. Armed with a swagger stick and clad in a full-length leather apron - Olga's `Cape of Persuasion' - the dungeon is where any fetishes missed in the party, shower, and bedroom scenes are enacted.
There's no synchronized sound on OLGA'S GIRLS. Perry Peters (Joel Holt) provides a voice-over narration, with sporadic contributions from Audrey Campbell. It's a device that works pretty well, giving the movie a fantastic realism while retaining some elements of a silent film. The girls, amateur actresses, react with exaggerated facial expressions that would make Conrad Veidt proud. The bondage and torture scenes aren't very convincing, and rather than screams, which might be disturbing, the movie just pumps up the volume on its favorite song, Modest Moussorgsky's `Night on Bald Mountain.'
I'm not usually a fan of exploitation films, but I found OLGA'S GIRLS to be both unusual and entertaining. If it were a little more realistic, and if you didn't see some of the women suppressing giggles during fight and torture scenes, it might have been unpleasant.