Saturday, August 23, 2014


Hellhole Directed By Pierre De Moro, starring Mary Woronov (1985).

I've been wanting to see this sleazy exploitation flick ever since I saw the glorious review on which was sadly shutdown for copyright infringement. Mark Johnston ran an extremely popular bootleg company called Shocking Videos (which was brought down by the film Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle, here's the NY POST article on the subject) 

   I found a lot of information about rare films on that site in the early 2000s and it's kind of dumb that they are now gone for good! I am ecstatic however to report that Scream Factory has bought the rights and will be releasing a legit version of this lost "women in prison" oddity very soon. There are pros and cons to bootlegs though and for me, it was a positive when Anchor Bay released Class of 1984. That newest version packed with interviews and extras decimated all the inferior VHS copies and dupes cluttering up the market. Until the restored one is available though, buy a DVD copy from, the best place to find underground hard to find cult films.

  The film starts off with Judy Landers, who I fondly remember as the sexy blonde on the cover of Stewardess School. She's a complete tease and you'd be hard pressed to find Landers to ever take her clothes off in a movie (even in dopey sex comedies or in this case a WIP film, where its totally appropriate). She's like David Cross on Arrested Development--a "never nude"! 

the only known almost topless photo of Judy

   It has a creepy Ray Sharkey, who looks like a tiny Frank Zappa trying out for the Village People, he plays a psycho named Silk (hee hee, Oh man what a stupid name)! 
Silk strangles Susan's (Landers) mother to death, while he sings "London Bridges"! He's the size of a kitchen witch and that dumb-ass bimbo daughter, runs out of the house instead of helping her mom out! She falls and succumbs to amnesia (Oh! how convenient, since this leads to the set up in a metal institution)! 

Rob Halford and Freddy Mercury made me in a petri dish

   The awkward dialogue and unnatural manner these characters talk and behave seems intentionally over the top. Aaron Butler wrote this two years after he scripted Chained Heat, which in my mind is the ultimate WIP film. This non-prison, correctional facility is similar to the one in Human Experiments (only all the girls are as foxy as Linda Haynes, which is pretty rad)! Director De Moro made only three films to his credit, one of them being the bungling 70's smaltz-fest Savannah Smiles (which was apparently the inspiration for the dead porn star's namesake).

   Richard Cox (Cruising, Seizure) plays a friendly doctor and secret journalist, who tries to protect Susan from Silk. The lowlife's advantage is that she is brainless and won't have any recollection of the murder from the beginning. While the doctors are nursing their blue balls, rush snorting dykes are lezzing out and being harassed by the rapey henchmen. 

I hope nobody tosses a lit match at our Aquanet saturated hair 

   Mary Woronov looks good as Dr. Fletcher, a lesbian in charge of the mental hospital known as the "Hellhole" and if you don't get the Spinal Tap song stuck in your noggin there's something wrong with you. It has tons of naked girls (including an all out fuzz-fest shower fight with zero Nair in sight)! 

Do you think I enjoy having a catchers mitt for a face?

   One of the Doctor's henchmen is Rob Z'Dar with his rubber mask face and extra large lantern jaw. "Ilsa She Wolf Of The SS" star Dyanne Thorne shows up in a weird fake Liz Renay costume as one of the crazies, possibly to retire from torturing women and let Woronov to do the job and inherit her sadistic role. 


   Most of the actors in this are pretty great, but Landers is horrid, she cannot act for shit, it doesn't really matter because she's pretty hot! The lunatic women from the Hellhole gang up on Dr. Fletcher and give her a taste of her own venom, which is a direct homage to Blood Sucking Freaks. The fight scenes between Richard Cox and Z'dar deserve better lighting--I mean you can't tell which actor is which--we don't even get a bulging jaw shadow of that famous profile! Hopefully when the Scream Factory edition comes out, the audience will be able to decipher who's who. 

UGH... bad hangover, I need some black coffee

    Hellhole's sleaze factor is pretty high, somewhere between Reform School Girls and Chained Heat, those looking for campy scuzz will have lots to chew on!  
   The adjacent brick and mortar sinister building is the "Hellhole" where they take already suffering mental defects to have their brains permanently eroded. All forms of unsavory medical science experiments are conducted by way of needles that induce seizures and chemical lobotomies,they all satisfy Dr. Fletcher's "sexual hangups". Marjoe Gortner (Starcrash, Food of the Gods) plays a moralistic back alley surgeon who reluctantly assists Dr. Fletcher, but is against it. Gortner's real life is more interesting as a former "child evangelist" and struggling B-movie actor than this tepid role.

Gawd, stop harping on my kinky fixation with murder!

   Judy "the never nude" stumbles around in a daze through most of the duration, did she secretly get a lobotomy in a deleted scene, I think so. There's a ridiculous scene where Susan is strapped to a gurney and wheeled around as mental retards paw at her bra and she hardly makes a sound! Later on the journalist (Cox), breaks her out of a rubber room and once she puts on a nurses outfit, no one notices that she's a prisoner-- it's completely ridiculous! But it all kind of makes sense in this ultra campy environment.

Now no one can find me in this brilliant disguise

   One of Russ Meyers left over ex-wives Edy Williams plays Silk's main lady Vera. The rodent like vermin hops into a mud bath with Vera and another girl, saying "Hey Let's make a sandwich, I'll be the baloney, hoo haa"! 


   In reality, Ray Sharkey, turned to heroin and contracted AIDS in 1987; was in denial about it then went ahead and infected several women. Nice guy! Oh well he's dead now, so rest in peace creepo! As far as his career goes, this is the only thing I've ever seen him in. He comes off like a Brooklyn street hustler in a classic rock dimestore outfit and is the standout performance in this film.

They don't call me SUPERFUZZ BIGMUFF for Nuthin'

   I wish the lighting guy wasn't half asleep though and most of the film is lit by a bare bulb or a constantly flickering fluorescent light. Possibly, once the legit DVD comes out, they will do some color correction and make it less dreary-- plus they have to get Mary Woronov to do the commentary! This film is half as good as Chained Heat, only to make up for lack of Linda Blair, they bombarded it with tons of star power and sleaze. It totally works in a clumsy sort of way and is froth at the mouth entertaining! (Update: as of recent news, Hellhole will not be released by Scream Factory, which is a shame. Hopefully some other brave company will put it out).



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