sadomania

One of my all-time favourite directors, and I say this with utter seriousness, because people usually laugh at me when I say his name, is Jesu Franco, of such gems as Vampyros Lesbos and Venus in Furs. No, I’m really serious. He’s the Euro-trash equivalent of Ed Wood, and Johnny Depp made a film about that angora sweater wearing cross-dresser.

Naturally my last DVD excursion in Guangzhou was made even more transcendental by discovering those aforementioned titles, and my eventual return almost exploding with frisson at the knowledge that Sadomania is now out in all it’s sadistic she-male prison warden genius.

Franco updates an unused ‘Ilsa: Wicked Warden’script to suit the statuesque Wilson in the lead role, of which he/she takes with both hands. This is so over the top and the acting so terribly bad that it is difficult to get offended by the cartoon capers, the rubber crocs for instance are side splittingly funny, but that is exactly what has happened with this movie time and time again. The scene where the prisoner is raped by a dog is so ridiculous that laughter crosses your face in what should be shocking, but it’s not and Franco is playing with you here and he knows it.

This previously banned movie is presented in an almost uncut version; a little nipple torture has been removed at the behest of the BBFC but is almost completely shown in the Spanish version of the Trailer and at the end of the Franco interview.

—Monsters & Critics

DVD Review: Sadomania

By Andy McKeague Aug 16, 2005, 23:40 GMT

‘Sadomania’ is finally getting a UK DVD release ! I can’t believe what I just typed, this was a movie that was only released in dreams for the UK viewer, but now, this August, a DVD version will be in the high streets for everyone to see !

Firstly what I need to say about Franco’s ‘Sadomania’ is that depending on your frame of mind this will either be a deranged comic book caper or a outrageous and taboo trashing piece of cinematic filth…I really can’t go with the latter.

Happy newly weds Michael (Angel Caballero) and Olga (Uta Koepke) stumble onto the grounds of a Rehabilitation Centre for Women and are escorted under armed guard, topless I may add, to the warden for suitable punishment. The warden is an Amazonian with a sadistic streak and likes to get acquainted with any man on the grounds, played by the post op transsexual Ajita Wilson (born George Wilson and star of many Greek and Italian porn movies of the 70’s).

Olga is less fortunate. She is taken to the prison and forced into her pair of skimpy cut off denim shorts, it seems this is the standard dress code for the prisoners, the guards get beige ones, but hardly a top in sight for either side. So there is plenty of nakedness in the hot, blazing sun of some Latin American unnamed country. It’s here that the girls get to poke at the ground for no apparent reason, well apart from showing plenty of tight, tight denims digging into crotches and lots of sweaty breasts. The guards, in an equal state of undress, all hang on to their obviously fake guns and get into little flirtation sessions with the hard working prisoners.

Now if you are not a good girl, punishment can be severe. Or even if you are a good girl, if the almost impotent and impoverished Governor selects you, punishment could be much worse. You see the Governor has a bit of an erection problem, so his caring wife tries everything imaginable with the prisoners to get a rise out of him, and in one howling scene a German Shepherd is called in for some extra help.

All things get in a right old mess and after bouts of gladiatorial combat and some slave trading by the bad guys (or girls) get their comeuppance from the returning Michael.

The director gets to make a cameo appearance too and an effeminate slave trader getting it from behind by a moustachioed Wilson, ah Franco, you gotta love ‘im.

Franco updates an unused ‘Ilsa: Wicked Warden’script to suit the statuesque Wilson in the lead role, of which he/she takes with both hands. This is so over the top and the acting so terribly bad that it is difficult to get offended by the cartoon capers, the rubber crocs for instance are side splittingly funny, but that is exactly what has happened with this movie time and time again. The scene where the prisoner is raped by a dog is so ridiculous that laughter crosses your face in what should be shocking, but it’s not and Franco is playing with you here and he knows it.

This previously banned movie is presented in an almost uncut version; a little nipple torture has been removed at the behest of the BBFC but is almost completely shown in the Spanish version of the Trailer and at the end of the Franco interview.

On the extras side, there is the aforementioned Spanish Trailer and interview, in which Franco candidly talks about being back in Spain filming under the newly liberated regulations and how hard it was to get so many young girls from the local region to go topless. He can also recommend the fish in this area for a tasty bite. Also included are an English language trailer and some text biogs of Franco and Wilson, sadly showing how mysterious and tragic his lead was in real life.