• Olga Triple Feature (Something Weird Video) DVD Review



    Released by: Something Weird Video
    Released on: April 15th, 2003.
    Director: Joseph Mawra
    Cast: Audrey Campbell, Marlaina Abbie, Gigi Darlene, George Weiss, Alice Davis, W. B. Parker, Ella Daphne, Lucy Eldridge, Hattie Felder, Larry Hunter, Moia Gifford
    Year: 1964/1966
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    Olga Triple Feature – Movie Review:

    My first introduction to Olga was courtesy of The Cramps, who mentioned 'Madame Olga' at the beginning of their video for Ultratwist, in which Poison Ivy, all decked out in a very Olga-esque costume, encourages dancers to twist harder and faster and whipping them when they don't.
    This video piqued my curiosity and never being one to doubt the coolness of Lux and Ivy, I looked into it a little more and found that there were actually a series of films that revolved around the character made famous by Audrey Campbell.

    This year, Something Weird Video released three of the five Olga films onto one great triple feature DVD making the films much easier to get ahold of, as these films, which originally played very scant theatrical dates in and around NYC in the 60s, can now be picked up at Best Buy or Borders!

    WHITE SLAVES OF CHINATOWN:

    The matronly but sexy Audrey Campbell plays Olga for the first time in this first of the three films on the disc. A mean spirited kitten with a whip who isn't afraid to play dirty when needed, nor is she afraid to smack or whip anyone who gets in her way Olga controls a whole lot of criminal activity using the power of addictive narcotics to lure innocent young girls into captivity. Olga basically runs drug dealing and prostitution rackets out of Chinatown in NYC set to some very cliché sounding Chinese style music.

    A little lesbian action also ensues, and later in the film Olga takes some of the girls that she's been acquiring throughout the movie and turns them into women of the evening, eventually pimping them out.

    Olga has a more passive role in this one than in the House Of Shame, watching the girls smoke pot and take place in orgies but never really participating in them herself. A lot of the same musical cues fused here were recycled in House Of Shame, but it all works out ok.

    Plenty of pretty girls in fishnets are smacked around and tortured to Olga's dry narration or the soothing sounds of the faceless male narrator who keeps us abreast of the proceedings.

    Aside from the narration, the dialogue is classic. Lots of great lines in this one that'll keep your attention and stick in your head. Olga has got to be one of the toughest talking dames in exploitation history and you've gotta admire a girl with that kinda gumption.

    OLGA'S HOUSE OF SHAME:

    The second film in the series finds Campbell in the role again. This time, aided by her no good brother named Nick, Olga has relocated to somewhere in New Jersey.

    She turns one of the girls she keeps under lock and key named Elaine into one of her protégés and with her help, the three of them run a new crime syndicate and along the way manage to torture and sexually assault a few lovely young ladies.

    This second film cranks the sexual violence and BDSM themes up a few small notches and is a little bit rougher than White Slaves Of Chinatown. Widely considered the best of the series, I have to admit, I thought that the dialogue and scenarios in White Slaves were more interesting and more entertaining than this entry, despite the more ample nudity. This perplexes me a great deal, because nine times out of ten, more ample nudity usually ups a film a bit in my opinion. I'm a fan. But this time around, I wasn't as into it. Not that this is a bad film. There is still a ton of great one liners and easily quotable dialogue, pretty girls in old school lingerie, and public domain musical cues. It delivers what it promises and is a lot of fun to watch. I just didn't find it as compelling as the first film in the series.

    Pay special attention at the end of the film for an announcement for the next chapter in the Olga series.... it never got made.

    OLGA'S DANCE HALL GIRLS:

    This time out, Olga is played not by Audrey Campbell but by Lucy Eldredge. While still no slouch in the looks department, Eldredge doesn't deliver the tough talk and no bullshit look that the character did in the first two films.

    This one was made to capitalize on the success of the first two films and despite the better musical score and the inclusion of some very pretty naked ladies indulging in some bizarre sexual motifs, it doesn't work as well as the first two movies did.

    This time around, Olga is back in New York City and is on the prowl for some recruits to work in her dance hall. She ends up with a group of housewives from the suburbs who she convinces to join up with her, but low and behold, the dance hall isn't actually anything more than a front for a cult of devil worshippers!

    It still works and delivers a lot of great dialogue and narration. The totally bizarre scenario is good for a whole lot of unintentional laughs and there are even a few moments of legitimate creepiness when the cult is partaking in their sinister Satanic rituals. Without Campbell in the role though, it just doesn't feel right. I might have enjoyed the film more if the character hadn't been called Olga, but after Campbell's knock out performances in the first two movies on the disc, it was hard for me to accept Eldredge as the same character.

    Overall though, all three of these movies are very much worth seeing. They have definitely got their share of flaws, and yes, some scenes do feel as if they're suffering from some very obvious padding, but at the very least they provide some great low brow entertainment, a lot of pretty naked girls in pointy bras, and some fun S&M kink. And how can you not love a movie character that inspired a Cramps video?

    Olga Triple Feature – DVD Review:

    All three of the films were shot fullframe which is how they are presented here. Not exactly made under the most ideal shooting conditions, some of the lighting is a little off but overall, all three films look quite nice. The stark black and white photography holds up quite well and there is only really mild print damage to complain about (and I feel like a jerk complaining about it - these are almost forty year old low budget sexploitation films - taking their roots into account, these movies look great on this DVD!). Olga's House Of Shame looks the best of the three and is almost perfect, the other two show a bit more wear and tear but still, overall, are very nice looking. The keepcase states that they have been digitally remastered, and it does look like quite a bit of effort was put into making these titles look their best, given their low budget origins and legitimate obscurity. Whether or not these came from prints or from the original negatives I don't rightly know, but either way, the presentation is fine.

    Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is the order of the day on all three films. While these are hardly going to shack the foundation of your home, these tracks are clear and audible. Most of the sound is narration with some music behind it. Sound effects don't play a big role in the films, neither does dialogue, but anytime anyone actually does speak or the narrator gives us his speeches here and there, everything is easy to understand and there aren't really any problems with these basic but sufficient tracks.

    Of course, we not only get another Something Weird Video Gallery Of Exploitation Art (which seem to be on all of their more recent releases - which is ok by me, I dig'em!), we also get trailers for White Slaves Of Chinatown, Olga's Girls, Olga's House Of Shame, Madame Olga's Massage Parlor, and Olga's Dance Hall Girls.

    Trailers aside, the other extras on the disc are a clip from the supposedly lost Madame Olga's Massage Parlor that has been sourced from Joseph Mawra's Mondo Oscentia. Footage from the other films is included in this piece as well and it's great that this clip has been included on the disc. But that's not all! Audrey Campbell - Art Lover is up next. This clip, taken from 1000 Shapes Of A Female (directed by Barry Mahon) focuses on the lovely Ms. Campbell as she poses for Byron Mabe as he paints her in the nude. The two of them discuss each other's artwork while all this is going on. This clip is not the complete segment from the film though, and some footage is missing.

    Finally, rounding out the supplements is a nice twelve page booklet that reprints a lengthy eleven page interview with Audrey Campbell from Ecco #20. Campbell discusses her career, the origins of the film, and some of the characters that she worked with. The back page of the booklet lists the chapter stops for each of the three films.

    Olga Triple Feature – The Final Word Review:

    Something Weird Video does a great job on this release. The video quality is good, the audio is problem free, and the extras are a lot of fun. Adding The Olga Triple Feature to your collection should be a no-brainer.