Olga’s House of Shame (1964)

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Dateline New York, 1964. The legendary New York adult movie company, American Film Distribution, whipped up the ultimate way to bring attention to them. Drawing inspiration from the local success of kink magazines like Bizarre, as well as the interest in films that pushed the envelope for the time like Ed Wood’s The Sinister Urge which did well in the Grindhouse district, the Olga films were thought up. Bringing in Audrey Campbell to play the sinister and sadistic Olga, things were already put into perfect place, but what made the films more special was thanks in part to the supporting cast, some of which were to be familiar sights in a few of these pictures for the next couple of years, and also, for two of the leading trio of films with Campbell, being shot without sound and overdubbed by Joel Holt’s newsman-style narration with Campbell’s sneering Olga voice appearing from time to time along with a dramatic choice of Classical music – The Roughie in perfection!

It’s very important to note that this is a film that was an inspiration for the legendary John Waters.

This post is about the one film that actually has a script for the actors, although in this case it’s alright knowing who’s in it. Werner Rose’s camerawork is great here, capturing all of the dirty, risky feeling that surrounds the production of these kinds of films with (dare I say it) a good style that’s hard to come by in this genre of film. Olga’s House of Shame may be cluttered with too many loose ends, but they are only to serve the audience who’s interest is clearly not in the plot but in the Kink…but here, that’s not a bad thing.

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At the start, there’s trouble brewing at an old deserted warehouse when we see Elaine, Olga’s courier, being dragged off by Nick to be questioned by Olga, and those who know their New York films will already notice the trio of Campbell, WB Parker as Nick the “Connection” for the ring, and Alice Davis (an aka for Judy Young) as Elaine from the Joe Sarno classic Sin in the Suburbs, already hinting at the perfect chemistry that’s seen in most of the film. Some jewels are missing, and Olga is quite rightly pissed off, leading to an interrogation, and although it’s obvious that the “punishment” is not all that heavy – staging a fight was not a specialty for wither the cast or Director at this time – it still must have been a shocker back then. Still, Olga looks hot and stylish while Elaine is a classic looking woman in trouble.

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Olga’s many contacts were brought to her by Nick, but others were brought in through Johnny Gordon (Gil Adams), one of the many shorty-lived characters in the world of this series. In the start, Jenny (The one-name wonder Robin), is brought into the story through this connection while in the torture chamber, Stacy (Brenda de Naut) was the next in line for the punishment thanks to a mention by Elaine. Was this the truth or a way to save herself?…

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A new member Paula is brought into the narcotics trade, being taught how to package the goods so that they can be brought into the streets, with call girl Ellie (Angel Aintree) being her teacher. After a while, she’s brought to do more “intimate” kinds of jobs for her after checking her out – Although she’s looking a little older than many of her other women, the looks are enough to bring in some customers. With that bit of tease out of the way, trouble has to come again, and in this case it’s Christine (Connie Oliver), who’s been seen talking to the competition, and that of course puts things back into sadistic swing.
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Johnny then brings in another helper, Nadja (Ella Daphne), someone who’s been working in the White Slave Traffic trade for years, and possibly someone ready to be the Second in Command, but the Human Greed that’s in her is obvious, leading to her downfall later in the story. After some hope, and a Belly Dancer sequence, there’s word that some Heroin has been missing, and after checking out through the city, it’s been discovered that Ellie was offering it to some pushers. Once again, the punishment machine that’s called Olga swings into action after knowing of this betrayal.
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Now, back to Elaine…More questions, no answers. The stain by Chocolate look is in play.
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Then over to Paula. As usual, there has been some trouble, and this time it’s the New Chick’s hustling on Olga’s time…which really is all the time…and it’s called for a scrub down. As to keep this continuous line of betrayal moving, Jenny decides to let Elaine free, and she’s quickly found out, and while she waits for punishment, Olga and Nick go after her only to catch her in the nearby river. The chase scene is clearly one of the best shot moments in the series, featuring Olga in Mod fashion.

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Obviously, Elaine finally tells Olga everything, about who actually stole the jewels, and is decides to join her in the business, which is obviously a very wise choice. Looking at a couple of troublemakers, she ties them to a tree and handles a bullwhip at them, making Olga very happy. This was someone she could finally trust, but still something has to be done to both Jenny and finally Nadja…who had Elaine in her ranks, but now faces the penalty for trying to get her mitts into the power of the operation as well as ripping the one and only Olga off.

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More punishments are in hand. Ellie is bound and given a special spanking that’s brought on by a paddle with a tip, offered to her in the way only Olga can deliver it. Then we go to Suzie, one of the first of Olga’s picks who would later join up a competition started up by other Ex-Members, only to see her get a whip in the woods. Holly was a troublemaker that was also going to get something – Damn, with so much dissent, it has to take a cool and sadistic soul in order to deal with it all and still be able to be in control.

Elaine was finally unleashed to follow Olga, and to be a solid Second in Command “Made in her own image.” First off, she practiced on Holly with the Electric Chair that was designed only to reduce it’s victims to being vegetables, and then on Jenny, who proved that she was only fit to be an animal, resulting in some “Horse Play” so to speak. With Olga finding her perfect second in Elaine, who found some care by Nick, the tale ends…but the punishment will continue in the next chapter of the saga.

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Directed by Joseph Marwa, this was one of the three classic Olga flicks that totally changed the face of the Grindhouse in the New York area and sparked off the Nudie Roughies proper after some good films that led up to this development. Played like a strip in a Kink magazine, this edition of the saga may have been the one with the most plots that tried to bring in more characters than it really needed, but thankfully the film delivers in the acts to justify all of the loose ends and disobeying members. Olga’s House of Shame is still something to watch, although the best was yet to come with Olga’s Girls, a film that was picked up in the West Coast by Bob Cresse’s Olympic International Pictures.

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~ by screen13 on August 20, 2009.

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