Hellhole (1985)

Article 3081 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-23-2009
Posting Date: 1-20-2010
Directed by Pierre De Moro
Featuring Ray Sharkey, Judy Landers, Marjoe Gortner
Country: USA
What it is: Women-in-Prison movie cleverly disguised as a Women-in-Loony-Bin movie with mad science thrown in for good measure.

Upon witnessing the murder of her mother, a young woman is injured trying to escape from the murderer and develops amnesia. She is placed in an asylum for recovery. However, the doctors in the asylum are engaged in horrible experiments, and the murderer (who has been hired to find out where incriminating papers have been hidden) takes on a job in the asylum so he can be there when the woman recovers her memory.

So, what have we learned from this movie?

1) What is the difference between a women-in-prison movie and a women-in-loony-bin movie? If this is an example, not a hell of a lot.

2) It’s easy to motivate any sort of behavior when most of your characters are crazy.

3) When most of your characters are crazy, you’re bound to have a number of nymphomaniacs in the batch as well.

4) Female nymphomaniacs + Lack of available men = Plenty of lesbian action.

5) Asylums have group showers. Might as well use them in the movie, then.

6) If you set your movie in an asylum, there are plenty of drugs around for characters to steal and use for recreational purposes.

7) If you have enough crazy and violent characters in your story, you don’t have to worry too much about the plot; just have everyone threaten and beat up everyone else.

8) I’ve never pondered the question as to who would prevail in a battle of wills between Marjoe Gortner and Mary Woronov, but if I had, I would have predicted exactly what happened here.

9) Robert Z’Dar is not a pretty man.

10) If you’re a mad scientist, it’s best to hide your failed experiments in the bottom section of the boiler room; inspectors just hate to go down there.

and an extra…

11) I don’t care if its an asylum or a prison; if there’s a place called Hellhole in the area, it’s not a good place to be.


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