Femmine infernali (1980)

(AKA Escape from Hell) A WIP flick set deep in the jungle. It contains all the usual tropes - wicked wardens, shower scenes, escapes, and, of course the shy girl always gets killed. But there's more here than a cookie-cutter WIP - upon the familiar template, the director has built something substantial.

  • Katie (Cintia Lodetti)
  • Zaira (Ajita Wilson)
  • Vivienne (Cristina Lay)
  • Mary (Maite Nicote)
  • The warden (Luciano Pigozzi)
  • Dr. Farrell (Anthony Steffen)
RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 7/10

REVIEW: Say what you will about the film, it doesn't pull any punches - delivering the grit and grime with gusto. It also really seems like they're in prison - these ladies are put through the ringer. Beyond that, it's actually well-crafted. The tension builds, the romance between Vivienne and the doctor is realistic, and the pace is relentless. If you can get past some hard to watch problematic scenes, there is a compelling film to be found here.

Cristina Lay provides quite a view when she's attacked while skinny dipping.  Granted, it's a rather disturbing and violent moment - but kudos to Lay who delivers an extremely graphic scene.  Lay must have been quite the character.  Her quote from an interview for "Diez Minutos" magazine: "I won't go to Heaven, because I believe in re-incarnation and I'll become a cat. In a former life I have already been a cat and when I die I'll be a cat again."


  1. Sounds great! BTW, I can't remember if you've mentioned Zombie Lake recently. I just started watching a copy on YouTube, so the quality isn't good, but the chick in the opening scene is very well put together and does a lengthy nude scene. Similar idea as Shock Waves.
    Oh, and we watched Frankenstein Island last night. Wow, that's weird and bad. The writer must've been off his bipolar meds.

  2. The reason the sex scenes are borderline explicit is that hardcore version of "Escape to Hell" once existed. This is according to the authors of the book "Red Light. The birth and the early stages of pornographic cinema in Italy". They saw the masters for the film and the hardcore "inserts" were on a separate reel. Only Ajita Wilson and the uncredited Guia Lauri Filzi did their own hardcore scenes. For the scenes with the other actresses, Guia Lauri was the body double in the penetration close ups. The authors also state the film had been seized by Italian prosecutors. Maybe that is why the hardcore scenes were cut from the prints.

    1. Wow. That's rather interesting - thanks for that!

    2. Since the sex in the film was mostly rape, I think the authorities didn't like having those scenes being hardcore. Now the filmmakers made another film at the same time, Hotel Paradise. It has much of the same cast, same location with a slightly different plot. Since, it's not as rapey the hardcore version still exist. I think it is the better of the films. It ends in a battle, not the little shootout of "Escape..".

  3. Cristina Lay gets a lot of love when I read folks' reactions to this movie; in my opinion, they're missing out on Cintia Lodetti. Pity that neither were in very many films.


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