Desta vez, vamos fazer algo diferente. Vamos ver o que os GRINGOS acharam do clássico CURRAL DE MULHERES, que saiu lá fora com o título AMAZON JAIL. Ah, não lê inglês? Foooooda-se!
These are the sorts of words that came to mind as I watched Amazon Jail. It does have a lot (a lot) of nudity, and it is goofy rather than depressing, so it gets a manacle. Amazon Jail is really more of a porno than a standard WIP. Not hardcore, of course, but rather one of those early 1970s soft Xs that are no more explicit than Cinemax fare. There might be a more explicit version around – the hooks are certainly there.
The plot, such as it is, involved a married couple who run a white slavery operation out of their ranch in Brazil. How do you get your wife to sign off of that kind of business venture? I mean, whenever I mention having a three-way with another girl, my wife responds, “In your dreams.” I can’t even imagine what she’d say if I suggested running a white slave ring.
Anyway, they lure the girls there with promises of rewarding jobs, but instead of advancing their careers they toss them into a big wooden cage and sell them to visiting high rollers and politicos. The girls seem quite surprised that there are no job waiting for them… because, as you know, rural Brazil is renown world wide for its booming economy. It seems to me that any girl who’d leave the United States for work in Brazil is probably more than a little gullible, no? Not that that excuses white slavery, but worth point out nonetheless.
The girls are kept in line by Helena, the wife portion of the husband and wife slaver team. She keeps threatening to whip the girls, but in the end she doesn’t actually harm any of them because she’s a little too interested in the merchandise herself, if you know what I mean and I think you do. The girls themselves are surprisingly imperturbable given the circumstances. They allow themselves to be herded into the enclosure with much grumbling, but nary an outburst. It is almost as if being captured by white slavers is a common experience or at least an occupation hazard. The girls spend a surprising lot of the time talking back to Helena. When she threatens to whip one of them, the uncowered captive replies, “Go ahead, try it. You never know, you might like it.” This seems like an unlikely response, but whatever.
The slavers themselves are more than a little weird. Helena is a frustrated bisexual, who ends up in love scenes with both some of the captured girls and her hubby. Hubby, Edgar, is clearly deranged. He comes across as a cross between Pancho Villa and Zorba the Greek (maybe with a touch of Jerry Garcia tossed in). He’s loud, boisterous, and prone to delusions of grandeur. In addition to being a source of income, the girls are also his main source of entertainment. Given that both Helena and Edgar are dipping into their own stock, it isn’t surprising that the girls have more autonomy than you might expect. Indeed, when potential buyers come for a visit, the girls are free to refuse to join in the festivities. At one “party,” Helena tells Edgar, “A lot of girls refused to have anything to do with it. In fact they organized their own union.” I didn’t realize that kidnapped sex slaves kept in an outdoor stockade organized unions. Happily, we are spared lengthy scenes of collective bargaining.
Those who do agree to “party” are apparently convinced that a better life awaits them as sex slaves than as captives. Several of them even see it as an opportunity (!) and devise kinky little dances to entice the customers. As Helena states, “Some of you may even meet the man of your life.” Hmmm. I wonder what the authors of The Rules would say about entering into sexual slavery in order to land the man of your dreams.
In addition to Helena and Edgar there are several guards who play virtually no role in the proceedings. More important is the couple’s nephew. He’s a dim bulb frankly. He falls for one of the girls, Betty, who sometimes seems to be playing him along and sometimes seems truly in love with him… or something. They have a touching scene where the make love through the bars of the cage. I don’t think it’ll make Cosmo’s top ten most romantic movie scenes… or maybe it will, Cosmo is a weird, weird magazine. He doesn’t seem to have a name, actually, and even Betty refers to him as “Edgar’s nephew.” We’ll call him Stan. Anyway, at times Stan is appalled that the girls are locked up, but he frankly only seems concerned about the whole thing when his own interests are at stake. He has various weird, incoherent interactions with his aunt and uncle and the other guards that raise the question about how willingly he lives with Edgar and Helena. Presumably the scenes that would have made all of this make sense were lost to the vagaries of time.
In addition to Betty, there are a whole slew of captive women, including Mary the sick blond who ends up as Helena’s lover, Angel and Samantha who are friends with Betty, and Liz, a gold-digging little tramp who falls for Edgar and tries to talk the other girls into “entertaining” Edgar’s guests (which leads to a cat fight with Betty who would rather escape)… and then half-way through the movie another several girls appear. The lack of credits makes it difficult to discern whom is whom, and frankly, I suspect it doesn’t matter much to the actresses involved. The movie was made in 1982 (I think), which means that the actresses involved may very well have teenage children. Watching mom’s oeuvre must make for a fun family evening.
Subplot’s abound. George, one of the guards, loses his gun. I think Stan steals it… or maybe not. Helena and Edgar get squeezed by local officials who are providing them with false papers for the girls… this plotline goes nowhere. Finally, the story moves forward (sorta) when Edgar throws a birthday bash. One of the girls, Angel, manages to escape. She runs headlong into a group of traveling coeds skinny dipping under a waterfall. They splash each other while while saying such things as “My boyfriend is the randiest man alive. He’s a sex maniac,” in exaggerated Southern accents. I wonder if Joe Eszterhas worked on the dialogue. I also wonder why I never run into naked southern belles when I walk in the woods, but that’s another story altogether.
The girls get captured by Edgar’s trackers… at least I think that’s who captures them. Angel, though, seduces one of them and then kills him as they’re fooling around. Ouch! Talk about coitus interruptus. Angel makes a run for it, and gets shot for her troubles, which sort of suggests her escape plan was not well thought out. Wouldn’t it have been better to try to sneak away unobserved? Anyway, that leaves the coeds in the hands of Edgar’s trackers, who bring them back to the corral. This ends up being a problem because one of the girl’s boyfriend, Maury, comes after her along with a couple of cops. (No, it isn’t made clear if Maury is the randy one.) The authorities alerted, Edgar makes plans to skip town (jungle?).
Before Edgar and Helena can get away, however, Stan tries to help Betty escape. They get the guards drunk… all except for George who Stan bludgeons to death! Stan also drenches Edgar’s jeep in gasoline, and when he and Helena try to escape, Stan sets them on fire and burns them to death! Holy cow. It really all comes out of the blue, frankly. One minute Stan is a spineless simp, the next he’s overtaken by homicidal rage. The Incredible Hulk didn’t undergo such quick transformations. The girls manage to get out of their stockade by setting the thing on fire. It works in the movie, but if I were ever locked up in a wooden cage, I don’t think I would torch it while I was inside hoping that its structural integrity gave way before I died of smoke inhalation or burns. But, you can’t second guess success, I guess.
The girls flee into the jungle, minus the nephew (I’m not sure what happens to him actually). They come across a small group of hunters, and decide that the best way to deal with them is to make string bikinis out of leaves and such and seduce them. Hmmm. What starts off as a special night for the hunters turns into a disappointing morning when the girls strip and hogtie them and steal their food. The girls then wander some more in the jungle. They get attacked by birds (!); one gets bitten by a snake. She starts to die… slowly… taking up several minutes of screen time until Liz finally puts her out of her misery by shooting her (!). It would be more moving if any of the characters had the least bit of depth, but instead it just seems like padding.
Oh, by the way, while all of this is going on, Maury and the cops are still searching for the missing girls. This is interrupted by one of the cops visiting his girlfriend’s trading post, giving an excuse for yet another love scene and more nudity, but it is a strange digression this late into the movie, especially since I don’t think we ever hear the cop’s name. Yet another digression: Liz tells (in flashback) about her life as some sort of “high class” exotic dancer, providing an excuse for a lengthy scene where she dances nude for a crowd of men. We know she’s “high class” because she’s wearing body paint, not just naked like a regular “low class” stripper. This charming story gets interrupted when Betty and Mary get into a cat fight in which they conveniently tear off each other’s tops before becoming murderous. Just as Mary is about to stab Betty to death, however, the hunters from earlier return. They put an arrow into Mary’s back and make captives of the other girls.
It turns out that the “hunters” are actually gold miners, who work for a mysterious man who insisted on wearing a stark white suit in the jungle. The miners want to keep the girls, of course, but our Tom Wolfe wannabe wants to get rid of them – at first it seems like he’s a little light in the loafers, but then it turns out he’s a priest…. He’s attended to by a very effeminate black man in an apron… imagine Stepin Fetchit in the Jack Tripper role when he’s trying to convince Mr. Roper he’s gay. If you’re easily offended then all of this is hard to take, but then if you’re easily offended you shouldn’t be watching a movie called Amazon Jail, right?
Well, as it turns out, the priest is not only not gay, he’s a letch. He makes a pass at Liz. Well, she’s more that happy to oblige because, well, remember she’s a gold digger and he’s a gold miner, and well, it is a match made in heaven… even if he is a priest. Still, she has reservations. She expresses her concern that his men will rape and kill her and the other girls. He is less than reassuring about all of this for reasons that are less than clear.
Now, comes the ending, which I’ve watch twice and still can’t really understand. Maury and the cops arrive at the camp (finally). They meet with the priest, but apparently they can’t take the girls because the men will protest. How to solve this dilemma? Well, naturally, Liz has to dance naked – a high class dance complete with body painting – for the men to distract them. While they are distracted, the girls, the cops, and the suddenly arriving Stan proceed to massacre the miners (killing several of the girls in the process). I’m not sure why any of that was necessary, but whatever. In the end, Maury and his girl, Betty and the nephew, and a couple of other girls make it out alive. Amusingly, the video box claims this is a story about women escaping from “sex-starved gold miners” which indeed describes that last 15 minutes of the movie… although not the first 80. The copy writer probably didn’t have the patience to sit through the whole flick.
Well, anyway, this is badly made low-grade, soft-core porn. The plotline is slapped together in order to provide as many opportunities for the girls to get naked and have sex. There is a lot of violence, but for the most part it isn’t graphic at all. Surprisingly, this movie is actually available in video. It is pitched at the level of Bikini Car Wash (1992), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but caveat emptor.
If you’re expecting a gritty women in prison movie, this ain’t it. There are a few touches that make this movie fun to watch… the romantic music that accompanies some of the love scenes, the shots of birds flying to symbolize the difference between them and our captive women, and the absurd dialogue to name a few. Also interesting is the way the movie kills off the main characters 2/3 of the way through in order to shift the movie in a different direction. In a good movie, that would be called brave. In this movie it is a transparent attempt to tack on about 30 minutes of loosely related footage to pad out the running time. Despite being set in the Amazon, there is nary a cannibal. Caveat emptor indeed.
Duas opções de download: o VHS rip, em português mas com qualidade de imagem fraca, e o DVD Rip, excelente imagem mas todo dublado em inglês.