Olga's House of Shame
Olga's House of Shame (1964) is a highly influentual New York grind-house film directed by Joseph P. Mawra and produced by George Weiss. Audrey Campbell stars as the titular Olga. A low-budget production, this was filmed in black and white without live sound (except for a few scenes). The soundtrack for most of the film has post-production narration that describes the action (some of it provided by Campbell as Olga), plus sound effects and random bits of out-of-sync dialog.
This is the third film in the popular series preceded by White Slaves of Chinatown and Olga's Girls (all made in 1964). Together, these films form the nucleus of an emerging "roughie" sexploitation genre that dominated underground cinema in the mid-to-late Sixties.
It is also one of the first (if not the first) film to depict a serious and severe spanking scene in an openly sadistic and fetishistic context.
As with the previous two films, the near-plotless story follows Olga, the cruel mistress of a prostitution ring who uses abduction, harsh discipline, and drugs to maintain a stable of submissive sex slaves. The earlier films were shot entirely in New York City in small, cramped rooms and a dark basement dungeon. House of Shame is a bit more expansive with scenes filmed in a forest and other locations at an abandoned mill in New Jersey where Olga has her secret base.
Much of the film is taken up with scenes of bondage, domination, diabolical torments, and whipping as Olga punishes one disobedient girl after another. This includes nipple torture, breast whipping of women tied to trees, and two unique Pony Girl discipline segments shot outdoors — an enslaved girl tethered on a rope runs around in a circle as Olga cracks her whip.
This also may be the first film to show the use of a hollow, perforated ball gag (aka drool gag).
The spanking scene
One of Olga's rule-breaking captives is bent over a crude sawhorse, her wrists and ankles bound with rope. She's clad in black lace underwear and fishnet tights. Olga picks up a rough, 3-inch wide board studded with a nail and beats the girl with over 60 hard smacks. About half of the impacts are seen in closeup.
As Olga wails away on the girl, the narrator describes the action: "Olga's spankings were not of the usual run of the mill type. They all had that certain touch that only Olga could create, making them pure instruments of sadism." The lack of live sound is one of the major detractors in this series, creating the impression that one is watching an especially perverse documentary.
Director Mawra and producer Weiss drew inspiration from the pioneering BDSM photographs and film-loops of Irving Klaw, particularly his work with bondage icon Bettie Page. The Olga series more or less picks up where the Klaw films left off in the '50s. In particular, the segments with Olga's girls performing humiliating striptease dances mirrors the style of Klaw's risque burlesque and foot-fetish film loops.
George Weiss is known for making lurid exploitation films in the 1950s about female wrestling, drug addiction, and producing Ed Wood's notorious first film Glen or Glenda in 1953. Weiss added bizarre scenes of bondage and whipping to the fantasy dream sequence in Wood's film.
The Olga films were a suprise hit in 1964 and spawned a wave of similar "roughies" that exploited sexual violence and sadomasochism. The basic formula of abducted women forced into prostitution and abused by their cruel whip-cracking captors was used in countless films. A few typical examples are Tortured Females (1965), Fly Now Pay Later, Cool it, Baby (both 1967), and Cargo of Love (1968).
William L. Rose, the cinematographer on Olga went on to direct several roughie films with whipping and spanking scenes such as RENT-A-GIRL (1965), Pamela, Pamela you are... (1968), and The Girl in Room 2a (1973).
Audrey Campbell left the series after the first three films. Weiss produced another sequel, Madame Olga's Massage Parlor in 1965 and a final Olga feature that is unrelated to the series called Olga's Dance Hall Girls in 1969. Most of the Olga films, along with dozens of similar sexploitation features, have been released on DVD format by Something Weird Video.
- Olga's House of Shame on IMDb
- The spanking scene and other clips are available for viewing at the Internet Archive.
- A trailer for this film and others in the series can be viewed at the Internet Archive
- Selected BDSM scenes from Olga's Girls is also at the Internet Archive.
- Galleries of photo stills are on the BDSM Movie Review site.