PREHISTORIC WOMEN (AKA SLAVE GIRLS). (1967) A HAMMER FILM WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY MICHAEL CARRERAS.
STARRING MARTINE BESWICK, EDINA RONAY AND MICHAEL LATIMER.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This prehistoric romp is not my favourite Hammer film, but it’s still good, implausible fun and is held together by a strong, sexy performance by Hammer and James Bond actress, Martine Beswick. She is an exotic beauty with the sharpest, most fabulously defined cheekbones, gorgeous long dark hair and a great body.
In the film, she plays Kari, the cruel Queen of a lost tribe of brunette women in the African jungle. It’s a tribe that is accidentally stumbled upon in Victorian times by Michael Latimer as David Marchant, a handsome British explorer, when he wanders away from his safari in pursuit of an injured leopard whose suffering he wants to end.
Imagine his surprise when he discovers himself at the mercy of this strange, forgotten tribe of sexy brunette females, who worship the extinct white rhino and rule mercilessly over a group of blonde female slaves. Brunettes versus blondes, it’s hilarious!
Not only that, but any men still in existence in the area are held captive by the brunettes in a horrible cave, and they all resemble Moses after he came down from the mountain and had a ten-foot-beard. Not a looker in the bunch, in other words. It’s all deeply implausible, as well, but I guess you must suspend disbelief to properly enjoy the film.
Kari, as Queen of the brunettes, naturally has first dibs on lucky old David, the one attractive male to enter the place in donkeys’ years, but he is repulsed by her cruel behaviour towards the dopey blonde girl slaves. He rebuffs her, and she throws him in the old man cave to teach him some manners.
There’s something very Nazi-ish about the film to me, but that’s probably because I have such a vivid imagination, lol. Firstly, all the blonde-haired women are somewhat reminiscent of the Aryan image revered so much by the funny little man with the moustache who shouted a lot in those old black-and-white newsreels.
Then, there’s the fact that the scantily-clad blonde slave girls are made to sing and dance for the amusement of their brunette overlords, just like when the inmates of various concentration camps during the war were forced to sing as they marched to and from their back-breaking labours in the quarries or wherever else. Some camps (Buchenwald is coming to mind, for some reason) even had their own camp song, as ludicrous as that sounds.
Last but not least, there’s the ‘ceremony of selection’ announced so gleefully by Queen Kari, in which the ‘Devils’ who live in the surrounding jungle (it’s just some African men in rhino masks) get to every so often choose a blonde girl to be their forest bride. The women who are taken are never seen again.
The lovely blonde girls file past the bushes one by one while an African gentlemen ogles them and picks the one he likes the most, just like in the infamous ‘selections’ in the camps, where being sent to the left could mean a few guaranteed days, weeks or even months more of life, but being sent to the right meant a one-way ticket to the gas chambers.
Sorry to bring the mood down in a review of a film which is probably just intended as a bit of light-hearted, sexy fun, but that’s the way my mind works, lol. Intended as a follow-up to Hammer’s worldwide smash hit film starring the beauteous Raquel Welch, ONE MILLION YEARS B.C., and using some of the same sets, this one didn’t quite reach the dizzying heights of its predeccessor, but then, Raquel Welch in her furry bikini was always going to take some beating…
By the way, just as a matter of interest, Michael Latimer’s blonde-haired love interest in the film, Saria, one of the slave girls, is played by the ravishing Edina Ronay, daughter of the famous food guide guy, Egon Ronay.
The film is probably beloved of every guy who’s ever fantasised about being dominated by a ferocious and beautiful woman like Kari. That’s just about every guy ever, I’d say, given the popularity of the whole world of fem-dom thing. Does Kari get her man in the end, by the way? Well, she certainly gets the horn, I’ll say that for her, but I don’t know about the other…!
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books.