Hamdias is a producer who is yearning to break the boundaries of what is acceptable in film. He's making a film about torture, and wants his star, Galai, to prepare for her role as a tortured woman. Galai does this by giving herself electric shocks and listening to the recorded cries of tortured men, women and children. The production stops when Hamdias dies, but Galai is now too deep to go back, and decides to finish the project no matter what.
It's been a while since we last covered a One 7 release, but now they are back with another lost title from yesteryear. A movie which I have no previous knowledge of, and I don't even know whether the movie is actually Italian to begin with, considering the director is Greek, it's a co-production between France and Italy, and IMDb claims it's French. Beyond that, is this even uncut? Yet again IMDb shines with other information - that of a 130 min film. Either way, this is the only way we'll get the movie - this One 7 release. Typically of them it's a dirty print, no extras, mono sound. But hey, if there was ever a release from them that works better with a dirty print, I guess this is the one.
We follow the controversial actress Galai in her journey into a production about torture, produced by Hamdias. His goal is to break new ground by focusing on the tortures of the Algerian War (this leads me to believe the movie might actually be French). He gives Galai recordings of himself giving her directions, but her preparation goes further than that. She listens to recordings of actual tortures, where men, women and children are crying out in pain - only to try and imitate their fear and pain. Another method used is literally hurting herself to reach the level needed to understand her character. Before the movie goes into production, the producer dies. Galai is now free to leave for other, more sane projects, but instead she picks up where Hamdias left of and decides to finish it. Her dedication to this doomed production turns out to take its toll when her obsession grows and madness begins.
Okay, for a 70's movie this one does take certain things pretty far, especially when it is disguised under a "political statement". But let's be honest, this "statement" doesn't ever reach very far. It's noble to make a movie concerning the torture during the Algerian War on Independence, but this rarely stretches further than exploiting its theme. The movie wants to push the envelope, no doubt, but to what effect? It's not a good movie! It's not effective at all. Even when looking at Galai's obsession it doesn't work because she seemed crazy to begin with. There was no path to follow, we were just thrown at this crazy lady and were forced to follow her around being her mad self. The scenes of Galai torturing herself are quite lame but at least we get her nude quite a lot. The only scene that could come off as "pushing it" is when a soldier is opening a bottle using Galai's "netherworld", blood starts pouring into the bottle and he ends up drinking it. It's tasteless and by this point in the movie you're just open to SOMETHING happening, so for what it was it worked. But ultimately that doesn't justify the steep price tag and the 100-ish minutes it takes to see it. Not at all, because it's filmed from such a distance that you're squinting to see the blood even.
The politics are certainly there, but paper thin under a cry for attention. It's poorly acted by Olga Karlatos (known from Fulci's "Zombi 2" and plenty of other movies) who just goes way over-the-top with her Galai. And the worst thing is that it's way too long. In result it's an extremely slow and boring movie. A movie that tries to be radical and disturb you shouldn't be hard to watch due to it being boring! Had they succeeded with what it supposedly wanted to do then we could have heard about this alongside "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom" and similar, but we don't. Not that I think "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom" is a great movie, but it serves its purpose.
"In Hell" (frankly, "Tortura" is a better title) is a bad movie, but so are most of the stuff One 7 Movies release. This is certainly more worthy of a purchase than something like "Sexy Pirates", but I can't recommend this unless your requirements of what makes a political statement are very low. It's not a disturbing movie, but I can see how it would've ruffled a few feathers back in the day. There's plenty of things wrong with this movie, but it's rarely the things that were intentional.