Meet Olga, a woman whose business involves the beating, whipping, and humiliation of young women in an attempt to brainwash and warp them into becoming willing slaves. Carrying on without a shred of humanity, Olga uses and abuses these women as she sells them off like stock to whoever is willing to pay and if they are unable to sell their bodies, then they become drug mules for Olga's Syndicate buddies. Lola, Frenchy, and variety of other women are white slaves -- white slaves of Chinatown.
Before there was Ilsa, there was Olga! Since CAV sent us the Synapse release for "Olga's Girls" I figured it was time to cover the "Olga" series -- to pay respect to one of the first ladies of sadism and exploitive torture. Something Weird's "Olga Triple Feature" release was actually one of the first releases I saw from the company from the days of yore and also served as my introduction to pre-1970's exploitation.
The plot, and I use that word very loosely, for "White Slaves of Chinatown" is about a woman named Olga (never saw that coming) who runs a prostitution and drug ring for 'The Syndicate'. She picks up wayward women from all over the city, in particular, newly released inmates from the women's correction facility. She uses drugs and torture to get the women to bend to her will and...That’s it really. That's the general idea to the movie but there isn't much of a plot since there really isn't any sort of narrative or story being told. Any sort of sense that the movie makes is all due to the narration of Joel Holt with contributions by Audrey Campbell, who plays as Olga. If it weren't for these two the movie would simply degenerate to random-laughable scenes of dancing, pot smoking, nudity, and BDSM.
"White Slaves of Chinatown" seems to be the one that stands out the most from the other "Olga" movies because it is such an odd culmination of different genre styles of the 60's. Its part women-in-prison, nudie-cutie, sexploitation, anti-drug propaganda scare film, with a distinct after taste of a faux-mondo documentary. The WIP and sexploitation is something you would expect with the movie but it was quite interesting how much of a focus the movie puts on the drugs aspect of the story. The narrator mentions Olga using opium and heroin to get the girls to become her slaves as well as being what causes them to solicit their bodies in order to get their next fix. However, in almost every drug scene what is shown is pot and of course pot is mentioned more often than the other drugs. Clearly a by-product of the time.
The fact that it puts such a focus on the negative connotations of pot (and other drugs occasionally) it adds to the general feeling of an odd quasi-documentary look and vibe that "White Slaves" has. As a matter of fact, if it wasn't for the general cheese factor and narrations bits by Audrey Campbell, I would actually believe that this movie was intended to be a fake mondo. There isn't much that separates "White Slaves" from the mondos that Something Weird distributes like "Mondo Bizarro" and "Mondo Freudo". Dialogue is practically non-existent, there's no real narrative, and it's mostly a collage of sex, drugs, and torture. Nothing is ever done with the 'Syndicate' that Olga deals with and there isn't any sort of resolution to the characters or story -- Stuff happens and then it's over.
What does that mean for the movie? Nothing, really. This is a run-and-gun down-and-dirty sexploitation movie from the 60's and this is what most of them were like. At least all of the ones that I have seen haven't done anything to show me otherwise. People LOVE to dog on the "Olga" films for being tame and having horrendous acting during the torture sequence that are more laughable than anything else. They are, there is no getting around that, but again, for the time that it was made this was bold feature in exploitation. While it may lack that impact people expect and get from movies like the "Ilsa" series, you have to remember that it was movies like these that paved the way for the trash film standards that people inevitably compare "Olga" to. "White Slaves" and the "Olga" films in general aren't the trashiest exploitation film you'll see but I enjoy them for their retro-raunch and I think anyone into vintage BDSM will enjoy it more than those who are expecting a grimy filth fest.