Prehistoric Women (1967)

a.k.a Slave Girls
A dull and tiresome B picture from Hammer Films. Optimum UK DVD, from the Ultimate Hammer boxset.

The Film

Hunting in Africa, David (Michael Latimer) heads away from his party to track a wounded leopard and is captured by the Tribe of the White Rhino. As they prepare to kill him, he finds himself sent back in time thousands of years to the original Tribe of the White Rhino where the evil Queen Kari (Martine Beswick) rules over her slaves and makes sacrifices to the 'devils' of the forest. Can he free the captives and fulfill his destiny...?
Written and directed by Michael Carreras, the often wayward son of Hammer's co-owner James Carreras, Slave Girls was envisaged as nothing more than a quick B-picture to take advantage of the pre-historic sets and (rather minimal) costumes created for Hammer's real epic One Million Years B.C. (1966). Unfortunately, the quick nature also seems to stretch to the writing of the script which is lazy and completely uninteresting. With insipid dialogue (all, conveniently in perfect English) and plenty of plot holes, even the action packed finalé seems dull - predictable from the film's opening frames.

Michael Carreras also takes on the directing role and although he makes the best of the sets and budget, the film cannot escape a highly staged look and feel. Michael Latimer is hardly 'dashing' as the hero, and Martine Beswick is restrained by the dire scripting. The rest of the cast have little to say or do, and look suitably unconvincing doing either.

In all, Slave Girls is a completely wasted opportunity. The restriction to stage sets could have been ignored were the film interestingly scripted, alternatively some exploitation elements (blood and/or boobs) might at least have added some interest - the storyline and sets would have proven a goldmine for Jess Franco and his fellow euro-exploitation directors were it shot a decade later. Ultimately, Slave Girls seems to serve no purpose whatsoever and is neither interesting or exciting. Certainly one of Hammer's worst films and surely of interest only to die hard Hammer fans.

In brief:

Anyone famous in it? No actors of note.
Directed by anyone interesting? Michael Carreras, son of Hammer owner Sir James, and director of a few of the studio's lesser works, including The Lost Continent (1968) and Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964).
Is it scary?No.
Any violence? No.
Any sex? No.
Who is it for?
Only really of interest to the most die-hard Hammer completists.


Visuals Original Aspect Ratio  - 2.35:1. Anamorphically Enhanced. Colour
The print has some grain and print damage, but good colours and is generally good.
Audio Original English mono - sounds fine.
Subtitles None.
ExtrasThe disc includes:
  • Original cinema trailer.
AvailabilityAvailable in the Ultimate Hammer Collection, and on a single disc release.
Region Region 2 - PAL
Other regions? OOP Anchor Bay US release with some extra trailers (non-anamorphic print). German DVD (title: Der Sklave Der Amazonen) has anamorphic print and a couple of extra features (photo gallery and TV spot).
Cuts? Believed to be fully uncut (print is the full 90 minute US print, for UK release it was cut to 75 minutes). Print used is English language.



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All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 9th October 2006.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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