Ayoupa, to Koritsi to Kambou (1957)

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The career of Greek filmmaker Gregg Tallas bears some discussion. In 1950, Tallas, already an accomplished film editor with a long list of credits, directed the trash classic Prehistoric Women. Thirty-one years later, he directed a segment of the dreadful horror anthology Night Train to Terror (aka Cataclysm, Satan's Supper, and The Nightmare Never Ends). In between, he made a number of action films and this bizarre melodrama, which was one of the few Greek films not made by Michael Cacoyannis to enjoy a successful run in American theaters. Needless to say, it's complete trash, anticipating both I Spit on Your Grave and Non se Sevizia un Paperino in its unsettling blend of rape fantasies and provincial stereotypes, while reaching neither the transcendent tastelessness of the former nor the creepy rural Gothic flavor of the latter. The story concerns Ayoupa (Anna Brazzou), an exile living on the fringes of a rural Greek village. She is frequently chased and raped by the local brutes until a kindly doctor takes her into his home. This being a trashy exploitation film, it isn't long before Ayoupa runs away when she finds the doctor in love with another woman. It turns out to be a mistake, as she gets involved in a jealous triangle with two villagers (Anestis Vlachos, Antonis Theodorelos) who fight over her. One of them dies and it gets pinned on Ayoupa because everyone is convinced she's a witch. Just like the Florinda Bolkan character in Non se Sevizia un Paperino, Ayoupa is brutally beaten to death by ignorant peasants bearing scythes and chains, although with nothing close to the same visual power. Nevertheless, it was a surprise success.