Alfred Hitchcock attributed to the playwright Victorien Sardou the maxim “torture the women” as good advice for constructing dramatic plots. Even if Sardou never said such a thing (I haven’t been able to find an unambiguous French-language source for it), as the creator of the source-text for Tosca he would surely have had that maxim in his heart if not on his lips. I might more modestly note that if you’re going to construct a plot in a world like that of Gnosis which has its share of paranoid melodrama, you’re going to have to have villains. And you can’t make a villain by just by putting a character in a t-shirt that says “I’m depraved.” You need to show their depravity.
John Samson sure shows his depravity, and that of his boss. In line with the rules of his universe, he makes the wrong woman his victim. That’s bureaucracy for you.
Whether it is to my credit or demerit that the scene in which Jill-Prime is murdered has a clear precedent, rather than being a full-blown product of my imagination I leave to others to judge. It’s from one of the most notorious exploitation movies ever made, Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS. (A film which also leaves its imaginative marks on Invisible Girl, Heroine, in that it depicts helpless incarcerated innocents being destroyed in “experiments.”)
In this film, a group of Nazis visiting a concentration camp in which medical atrocities are taking place are entertained by a sadistic spectacle. A young woman is placed at the end of a dinner table.
She is bound, and wired by a noose, not quite taut, to a rafter in the ceiling.
And she is made to stand on a block of ice.
It does not end well.