“Women in Prison” Marathon Vol.1

Since I had a ball with “Red Heat” a couple of days ago ,I was pretty “chuffed” to watch a couple more Women in Prison flicks.Both films under presentation are good for their own reasons and are recommended to the ever inquisitive B-movie buffs,so let the partz begin…

Reform School Girls(1986)

directed:Tom DeSimone

cast:Linda Carol, Wendy O. Williams, Pat Ast,Sybil Danning

Cool if inane ,women in prison entry by Tom DeSimone that borders with self parody and offers a galore of cartoonish violence and absolutely hilarious one-liners.

Jenny is sent to Pridemore women’s reform school. It is run by evil warden Sutter and her henchwoman Edna. Jenny will stop at nothing to escape but she also has to deal with Charlie the bully top con and her tough girls.

Übertrashy amalgam of (un)intentional comedy meets sleaze by DeSimone.Well, casting the punk rock/metal legend Wendy O’Williams(R.I.P) for the role of the top con Charlie should ring some bells about the sheer insanity this movie is,but anyway “Reform School Girls” is immensely entertaining and a very rewarding experience for the trash afficionados.

Bad acting by the majority of the cast,crazy overacting by Ast and the late,great Wendy O’Williams who also performed a couple of Plasmatics inspired stunts,a kitten named Joy in a key role,a prison riot that beggars belief and a climax that is quintessentially trashy plus a rocking soundtrack and you pretty much have a film that could have easily been directed by John Waters ,if he ever decided to do a Women in Prison film.All boxes checked with this one…

on the other side of the fence the other movie of this pair is as good as a “chicks in chains” film could ever be…

The Naked Cage (1986)

directed by:Paul Nicholas

cast:Shari Shattuck, Angel Tompkins, Lucinda Crosby

Michelle ,a young beautiful woman coming from a loving blue-collar family has a job and a life she loves but she is also part of a troubled relationship.When her drug addict boyfriend teams up with  excaped prisoner/ femme fatalle Rita and rob a bank ,Michelle’s life also takes a turn for the worse as she is falsely convicted of a bank robbery and sent to a maximum-security prison run by a corrupt warden, where she is forced to suffer various indignities.

Sweet Shari Shattuck of “the young and the restless” and “desert warrior” fame (we’re talking about a crazy juxtaposition here or what?) has a rude awakening and finds herself in the slammer for a crime she didn’t commit.While this one is no Brubaker or Escape from Alcatraz,it’s nonetheless a very effective and captivating prison film with plausible characters that are so frail and humane that the viewer can relate to at least some of them.The villains are also portrayed with a certain amount of gusto.Elements that are not present in other prison flicks such as racial segregation and drug abuse ,seem to play a more central role in this film and contribute to the film’s relatively realistic portrayal of a penitentiary structure,however the sleaze factor f.e:lesbianism,nudity,fights is also high on the agenda.Not necessarily a bad thing I am obliged to add.

The dialogues seem to occasionaly suffer from the usual WIP syndroms:Foul language,cheap melodramatic scenes and overall ridiculousness ,but at least they are better scripted than in the genre film of the lowest common denominator .The pace is very brisk and the cinematography way slicker than in similar productions.Acting is also a notch or two above average.

The prison riot of the ending sequence is very well filmed and dare I say unwinds a dramatic climax.

As far as I am concerned this one is one of the better Cannon  offerings ,almost as good as “Runaway Train”.Recommended.

Πακέτο δυναμίτη για σκληρούς σινεφίλ διαθέτει το κατάστημα σήμερα.

Δύο έργα Women in Prison λοιπόν.Exploitation χωρίς καλλιτεχνικές προφάσεις πλην λειτουργικό.Το reform school girls στέκεται περήφανο στην πιο φαρσική και καρτουνίστικη πλευρά του Φεγγαριού και μας πολτοποιεί τη μούρη με τόνους overacting και τη θεά Wendy O’Williams να επιδίδεται σε κασκαντεριλίκια και να ρίχνει ξύλο με το κιλό.

Οι διάλογοι είναι σπαρταριστοί,ειδικά η Pat Ast στο ρόλο της δεσμοφύλακα Edna θα μπορούσε χαλαρά να αποτελέσει κολασμένο ζευγάρι με το Νίκο Τσαχιρίδη στις “Φυλακές Ανηλίκων”.

Όλο το υπόλοιπο πακέτο του ιδιώματος,όπως μάχες σώμα με σώμα μεταξύ κρατουμένωνκαι άφθονο γυμνό προσφέρεται αφειδώς και το φινάλε της ταινίας θα σας αφήσει με ένα πλατύ χαμόγελο στα χείλη.

Στην αντίπερα όχθη το Naked Cage είναι ταινία,με υπόθεση που δεν αποτελεί πνευματικό κόπο μίας ώρας,ερμηνείες που βρίσκονται,τουλάχιστον τις περισσότερες φορές, πιο κοντά στα στάνταρ της υποκριτικής τέχνης,ωραία φωτογραφία,νευρώδη ρυθμό, ένταση,αγωνία και με λίγα λόγια αποτελεί  ένα από τα αρτιότερα, σε όλα τα επίπεδα, δείγματα του είδους.

Η βία είναι αρκετά πειστική και το φινάλε εξίσου αποκαλυπτικό με αυτό της προηγούμενης ταινίας , αν και με αρτιότερη δραματική εξέλιξη και κορύφωση.

Από τα καλύτερα δείγματα του είδους,το Naked Cage της τρασομάνας Cannon films,αποτέλεσε ευχάριστη έκπληξη για το γράφοντα και συστήνεται ανεπιφύλακτα.

to be continued…




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