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The WIP (that's women in prison for all you non-believers out there) film genre is one that I have not been properly exposed to over the years. Shame. Really is.Now that I am doing this ‘zine, what better way to get introduced to these films, than with everyone else in on the fun? Any time you can go to your local video store (and I don't mean Ballbuster, ooops, I mean Blockbuster) and see a film with Laura Gemser in it, you know things are looking up. Actually this film (directed by Bruno Mattei, though credited here as Vincent Dawn) is a thinly disguised Emanuelle film. Laura Gemser plays Laura Candel, a prostitute who is really a reporter (Emanuelle) posing as a prostitute in order to get the inside scoop on all the dirty goings on at the prison. She is working for Amnesty International.
Once inside the prison you get all kinds of the usual stuff (torture, rape, lesbianism, violence). This film also has some equally crazy male prisoners. Once guy says to another, "Make sure you come to my cell tonight, cause I wanna fill up your tank, cutey pie!". Ha ha, this is great stuff! Well, Laura's cellmate is a kinda loony (aren't they all?) who likes to sleep with a pet cockroach! And she is the sanest one of the bunch! Also the head warden is the typical, hard assed bitch, but get this: she gets turned on by rape! Once Laura (Emanuelle) gets found out, they place her inside a compartment filled with rats! Lots of rats. This scene is accompanied by mucho screaming, ala NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD's infamous garden trowel attack. Then they put her in (get this), a human bell! That's right a bell! Just like the one Quasimodo used to ring! They beat that thing till she can't stand it anymore, and spills her beans. Well things certainly do turn out for the better, but not before some deaths and humiliation occur.
This film works well within the WIP sub-genre. The leading lady
is more than capable of carrying her own as the abused star. And the other women
all have defined roles, whether it is the hardened "old-timer", or the sexy
new "virgin". Of course the guards and wardens all have to be disgusting sleaze
bags, and I am happy to report they too fulfill their duties nicely. You
also have to credit the filmmakers with introducing us to death by spoon! That alone certainly deserves some originality points. CAGED WOMEN is done the European way, and that is what makes this a must see WIP film. NOTE: The Vestron Video version includes a kick-ass trailer for CHAINED HEAT! Check it out!
- DAVE KOSANKE