Sunday, 12 October 2008

No.83 : Women In Cages

Women in Cages at the IMDb

‘Women In Cages’ is a hard biting social satire that makes valid socio-political points about the drug trade and the exploitation of women.

Not really.

‘Women in Cages’ is an 1971 exploitation film about a bunch of chicks in a foreign jail and their evil bitch of a matron. The film opens on board a floating brothel, staffed by stereotypes and women with those 1970‘s nipples. In a needlessly elaborate scheme some drugs are passed to Rudy, who turns out to be a real shit. He then takes his American girlfriend, Jeff, to the cock fighting, as you do. The police are however on the case and as they close in Rudy gives Jeff the drugs to hold for him. The authorities give Jeff 10 years in the baddest jail in town and let Rudy off Scot free. Bugger.

Jeff meets the other inmates and it’s good to see hygiene is taken importantly, as the girls are quickly hosed down and deloused. The girls then meet the nasty head matron, Alabama, played by the always foxy Pam Grier. Alabama is a right cow, and takes her pick of the girls for her bedroom and her torture chamber ‘play room‘.

On the outside Rudy is worried that Jeff will talk to the cops, so he enlists her junkie cellmate to do her in with a poisoned ham sandwich. When this fails she uses other tactics but is foiled at every turn. One of Jeff’s other cell mates is enlisted to look after her as the cops thinks she can be turned to testify against Rudy and the syndicate.

With the promised early release not forthcoming Jeff plots the easiest jail break in history and gets out with four other prisoners. For reasons that are unclear, apart from another shirt ripping, they bring Pam along but the notorious trackers are hot on their trail. Can any of the girls survive and will the syndicate be brought to its knees?

This is a pretty crappy film, even given the low standards of the genre. The characters are unbelievable and the acting is deplorable. The dialogue stinks like the prison’s hole with lines like “It’s just like home - only different” peppering the shambolic plot.

Obviously the kind of person who picks ‘Women in Cages’ off the shelf isn't looking for much in the way of stylised drama and at least it delivers on its promise of naked women, lesbian sex and a bit of torture. It’s not very erotic however, and pretty tame by most standards - nothing below the waist please!

The jail break, which is simply going out through the sewers, is a bit easy and the feared trackers look like a bunch of blokes pulled out a Philippino bar for the occasion. Pam Grier shows great promise in an early role, and at least she gets some character development when she sees the horrors she used to inflict on others when the tables are turned.

The lead is devoid of personality however, and fails to register any emotions even when the most heinous outrages are inflicted upon her. She is also totally dumb and her relationship with the swarthy boyfriend doesn’t ring true. Still the nits I pick are hardly the kind that would concern the producers of this type of rubbish. A grubby distraction that should be put away for a few years itself.

Best Bit : Pam gets a massage

‘W’ Rating : 8/23

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