Women-in-Prison (WIP) is a genre we have long been looking forward to tackling. We have added several WIP films over the past year, but it was time to give it its own focus and some new choice titles. There are so many that we may do a second one later this year. But for now enjoy this selection of titillating tropes: sadistic lesbian wardens, strip search humiliation, naked shower scenes, catfights, break out escapes and sisterly solidarity. These films have all of that and more.
New on Cultpix:
“Women of Devil’s Island” (1962) - It wasn’t just Papillon who had it tough on the hellish French penal colony. French prostitutes and female political prisoners on the island are caught between pirates and soldiers. Swashbuckling and sexy, scantily-clad gals galore!
“Caged Women” (1970) - You say you want sleazy WIP action? We can go even lower. This revolting women-in-prison film looks like it was shot in someone’s house. The girls are wildcats, the guards are hairy pigs, there’s tons of lesbianism and the action is semi-hardcore. Crude and dirty.
“The Hot Box” (1972) - Steamy jungle action in this Roger Corman-produced WIP action fest was part of a series of films shot in the Philippines, including The Bird Cage. A young Jonathan Demme got his start in the business with this film, before graduating from the Corman school of directors.
"Great Escape from Women's Prison" (1976)
“Women in Chains” (1972) - Ida Lupino reprised her role as sadistic female warden, which she first played in “Women’s Prison” (1955). Here a female parole officer goes undercover to expose the brutality, violence and deaths, only to be mistaken for a permanent prisoner. Surprisingly strong made-for-TV movie.
“Born Innocent” (1974) - Linda Blair just can’t keep out of trouble since “The Exorcist” (1972) it seems. This is the first of three WIP films she made, the other being “Chained Heat” (1983) and “Red Heat” (1985). The rape scene in the shower with a brush handle was so graphic and disturbing (in a TV movie for chrissake!) that it was cut from subsequent releases and led to the creation of the Family Viewing Hour. We present the uncut film here.
“Great Escape from Women’s Prison” (1976) - There were many European WIP films, but we have a rare Asian WIP film, set during the Japanese occupation of Korea. A mother and daughter both end up in jail. the torture is far from as sadistic as you might have expected, but it is a high-quality twist on the WIP genre.
“Jungle Warriors” (1984) - Sybil Danning WIP film. You need more reasons to watch it? OK, a plane full of models on their way to a photo shoot in Peru crash in the junfgle and are captured by an evil drug lord. They decide to break out, but just when the Mafia turns up to negotiate a big drug deal. And, you know, Sybil Danning.
"Born Innocent" (1974) with Linda Blair.
Already on Cultpix:
“42nd Street Forever, Vol. 1” (2005) - It wouldn’t be the definitive compilation of movie trailers if it didn’t include at least a few women-in-prison films. The same goes for “Twisted Sex, vol. 12” (1963).
“Girls in Chains” (1943) - Proto-WIP film, set in a female juvenile correctional institution. A newly arrived teacher picks a fight with a corrupt wicked female warden (lesbianism inclinations uncertain).
“Swamp Women” (1956) - Another steamy break-out WIP; it’s really just an excuse for the female convicts to wear as little as possible. Because who wants to see an arctic WIP film? Remember Rebecca De Mornay in “Runaway Train” (1985)? Exactly. Way to overdressed!
"Swamp Women" (1956) - not overdressed.
“Kattorna / The Cats” (1965) - This is the closest Sweden ever got to making a women-in-prison movie, though in this case the cat fighting and steaminess is set in a laundry. The female boss is hated and has lesbian inclinations, natch!
“The Lustful Turk” (1968) - Women-in-harem-cum-prison, in what purported to be the most expensive adult film of its time. Features whipping, as you would expect from any David F Friedman film.
“Love Camp 7” (1969) - Lee Frost practically invented the Nazisploitation genre with the sordid and sleazy tale of an all-female POW women-in-prison film. Features whipping, as you would expect from any David F Friedman film.
“Black Mama White Mama” (1973) - This is what you get when you cross a blaxploitation film with the women-in-prison genre. Pam Grier stars in another color-coordinated breakout from a steamy tropical jail (Philippines once more) chained to her co-star Margaret Markow.