Swamp Women (1956)
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Corman does a nice job with a limited budget (as is his trademark.) squeezing the most entertainment he can out of limited material. We have some nice visuals (I love the moving shots in the swamp) and the style of the film is much more polished than most movies in this budget range. The pacing is quick with very few wasted scenes. Something is always happening in this film and it's never boring for a moment. Even though the story is pretty bad, I still got interested in it and I was excited to see what happened next which is a testament to Corman's technical skill in handling material. For the most part Corman is able to keep the production values from standing out in such a way that they would hurt the films entertainment value. It comes across as a cheap film, but not in a bad way.
The acting is mostly ok with a few really bad performances here and there, but the dialogue is so bad it makes the acting seem horrible. Some of the characters in this film are so over the top that you can't help but laugh at the hilarious things they do and say. They're all Caricatures, but they're funny and it works.
Overall, This is one of the most enjoyable exploitation movies about fugitive women of all time. Of-course that's a pretty limited sub-genre of films, but this one stands out compared to most others. Don't miss it if you're a fan of this type of cinema.
Connors' girlfriend is unfortunately served as dinner to an alligator, so the gang keeps Connors as their boy toy while going deeper and deeper into the swamp. The digging up of the diamonds and the following action is as campy as possible, producing nonstop and unintentional laughter. The ending of the movie just has to be seen to be believed.
The attraction of this movie has to be the characters played by Garland and Windsor. Garland plays certainly one of the most bitchy and disagreeable female prison escapees ever captured on film, while Windsor's character plays the steady, diplomatic one, all the while lusting after Connors...who is kept tied up most of the time. A very interesting film, worth watching for the three leads, and for the outrageous story.
P.S.: Best line: Connors, after seeing his girlfriend chomped by an alligator: "Poor kid!"
This film is entertaining and it kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I'd recommend it to people who like "women in prison" movies but can stand it when the characters aren't Lesbians who make out all the time.
This movie is quite bad, but the highlights are so delightful there's no way it can be dismissed or forgotten. One reviewer dubbed it "Catfighting Floosies", and that clinched my purchase. I've called it this ever since, rather than it's actual title.
Honestly, someone should put out a heavily-edited version of it, stringing together all the squabbling women bits and deleting all the annoying paddling-through-the-bayou scenes. If it weren't for the latter, I'd have given this ... oh, at least a 6. Huzzah for the Fast Forward button.
A couple decide, during a stock footage Mardis-Gras, to head into the bayou for reasons I've already forgotten. At the same time, a female cop goes undercover and heads into jail to meet a gang of three women who know the location of some diamonds (also in the bayou). Luckily for the cop, all three women are in the same cell. Also luckily for the cop, they believe her story and volunteer almost immediately to escape, promising her a share of the diamonds. No wonder they got caught in the first place! As you could predict, our gang of convicts and our romantic couple meet in the bayou, and that's when the trouble starts. After killing the couple's guide, the girls kidnap the couple and the cop finds it difficult to stay under cover and protect the couple. Much flirting, drinking, and cat fighting ensues.
Also, the couple don't turn out to be so in love either. When one of them gets eating by an alligator, the other is seemingly non-chalant about it. True love.
Like most early Roger Corman films, everything's cheap, the film is short, but it's lots of fun too. All the girls run around in cut off shorts while cat fighting or moaning about stuff, and the story zips along quickly enough. What else do you want from Roger Corman?
It soon becomes apparent to Josie that Lee isn't exactly whom she claims to be, a woman convict, as well as her being jealous of her taking the handsome and tied up Bob away from her. By then the local police lead by captain Goodridge got the jump on the girls and were coming in for the kill or arrest. It's then when Bob who seemed to be asleep or high on drugs during the entire movie suddenly comes alive and ends up with his hands tied behind his back kicking butt, especially the firm and shapely butt of Josise, all over the place until the swamp police come to both his and Lee's rescue. As for the diamonds nobody seems to care about them anymore since the script writers,in them being so caught up with the sexy gals many cats fights in the film, seemed to have completely forgot about them.
One of Roger Cormans early ventures that soon was to set him on the road to success as one of the greats in making bad movies that the public loves on cheap and shoe string budgets. It was later when Corman gets the funding to make more or less conventional films that his success started to wane it that his bad movie loving audience wasn't exactly that interested in them.
SWAMP WOMEN was produced and directed by B-movie maestro Roger Corman, which explains quite a lot. He is of course famous for giving just about everyone in Hollywood their "big break." It is true that he has fostered (or exploited) many young filmmakers and actors; the list would be far reaching and hard to compile. However, as a director, he seems to be only as good as the material he is given. Now this is the same guy who directed THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, which is considered a classic in the "cheapie" genre, but was based on an inventive and outlandishly bizarre screenplay by Charles Griffith. Corman does not seem to be a director who interprets a writer's work, but simply puts to film every page he has in hand. Here, working with a script by David Stern, Corman fashions a no-budget fetish fest. SWAMP WOMEN lacks any style, vision or logic. Yes, I know, the film was a financially anemic early effort by Corman, but c'mon, the integration of different shooting locations and the obvious stock footage is embarrassing at best. I'm also fairly certain that they killed an actual rattlesnake in the making of SWAMP WOMEN. If this is true, then, as viewed through the looking glass of time, that snake's brave and noble sacrifice was ultimately in vain. 1/10
Don't let the other review fool you. Swamp Women has the names Beverly Garland (It Conquered the World, Gunslinger) and Roger Corman (ditto) on it. The whole plot concerns itself with a bunch of bad girls who escape from a county jail in Louisianna. One of them has buried a bunch of diamonds in the swamps, so they go after it. They take two men hostage along the way. In one scene, one of the women is pushed into the water. They show someone splashing in the water from a distance in a swamp. When they do a close-up on her, it's painfully obvious that she's not in a swamp but in the local YWCA pool. Once they find the diamonds, greed naturally takes over and the ladies do a very bad catfight. Bad plot, bad acting, bad directing and the like shoot this one down.
Early Roger Corman cheesy exploitation girl power flick definitely doesn't belong among his best works. In this adventure crime thriller, a police officer Lee Hampton (Carole Mathews) is sent to prison undercover to infiltrate into a gang of criminals who know where the stolen diamonds are hidden. She helps them escape from prison and four women start journey in their cut short jeans through swamps of Louisiana with loving couple (Mike Connors and Susan Cummings) as hostages. The trip is filled with girls nagging on each other and constantly falling into catfights.
The film is cliché ridden and screenplay is thinner than the paper it was printed on. The prison break is as easy as climbing over the fence (practically that was all that it was in the movie) and infiltrating into a gang of women of hardened criminals is easier than gaining friends in school yard. Thanks to the real setting of bayou and passable acting (except the police captain who was more wooden than a log), the film is quite entertaining. The characters seemed interesting and motivated enough to keep the film alive.
'Swamp Woman' is good testament to Roger Cormans directing abilities to churn out such (cheap) entertainment out of so dull script. Don't expect too much action or thrills or suspense. But B-movie and exploitation genre aficionados might find 'Swamp Women' quite fun (boat) ride (through swam). At least, I did.
"Swamp Women" doesn't appear to be much more than an opportunity for director Roger Corman to put shapely women in cut off shorts on display in a lush tropical setting. It doesn't take long for the jailbirds to ditch their prison garb and land some eye candy duds for their swamp journey. You know it's only a matter of time before the obligatory cat fights and wet blouse tussles take center stage. Eventually, redhead Vera (Windsor) with visions of the entire fortune to call her own turns renegade. She ditches the group and attempts to escape with the gems, so why she climbs a tree instead of taking the boat is a mystery.
Mike Connors is credited in the cast as "Touch" Connors, and doesn't have much more to do in the film other than ogle the ladies. I'm not sure, but I bet when he auditioned for the part he said he could do it with his hands tied behind his back.
This is another mid 1950's film utilizing a color film process known as Pathe. My copy was heavy on the reds and browns including the swamp scenes, making it all look a bit unnatural. The entire business was filmed in and around New Orleans and Lacombe County. What's surprising is how many name actors wound up in this effort, with one on the way up (Connors), one on the way down (Windsor) and one still going strong (Garland). After watching the movie, there's only one thing that I'm still left wondering about - what prison cell in the country has a window?
If you're watching MST3K, Joel and the bots are a little limp on this one, but the movie is fantastic. The short "What to do on a date" is a bit upsetting as it seems to feature two actors with affective disorders, perhaps Asperger's Syndrome. Tom's disastrous date with Gypsy doesn't fare much better.
One of the women is a homicidal maniac, but not nearly the cliché that we usually see for this character. She doesn't have many dimensions, but clearly more than the modern horror movie homicidal maniac has.
Another woman gets kidnapped, along with a hunky guy. The kidnapped girl is by far the most gorgeous of the women, but she is "film fatally flawed" in every detail, so her early exit is no spoiler.
The other two cute girls have the big catfight at the end, but there are many catfights along the way. I'm not big on blocking fights, but these catfights looked very well done, maybe the most authentic looking ones you'll see on film.
Gators, swamp boats, and mud add to the spectacle.
Since this is movie where mostly women get killed, it isn't much of a "guy movie", but more of a "chick flick", the sort that girls like to see in order to cuddle close to a guy at a theater. That's probably about the only use for this movie. Still, it isn't what you would call a poor movie. If you don't expect a lot, you'll be happy enough.
Oh, and make sure it's the MST3K version.