A girl is caught in a drug bust and sent to the hoosegow. The iron-handed superintendent takes exception to a skit performed by the girls and takes punitive steps, aided by the sadistic ... See full summary »
A girl is caught in a drug bust and sent to the hoosegow. The iron-handed superintendent takes exception to a skit performed by the girls and takes punitive steps, aided by the sadistic doctor who is doing illegal electroshock experiments and raping drugged prisoners. After a while the prisoners put away their petty differences and plan the Big Prison Escape. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Overrated but deserves notice for being one of the more intelligent exploitation films made
"Caged Heat" is overrated but deserves notice for being one of the more intelligent exploitation films made. When released in the 70s, some academics acclaimed the film for its political themes which can be interesting to look into. It also provided sleaze hounds with nudity and cheap thrills to keep them entertained. You don't have to look into the actual political themes of the story to find enjoyment out of it fortunately. Making an obtusely political work wouldn't sell at the drive-ins, and this film manages to be sneakily subversive. It is well-directed and contains much better dialog than usually found in a women-in-prison film.
Still, the film doesn't completely work for me. Erica Gavin turns in a good performance and is the only likable character in the whole film. I guess the characters aren't developed enough for my liking. This wouldn't be so much a problem, but Jonathan Demme obviously put so much effort into the subversive elements to create a quality work, I wish he had spent more time on the characters. Its admittedly a well made film, I'm just not sure I'll ever get around to watching it again. Much better than any of the inmates are the performances of legendary scream queen Barbara Steele and an appropriately sleazy one from Warren Miller. I just don't get too much into the women-in-prison genre and many folks love this film, so maybe my opinion doesn't really matter ultimately. The climax is pretty cool though. (5/10)
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