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Reviews & Ratings for
Barbed Wire Dolls More at IMDbPro »Frauengefängnis (original title)

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25 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A Real Sicko's Sickfest...

Author: PeteStud from australia
8 April 2006

This is one for the real deranged sex maniacs out there. There's virtually no plot just one flimsy excuse or another to show helpless women being sexually tortured and degraded. There are plenty of laughs to be had if that sort of thing rocks your boat, though. One outrageous scene has Jess Franco playing in-mate Lina Romay's father who attempts to rape her in slow motion...only trouble is they actually act (very badly) in slow motion live rather than slow down the actual film!!! incredible! Franco's worst? Hardly, It's actually one of his filthy sadistic best as there is no time to get bored for a change (a rarity with his movies!). Fans of that ol' Spanish zoom lens we've come to know and love will not be disappointed. Wild and crazed as only Franco could do..he out viles the ILSA series with ease here.Perfectly putrid!(and I loved every moment!)

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27 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Sexploitation at its sleaziest!

Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
26 September 2004

"Barbed Wire Dolls" has to be one of the sleaziest Women in Prison epics ever created.This is Franco's first film for Swiss producer Erwin C.Dietrich and it offers tons of nudity and sleaze.A beautiful Maria(Lina Romay)is imprisoned in a penitentiary run by a cruel lesbian warden(Monica Swinn).She is accused of murdering her father(played by Jesus Franco himself)but the wardress actually did the deed.Once in prison,Maria is tortured by being tied nude to metal bed-frame which is hooked up to electrical current."Barbed Wire Dolls" is as sleazy as they get.The film features incredible amount of sleaze including whippings,masturbation with a cigarette,lesbian sex scenes,rape and a close up of one of the inmate's private parts being penetrated by a guard's fingers.The acting is actually not bad and the film is never boring.So if you're a fan of European exploitation give this dirty classic a look.9 out of 10.

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

To all you fellow sick minds of the world: you will like this movie.

Author: tonopah6 from Mansfield, Ohio
6 April 2004

A sick mind, or a million dollars . . . Which is better? Currently I only have the sick mind: and this movie feeds that fairly well! The version I saw was 81 minutes instead of the 90 minute full length film: but still, I would have to inform you to NOT use the comment from, Quebec, Canada. Because, the lack of 9 minutes probably would not have deleted scenes of any loot from a robbery, or some insurance whatever, or information about a woman in prison for killing her lover: none of those statements was correct from what I saw. There was a prisoner who killed her father, and one who killed her brother. But . . . You'll have to watch to find out what really took place about one of those killings. And let me tell you about the female warden, Monica Swinn; she may not have been as sexy as Brigitte Nielsen's portrayal of a warden, but Monica still had appeal, and did very well with being a mean bitch. The eyepiece she wears is a good touch, too, along with the Nazi book she reads. And though her voice was dubbed, that voice was well chosen. The warden loves seeing nude prisoners get mistreated; and when you see the nudity, you're seeing a film much better then your average soft-core movie. You will also see a great looking old prison; or it's a castle by the sea? And finally, you'll see the jungle area between the prison and the sea where an escape takes place. But . . . the ending is not your typical Hollywood bullsh*t.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

More Franco filth.

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
12 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whenever I play DVD Russian roulette by plucking a film randomly from my collection and forcing myself to watch it, I prepare myself for the worst: with so many of prolific director Jess Franco's films clogging up my shelves, it's extremely likely that I'll end up popping one of his 'masterpieces' into the player.

Last night, the metaphorical 'bullet in the chamber' was Barbed Wire Dolls, a sleazy women-in-prison flick starring Franco's fave piece of crumpet Lina Romay and a gaggle of wanton women all willing to flash some flesh on film for the pervy Spaniard.

Romay plays female prisoner Maria da Guerra, imprisoned for the murder of her incestuous father (played by Franco himself in a faux slow-motion flashback scene that defies description). Persecuted by the monocle wearing lesbian in leather hot-pants who runs the prison (Monica Swinn), and mercilessly tortured by sadistic guard Nestor (Eric Falk), Maria eventually plans an escape from the hellhole, with a little help from pretty blonde cell-mate Bertha (Martine Stedil).

This 'plot' serves as an excuse for Franco to depict countless scenes of laughable violence and sordid sex, including lesbian trysts, rape, and female masturbation, with the director's wild zoom lens performing close-up gynaecological examinations whenever possible.

Whilst all this inept in-your-face sleaze is admittedly fun for a while, eventually, like so many of Franco's efforts, monotony sets in; towards the end of the film, even Franco himself seems to tire of the tasteless torture and endless crotch shots, and in order to end the tedium, he shoehorns a surprise (and rather daft) revelation into proceedings (Maria never killed her father; it was the directoress who was responsible) and wraps things up with an extremely abrupt ending.

Like this.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

More sleaze from the master!

Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England
20 September 2006

Well, I didn't go into this film expecting anything over and above the usual sleaze from prolific director Jess Franco, and while I've certainly seen worse films from the director; this isn't exactly a highlight for him either. Barbed Wire Dolls is another one of those sleazy 'women in prison' in films, and aside from the obvious implications of this sort of film; Franco has seen fit to make things even sleazier by way of things such as a lesbian warden and a whole host of sadistic torture sequences. There's basically no plot in this film, although there is a little slither involving a young woman and her father, whom she is believed to have murdered. This plot never takes centre focus, however, and Franco seems keener to continually show filth, which is no bad thing if you ask me. However, there's only really so far a film like this can go with no plot to speak of, and the fact that Franco didn't care at all about telling a story is shown best at the end, when it just 'ends' without any resolution. Still, sleaze fans are likely to get a lot out of this film as there's naked chicks, violence, lesbians, sadism etc, and while I don't rate this too highly; I can at least say I enjoyed watching it. What?

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I'll die like a queen, even though i never lived like one

Author: superguapo2000 from America
19 April 2009

Women in Prison movies come in several styles, ranging from tongue-in-cheek camp to disturbingly sadistic shockfests. Barbed Wire Dolls is a Jess Franco flick, so, as expected, it doesn't really fit into any pigeonhole. Overall, it feels like watching a repressed old man's secret fantasies, reenacted half-assedly over the course of a three-day weekend by Franco's friends in exchange for a free flight ticket. The extremely low budget is clearly visible in every aspect of the movie, including the film quality, which is barely a step above that of a Mexican soap opera or 80s late-night infomercial.

Watching Frauengefangnis is like performing an experiment on yourself. The painfully slow pace, downbeat soundtrack, eternal scenes of pointless verbal abuse, mock torture, and idiotic dialog gradually turn your brain into glue. The movie is so sleazy, depressing, and confusing, that it's almost unwatchable in one sitting.

The creepy effect of this movie doesn't come from graphic violence, as there is none. What's disturbing is how tame and lifeless everything feels, given what's supposed to be taking place. For example, it's unnerving to watch a woman laugh while she gets tortured. The laughing isn't part of the script, but on more than one occasion, actresses in this movie unintentionally crack up throughout what's supposed to be a torture or a rape scene. The effect it at once comical, disorienting and depressing. Highly recommended.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It made me want to watch Ilsa instead

Author: Kayla Fitzgerald from Canada
6 May 2009

Now some people are complaining about the lack of plot, however there is a plot; a weak one, but yes it is there. Most characters are pulled from Ilsa - The Wicked Warden (another Franco movie) and yet all I wanted was for Dyanne Thorne to play a cameo. As a fan of exploitation movies such as Ilsa, I was hoping this was going to be something familiar. And by 'something familiar' I don't mean the same characters and same set. I'm looking for new torture, new sleaze and the like. Other then super fake electrical shocks there is none of that. Just badly dubbed naked girls who pretend to masturbate. If that's what I was looking for then I suppose I would have to have rated this movie more then a 4/10 but it was a little to soft-core for me. And for that I apologize.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Barbed Wire Dolls

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
13 October 2008

Barbed Wire Dolls (1975)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

A young woman (Lina Romay) is sent to prison after accidentally killing her father (Franco himself) who was trying to rape her. Inside the prison she must deal with an evil warden (Monica Swinn), a mixed up doctor (Paul Muller) and all sorts of sexually hungry lesbians. As far as WIP (Women in Prison) films go then this is without question the best one I've seen as it has no limits to the amount of trash it will go to whether it be violence, torture, nudity or sexual abuse. The film never takes itself overly serious and instead is just a good time if you can stand this type of thing. Romay has the perfect look for the good girl and really delivers on that level. Her sexuality certainly shine through as does the rest of the girls. I've said quite often that no one knows how to film women better than Franco and his camera is constantly looking over all the beautiful women and picking up everything he can. Swinn is also in good form as the lesbian warden who love to torture and rape. Franco keeps the action moving through the rather short 80-minute running time, which is a great thing as the film never slows down or gets boring. All of the women makes for good characters to root for and all he bad guys are great villains including the Governor who gets his kick watching his assistant do the women. The highlight of the film however belongs to a flashback sequence where we see Romay kill her father being played by Franco. This scene, shot in slow motion, is just so incredibly silly that you can't help but laugh out loud.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I am no longer a Franco virgin. Not sure if that's good or bad . . .

Author: fredcdobbs5 ( from California
20 November 2015

Well, I'm finally forced to admit it--up to now I've never seen a Jess Franco film (well, not knowingly, anyway; the guy has used 189,000 different names, so I might have seen one among his incredibly prodigious output made under one of those names though I didn't know it at the time). Naturally I knew about him, and his reputation, but I finally got around to seeing my first of one of his films today. And it was this one. And I'm still recovering.

All things considered, though, I've seen worse--not much worse, but worse. Then again, you can't judge a Jess Franco film by such arbitrary standards as "good" or "bad"; they just don't apply. Was it well made? No. Was it well acted? No. Was it well written? God, no. Was it enjoyable? Hell, yes. Its enjoyability factor was due in large part to the plethora of gratuitous nudity and just-this-side-of-porn sexual activities--sexual abuse, molestation, rape, incest, lesbianisn, voyeurism, and everything else that makes life worthwhile (at least in a Jess Franco film). It wasn't just the nudity and the sex that make this film so much fun, though. It was the joyously demented attitude of the thing. You got the feeling that Franco said to himself, "Well, I've managed to scrape together a couple of bucks; let's make a sleazoid women in prison picture and get Lina Romay naked as often as humanly possible"; for that philosophy alone he should have gotten a special Oscar.

As for the "plot"--as if you care about such trivial matters--a lezbo warden and an effeminate phony doctor run a combination womens prison/torture chamber/home for retired and/or escaped and/or wannabe Nazi concentration camp guards in an unnamed South American country (although it was shot in the Central American country of Honduras, something I'm sure the Honduran government wasn't particularly jazzed about when it finally found out what Jess was up to while shooting in one of their prisons)

As a movie, it's not really very good (actually, it stinks). As an example of the "Jess Franco experience", it's somewhat better. As a showpiece for Lina Romay's incredible sex appeal and terrific body, it's a masterpiece. If you go into it with the right attitude, it can be a lot of fun.

Come to think of it, even if you DON'T go into it with the right attitude it can be a lot of fun. Enjoy.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

You might want to take a couple of showers after watching this one.

Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
21 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

By their very nature, Women In Prison films are often pretty damn sleazy, but this one takes the cake. Directed by the inimitable Jesus Franco, it wallows in filth and degradation and nudity for a suitably grimy 81 minutes. As it plays out, there are numerous closeups of the female anatomy. There's shock therapy, masturbation, and sexual fetishes in this salacious story. Surprisingly, it's actually kind of slick looking for this sort of thing, enabling its eager viewers to view all of the action in great detail.

Francos' longtime leading lady Lina Romay stars as Maria de Guerra, the fresh fish at a womens' prison. She was convicted of murdering her father (played by Franco himself in a flashback), who'd attempted to rape her. Forming a subplot is the fact that one of the lady convicts has authored a scathing note telling about the atrocities visited upon her and her cellmates. The people in charge decide to punish everybody when the guilty party won't step forward.

Lovers of cinematic trash are likely to be pretty satisfied with what they see. There's not a particularly strong story here, but who is going to care? Franco serves up the exploitation and the sex with fervour. Also helping matters is the relatively brief running time. The performances are fun - Romay is appealing as usual, Paul Muller is good as the guilt ridden doctor Carlos Costa, and Martine Stedil shows conviction as the passionate Bertha Contrini. But the lady who dominates the proceedings is Monica Swinn as the Wardress; she's a hoot as a monocle and short-shorts wearing sadist.

Pleasingly putrid entertainment up to and including the ending.

Seven out of 10.

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