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Nightmare in Badham County (1976)

Two UCLA coeds have engine trouble in a small Southern town. When they spurn the local sheriff's advances he arranges for them to be taken to the women's prison on trivial charges (the ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cathy Phillips
Lynne Moody ...
Diane Emery
Sheriff Danen
Dulcie (as Fionnuala Flanagan)
Supt. Dancer
Leslie Albers ...
Simpson Hemphill ...
Governor's aide
Annette Henley ...
White inmate #1
Tom Keith ...
Gas station attendant
John Malloy ...
Mr. Phillips
Thomas Hal Phillips ...
The Mayor (as Hal Thomas Phillips)


Two UCLA coeds have engine trouble in a small Southern town. When they spurn the local sheriff's advances he arranges for them to be taken to the women's prison on trivial charges (the judge is a cousin), where they must endure atrocities at the hands of the administrators of the prison and the prison guards. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where Innocence Is A Punishable Crime


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

5 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nightmare  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This made-for-TV movie was released outside the USA in a more explicit version, proving to be an especially huge hit in China. The film's success in China was so substantial that star Deborah Raffin became the unofficial ambassador from Hollywood to China; she arranged meetings between Hollywood luminaries and Chinese leaders and filmmakers to get Chinese films distributed in America and American films released in China. Moreover, Raffin was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in the picture. See more »


Sarah: I heard the Judge give you 30 days. I wouldn't count on that.
Diane Emery: What do you mean?
Sarah: This is harvest time. They need all the help they can get Baby, for as long as they can get it.
See more »


Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

A great little exploitation shocker
7 May 2001 | by (northeastern PA) – See all my reviews

Combining horror and women-in-chains elements, this little gem is quite scary indeed. The star-studded cast is in great form, with many effectively cast against type--Della Reese as a prisoner with an almost-broken spirit, Robert Reed as a perverted rapist, and especially Tina Louise as a sadistic trustee. Deborah Raffin and Lynne Moody--two highly underrated actresses--are very sympathetic, and the film has a cheap, seedy atmosphere reminscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left.

Nightmare in Badham County was shown theatrically, in a much more explicit version, outside of the U.S. This version is available on videotape and is the one I've seen. It's memorably depraved, with brutality and full-frontal nudity abounding. One skin-crawling scene in this version has a naked, repulsive lesbian guard (Lana Wood, I think) exchanging food for sex with a terrified inmate. Another has Louise pawing and whipping a naked girl. Still another has a large group of women wrestling in a field until a hose is turned on them; clothes are ripped, and one woman's panties fall down as she stands up. This version could've been a big drive-in hit in the States, but alas, it was shown here only as an ABC movie of the week.

Whichever version you get, this oppressively grim torture epic is worth watching if you're an exploitation fan. An obscure cult classic with a very powerful ending.

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