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Country singer Rachel (Haynes) is arrested and charged with murder and placed in prison. Psychiatric sessions are run by the sadistic Dr. Kline, whose idea of mental health is to erase the patient's personality and completely replace it with a new one through brainwashing. Written by
Bar-room singer Rachel Foster (Linda Haynes) is wrongly convicted of murder and winds up in a correctional facility where mad Dr. Kline (Geoffrey Lewis) is conducting experiments on the prisoners.
Considering its lurid title, promisingly perverse premise and 'video nasty' label, I was expecting (or should that be 'hoping for') Human Experiments to be a sleazy slice of 'women in prison' depravity in the vein of fellow 'nasties' Women Behind Bars or Love Camp 7; instead, it turned out to be an extremely tame addition to the WIP genre, offering very little in the way of true deviancy, but plenty of the dull kind of drama that typifies your average made for TV movie of the era (unsurprisingy, writer/director Gregory Goodell would go on to make plenty of these!).
Apart from the typically indelicate induction routine suffered by all new prisoners in exploitation movie jails (stripped naked, showered and given the once over by a tough nurse), and a brief (non-explicit) masturbation scene, nothing particularly sexy or sordid happens in this prison, with a distinct lack of hot lesbian inmates, despicable male guards, or communal bathing. Dr. Kline's experiments also prove to be extremely disappointing: there's no electrodes on the nipples or surgery without anaesthetic, but rather a series of psychologically traumatising episodes designed to reduce the prisoner to a childlike state, after which they are to be rebuilt as model citizens.
If you don't like creepy crawlies, then the scene where Haynes is covered in cockroaches, spiders and other assorted bugs might prove cringe-worthy, and trash fans should find the delightfully silly (and rather unlikely) ending to be amusing, but in all honesty, this is one of the least offensive 'video nasties' on the entire list and only worth watching if you're intent on seeing all of the films vilified by the BBFC during the 80s.
3.5 out of 10, generously rounded up to 4 for a fun cameo from Aldo Ray as a lecherous bar-owner, and the brief full-frontal nudity from Ms. Haynes.
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