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99 Women (1969)

Der heiße Tod (original title)
Unrated | | Crime, Drama | 23 April 1969 (USA)
Off the coast of Panama, there is an island with a female penal colony, run by a sadistic superintendent. When several prisoners mysteriously die, leading to a breakout and mutiny, an extensive investigation of the horrific events begins.


Jesús Franco (as Jess Franco)


Harry Alan Towers (screenplay) (as Peter Welbeck), Jesús Franco (screenplay) (as Jess Franco) | 9 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Maria Schell ... Leonie Caroll
Herbert Lom ... Governor Santos
Mercedes McCambridge ... Thelma Diaz
Luciana Paluzzi ... Natalie Mendoza
Maria Rohm ... Marie (as Maria Rohn)
Rosalba Neri ... Zoie
Elisa Montés ... Helga (as Eliza Montes)
Valentina Godoy Valentina Godoy ... Rosalie


New inmate Marie arrives at an island prison in the women's sector and receives the number 99. The inmates are controlled by the sadistic lesbian warden Thelma Diaz and Governor Santos and submitted to torture, rape, sexual harassment and abuse. When the Justice minister replaces Diaz, Marie believes that her life will improve and her case will be reopened. Marie's disappointed with the new warden and plans to escape. But their scheme fails and the abuse they've undergone had been but a paltry hint of the torture in store. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Women behind bars without men - What do they do to satisfy their innermost female desires! See more »


Crime | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 53649 delivered on 10-4-1969. See more »


[first lines]
Marie: Where are they taking us?
Helga: To the island, over there.
Helga: [to redhead] What's eating you? Looking forward to your holidays? Three years the judge said, didn't he? I know the medicine you need, and they don't stock it over there. Home sweet home for all three of us. The Spaniards built it and christened it, Castillo de la Muerte.
Natalie Mendoza: "Castle of Death".
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Alternate Versions

The Australian VHS version runs 80min 33sec, and is missing the following:
  • 5m 27s: A few seconds of a woman walking across the cell is missing due to print damage.
  • 21m 21s: Some nudity has been cut. 65m 33s: Shots of lovemaking in cave cut.
  • On the other hand, the Australian tape includes one establishing shot (from 42m 32s to 42m 33s) that is not in the US edition.
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Followed by Lovers of Devil's Island (1973) See more »


The Day I Was Born
Lyrics by Audrey Nohra (uncredited)
Sung by Barbara McNair (uncredited)
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User Reviews

99 Women in Chains on the Wall; 99 Women in Chains!
24 January 2007 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Does the world really need all these 'Women in Prison' flicks? The legendary director Jess Franco apparently seemed to think so, because almost half of the titles that fall under this category are his. There's also a lot of variation in this questionable sub genre of cult-cinema - largely determined by how old they are - as most of them are really nasty and exploitative whereas some (the pioneers mainly) are more sensual and emphasizing on the drama-elements. "99 Women", at least the original non-hardcore version, got released during the earliest stage of "W.I.P" madness and thus Franco was still clearly 'exploring' how far he could go with inserting lesbian sleaze and brutal whippings. The later ones are a non-stop series of tasteless sex and raw violence, but this film actually has a remotely decent script and an above-average amount of stylish elements. A small island in the Pacific Ocean serves as a gigantic prison, with a fort for women in one corner and one for men in the other. Female prisoners n° 97, 98 and 99 arrive one morning by boat and they immediately meet the sadistic head warden Thelma and the sleazy Governor Santos. The girls are punished and put in isolation cells for no reason and lethal 'accidents' appear to be a regular routine. Just because so many prisoners die, the government sends a new female principal to the island. She makes efforts to befriend the prisoners, particularly the beautiful & innocent Marie, but the wicked old headmistress constantly boycotts her. "99 Women" isn't the most exciting movie ever, as many sequences are dreadfully slow and pointless, and there's a serious lack of continuity. The locations are very nice looking and the photography is occasionally even elegant, but sadly it's all just an empty package. If you don't purchase the X-rated version, you won't have much sleazy goodness to admire. "99 Women" is incredibly tame, with only a couple of scarcely dressed women cat-fighting and some lesbian experimenting. The cast is really good, though, with the ravishing regular Franco-nymphs Maria Rohm ("The Bloody Judge", "Eugenie") and Rosalba Neri ("Amuck!", "Lady Frankenstein") playing likable characters. Herbet Lom is awesome as the fiendish, nudity-obsessed (can you blame him?) governor. Mainly just recommended to Francophiles.

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Release Date:

23 April 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Women's Penitentiary XII See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(video) (cut) | (banned) | (X Rated) | (Blue Underground Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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