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Some very clean prisoners in a pretty mediocre movie
Although this is basically a WIP movie, it differs greatly from both the popular Corman produced US/Filipino versions and the much sicker European variant typified by the work of Jess Franco. It is a mid-70's Italian film, so about half of it is a crime thriller with the usual car chases and violent Mafia intrigue involving a missing load of heroin. The WIP subplot comes in when the daughter of kidnapped Mafia boss (the not-even-remotely-Italian-looking Anita Strindberg)goes undercover in a woman's prison to protect and get information from the "new fish" (Jenny Tamburi), whose dead boyfriend was transporting the heroin. However, this surprisingly complex plot still leads to the usual shower scenes, catfights, lesbian groping, and everything else audiences have come to expect from these type of films.
This movie has touches of realism, featuring for instance a lot of secondary characters who look like they could be actual female prisoners (director Rino DeSilvestre would later pioneer a kind of "neo-realist sleaze" with his follow-up film about prostitution "Red Light Girls"). But, of course, it also features the familiar torsos of Gabriella Giorgelli and future porn star Paola Senatore. Certainly no one will complain about a lack of nudity in this movie, from the opening scene where the lovely Tamburi is graphically "probed" by a lesbian prison guard to probably the most ridiculous prison riot ever where the guards turn fire hoses on barely rioting prisoners (which turn out to just be regular hoses for some reason) and the prisoners respond by stripping off and taking yet another impromptu shower (these have to be the cleanest prisoners in the history of the penal system).
But as much as I enjoy seeing Tamburi,Strindberg, et. al. butt-naked, there is a total lack of character development in this movie and the acting is very sub-par, which is unfortunate because Tamburi and Strindberg at least are capable of much better. And aside from his alleged realism, DeSilvestri doesn't demonstrate any real style in any of his films I've seen. I'd maybe recommend this, but it really depends on what your looking for.
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