Five Loose Women (1974) Poster

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Got Wood?
BA_Harrison20 December 2013
Having worked up a thirst in bed, Paula (Jabie Abercrombe) and her new lover take a trip to the local liquor store for a little post-coital refreshment. While in the store, Paula's man reveals his true colours by drawing a pistol, shooting the cashier, knocking Paula to the ground (when she understandably refuses to act as getaway driver), and then hightailing it, leaving the poor young woman to take the rap.

Unjustly sentenced to a stint in a minimum security correctional facility for women, Paula attracts the attention of lesbian inmate Kat, who forcibly instructs her in the art of 'girl on girl' before insisting that she become the fifth member of her gang, who are planning to break out of prison to go in search of a hidden stash of stolen loot.

If, like me, your knowledge of the work of Ed Wood only extends as far as infamous sci-fi /horror klunker Plan 9 From Outer Space, then Fugitive Girls—which the legendary film-maker co-wrote and starred in—might prove something of an eye opener: it's as trashy and as inept as one would expect, but it's a whole lot raunchier, with frequent sex scenes that look as though there wasn't much in the way of acting required from the performers.

While the raunchy scenes and regular doses of gratuitous nudity are undoubtedly the film's major selling points, the film also benefits from lousy dialogue, un-PC racial slurring, very unconvincing acting (the guy trying to resist being raped by one of the buxom beauties is hilarious), and clichéd characters (including boisterous bikers and sex-mad hippies), all of which adds up to a whole heap of trashy fun for avid fans of drive-in, sexploitation fodder.
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Superb no-budget exploitation
sean455425 February 2011
No one will mistake "Fugitive Girls" (the most common title for this film) for great cinema. The ultra-low budget, editing errors and continuity blunders alone guarantee that. But taken for what it is - a 1974 exploitation quickie, a drive-in nudie flick about female criminals - this movie really works. With the legendary Edward D. Wood Jr. contributing one of his finest screenplays and also acting in two different roles, the film won't disappear. "Fugitive Girls" is good entertainment!

The acting ranges from passable to good, the dialogue ranges from classic Woodian nonsense to decent, the music often works very well, and technically...well, this aspect doesn't usually manage to impress. Director Stephen Apostolof deserves credit, certainly, for the superb pacing and for bringing out the best in actresses Tallie Cochrane, the '70's adult superstar Rene Bond (now supposedly deceased) and the strangely overlooked but genuinely charismatic Margie Lanier.

Rarely do these no-budget grindhouse flicks deliver like this one does, and not because of overt sex or violence; "Fugitive Girls" succeeds on it's own quirky charm and likability. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is a *good* movie, but a great one for it's genre. Despite all of this, "Fugitive Girls" rarely receives extended mention in Ed Wood discussions, probably because it's such an oddity. It isn't family friendly like, say, "Plan 9 From Outer Space", doesn't feature any of his most famous players from his earlier period (like Criswell in "Orgy Of The Dead"), and this film barely qualifies as softcore, much less hardcore (such as "Necromania"). You get the idea.

"Fugitive Girls" is top-shelf exploitation and recommended viewing for Wood cultists, Rene Bond fans, B-cinema specialists and grindhouse followers alike.

(10 stars for genre excellence, not general brilliance)
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Choice 70's drive-in junk
Woodyanders25 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A quintet of desperate ladies go on the lam after escaping from a prison work farm. The cops naturally give chase while the gals embark on a wild crime and killing spree.

Director Stephen C. Apostolof not only keeps the delightfully down'n'dirty story zipping along at a constant brisk pace and maintains a blithely lurid tone throughout, but also delivers several scorching hot soft-core sex scenes and oodles of tasty gratuitous female nudity. The leave-no-sleazy-stone-unturned script by Apostolof and Edward D. Wood Jr. certainly gives viewers their grubby money's worth: We've got the fugitives stealing filthy threads from a commune of low-rent dippy hippies, two babes rape a hapless male motorist, and there's even a lively brawl with a ferocious biker gang. Moreover, it's acted with gusto by a game cast of exploitation cinema regulars: Tallie Cochrane as vicious predatory lesbian Kat, Rene Bond as raucous racist white trash tramp Toni, Maggie Lanier as sweet innocent Dee, Jabie Abercrombie as the sassy Paula, and Donna Young as brash trustee inmate Sheila. Wood Jr. plays both a sheriff in hot pursuit and doddery old airstrip caretaker Pops. The robust combo jazz and funk score hits the get-down groovy spot. The vibrant color cinematography rates as another nice asset. A total scuzzy blast.
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Ed Wood's Greatest Screenplay
chinaskee15 July 2001
Of all the Ed Wood/A.C. Stephen's collaborations,this one is probably the top of the class.,because everything is actually in focus and the sex is a bit more explicit than their earlier films together.The biggest problem this film has is that most of it was shot outdoors,at night,and these guys never had any real money to spend,so most of the lighting looks like it was done with no more than two lights.Three rape scenes(two of them lesbian scenes),Ed Wood in a dual role as a gas station attendant and a sheriff,unwashed hippies that don't look all that unwashed,70's style haircuts on men that I sure as hell never remember having,what more could a sleaze addict ask for,?
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Wacky Wood Screenplay
Michael_Elliott16 June 2008
Fugitive Girls (1974)

** (out of 4)

Director Stephen and screenwriter Edward D. Wood, Jr. teamed up several times throughout their careers with their best known film being Orgy of the Dead, which gets my vote for the worst film ever made but this film here isn't too bad. A sweet, innocent girl is sent to prison for a crime she didn't do but once in she's soon being forced to break out with her four cellmates. Soon the five women are on the run trying to avoid the police while searching for some money one of the women hid. This is pretty much your typical drive-in, sexploitation junk but it helps wonders due to the off the wall screenplay by Wood. The dialogue here is incredibly silly and offers some great laughs including some funny sequences where the racist woman gets into it with the black one. All five characters are the same we've seen in countless films like this as we have the sweet girl, the racist one, the tough black chic, the butch and the slut. While the characters are all unoriginal I must give Wood credit for really mixing up the screenplay and throwing all sorts of craziness into the mix. We get several fights, a scene where two of the women rape a man, hippies, bikers and a weird gas station owner played by Wood. All of the acting is rather poor but it does provide more laughs. There's also plenty of nudity on display but the DVD version is the theatrical cut, which is missing some nudity and extended sex scenes. Apparently a XXX version was also released in some theaters. This is certainly a poorly made film but if you're a fan of the WIP genre then you should get a few laughs out of this.
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Great viewing for exploitation fans!
gonzoriffic3 October 1999
A friend gave me a copy of this movie (titled FUGITIVE GIRLS) for free, thinking it was some worthless piece of garbage. I watched it, and slowly began to realize it was an unknown classic. Written by the infamous Ed Wood and directed by A.C. Stephens of ORGY OF THE DEAD fame, this tale of wrongful inprisonment and jailbreak is great viewing for exploitation fans. It's filled with cheesy dialogue, cartoonish performances (including an Ed Wood cameo as a cop), and sex. The characters are a treat as well: the "five loose women" the title refers to are an unforgettable bunch of hell-raising ladies. The butch, the nice girl, the redneck, the token black girl, and the meanie. In my favorite scene, the group happens upon a caravan of hippies in the middle of the desert. Let's just say that our favorite leading ladies find a convenient way to ditch their prison uniforms.
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Sleazy insane Women-In-Prison flick with that Ed Wood touch
Jens-2829 June 1999
Okay, the women don't spend much time in prison, they're most on the run abusing hippies, a gas attendant (Ed Wood!) and they rape a man, just like in the Wood-scripted "The Violent Years" (1956)! The women ain't that good lookin' and the film is too dark but the film's nasty tone and the massive doses of nudity helps a lot + the Woodian touches are pretty clear. Any sleazemonger should own this cheap but mad flick. Also check the director's magnum opus "Orgy Of The Dead" from 1965 - also a Wood story with the mighty Criswell in the cast!
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Caged Feet.
rmax3048237 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
After watching this cheap flick, there was one thing I was sure of. The protagonist's name -- Jabie Abercrombie -- is her real birth name. No doubt about it. I savor each syllable. It rings along my veins. And anyway, if you could make up a stage name, would you choose "Jabie Abercrombie"? As for any question about her figure, the mystery is solved in the first five seconds.

Innocent Abercrombie finds herself in the slams and four of her fellow inmates force her to accompany them when they escape. The cops are looking for them everywhere. A long segment follow them as they hustle through the brush of the scenic milieu of the California coast range. Aside from Abercrombie there are -- let me see -- a tough Negro, a Southern racist, a hard-as-nails lesbian, and a rather tall nonentity.

As they wobble through the bushes they first run into what seems like a Hippie love-in, in the middle of nowhere. They change their clothes and wobble on. Next, they reach a back road and flag down a Cadillac. They disable the driver, rape the half-conscious man, and steal his car. They gas up at an abandoned air strip tended by Ed Wood, who they knock unconscious. Then they run into five tough bikers. There is a brief fracas and the male Rat Pack is unconscious. Then they break into a farmhouse and take two hostages, and at that point they all seem to become lesbians and begin to molest the crippled farmer's wife. But why go on?

The direction is clumsy. If a pan happens to cross the camera's shadow, so what? The editor was on mushrooms. A conversation ("If we're going to get through this we'll have to bury the hatchet") is shown twice. As for the performances, nobody can act. You can act better than anyone in this film. I can act better -- HAVE acted better. My performance as a drunken gambler in the superb "Traxx" was lauded by at least one perceptive critic -- my mother.

Has anyone who claims that a movie is "so bad it's good" ever actually thought about that buzz phrase? A small budget is bound to be a hindrance to the story but the story itself doesn't need to be so eminently disposable. I doubt that a respectable movie like "Carnival of Souls" had much of a budget, or "The Little Fugitive." But they held a certain appeal for mature viewers whereas this seems designed for an audience of teen-aged kids at a drive-in, anxious to see bobbing bosoms before they get down to fogging up the windows.
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Alternate Titles
m-c-balas21 February 2007
Two alternate titles for "Five Loose Women" are "Fugitive Girls" and "Hot on the Trail" (which was the title I viewed it under).

This film was written by Ed Wood at the end of his career, and near the end of his life, when he was basically a down-on-his-luck drunk just trying to afford his rent. He has a minor part in the film where he looks rather beaten down and haggard...I don't think too much make-up was required to achieve that look.

Rene Bond did a great job and looked great, as usual. A.C. Stephens did his usual Ed Wood style of directing. Don't know if it was intentional, but it's hard to tell them apart when it comes to things like lighting and how the actors deliver their parts.
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Fugitive Girls
Uriah432 May 2014
Out on a date "Paula" (Jabie Abercrombie) is sitting in the car while her boyfriend goes into a liquor store for some booze. What she doesn't realize is that he has just robbed the store and killed the clerk. When he tries to escape in the car she subsequently gets caught and is sent to a remote minimum security prison for women. On her first night there she is raped by another one of the prisoners named "Kat" (Tallie Cochrane) who is the leader of her particular cell block. Not long afterward all 4 women in this cell block decide to break out of prison and coerce Paula into going with them. After their escape it appears that each new scenario results in at least one of these ladies removing their blouses for one reason or the other. At least, that's what I considered to be the basic gist of the movie. As far as the actual quality of the film was concerned the script was weak, the acting was bad, the lighting was dismal and the action sequences were equally substandard. On top of that, other than Rene Bond (as the southern prisoner named "Toni") and possibly Janet Newell (as the hippie named "Calico") none of the women were that particularly attractive. In essence, while this may have been standard fare for a drive-in during the mid-70's it doesn't qualify as something anybody should rush out and view. At least I didn't think so. Below average.
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The 'Fugitive Girls' asinine antics sure 'ain't no sinless PG-rated snooze!
Weirdling_Wolf3 April 2021
In the brief action-packed pre-title sequence the fortunate viewer enjoys some prime T&A, and a bungled heist which leads to the delectably delicious brunette Dee (Margie Lanier)being wrongly banged up in a skeezey backwoods chockey with a bellicose gang of potty-mouthed skeezers that are plannin' to bust outta' jail and become...' Fugitive Girls'!

Hot on the lam these heroically hell-raising Hell-cats are headed by luscious, short-haired ice-cool blond lesbian, bicycle chain swingin', skull krushin' Kat (Talie Cochrane) and these orgasmic, hippie hating vagabond outlaws certainly 'ain't afraid of bustin' up longhairs on their explicit high octane exodus to locate the generous secret stash of ill-gotten scratch. And there's never a dull moment in B-Movie legend Ed. Wood Jr's audaciously permissive screenplay, where anything goes, and frequently goes further than most, baby!

While these beautiful, misbegotten cooze were born to lose watchin' their asinine antics sure 'ain't no sinless PG-rated snooze! So don't be no uptight, 'Fugitive Girls' is one out-of-sight celluloid cat fight that'll make all the B-Movie lovin' brother's & sisters feel all right! Don't be no snooty square, hitch a riotous ride with these foxy desperadoes who just don't care!' Right on!
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"Alright, Look! Cut Out The Rappin'!"...
azathothpwiggins18 August 2021
A group of five extremely annoying female inmates plot their big prison break. This consists of them walking out of what looks like a rental cabin while someone off camera waves a spotlight around.

Next, they're "on the run", accompanied by "on the run" music. About now, we realize we're deep into Writer Ed Wood Jr. Territory. Thankfully, there's nothing whatsoever to be taken seriously.

The dialogue clunks along like a tin-can robot in anvil shoes. Of course, there's the obligatory nudity and hideous 1970's sensuality!

The best part is when the convicts stumble upon a commune of naked, performance artist-type hippies. Don't let their organic diets fool you! These hippies are into violence, man! Soon, the groovy tables are turned and the desperate women have some new, freaky threads!

EXTRA POINTS FOR: #1- The pursuing trio of plum idjit hillbillies! #2- The women's sexual assault on a male motorist! #3- The beatdown administered to the world's smallest biker gang! #4- The abuse-of-the-disabled home invasion sequence!

Yes, Rene Bond is in this film. All of her. If the likes of Roger Corman had directed it, it could have been a schlock masterwork...
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A really good movie
kurt782530 November 2020
The women were surprisingly good actresses. Had good action and a good story. Glad I watched it
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Delivers just about everything you would expect and want in a drive-in exploitation film.
lemon_magic7 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
While the movie is no great shakes on a production or technical level, the screenplay for "Fugitive Girls" (the most "explicit" version of "5 Loose Women") pretty much lives up to the promise of the lurid, overheated copy on the poster. (Although only one of the girls could be considered a "victim" being violated. The other four characters are rough cobbs who actually do most of the violating. But this is a good thing, because otherwise you'd feel like a sex bully for watching)

It's got repeated shots of blank-faced women pulling off their shirts to reveal some pretty decent "racks". It's got lesbianism, and lesbian and straight sexual assault. It's got young women behind bars (for the first 10 minutes, anyway), young women on the run, and young women taking the Tura Satana route and kicking the crap out of the men who underestimate them. It's got bikers, hippies, counter-culture rebels, pot-bellied county deputies in sun-glasses, and other caricatures. It's even got Ed Wood Jr. In a couple of cameos playing (badly) a geezer who is so dumb he calls the sheriff on the phone not more than 10 feet from the gang while they fill up their stolen car at his gas pump.

It has exactly the payoff you were expecting at the climax, and then doesn't know when to quit and goes on for another 12-13 minutes (because apparently the director or Ed Wood always wanted to do "The Defiant Ones".) (This cost it a star or two). It has decent and terrible line readings sprinkled throughout (like a pizza with everything), often from the same performers, often in the same scene. It has some decent mood music - the same wocka-jawocka psychedelic funk rock you always get in a movie in this genre, but well mixed and usually appropriate to whatever's going on on the screen at the time.

In short, this is exactly the kind of "R" film you would expect to see at your local drive-in ( you would have hoped for better and more explicit, but knew you had to take what you could get.) So: 5 stars (because it really is a sleazy piece of trash), but thumbs up - because in spite of plot holes, cardboard characters, filming errors, and no budget, you can tell the director is not holding anything back.
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Very disappointing.
sonya9002828 May 2009
I was VERY disappointed with this film. I expected more of a Thelma and Louise female-buddy crime movie. Instead, the women prison escapees in this flick, had no sense of loyalty to one another. They were an extremely vulgar pack of hyenas, who beat each other up, double-crossed each other, and even committed lesbian rape against other women in the film.

Instead of being shrewed thieves, who stuck together to plan their escape and find the hidden stash of money, the women escapees were too selfish and vicious, to trust each other for long. These women weren't liberated in a positive sense. They just ended up being a bunch of loose-cannons, incapable of respect for themselves, or each other. If you like 70s female crime caper films, skip this bomb, and see The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, which stars Claudia Jennings and Jocelyn Jones.
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