Title: Escape From Cell Block 3 aka Women Unchained (1974)
Directed by: Kent Osborne
Starring: Carolyn Judd, Teri Gusman, Darlene Mattingly, Angel Colbert, Bonita Kalem, Cheryl Waters, Walter Rowan, Jeff Latham, Mike Perotta, Erica Campbell, Gwen Stokes, Larry Justin, Bruce Kimball, Wil Garrett, Judy Ponce.
There’s nothing like a good Women-In-Prison movie for stirring both a chap’s social conscience and his y-fronts, and this is indeed nothing like a good Women-In-Prison movie.
The very first scene is set in the showers with a bunch of naked bimbos setting about one of their warders. But wait a moment, this is just the start of a successful escape attempt, and as the girls overpower the warder and dodge a few sleepy guards it quickly becomes apparent that it’s a Women-Out-Of-Prison movie instead.
The five escapees jog down the road to a bad rock tune, the camera moving in close to catch their boobs jiggling about in their low-cut prison denims. They steal a car and push the male driver down a ravine. “Are you sure you didn’t hurt that guy?” says a particularly naive member of the group. But with the cops on their tail they decide to abandon the vehicle and do more slow motion boob-jiggling jogging, which makes perfect sense to… well, no-one except those making the movie.
Then they come to a river, which is the perfect excuse to get naked again for some topless-only bathing and a teensy bit of character definition. There’s the tough black bitch, the unfeasibly violent blonde, the innocent “new fish” who’s probably been framed into the jug in the first place, the experienced old-timer who tries to calm everyone down, and of course the butch lesbian. They’ve all got stories to tell, mostly about how men have let them down (“I really tried with one guy. But he turned out to be a pimp and a hophead”). Yeah, all men are bastards, baby.
Looking for a place to spend the night, the girls break into the home of a frizzy-headed Mexican guy with a moustache and take him hostage – he looks like somebody out of an old Starsky And Hutch episode. The black girl likes the cut of his jib (“Let’s get your clothes off so I can see what you look like…”), but they have to shoot him anyway, possibly because he’s such a bad actor.
One of the girls hangs herself in desperation at this point, and we know just what she’s going through. She should have hanged her agent instead. The remaining four head into the big city to get some money together, which entails tough blonde Debbie putting the squeeze on her stuttering pimp boyfriend Jerry, and the black girl J.C. organising new passports with the help of her Huggy Bear lookalike brother, who runs a stable of bitches. He sends two of his girls out to fleece a balding fat guy, who complains, “Don’t I get anything for my money?” He gets beaten up.
Now they’ve got enough money to hire a plane to get over the border, but they’re not home free yet. Just as the plane arrives, so does a cop, and a shootout ensues that leaves three of the girls dead. The camera lingers on their bodies lying in the desert dust while the corpses try in vain not to appear to breathe. With chests like that they have two hopes: Bob Hope and no hope.