Women Behind Bars (Jesús Franco, 1975)

posted in: Duane, Review | 0


A botched diamond heist leads to murder when a woman shoots the man who betrayed her by having sex with a Mulatto slut. Will she be able to survive life in prison long enough to escape and recover the goods?
There’s some other nonsensical plot “twists” in there too, but let’s face it, it’s a Franco film… and one of his better ones in fact. Women Behind Bars contains all of the usual Franco trappings: sex nudity, sleazy sex, nudity, abuse of a zoom lens, a cameo by the director, sleazy naked torture…. who needs a coherent plot?  Often this can prove to be a recipe for boredom and self-abuse, in this case thankfully it’s turned out to be an entertaining watch. Lina Romay (back when she was decent to look at) stars in this sordid ode to female enslavement in which she plays the aforementioned murderess. After calling the authorities and confessing (!) to the murder of her boyfriend she is soon sentenced to 6 years in a local prison run by a manipulative warden with a villa attached (talk about convenient!). Anyways, Franco subject his precious Lina to beatings, cunt torture via electro shock, gratuitous lesbian prison sex (no rape, unfortunately) in which he jams that zoom lens right up their assholes, and terribly inappropriate outfits.
The inmates in this prison are largely unattractive with the exception of Ms. Romay (The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff, Female Vampire) and Martine Stedil (Barbed Wire Dolls) although the standard prison issue footwear are these atrocious chunky as fuck clog type heels. An odd choice, indeed. There is one interesting scene where Romay and an accomplice murder the local stoolie (and Warden’s fuck-toy) and some nude rolling around/nude foot close-ups ensue, but the feet are hideously filthy so it kind of takes away from it.

Plenty of naked caged sluts abound, as do bizarre zooming shots of random shit. Ah, Franco… how we love you. Well, I do anyway. Speaking of which, Franco’s obligatory cameo in Women Behind Bars is actually quite involved, with several scenes of dialogue (including one strange “hold my glasses” scene that needs to be experienced to be believed). The film is competently shot for the most part (zoom lens abuse is a professional technique, right?) and is well paced, clocking in at just over 80 minutes. Women Behind Bars is an entertaining watch for Francophiles and laymen alike. Just don’t expect any sort of thought-provoking subject matter and appreciate the naked zoomed buttholes and you’ll be just fine.



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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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