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Women in Cages (1971)

1 rating: 1.0
Action & Adventure, Cult Movies, and Mystery & Suspense movie directed by Gerardo de Leon
1 review about Women in Cages (1971)

Ex-stripper, Ex-addict, Ex-prostitute..what more can you ask for in 70's WIP flick

  • Sep 18, 2008
In the same vein as Jack Hill's Big Doll House, Women in Cages is a searing expose of prison life. But unlike Hill's W.I.P. films, it hits all the right notes of the genre, but without much style. Nevertheless, its amateurish nature does offer up a little in the way of campy entertainment.

In here we an innocent woman by the name of Jeff (Jennifer Gan) who realizes she has been set up. But before I get any further you would have thought that sitting right beside a character by the name of Rudy who placed the heroin in her purse would have alerted her to the fact that something underhand was going on, but nope, she continues to put her faith in the fool helping her out of trouble. So Jeff is sent to prison, she must face off against head matron Pam Grier.
Unfortunately for Jeff one of the ladies she shares her cell with is Stoke (Roberta Collins), a heroin addict who relies on Rudy's trade to feed her addiction during her stay. She is forced to make attempts on Jeff's life to get her out of the way in return for more drugs, but she's not particularly successful, it has to be said, and comes across as a cold turkey version of Wile E. Coyote in her schemes to poison, squash or otherwise destroy the hapless Jeff.

After being behind bars in The Big Doll House, Pam Grier got the opportunity to be matron in this one, and plays the sadistic guard to the hilt. Of course, she's a lesbian, so she will seduce certain prisoners in her boudoir, like Jeff's cellmate Theresa (Sofia Moran), or if they reject her advances she takes them to "The Playpen", a medieval torture chamber. Actually, she escorts women to her torture chamber whether she's sexually interested or not, as Sandy (Judy Brown) discovers. You can see that Pam is still learning her chops and is just not convincing as a tough-as-nails character, instead coming across as a kid playing at grown-ups.

Other than a few well-placed camera shots Cages is silly, and its infrequent nods to social injustice sound hollow, but it lacks the necessary, gleeful outrageousness to appeal; you can see that this one is simply going through the motions, without Hill's nonsensical flourishes the Big Doll House reunion limps along and barely registers as more than another anonymous WIP screen-filler.

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