Escape from Women’s Prison (1978)

Well, well, well… Last week I did one of those rape revenge exploitation films from the 70s. The week before, I revisited a horror film I once saw on Bizarre TV. Now, I’m looking at a good ol’ fashioned women in prison films. It’s like I’m on a greatest hits of B-Movie Enema tour.

Yes, it’s time to take a look at 1978’s Escape from Women’s Prison. You know what other box this movie ticks? Oh yeah… It’s Italian, baby! This movie was written and directed by Italian actor Giovanni Brusadori. In the director credit, he’s actually credited as Conrad Brueghel, but whatever. Brusadori was best known for appearing in the Laura Gemser Emanuelle: Queen of the Desert in 1982. For whatever reason, he decided to make a movie this time around. Now, supposedly, George Eastman, star of Anthropophagus, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, and Porno Holocaust, co-wrote this movie on (though without credit).

I guess what I’m getting at is that these types of late 70s and early 80s Italian sleazefest movies were all made by a small group of people so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see George Eastman involved in some way.

However, it’s key to mention our producer of this film – Dick Randall. We’ve talked about that fella a few times. In fact, he also came up somewhat recently on Joe Bob Briggs’ show too. But, in text form, this is our third Randall joint. The first time came in 2016 when I looked at the horrifically bad Don’t Open Till Christmas, and the second time was for The Clones of Bruce Lee. But I’ve twice hosted his movies on B-Movie Enema: The Series. In Season 3, we were visited by Extra Terrestrial Visitors and, just this past month, for the 50th episode, I hosted Supersonic Man. Either way, his two best known films that I suppose I should cover at some point is 1982’s Pieces and 1986’s Slaughter High. We’ll get there some day, kiddos.

Randall’s career began in the 50s. Back then, he was writing jokes for Milton Berle. Eventually, he moved into documentary work and then to Broadway. After basically very little success, Randall went to Italy and started making sexploitation and giallo films. He was a great fundraiser for films. He could get money from just about anyone. He worked in just about every genre, even porno. But he was knee-deep in all the popular sub-genres of the 70s from blaxploitation to giallo to slashers to Bruceploitation to rip-offs to women in prison flicks, and more. Randall was a little sleazier Roger Corman. If there’s one thing that Randall will always be remembered for, it will be his ability to get money to make multiple movies every year across four decades and 30 years of work.

The movie opens with a team of women tennis players loading onto a bus and driving to their meet. This road they are driving by looks bleak as hell. It’s cloudy, clearly cold, and the lighting is poor. Though, it might also be the fact that Severin could only source the best possible remaining negative from the American version of the film. Either way, it’s the kind of Italian sleaze flick that looks like they went back in time and filmed in a part of France that was just bombed out by the Nazis. It’s lifeless and cold looking.

Alright, so as the bus of tennis chicks are on the way to their match, four hardened criminals from the local women’s prison have escaped. Their ride, Pierre, gets questioned by the cops, but he gets wounded when one of the cops fires after the ringleader of this crew of prisoners, Monica, holds another cop hostage. There’s a near, and literal, run-in with the bus of tennis players.

On the bus, Pierre begins saying how he’s let them all down. The tennis team starts to think there’s something up with these four girls. One girl asks where they came from, one of the prisoners, Betty, tells her to shut up. She also calls another girl a cunt. Yeah, something might be up with these girls they’ve picked up. A news report comes over the radio about how four female terrorists have escaped a local prison. Monica immediately reveals they are, indeed, the four escapees.

One of the tennis players, Terry, says she knows of a place the escapees could hide. It belongs to a judge and his wife. When they get there, Monica is shocked at the size of this house.

Once inside Terry and Monica find the Judge. He tells Monica there are maybe a dozen or so rooms in the house, but, as Terry mentioned, they don’t use all of them. The escapees unload the bus and put the tennis team and their coach and bus driver in the cold, damp basement. When it’s brought to the girls’ attention that they will likely lose the tennis tournament now, all the girls attack Terry. The girl most pissed about losing the tournament, Doreen, tells Terry they would be alright if she didn’t tell that communist about this house.

Perfect dialog.

The main tennis player who seems to be the most level-headed, Anna, wants to negotiate with Monica. She’s going to get the team blankets to weather the cold cellar. Monica calls someone to arrange a pickup for the next day. While one of the tennis players who has some first aid knowledge looks over the injured Pierre, the Judge pulls out a gun and tries to get the drop on Monica, but she reveals he can’t shoot her, despite what he says, because she took his bullets.

The Judge and Monica go into town to get Pierre some antibiotics to treat the gaping wound in his chest. We learn a little more about Monica here. Apparently, she rejected her rich family and a career in sociology to become a communist terrorist. They get stopped by a cop who tells him they are looking for a group of four women who are led by a bloodthirsty terrorist who wouldn’t hesitate to kill a bunch of people. Meanwhile, the Judge is groping Monica to make it look like they are out on a tryst to not raise any suspicion with the cop.

But the Judge is married and people know that and they probably know what the escaped girls look like… oh fuck it.

I do like that after they are allowed to carry on by the cop, she tells the Judge he can take that hand and shove it up his wife’s butthole. That’s an indicator of what we have going on here in this movie. I don’t doubt that was a product of a curious translation. But then again, it might have been a direct translation. I don’t know. This movie is wildly Italian. We have one situation in which Monica keeps talking on and on about Communist Party ideology that sounds like she just recently read it on a website or heard some 20 year old YouTuber say and now she is building her entire life and plan around it. It’s crazy. In truth, she’s a bored, angry little rich girl who decided to go terrorist or something. That’s another thing. They keep saying they are terrorists. So far, they just seem like they play a little too much with guns and fists. It would make more sense if we found out that they literally bombed a place. We’re just being told these girls are killers. Sure, some of the other girls are dickheads, but this movie is full of lines that don’t quite add up or connect. One of the escapees just likes to get dressed in the Judge’s wife’s lingerie and show her titties to herself in the mirror. One of the tennis players announced to her team that being held captive has gotten her lady bits a little slippery.

It’s a bonkers movie. If there is one movie that I could easily say is representative of everything that makes an Italian exploitation film, this movie might just be it. It’s like, how much more Italian can this movie be? The answer is none. None more Italian.

So, one of the escapees, Diana, decides to make the girl caring for Pierre her love slave.

Oh, I’m sorry. I guess it could get a little more Italian. She’s just going to fuck this girl. We go to the pharmacy with Monica and the Judge getting the antibiotics. When we come back, Diana is just groping that other girl’s boob and telling her how she fucked every guy in town by the time she was her age and that’s why she got tired of men. Then, a quick little jump cut to the girl the Judge’s wife’s bedroom where the one girl is basically fingering herself over this rich broad’s panties and garters. And then smash cut to the cellar. It’s a bit whiplashy, this movie.

Anna and Marco, the bus driver, discover a way to get out of the cellar. They take off while the three escapees chase them down. Betty eventually captures Anna and takes her back to the cellar. Elsewhere, Marco is found by Diana and he’s captured again.

Once Marco is tied up in one of the bedrooms, our rich person’s underwear enthusiast decides that it’s time for her to get some dick. She plans to rape Marco who had previously knocked her out before he was recaptured by Diana. He even tries to bargain for not being hurt by telling her that he didn’t want to escape. They forced him to try to escape.

Once Monica comes back, she wants to know whose idea it was to try to escape. Terry immediately turns in Anna. After pistol-whipping Anna with a gun, Monica asks Terry to shoot Anna. If Terry has basically the same political ideals as these girls do, then she should be able to shoot Anna, but she can’t do it. Monica says that politics isn’t all talk. In whatever world this movie happens, politics is shooting your enemies.

Sounds like America 2023.

So, again, this movie never fails to show us just how far it will go to show sleazy shit. Political violence, lesbian rape, woman raping a man, tits, and masturbation. Now it’s time to watch the hostages have to use the toilet. The girls in the cellar are taken to a drain in a grimy room. The Judge is forced to piss his pants. All the while, we’re taken to a room where Anna is given a chance to bathe and put on something clean and nicer. So, yeah, soft music and tits. That seems totally fine to show off while we watch people take a piss. In fact, we watch Monica change clothes too. So, sure! Tits all around!

I’ll be fair, though, Lilli Carati (Anna) and Zora Kerova (Monica) are really nice to look at, but I’m not sure it’s the right time. I’m not one who really likes to mix his nudity with forced pissing into a dirty drain.

While this movie is largely uninteresting, it might be trying to inject something worth pointing out right here at the halfway point. So Monica, upon taking over the Judge’s house, called her comrades to arrange a pickup so they can be off to do more “terrorist” shit. The people on the other end basically said they’ll work on getting something done so they can pick them up tomorrow. They seemed somewhat non-committal. Now, with what I have to assume is about 12 hours from when Monica expects to get that ride out of there, she calls again. No one answers. If they decide to change things up here and go with Monica being unable to get back to the people who she’s basically pledged her political loyalty to because they are basically hanging her out to dry, that might turn out to be kind of interesting. eh? I don’t know if we should count on that, if I’m being fair. This is an Italian movie that has more desire to show people getting beat up and showing off tits and ass than anything else.

Turns out, I was right because, while the movie could be going down that path about Monica and her allies, we have to go back to Diana trying to rape the first aid girl, Claudine, while kind of sexy music plays.

But wait just a minute… As Claudine is whimpering and protesting, Pierre comes in and tries to break it up. He tells Diana to let her go, but Diana starts kind of pushing him around and what not. Remember, Pierre probably has a bullet lodged in his torso. Monica beats Diana up and tells her that if Pierre doesn’t pull through, she’ll kill her.

Okay, not too bad of a development here. What’s more, a little bit of action finally kicks in as the police arrive and surround the estate. Marco attempts to get the drop on his rapist, Erica, but he’s shot and dies. Who shoots him? I have no idea. Erica did have a gun, but he was holding her back the neck with her back to him. The only thing I can think of is that she put the gun behind her back and thought it was a cop and shot him herself. It’s the only explanation I have for this moment in the movie.

As the police continue to surround the place and asking the escapees to come out and surrender. Monica says that is the only way they’ll get out of this. The other girls have no intention of going back to jail. They’ll get so many years tacked onto their sentences, they’ll not get out unless in body bags. Besides, Monica has commie friends who will help her escape again. They’re far past fucked. So, they take Monica and throw her in the Judge’s study where he starts slapping her around for… reasons? Anyway, Diana, Betty, and Erica decide to force the cops to back off and let them go if they prove they will start killing the tennis team hostages. Diana wants 20 million in cash and a car to get out. She gives the cops two hours to comply or they’ll start killing hostages one every ten minutes until they do.

Back in the Judge’s study, he knocks out Monica. What’s he do next? Strips her. The Judge is going to rape Monica. HE IS GOING TO RAPE MONICA. Granted, she sucks, but he’s a judge and no one should get the treatment he’s grunting and slobbering to dish out. This movie is one of the sleaziest movies I’ve ever covered on this site, and I did The Beast in Heat about Nazi experiments that lead to bestiality.

But you know what? Just before the one hour mark in this movie, something kind of interesting happened. Early on, the most compelling characters in this movie were Monica, Anna, and the Judge. Anna was mostly intelligent and mostly level-headed while trying to offer sympathy and comfort to the other tennis players. The Judge wasn’t much more than being bowled over by these women who invaded his home and took control of it, but I’ll come back around to him. Monica was someone who actually had a cause. It’s thinly written, but she’s a political activist, and, as the story goes, was based on a situation from real life where a woman terrorist in Northern Italy was spouting off Communist rhetoric and creating problems and such.

Okay, that’s interesting. The more the Judge and Monica talked about what she was doing and how she was not a complete dummy and not someone who would seemingly throw away her life and stuff, you could see the movie moving into a direction where she becomes less radicalized or they find middle ground to fight back against the crazed trio that Monica is kind of saddled with. That didn’t happen AT ALL. Just before this one hour mark, the rabid dogs that were the other three (Erica, Diana, and Betty) suddenly have some more interesting qualities. They don’t want to go back to prison. They know their lives are over if they give themselves up to the cops. It’s fight now or die one way or another. That’s now an interesting avenue this movie can travel.

It sure as hell isn’t anything Anna is doing at this stage of the movie. She might as well be making sandwiches and getting coffee for everyone in the house. Monica accepts defeat, and that’s kind of interesting. When it comes to the Judge, that whole character has become a walking catastrophe. He decides, at first opportunity, to commit the most heinous of all heinous crimes… on Monica… and she can’t do anything about it. All of a sudden, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I’m far more interested in these crazy broads willing to have a shootout with the cops than do anything else.

The cops now pull out their big gun… The women’s prison warden. She tells the girls that they are making things really bad for themselves. Erica is reacting quite negatively to hearing the warden tell them this. Betty tells the warden to come a little closer because Erica wants to have a word with her. Betty talks about how she would send for Erica at any hour of the day and night and it’s implied that she basically raped her. Erica takes a gun and guns down the warden to get her revenge.

The cops don’t do anything, despite the girls clearly standing right there at the windows they could be aiming at.

Yeah, I don’t believe it either, Erica.

Thanks to Erica blowing away the warden, the cops say they absolutely do not accept the girls’ terms. They are going to shoot to kill and they plan to basically go into the house to get the girls. The cops have to back off when Diana goes outside with one of the tennis players and threatens to kill her if they don’t cut it out with the shooting. After a little bit of time, the cops come back saying they are going to accept their terms and will get them the money and the car. The cops just… leave.

This is just after Diana and Betty decide to get the tennis players drunk on the cases of J&B that the Judge had in the house. Anna and Monica have a conversation about what Monica’s doing. Anna says there are other ways to fight against the system instead of throwing away her life and risking her life. Again, Monica claims the middle classes are ruining society. What the hell? Seriously… I understand that the middle class, in terms of Leninist Marxism, is what the proletariat is being abused and exploited by, which then means the upper class is abusing and exploiting the middle class, but whooo boy… And, yeah, the “middle class” is more the small business owners, not the people, like me, scraping by and finding it very difficult to bust out into a more comfortable living. Still, it’s definitely a term that is bad marketing on the part of an entire party – trust me, I’m a Leftist, we’re really bad at marketing our concepts and ideas into a digestible form that people can understand and accept.

Okay, so here’s the deal. The cops are quelling this story to look better. They tell the press that the girls must have slipped off and gotten away from wherever they went to immediately after escaping prison. There’s also the report of the missing girls’ tennis team that no one knows anything about. Monica says that it’s basically being all covered up. They don’t want the the public to know they had the girls and let them go. It seems that they will comply with their demands to get away. However, this only makes Erica, Betty, and Diana even more paranoid. They start getting a little angrier, and more suspicious that the cops are waiting right outside to gun them down or arrest them and throw them back into the pokey.

Alright, so here we are in the last five minutes of the movie. Monica is tied to a chair while Betty and Erica keep an eye on the windows for coppers. Anna decides she’s going to free Monica because maybe they’re pals now after one political disagreement in the cellar? The Judge is having a nightmare over raping Monica (as he should, the fucker). Diana has taken Claudine to a bedroom to have sex with her. Oh, and Claudine is too drunk to resist. That’s great. All the rest of the tennis team is drunk off their asses and partying.

How’s this going to end?

Anna unties Monica and Monica shoots Betty as she’s getting something to eat. Anna and Erica fight over a knife and Erica gets it in the gut. Diana goes out to see what’s going on and Monica stops her. They have a brief standoff before Monica shoots Diana square in the head. Anna goes to the cellar and tells the other girls it’s all over. The cops announce they have the car they requested.

Anna says Monica will likely shoot her the moment she steps outside. Terry says she’ll go with Monica, because solidarity and all, comrade. If nothing else, Terry might prevent the cops from shooting her. They run outside, get in the car, and as soon as they turn the corner out of the drive, the cops open fire and kill both the girls off screen while Anna cries out Terry’s name.

Uh… Okay.

This movie sucks. It’s hardly got a plot. It’s hardly got a script. It’s just a collection of sleaze held together by rape and snot. I’m not kidding, this is lower end of all the movies I’ve ever covered on this blog. Every time they zig to do something interesting, the movie then immediately zags to fuck it up. There’s little to no reason to have the tennis team. They are mostly there to get the girls to the Judge’s house and then be used as bartering tools. Okay, sure, Anna is important and Claudine is not so much important as she is there to show off the depravity of Diana. The Judge is important because you can have him be over run and held as a captive in his own house. Okay, fine. But to make him a rapist too is low. There is barely a decent character in this movie. There are barely any characters in this movie.

What especially sucks is in the quality of this movie. It’s poorly edited. There are streaks in the film in many of the scenes. I know Severin warned me of this at the start of the movie. However, this is bad. The quality of what they had to work with to put this on Blu Ray and the quality of the content itself makes this unfathomable why people would want this movie. Maybe if you’re, like, the biggest women in prison film fan on the planet and you are a completionist, then I guess? But I’ve seen quite a few good women in prison flicks. Some were even kind of fun despite their own levels of depravity. This one, though? This one sucks.

Okay, let’s get out of here. Next week, there’s a better movie coming, and it has John Saxon in it! We’re going to 90s for a supernatural horror flick that definitely has a lot more positive for me to say about it. Join me in seven days for Hellmaster. But first! Tomorrow is the penultimate episode of the short, but sweet, fourth season of B-Movie Enema: The Series. It’s a little bit of a different kind of movie I’ve yet to host. Join me and Nurse Disembaudee for the film noir classic Blonde Ice!

So, yeah, go out there, comrades, and smash the bourgeoisie or… or something.

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