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Caged Heat

By Sean Axmaker

The greatest women-in-prison film ever made, Caged Heat takes the traditional sex-and-violence formula of gorgeous babes behind bars, gratuitous nudity, and degradation at the hands of beastly guards and a corrupt system, and transforms it into rebel burst of grrrl power. Jonathan Demme's directorial debut, made for Roger Corman's New World Pictures in the glory days of Super70s drive-in moviemaking, wedges his message of empowerment in between the showers and the shock treatments. Russ Meyer alumnus Erica Gavin stars with tough cookie Juanita Brown as they lead the brassy set of cellblock babes through prison breaks and bank robberies, all pulled off with smarts and sass. These women are in control and manage to keep their dignity (if not their clothes) in this fast-paced, hard-edged picture, but it's Barbara Steele who practically steals the film as the repressed warden whose dreams look like a road show version of Cabaret.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Jonathan Demme

Stars: Juanita Brown, Erica Gavin

Released: September 5, 1974

Availability: DVD VHS


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