King of Spanish sleaze, Jess Franco gave us this tepid women in prison flick about a chick (Franco’s wife and frequent muse Lina Romay) who goes to prison after shooting her jewel thief husband. The slimy warden thinks she’s got the 411 on the diamonds’ location so he tries to get his mistress to learn the diamonds’ whereabouts. Romay eventually escapes with the help of a skuzzy insurance investigator (Franco) who she eventually double crosses.
Franco turns down the sleaze quotient on this one but it still has enough nutty moments to warrant a look from die hard Franco-philes. There’s some whipping and the requisite lesbian scenes, as well as a particularly well executed shock treatment to the nether regions sequence, but shame on Franco for making a women in prison flick that features absolutely NO shower scenes! You know better than that Jess. Half star deduction. At least he tries to make up for it in the nudity department as there are nearly two dozen breasts on display.
Franco films all the other scenes that don’t feature nudity in a fairly lethargic manner. The camera hopelessly zooms around looking for something interesting to film with minimal results. Once Romay finally gets to prison, Franco also utilizes this technique, but lucky for us, the cameraman usually finds a nice furry 70’s bush to zoom in on.
Another thing about this movie is that it’s called Women Behind Bars, but I only counted FOUR bars in the whole movie. We never see the bars from afar; which makes me think this was filmed in some vacant warehouse and Franco just put up four lead pipes in front of the camera to simulate a jail cell.
At least there is no shortage of cheesy dialogue. My favorites include: “How did you kill him? Was it brutal or refined?”, “If you tell anybody about this, I’ll slit your gullet!”, and “Turn around, I’m tired of looking at your ugly face!”