Women in prison films. They're full of communal shower scenes, lesbian guards, intimate body searches and endless gratuitous nudity, aren't they? Well, if they're any good, they are, and this 1980 Brazilian offering from Oswaldo De Oliveira is any good. This really is among the grimiest of grindhouse sleazefests that you'll ever see. The titillation factor is relentlessly pursued as the film lives up to its title. Hardly a minute passes without a naked nubile or several on screen. The prisoners are kitted out only in green, button-down long tee-shirt affairs. The guards are slightly more formally attired with their white blouses and sensible skirts. It seems to be a matter of choice about whether or not their blouses are buttoned or left undone. Underwear seems to be unheard of among prisoners or guards.
The prison setting is nastily squalid Even the rats are caked in filth. We even have a prisoner, naked of course, in solitary confinement befriending one of the rats. Prisoners petting rodents in films began before `The Green Mile'. After the film's lengthy, episodic preamble, the story focuses on three women who manage to escape. One has a dislike for a particular part of the male anatomy as we see to eye-watering effect. In fact, up until the escape, there is remarkably little violence in the proceedings. The "punishment beatings" that the prisoners receive are so unconvincing as to be inconsequential; there are no broken bones, blood or scars. For all the awfulness of their surroundings and existence, the prisoners, all good looking young women, are in remarkably good shape. The dialogue is dubbed into English, with, as is usually the case, embarrassingly awful results.
We can, then, safely assume that this film is not based on real life, and can enjoy it for the pantomime that it clearly is. The sex scenes are quite graphic and there are a couple of mild hardcore scenes included. In the U.K., the BBFC has refused to issue the film with a certificate, but thanks to Blue Underground we can now enjoy it in its uncut glory. The picture quality is superb, but unfortunately, the only extra on the DVD is the film's trailer. This is not a film that will win any awards, but in the exploitation genre it is a classic of its type.