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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Project IVC: Jess Franco's BARBED WIRE DOLLS (1975)


Jess Franco's Frauengefangnis (1975)

The VHS Archives Factsheet
Label: Imperial Video Corp.
Catalog: IVC101
Box Type: Clamshell
Year of Release: 1983
Runtime: 81:08
Print: 1.33:1 / English / No subs
Extras: None

About the Film
Director: Jess Franco
Year of Release: 1975
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Stars: Lina Romay, Martine Stedil, Paul Muller, Monica Swinn, Eric Falk
AKAs: Women's Penitentiary IV, Caged Women

Verbatim Box Synopsis
Women convicts are doomed to a fate worse than death, in a hell-hole of a prison in a South American jungle. They are ruled by a sadistic female warden with powers of life and death over her charges.  Each inmate lives in deadly fear of becoming the next object of the Warden's perverted sexual fantasies.  Once sent to the "Torture Chamber," they are never the same again, mentally or physically.  Sometimes they are carried out in a box.  Three of the most desperate women ultimately kill their tormentors in their dash for freedom.

U.S. Imperial Video Corp. sleeve! 

Imperial Video Corp. promotional poster, courtesy of Ed McHale, Jr.!

U.K. Vipco sleeve, swiped from The Vipco Blog

 Dutch Video for Pleasure sleeve, swiped from El Franconomicon!

Fan trailer, created by Bad Monster Films!

One of Uncle Jess' more ridiculously sleazy efforts, Barbed Wire Dolls, while certainly no masterpiece, showcases several justifiably famous setpieces guaranteed to stick to your brainpan for the rest of your life.  Plotwise, it's your typical women-in-prison offering, but as with most of Franco's work, it's all about the details.  Yup, this is the film that, in order to save film-stock, Jess shoots a slow-motion sequence in regular speed, with both him and Lina Romay feigning the lesser frame-rate, and not quite succeeding... Other "highlights" include your usual sadism and torture, with all sorts of beatings, torture and electrocution, but it's the "cigarette masturbation" bit that really drives home this one's level of grubbiness.  Worth a look, just to see how grimy the maestro can get.

Looking for Barbed Wire Dolls on VHS? It's available on Amazon here.

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© 2011 -- Bruce Holecheck. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. I've got a video dub of this. I rented it out decades ago and copied it. I should have kept the original and pretended to lose it. It was a Mom & Pop video store,anyway.