So where does that put "Caged Fury," a very late Women-in-Prison entry made in 1990? By that point, the genre had morphed from the serious cautionary tales of the 30s and 40s into the "roughies" of the 60s, making way for kinky imports in the 70s, and the eventual trickling-out of borderline-fetish flicks in the 80s. Well, it turns out "Caged Fury" is a very stupid movie that uses its own stupidity like a judo move, using the viewer's own cynicism against him by providing a twist ending that collapses all the conceits of the genre in on itself. It's like going through a rabbit hole found in a Poison video and emerging in H.G. Lewis' infinitely quotable girls-gone-bad flick "Scum of the Earth." "Caged Fury" is fucking weird, and amazing in its weirdness.
***I'm not quite sure why I'm giving you a spoiler warning for a twenty-plus-year-old Women-in-Prison movie, but I guess if you want all the fragrant freshness of its story to unfold in a pure fashion, you'd better stop reading here***
|"What do you mean, I look like a tourist?"|
|In a just world, this happens to everyone who wears Zoobas.|
Once the two women are behind bars, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary prison. Things are extremely rapey behind these walls, and Warden Sybil Thorn (f'reals) takes sadistic pleasure in doling out kinky punishments to her charges. As a matter of fact, not only is this not an ordinary prison--it isn't a prison at all. Everything after the audition-gone-wrong is a fiendish ruse by a gang of white slavers to brainwash the girls before auctioning them off to wealthy clients.
So yes--everything that happened that made you think "gee, I'm pretty sure the American justice system doesn't work this way" or "I'm pretty sure Frederick's of Hollywood doesn't provide prison uniforms" was done on purpose. Set your minds to "blown" because you just got pantsed by a sleazy genre movie.
|Sex Panther Cologne: 60% of the time, it works every time.|
|A band composed entirely of Steve Stevenses.|
It might be due to the unrepentant ugliness of the time, but "Caged Fury" is not a sexy movie in spite of it being crammed full of sex-occurrences. The leading ladies aren't especially appealing, and there's a meanness behind the various assaults, tortures, and rapes that contrasts with the goofiness of much of the movie. It's an adolescent approach to sex that is, by turns, uncomfortable and hilarious. Also: Ron Jeremy has a cameo as a prison guard, and it's been proven by science that nothing "The Hedgehog" appears in can be sexy.
And yet, none of this unsexy grossness gets in the way of my enjoyment of "Caged Fury"--in fact, it actually enhances my delight. It's a perfect combination of adolescent-boy machismo and adolescent-boy glee at seeing boobs (any boobs, in any context). This movie takes one to a paradise of lunkheadery, and should be celebrated for its shamelessness.
See more images from "Caged Fury" on Flickr.