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Gefangene Frauen

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    Ian Jane
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  • Gefangene Frauen



    Released by: Ascot Elite
    Released on: June 3rd, 2014.
    Director: Erwin C. Dietrich
    Cast: Karine Gambier, Brigitte Lahaie, Nadine Pascal, Eric Falk
    Year: 1980
    Purchase From Diabolik DVD

    The Movie:

    Directed by Erwin C. Dietrich in 1980 and blatantly cashing in on the women in prison craze popular at the time, Gefangene Frauen (or, Caged Women if you prefer) may be formulaic nonsense but it sure is a lot of trashy fun!

    When the story begins, the competition for 'MISS BEAUTIFUL BREAST' (or MISS BUSTN in German) is under way at a night club. Why? Because! From there, a bunch of soldiers head to a whorehouse and kidnap a group of hot women employed there - Rita (Brigitte Lahaie), Rosi (Nadine Pascal), Lisa (France Lomay) and a few others. These brutes bring these babes back to their prison fortress on a remote island surrounded shark infested waters! Here they're enslaved under the watchful eye of a leather festishist warden named Carla (Karine Gambier), a stern but sexy type who seems to have a thing for Nazi fashion sense. She tells the women in no uncertain terms that they're never going to escape the island, and to hammer this home she makes the prisoners undress and spend pretty much all of their time running around in the buff.

    As the girls become accustomed to their new surroundings the nightly visits from the male guards (one of whom is Eric Falk) become less and ordeal than a pleasure. Less fun, however, seems to be the examinations given by the creepy doctor who spends an unusual amount of time clipping the heads off of pictures of women he finds in various magazines. After the girls are forced to work at whatever task it is that this prison exists for in the first place (they throw some small rocks around here and there and that's about it) the inevitably work up the nerve to plan an escape. There's some wrestling, lots of masturbation, some light whipping and then, of course, the chance to break out… will the girls make it out alive or will they spend the rest of their lives having what looks to be really pleasurable sex and just sort of hanging out in the sun?

    Where most women in prison films tend to be more than a little sadistic, Gefangene Frauen takes a far more light hearted approach to forced captivity and the sex slave trade. Sure, these women are all held against their will and would probably rather get back to the whorehouse from whence they came but they seem to be having such a good time at the prison that… well, it's hard to get too worked up about their collective plight. Dietrich even shoots the film in such a way as to represent this train of thought - the movie is bright, colorful and playful and the prison is surrounded by some admittedly gorgeous locations. It's almost like these women have been given a holiday!

    As obviously sexist and politically incorrect as all of that may be, it's hard not to have a good time with this one. It wouldn't appear that you're supposed to take any of this too seriously, which is a good thing given that the scenes of combat are ridiculously low budget (a grenade going off looks more like a cheap smoke bomb effect). There are enough wacky elements, such as the doctor, the wrestling match and the silly shoot out towards the end, to keep this from ever getting too dark. And the cast? Well, the women are gorgeous. Both Lahaie and Gambier look fantastic here and Nadine Pascal is every bit their equal. The whole reason that this movie exists in the first place is really to just show these ladies off and on that level it's hard to deny the picture's success. Eric Falk is his typically ridiculous self here again and he's as fun to watch as you'd expect. So yeah, this film is unabashedly sexist and to some, that is potentially an issue, but for trash movie fans this is a gleefully stupid film that offers up a whole lot of dumb softcore fun.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Gefangene Frauen arrives on Blu-ray in AVC encoded 1080p high definition presentation, framed at 1.78.1 widescreen and like pretty much every other Dietrich/Franco Blu-ray release from Ascot Elite at this point, it's a strong upgrade over the previous DVD release. Some small specks show up now and again but there's no serious print damage or distracting scratches to bother complaining about. The elements used for the transfer were obviously in good excellent shape. Skin tones look nice and warm without ever coming across as too pink. Detail is really strong throughout and colors are reproduced very nicely here. There were no compression artifacts or edge enhancement issues noted at all - the movie translates to Blu-ray really nicely.

    Audio options are provided in both German and English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio tracks and in German Dolby Digital 2.0 options. The clarity of the English track is fine, but don't expect much in the way of surround activity as the rears are used primarily for the occasional bump in the score. Dialogue stays clean and clear and the music (a lot of which is going to be very familiar to those familiar with Dietrich's output from this time period!) has some good depth to it.

    There are quite a few extra features on this disc, but none of them have any English subtitles and they're all in German starting with an audio commentary track. There are also a few featurettes here, the first of which is entitled Sunshine-Judo auf Ibizia which interviews Falk and Dietrich, a lengthy twenty-five minute featurette entitled Peter Baumgartner, Filmkameramann (worth watching even with the language barrier for the plethora of behind the scenes photos), and a quick featurette that takes us behind the scenes of the recording of the audio commentary which amusingly shows the participants crammed into a small room and seemingly having a blast. The disc also includes a trailer for the feature, trailers for a few other Dietrich titles, menus and chapter selection.

    Once again, for the BD-Rom equipped out there, if you pop the disc into your computer you'll have access to a thirty-six page text interview with Dietrich from an issue of a German fanzine called Splatting Image. This is all in German but it's got some very cool pictures and stills accompanying it. Additionally, the disc also includes the complete text of the incredibly rare one hundred and ninety seven page book on Dietrich's films, Mädchen, Machos und Moneten: die unglaubliche Geschichte des Schweizer Kinounternehmers Erwin C. Dietrich. It's also all in German but it's loaded with pictures and archival images.

    The Final Word:


    Gefangene Frauen is a Euro-trash classic! It doesn't really bring anything new to the women in prison concept but it exploits its female cast beautifully and offers up a whole lot of wacky perversions and deliciously sleazy set pieces. It's a shame about the lack of subtitles on the substantial amount of supplements included here but the audio and video presentation is strong and the movie is a real kick.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




































    • Todd Jordan
      #1
      Todd Jordan
      Smut is good.
      Todd Jordan commented
      Editing a comment
      I always have known this one as Island Women from the old VHS label Private Screenings. It was my first, um, exposure to Brigitte Lahaie and pretty much the start of of love for trashy and dubbed movies. But I don't remember the boob contest at all. I remember the bunch of guards busting in and taking the girls from a whore house as the beginning. Hmmm...

    • Lalala76
      #2
      Lalala76
      Senior Member
      Lalala76 commented
      Editing a comment
      I just watched this tonight and I too cant remember that opening. Its interesting as the Beauty contest plays all out in German in my copy, which made me think that I had a faulty disc. I found myself toggling the audio options. As soon as it gets to the bordello the English audio kicks in. It also got me thinking, having not seen this for a long while how much it feels like Franco's WIP films. In fact If I didn't know it was Dietrich who directed this I would have thought it was. The elements are all there, including the odd dodgy camera zoom. Maybe Dietrich had a much bigger hand in the WIP films Franco made for him.
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