DVD Review: Women in Prison Triple Feature

Summer just got even hotter with Linda Blair, Sylvia Kristel and Sybil Danning getting busted. Mr. Skin Presents: Women in Prison Triple Feature is a cinematic threesome from the ‘80s that presents women locked up around the world. Thrill to the sight of life behind the thick walls and hard metal confines of Los Angeles, East Germany and Latin America. This is much better than a weekend marathon of prison action on MSNBC.

Chained Heat (1983 – 98 minutes) is the dazzler of the collection. Linda Blair gets tossed into the joint for killing a guy with her car. She only has to serve 18 months in an urban Los Angeles women’s prison. But will the star of The Exorcist survive this small outpost of Hell? Sybil Danning (The Howling II) wants the fresh meat in the shower. She’s trouble to Blair. There’s a power struggle amongst the inmates on the drug action as they compete with the prison’s brain trust for clients. John Vernon (National Lampoon’s Animal House) is a warden with an office that looks like a mini-Playboy mansion. He has a special relationship with the better inmates. Ever wonder why a guy like Vernon ends up in a film like this?

Watch his face when naked Penthouse Pet Monique Gabrielle hops in the hot tub with Vernon. That isn’t acting. That’s reacting.

The film has a great gritty look to the prison. Cinematographer Mac Ahlberg went on the lens The Brady Bunch Movie, Good Burger and Evil Bong. The violence and sex level is amped up between harsh justice dished out to snitches along with group showering scenes. Stella Stevens (The Silencers) and Henry Silva (Ocean’s 11) have major roles to beef up the star power inside the slammer.

Red Heat (1985 – 93 minutes) gets Linda Blair dragged on the wrong side of the border. She arrives in West Germany to marry her military boyfriend (William Ostrander). They go to a swanky hotel for a romantic time. The love takes a detour when he gives her the news that he’s re-enlisting for another tour of duty. She can’t stand it. While outside blowing off steam, she’s kidnapped and taken into the commie East Germany. She gets completely railroaded into cold, nasty women’s prison. This time she gets on the wrong side of Sylvia Kristel (Emmanuelle). Even though this prison is on the other side of the world, there’s still plenty of group showering. Ultimately Blair’s man does his best to break his woman out from behind the Iron Curtain since there’s no hope of reasoning with the commies. Years later this title would be used for an Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle.

Jungle Warriors (1984 – 95 minutes) isn’t quite a women in prison flick. It’s more like models go to a tropical hell. Marjoe Gortner (Food of the Gods) takes a bevy of beauties to a small Latin American country to pose for a magazine. He’s looking for lush and exotic views while hoping to get laid. Little does he know the place is run by a major drug kingpin, John Vernon has arrived to make a major deal. Vernon once more acts from the gut instead of off the script. Sybil Danning returns as the sadistic sister of the drug kingpin. Eventually the models get taken hostage by Woody Strode (Spartacus) and locked up in the drug kingpin’s torture chamber. This is what makes it count as a women’s prison location.The ladies must escape to freedom or end up dating Vernon.

Mr. Skin Presents Women in Prison Triple Feature keeps touch with the conventions of the genre without being completely formulaic. Chained Heat stands above the other two entries so you’ll be wanting to play it last during a summer marathon. Act fast if you’re curious about picking up Women in Prison. Turns out the rights expire by the end of the year. Grab this now before you’ll have to commit a crime to afford a second hand copy.

The video for all three films is 1.78:1 anamorphic. Chained Heat looks the best of the bunch. Red Heat and Jungle Warriors has more grain quality, but that’s probably from the low light location work. The audio is mono for all three films. You can hear them talk over the shower action.

Mr Skin Introductions are minute long segments that break down the nudity in the film.

Captain Taylor Unchained: An Interview with Stella Stevens (11:13) swears they had a script.

Ericka in Heat: An Interview with Sybil Danning (11:22) lets the legendary ‘80s tough gal be tender.

Theatrical Trailers are provided for Chained Heat (2:08), Red Heat (2:40) and Jungle Warriors (1:36).

Mr. Skin Presents Women in Prison Triple Feature is a must buy for fans of the female penitentiary genre. Chained Heat and Red Heat give twice the experience of Linda Blair being locked up in two different continents. Chained Heat appears to be uncut which is good since the film has been butchered in a variety of ways over the years.

Panik House Entertainment presents Mr. Skin Presents Women in Prison Triple Feature. Starring: Linda Blair, John Vernon, Sybil Danning, Henry Silva, Marjoe Gortner and Sylvia Kristel. Boxset Contents: 3 movies on 2 DVDs. Released on DVD: July 12, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.