There are women in prison movies and then there’s Barbed Wire Dolls aka Frauengefangnis from Jess Franco. For most of the move you’re not entirely sure if there is a narrative going on save for the subtle relationship building activities of a group of imprisoned women who feel the need to walk around naked, pantless or, if clothed at all, still showing their entire body somehow. Most women in prison films seem to have common elements and Barbed Wire Dolls clearly shares those elements, but there is also a unique element to this particular entry. It is rather gorgeous. It’s pretty prison. Not necessarily clean, but it is filled with stunning beauties who are arranged in cells that are perfect for physical education.
Synopsis from Ascot Elite:
Franco exploitation at it’s finest!! Sadistic torture and perversion are only a small taste of what poor Maria (Lina Romay) has in store for her after she is sent to prison for killing her father while he trying to rape her!! Not long after being imprisoned, Maria is sent to a particularly nasty section of the jail run by an evil lesbian who finds a certain pleasure in the pain she inflicts. Maria’s only hope for survival is escape, but can she find the courage to do so??
Typically we follow a lead female prisoner through her internment into prison. We understand the reason why she enters prison either legitimately or not followed by her initial initiation or hazing into prison culture. From there she forms alliances with her fellow inmates both socially, sexually and from a point of utility and then the rebellion begins. There’s a catalyst. A reason to escape. Barbed Wire Dolls does follow this pattern to a T though there are moments that seem to suggest that our heroines are quite happy munching each others’ bodies rather than escaping from “Hell”. Of course there’s a wicked warden, torture and experimentation.
The quality of the picture itself along with the lack of jungle setting seems to really differentiate Barbed Wire Dolls. The prison our protagonists are entombed in is more like a beautiful, tourist attraction castle than a jail. The women inside are stunning displaying absolutely wonderful 70’s mounds of beautiful pubic hair flowing like rivers into the ocean and tear drop breasts that will make you cry. Sure there’s moment of duress when one of the women is tortured, but rest assured that you will in no way find the torture realistic. The electro shock bed that seems to correlate with the light going on and off on a mattress-less bed is especially humorous. It’s important not to have to take your women in prison movies too seriously lest you end up with films like Men Behind the Sun which features realistic portrayals of atrocities rather than fictional accounts of women being coaxed into sex. The light-hearted nature of this picture is signature Jess Franco who would rather have you cringe for a moment between orgasms rather than cringe to the point of disinterest in orgasm.
Of course Franco’s great love, Lina Romay is featured in this release. The extras include an interview with love Lina, Jesus Franco himself and Erwin C. Dietrich. The disc also includes an audio interview with Franco, a photo gallery and a featurette with Eric Falk and Dietrich (the producer) entitled Falks Frauen. This is a German release which means the cover is not in English. There is an English language track DTS-HD 5.1. It’s a gorgeous disc 1080p 1.78:1 AR.
This isn’t the first women in prison feature but it is clearly understand what the audience expects to see in this particular exploitation subgenre. Franco molds a rather unintelligent story line into his own brand of erotic pageantry filling the rooms with his troop of beautiful lovelies that he intends to win the day. After all, who wins in a women in prison flick? The clothed or the damn near always naked?