Director Stephen C. Apostolof (working here under his favored nom de plume of A.C. Stephen) was never much of a visionary when it came to the softcore smut he based his career on. He's remembered today primarily because of his partnership with celebrated Hollywood loser Edward D. Wood Jr., who penned a number of screenplays for Apostolof during his final years. Though their most well-known collaboration is the loopy graveyard striptease epic Orgy of the Dead, Wood also contributed words and situations to Apostolof films like Class Reunion, The Cocktail Hostesses, Beach Bunnies, and this logic-impaired women's prison picture. The plot is standard for the genre, with an innocent young thing getting punished for a crime she never committed and finding herself tangled with a very bad element. Wood's goofy touch shows through with some quotable dialogue ("Good Christ! A lesbian!") and the characters' willingness to make baffling decisions. The clumsy continuity can be attributed only to director Apostolof, though Wood is reported to have served as assistant director on the picture under the pseudonym "Dick Trent" (a name he used on some of his pornographic novels as well). Wood also appears onscreen as two different characters and hams it up with a desperate futility in his role as "Pops," the hapless air strip attendant. There's plenty of action (sexual and otherwise) in this lame-brained exploitation vehicle, and while none of the situations ring true in the least, the film's original audience was likely oblivious to the fact. Modern viewers with an interest in Wood's bizarre life and career will be among the few who find Fugitive Girls illuminating, though Renee Bond, a legendary porn starlet with a considerable cult following of her own, has plenty of screen time as the man-hungry Southern belle whose embezzled fortune gets the story moving.
by Fred Beldin review