Caged Women (1976)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Prison Film, Sexploitation  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Switzerland, Germany  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Synopsis by Robert Firsching

One of cult director Jesus Franco's best-known efforts, this Swiss-West German co-production was his first collaboration with producer Erwin C. Dietrich, who would release numerous Franco efforts through his Elite Film studio. It seems like a standard women's prison tale, with Lina Romay as Maria, jailed for life after killing her father when he tried to rape her. There's a lesbian warden, more rape, torture, insanity, and so forth, with the obligatory conspiracy and a downbeat twist ending to round out the formula. What makes this film different from many others in the subgenre is its unremitting atmosphere of despair and sleaziness, a quality Franco and Dietrich also brought to the similar Greta, Haus Ohne Maenner two years later. Monica Swinn co-stars with Paul Muller, Ramon Ardid, and -- in an expectedly tacky bit of casting -- the director himself as Maria's lecherous father.