Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WIP Wednesday: "Caged Fury" (Bill Milling, 1989)

Sometimes with WIP films it is difficult to tell if the film is misogynistic or misandristic. Caged Fury is such a film. The men in the film are by-and-large scumbags, including the hero (Erik Estrada) to some degree, but the women are caricatures designed purely to provide stroke material for the male viewer (and a few females, I am sure). While female sexual "idealization" are certainly nothing new to WIP, in this case it does make one wonder which side the producers stand on. Do they want you to think men are vile, women are whores, or that humanity is all trash? Or, did they just want to make everyone as perverse as possible, hoping to make the grand-mother of WIP films?

Kascha, aka Alison LePriol
A hair metal themed romp through L.A.'s mean streets and penal system has two recognizable porn stars in the film; Ron Jeremy as "Pizza Face" and Kascha (listed as Alison LePriol) as an attempted escapee. In the opening scene all the male guards are sweaty, unshaven oafs who I certainly imagine had the smell of onions and Drakkar-Noir about them. Each female prisoner is wearing all white lingerie of a type you likely would not get into prison, including Kascha who attempts to escape in an overly small bra and thong. At the beginning, all the guards are male, but later on we meet some matrons who are just as foul.

This is full of all the WIP staples without being overly graphic. It is full of nudity, and the female prisoners do experience sexual assaults, but those assaults do not occur on screen. I am tempted to think this film is less misogynistic in that regard. Also in that the prisoners, who are often jaded, are reasonably real people when they are amongst themselves. Cartoony, but still displaying humanity in what capacity their acting skills allow.

The ending is (to me) quite interesting and not quite what I expected. At first I thought, "these writers know nothing about the judicial system," but I was wrong. I will not go into it, but it is part of the story.

IMDb Entry / Netflix / Not on Hulu or Fancast as of this posting.


Lisa said...

I think one has to watch those movies without the expectation of getting taught something.
If I would think about whether they are misogynistic or not, I would come to the conclusion: Yes they are. But I don't think that this is the purpose. I watch it to be entertained and I think that should be the main purpose, otherwise there will be the one side that is raging about the misogyny and the other side who totally agrees with the things happening (which would be a bit disgusting).

Darius Whiteplume said...

I do like to think about the motivation of these films because there are so many, and the ones with any staying power have to separate themselves from the herd. The way this one ends is remarkably plausible, if in places poorly executed. Jess Franco believes that there are interesting things that can be done with WIP, which I think he did with Ilsa: the Wicked Warden. This one reminds me of Sade's "The 120 Days of Sodom" where one of the libertines' daughters/wives was just as the male libertines. They, however do not like a woman to be as libertine as them and punish her for it. In the same way, Ilsa is not allowed to be as powerful as the men who drive her operation.

I guess that often the misogyny is on the part of the characters rather than the producers, and a lot can be discussed about sexual politics with these films. Of course I like to think exploitation has more to offer than titties and blood. :-)

Copyboy said...

I'm a sucker for all those metal 'n misogyny films. Caged Fury, the title says it all. Personally I think the tag for the film should read – horrific hair metal – with a heart.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Every rose has it's thorn... ;-)

M said...

Check out Ron Jeremy's first mainstream starring role in the new movie, "Beaches, Buns and Bikinis." Ron easily steps into a similar role played by comedian Morey Amsterdam in the 1960's "Beach Party." Ron portrays a wise beach sage who dispenses love advice to the young.

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