Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Bare Behind Bars (Oswaldo de Oliveira, 1980)

This just might be the WIP film to end all WIP films. AKA A Prisão, Bare Behind Bars is so cliché it seems hardly worth talking about. The only thing it is missing is that it was not shot in the Philippines.... then you notice how incredibly insane it is. It is a constant barrage of every WIP element there is; catfights, shower scenes, the sadistic lesbian warden, the swarthy laborer, sex slavery, fire hoses, the bare minimum uniform, rats in the halls. Then it goes further, but the real standout elements are the comedy and the rapid fire scene changes.

The comedy is great, not for its skilled delivery, but merely for its inclusion. It helped deflect what would otherwise be a rather grim film. The scene changes make it a real oddity, as there is almost no segue between them and only lip service paid to the tried-and-true WIP plot: the good girl wants to escape.

Probably the most interesting part of the film is the prison nurse, who apparently has no medical training at all; she just likes girls. As the film progresses you discover that she is completely nuts. The exchanges between her and the warden are often hilarious, the warden playing Dean Martin to her Jerry Lewis.

I got this as a Region 0, PAL format UK release. It is rated "18" ("X" in the US) and certainly earns it. There is a US release from Blue Underground Video that is widely available on the web. I do not know if it is from the same print, but typically their DVDs are of excellent quality. This one is for the serious WIP fans and has little to offer others. It is not as brutal as, say, the Ilsa films, but more so than Chained Heat and by far more than Caged Heat or Reform School Girls. Oddly, aside from Reform School Girls, it is a bit better than the rest (in certain respects).

They have a shirt button shortage.

"I wish we got to take showers."

The butchest of butch guards.

Oh, they do more than kiss through that hole.

"You little guys are my only friends."

She's no Dyanne Thorne, but then who is?

A tangle of legs for those so inclined.


Dave said...

where can you get this film :)

Darius Whiteplume said...

Blue Underground seems to have it in stock still. and likely Amazon.

Unknown said...

yeah this looks suprisingly interesting :)

Darius Whiteplume said...

It is pretty out there. Oddly, it reminded me of Wet Hot American Summer in the way it jumped from idea-to-idea/cliché-to-cliché.

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