Women in Cages


1h 18m 1971

Brief Synopsis

The inmates of a women's prison are tortured by the sadistic female guard who runs the place.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1971
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 13 Oct 1971
Production Company
New World Pictures
Distribution Company
New World Pictures
Country
Philippines and United States
Location
Manila,Philippines

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)

Synopsis

In the Philippines, Carol "Jeff" Jeffries, the naïve American girl friend of local crime syndicate boss Rudy Diaz, is arrested for trafficking in drugs when Rudy, who has just picked up a package of heroin, becomes aware that the police are about to close in on him and so slips the package into the unwitting Jeff's purse. Visiting Jeff in jail before her trial, Rudy asks her to keep quiet about his involvement and promises that his attorneys will win her release. Because Jeff refuses to testify against Rudy, she is sentenced to ten years of labor at a women's prison camp called the "Infierno," where she meets Alabama, the sadistic black matron who hates all white people. Jeff is imprisoned in a cell with Stoke, a junkie, Theresa, who is Alabama's lover, and Sandy Grainger, who has been sentenced for killing her husband. To make sure that Jeff cannot betray him, Rudy sends his lawyer, Jorge, to offer Stoke money and heroin in exchange for killing Jeff. After Stoke agrees, Jorge passes her a poisoned sandwich to give to Jeff. BecauseJeff has lost her appetite, she leaves the sandwich on the floor, where the next morning, she finds a dead rat that has taken a bite from it. Theresa, who has spent the night with Alabama, returns to the cell and when Sandy taunts her about being a lesbian, Theresa pulls a knife. Breaking up the fight, Alabama orders Sandy taken to the "play pen," a torture chamber where she is encased in lead boots and punished. Later, as the prisoners are made to perform hard labor in a cane field, Jeff wonders about the possibility of escape, but is warned that all those who have tried have been tracked down and killed. That night, Alabama ushers Theresa into her room, but after Theresa passionately bites her, Alabama lashes her with a whip in retaliation. To further punish Theresa, Alabama chooses Stoke as her treat for the night, but when Stoke rejects her advances, Alabama takes her to the play pen and straps her to the torture wheel. When Stoke is returned to the cell, bloodied and battered, Theresa mentions that she knows her way through the jungle and suggests that they try to escape. Soon after, Sandy's attorney, Jerry, notifies her that the police have agreed to accept a plea of self-defense for her husband's murder if Sandy can convince Jeff to testify against the syndicate. That night, Stoke, still trying to kill Jeff, sees a snake slithering at the window and, prying a plank from her bed frame, snares the reptile and slips it onto the sleeping Jeff. After Jeff wakes up screaming, Sandy crushes the reptile with a bucket. Shaken, Jeff asks Theresa to help her escape and invites the others to join them. Their plan is thwarted, however, when instead of being sent to the fields for the day, the prisoners are held back to meet some visiting dignitaries. When the Commandant asks for an honest appraisal of the conditions at the prison, Jeff blurts out that the prisoners are treated like animals and is promptly incarcerated in "the hole" as punishment. Upon being released, Jeff is even more determined to escape. The next day, after trackers bring back the dead bodies of two escaped prisoners, Jeff realizes that they must formulate a new escape plan. Having discovered that the hole leads into the prison's sewage system, Jeff proposes using the sewer tunnels as a path to freedom. After convincing one of the guards to escort them to the chapel so that they can say a prayer for the dead prisoners, they hit her over the head with a candelabra, rendering her unconscious, then steal her rifle and sneak through the darkened prison yard into the hole. As they are prying off the grate to the tunnel, Alabama discovers them, but Stoke and Theresa manage to knock her out and take her hostage. As they are fording a stream, Stoke stops to inject herself with drugs and accidentally drops her prison robe, which floats downstream. As the fugitives camp for the night, the police, who are on their trail, find Stoke's robe and realize that she must be on her way to the village of Fuente Verde, where one of her syndicate contacts lives. Later, when the recalcitrant Alabama tries to flee, the fugitives decide to tie her to a tree and leave her behind. As they continue on through the jungle, however, Theresa finds herself unable to desert her lover, and runs back to Alabama. After lashing her with a switch, Theresa falls passionately upon her. Just then, the trackers arrive and rape and kill them. As Sandy and Jeff wait for Theresa to return, Stoke points the rifle at them and orders them to continue to Fuente Verde, where she assures them her acquaintance will be able to ferry them to safety. Unknown to Sandy and Jeff, Stoke's acquaintance procures prostitutes for Rudy's floating brothel, the Zulu Queen . Stoke arranges to hand over the unwitting women to the procurer for five hundred dollars each, after which the procurer contacts the Zulu Queen to dispatch a launch to pick them up. As Jorge picks up Stoke and Jeff, the police arrive and apprehend Sandy, who is then reunited with Jerry, who reassures her that she will be pardoned. Onboard the Zulu Queen , Jeff is happy to see Rudy until he informs her that he plans to enslave her as a prostitute. At police headquarters, meanwhile, Capt. Acosta outlines a plan to rescue Jeff and bring her ashore to testify against Rudy. Dressed as drunken sailors, Acosta and another policeman go aboard the Zulu Queen , and upon locating Jeff, Acosta tells her to dive off the deck as he holds off the thugs. Pursued by Rudy's men, Jeff dives into the waters below, followed by Acosta and the other policeman, who are all picked up by a waiting police boat. As the boat speeds off, Stoke is left behind to service Rudy's customers.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1971
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 13 Oct 1971
Production Company
New World Pictures
Distribution Company
New World Pictures
Country
Philippines and United States
Location
Manila,Philippines

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)

Quotes

What kind of hell did you crawl out of?
- Jeff
It was called Harlem, baby. I learned to survive, never have pity. This game is called survival. Let's see how well you can play it. I was strung-out behind smack at ten and worked in the streets when I was twelve. You've got a long way to go.
- Alabama
No one escapes from my prison, no one!
- Alabama
This is going to be just like home, only different!
- Alabama

Trivia

Notes

Although onscreen credits anglicize the names of actors Bernard Bodine and Charles Davis, Filmfacts uses the actors' Philippine names, Bernard Bonnin and Charlie Davao. Although the film was released in Los Angeles in October 1971, Motion Picture Almanac lists it as a January 1973 release. Judy Brown, Roberta Collins and Pamela Grier also appeared together in the 1971 women's prison film The Big Doll House, which was made by the same company and also filmed on location in the Philippines.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1972

Released in United States 1972