Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fugitive Girls (1974)

While the girls-in-prison genre has not historically generated an abundance of respectable movies, it would seem like the formula is simple enough—mistaken identity, false imprisonment, harassment by guards, sexual abuse by fellow inmates, brazen escape attempt, blah-blah-blah. Nonetheless, all bets are off whenever Edward D. Wood Jr. is involved. Revered as a titan of bad cinema thanks to Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) and other “classics,” the notorious Ed Wood cowrote this awful movie and also plays a supporting role. Wood’s co-conspirator was cowriter and director Stephen C. Apostolof, working under the name A.C. Stephen. By focusing too heavily on the quasi-pornographic elements of the storyline and by failing to present interesting villains (or, for that matter, distinct heroines), the filmmakers generate pure tedium instead of watchable trash. Things start out in the usual way. Dee (Margie Lanier) sleeps with a man who turns out to be a robber, and he dumps her at the scene of a crime. She’s arrested and sent to a women’s prison, where bullish inmate Kat (Tallie Chochane) rapes Dee the first night Dee is incarcerated. Then, without any explanation of why the women consider their imprisonment so untenable, Kat organizes a jailbreak and brings Dee along for a sexual plaything. After Kat’s quintet of escapees encounters trouble with a group of gypsies, the “fugitive girls” perform a home invasion that results in a scuzz-cinema riff on an iconic scene from A Clockwork Orange (1971)—the bit when criminals rape a woman while a helpless man watches from a wheelchair. The characterization and storyline of Fugitive Girls—also known as Five Loose Women—is abysmal, and the same can be said of the acting. (No surprise, seeing as how some of the actresses were plucked from the world of X-rated porn.) More than anything else, Fugitive Girls is a symphony of topless shots, with endless scenes of voluptuous women dancing, screwing, and stripping. After unleashing this dud onto an unsuspecting world, Apostolof and Wood reteamed for The Beach Bunnies (1976), which was the last of Wood’s projects released during his lifetime.

Fugitive Girls: LAME

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