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DVD Review: Caged Heat

Caged Heat was originally released in 1974 with the tag line "Women's prison U.S.A. - Rape Riot and Revenge! White Hot Desires melting cold prison steel!" Now it's being released on DVD as part of the Roger Corman Early Films Collection, which is made up of other such films as Brain Dead, Big Doll House, Cheyenne Warrior, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, Jackson County Jail, My Brother's War, Suburbia, Fire On The Amazon, Big Bad Mama, Death Race 2000, and Rock 'n' Roll High School. Bottom line here, as you may have already guessed, if any of these titles were made today, they would have been straight to video releases.

Caged Heat is about a group of female inmates who have it especially rough thanks to a wickedly cruel wheelchair-ridden warden (superintendent) and a demented doctor. Jacqueline "Jackie" Wilson is the newest of the inmates, sentenced to 10-40 years. Oh, and apparently in this prison they make you wear whatever you happened to have on at the time of the arrest, which is also the same clothes that the county makes you wear during your trial. Kinda weird, considering we do on rare occasions get to see the women wearing some sort of uniform-like apparel.

Caged Heat Anyway, after Jackie's sentenced to prison, we are treated to a dream sequence involving a beautiful blonde being fondled through the bars by her man... and for some reason she's holding a giant knife. Not sure what that had to do with anything, but alright. Next we have Jackie and two new inmates arrive at the prison, where their told by the doctor to strip. "I don't like this ritual any more than you do" he says. Yeah, right. That's why he says their gonna start off with some for calisthenics. "Let's start off with deep knee bends" he says.

Caged Heat So Jackie does her best to fit in and not make any waves. She meets some of some of the other inmates, and learns that one of them is a kleptomaniac. Before long, it's her turn to have a weird dream. Guess it's an inmate requirement or something. The next day, the women all get a chance to sit down and take in a show put on by their fellow inmates, only the wicked warden doesn't take too kindly to the sexually-related content. And guess what? When she goes and lays down, she has a weird dream! I don't know about you, but I'm thinking there might be something in the water.

Caged Heat Okay, so lets just skip to it, shall we. There's solitary confinement: naked. There's the shower scenes: naked. There's the cat fight-wrestling on the shower floor: wet shirts and panties... close enough to naked. There's the electroshock therapy, where the doc strips the woman naked and takes photos. So yeah, there's plenty of naked female bodies in here. But the action really gets going when the women just can't take any more and break out of prison. But not everyone makes it out, so the ones that do concur that they have to go back and rescue the others from the evil superintendent and demented doctor.

Caged Heat In this movie, I really didn't know what to expect... other than nakedness. I didn't know where it was going or what was going to happen next, and that in itself was refreshing. I liked the fact that the movie didn't end when they broke out, and I liked the various tragedies that happened throughout. I also liked seeing the boom microphone make the occasional guest appearance. I would have liked a bit more of a comedic touch in parts, but overall it ended up being a decent way to waste some time. Would I spend $20 on it? No way. But it'd make for a good rental.

Caged Heat was released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment on DVD starting December 26, 2005.

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