Women's prison U.S.A. - Rape Riot and Revenge! White Hot Desires melting cold prison steel!
A girl is caught in a drug bust and sent to the hoosegow.
A girl is caught in a drug bust and sent to the hoosegow.
Juanita Brown Roberta Collins Erica Gavin Ella Reid Cheryl Smith Barbara Steele Warren Miller Crystin Sinclaire Toby Carr Rafelson Mickey Fox Irene Stokes Cynthia Songé Ann Stockdale Dorothy Love Carol Terry Layla Bias Galloway Essie Hayes John Aprea Carmen Argenziano Gene Borkan Mike Gray Gary Littlejohn Rob Reece Patrick Wright Jack O'Riley Donald Heitzer Mike Shack Gary Goetzman Ginna Martine Show All…
Caged Heat!, Renegade Girls, Caged Females, Celas em Chamas
"My name is Craaaaaaazy, honey, what's yours!?"
There are certain actors, that work best in trashy environments like this. You probably wouldn't call them good per se, but their special kind of quality shouldn't be missed either. You hear things like "You put Daniel Day-Lewis/ Robert De Niro/ Leonardo DiCaprio in any movie and they'll make it better" very often, but I think they would be completely lost in this.
This movie can only work with actors like Juanita Brown or Crystin Sinclair, who can storm a bank, realize it's already being robbed and take over, without even breaking a sweat.
"NO!" - stenciled on the wall of the prison
A lot of Women in Prison movies are sexually perverse, but CAGED HEAT is perverse in entirely other ways. What weird sense of humor led to putting Barbara Steele in giant eyeglasses and a wheelchair? What youthful art-school pretensions led Demme to stick Felliniesque dream sequences in the middle of this ramshackle genre exercise? It's like he hadn't seen another WIP movie, and didn't care what the conventions were. And it's great for all of the above reasons.
Compulsively watchable, which is probably the thickest thread that connects this to Demme's later work. It's funny, cool, socially conscious, and doesn't fall in the nasty misanthropy quicksand that prison movies so often get sucked into - improbably enough, it even morphs into a road movie in the last third. VIP is Barbara Steele as the steelily unbalanced prison warden McQueen. If you ever wanted to watch a women-in-prison movie with a John Cale score, congrats, you can.
Famous grindhouse trash from the 70's, not nearly as sleazy as I would have assumed. Directed by Jonathan Demme, looks like it may have been a fun movie to work on though.
“my name’s Crazy, honey. what’s yours?”
35mm. Austin Film Society.
Jonathan Demme was very much part of the Roger Corman machine in 1974 when he decided it was time to direct. He had written and produced Angels Hard as They Come and The Hot Box, and second unit directed parts of Fly Me. Roger told him to write a Women in Prison script and he could direct it. Demme wrote it and for whatever reason Corman decided he didn't want to put up the money for it but told him if he got it financed New World would distribute it.
Four weeks and $180,000 later Caged Heat was in the can and Jonathan Demme had made his first masterpiece.
I truly mean masterpiece, not "considering the low budget" or "compared…
The Grand Illusion of the gals-behind-bars bin, or at the very least its The Battle of Algiers. The setting isn't the Third World mud-wrestling pits of the usual AIP potboiler, but the Southern California of "agricultural therapy," roadside motels and bank robbers in Disney masks: Jonathan Demme's America. The Connerville Institute for Women is the "violent sorority" where wised-up toughies, damaged waifs and other incarnations of female victimization peek through grilled windows and dream of brief little Maya Deren send-ups. (Differently but equally oppressed, prudish warden Barbara Steele escapes into a fantasy of her own, where she ditches her wheelchair, unfurls her severe bun and puts on a long-legged cabaret act.) The new fish (Erica Gavin) arrives courtesy of a…
What kind of a women-in-prison movie would a young Jonathan Demme make? A very strange one.
A Renegade Women Co. Production
Demme subverts the women-in-prison formula just as much as he tows the line, jamming dream sequences, drag performances, and a double (!) robbery between the genre-mandated plot points. The result is still a bit of a mixed bag, but one that adds some color and smart, legitimate entertainment to a genre that's usually as dull as the ubiquitous grey cell walls. Of course, having Erica Gavin, Barbara Steele, and a who's who of other mid-70s exploitation actresses filling out the cast doesn't hurt, either.
Not sure why it took me so long to get to this little nugget of WIP trash with its unusual pedigree (Jonathan Demme directing for Corman). It doesn’t particularly stand out in terms of themes and general grindhouse violence and nudity, certainly not the way the first few Female Convict Scorpion films transcend the WIP genre. But the editing in particular introduces a certain surreal, parodic quality that’s kind of mesmerizing. Still, for sheer fun I prefer the ridiculously OTT Chained Heat.
As you would expect from a Women in Prison film, campy, lots of nudity, some real bad acting since wild silly dialogue. Would have loved more humor intentional or other wise. Really similar to Black Momma White Mama., but with a much weaker cast.
I dunno, I just can't vibe with most Demme movies. The easygoing humor and warmhearted optimistic worldview where everyone gets along and the best in people usually emerges are so far away from my headspace, I almost feel like I'm watching a movie made by some benevolent alien high on our species. Caged Heat has some great moments, like that bank robbery scene, but it's still mostly an AIP women in prison movie with a few Demme flourishes. And your mileage will vary based on your fondness for his work. Chalk this up to a matter of personal taste, I guess. I just couldn't get into it.
I watched this at work. A fun, short lil romp that is fairly realised and has somewhat of a mature take on the women-in-prison genre. The dream sequences were unexpectedly surreal. Jonathan Demme was destined for great things (obviously referencing Stop Making Sense)
Solid directorial debut from Jonathan Demme. It is an exploitation film, but Demme is able to inject some interesting feminist themes in the picture. Has one of the best close up shots of a dog you will see in any film. Demme’s first collaboration with Tak Fujimoto!
i mean, cmon!
i thank god every day that the bev was able to reopen to resume showing me pieces of shit like this
35mm double bill at the New Bev. The “Women In Prison” genre was popular on the grindhouse market in the late 60’s and 70’s that produced some whacky and fun films. One of the more memorable ones is Caged Heat, which is the debut feature film of Oscar winning director Johnathan Demme (who made a little film called Silence Of The Lambs). Every maestro has to start somewhere.
There was also a grindhouse trailer show that showed original previews of original prints for other women in prison films from that era including The Muthers, Women In Cages, and The Hot Box.
But this is actually a good debut. Not to mention it was shot, this was a pleasant surprise, by Tak…
“I’m gonna knock your teeth so far down your throat, you’ll have a picket fence for your asshole!”
Folks, this movie is poetry in motion.
My names crazy what’s yours?
(New Beverly 35mm)
It’s exciting to see Demme’s hallmarks ooze through the cracks of his first film, this typical women in prison movie for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. Some notable ones:
-The “looking straight into the lens” shot that PTA would lovingly make his own
-Tak Fujimoto’s roving camera that tilts as it tracks around the prison bars
-The choice to have an eccentric musician score his film (John Cale of “Velvet Underground”)
The movie itself is not so hot. Barbara Steele is always great to see, there are some hilarious and memorable lines, and the scenes outside of the prison can be great fun (particularly the bank robbery). Unfortunately, most of Caged Heat is kind of boring. Perhaps it…
Anyone know if the American Sex Academy is still accepting students for the summer semesters?
The fact that they said “hoosegow” in the synopsis is the joy and honor I was looking for when logging Demme’s super sleeper.
It’s crazy to think that Jonathan Demme directed this. But it’s understandably his debut, and I’ll give it this, it’s a little kookier than most exploitation flicks. We've got Barbara Steele playing a prison superintendent in a wheelchair, a prison worker gets their ear blown off, and another gets a round up their ass and farts. And we have Cheryl Smith from the Runaways too, who is quickly becoming one of my fav stars.
Not a bad time!
One hot mess of a film full of sassy characterful performances.
A definite cut above the usual exploitation women in prison fare
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