A girl is caught in a drug bust and sent to the hoosegow.
Director Jonathan Demme’s first feature made for producer Roger Corman’s New World Pictures was a low-budget, B-grade campy sexploitation classic. Demme’s film is generally considered one of the best of its type – an “innocent females in prison” film, advertised as:
“White Hot Desires Melting Cold Prison Steel!”
It showcased various attractive and empowered tough women in prison and was designed for the ‘drive-in’ crowd. Various punishments included illegal electro-shock experimental therapy (and lobotomies), assembly-line group showers, torture, and nude solitary confinement for black inmate Pandora (Ella Reid).
Its most notorious character was sadistic McQueen (scream queen veteran Barbara Steele) – the wheelchair-bound, repressive, and semi-lesbian prison warden. The prison’s perverted and twisted Dr. Randolph (Warren Miller) performed full cavity searches, raped drugged prisoners – and took Polaroid pictures of one naked conquest, kleptomaniac Belle Tyson (Roberta Collins).
It featured frequent exploitative shower sequences, showing off some of the imprisoned females, including waifish blonde Lavelle (Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith) and Jacqueline Wilson (Erica Gavin, Russ Meyer’s favorite), who was bullied by black Maggie (Juanita Brown).
After a successful prison break and bank robbery, the two escapees (the unlikely pairing of Jackie and Maggie) joined up with a third friend Crazy Alice (Crystin Sinclaire), and decided to return to the prison and free their fellow inmates.
Director: Jonathan Demme
Tags: Barbara Steele, Caged Heat, Caged Heat Online, Cheryl Smith, Crystin Sinclaire, Ella Reid, Erica Gavin, Free movies 1974, Juanita Brown, Mickey Fox, Roberta Collins, Toby Carr Rafelson, Warren Miller