Director: Oswaldo De Oliveira
Blue Underground

Blue Underground, the invaluable DVD company which brought you “Women In Prison” (WIP) exploits such as Jess Franco’s 99 WOMEN (no doubt the film that spearheaded dozens of worldwide imitations) and his sickening SADOMANIA, now present this Brazilian-made effort helmed by Oswaldo De Oliveira. Even if you’ve seen most of the other countless WIP films made over the last few decades, nothing can prepare you for the jaw-dropping experience that is BARE BEHIND BARS, released here on DVD in its uncensored full-strength X version. Make sure the wife or girlfriend is out of the house, invite some buddies over, make sure the icebox is jammed with cold longnecks, order a stack of pizzas and let this baby rip!

In a rat-infested women’s penitentiary somewhere in South America, young female inmates are subjected to hose downs in the courtyard, steamy showers which include lots of screaming and jiggly dancing; obscene cavity searches; lesbian encounters with the warden (Maria Stella Splendore), her guards (with their open button white blouses, they look more like cruise ship directors rather than prison personnel) the nurse, and their fellow inmates; and other various acts of violence and deviant behavior. The warden sells one of the more nubile prisoners to a wealthy woman as her personal plaything (in a disjointed subplot which goes nowhere), and later, the expected escape plan is implemented by a fearless trio set loose into the streets during the party atmosphere of “Carnival Night.”

Banned from video release in the U.K., BARE BEHIND BARS certainly lives up to any reputation it might have, making it one of the quintessential WIP flicks. The plot is as threadbare as they come, as the main intent is to move from one sleazy and oversexed segment to the next, with abundant amounts of nudity, aggressive lesbian petting and groping, and even a handful of hardcore moments (and we're not talking inserts) which justify the big “X” on the front cover. Here you have an alluring blond warden who gets her kicks with the fetching new inmate, and when she’s not busy boozing and having lesbian sex, she’s seen whipping some poor girl or taking a splashy bubble bath. Only one of the guards tries to defy her cruel ways, as most of the others workers are just as underhanded and sexually deviant as their role model warden (in one of the film’s more erotic scenes, a delivery man casually seduces a female guard in a storeroom, followed by a wild sex romp). Kooky Nurse Barbara is the most outlandish character, seen giving nude massages to her patients wearing nothing but her hat, rubbing her fanny against another while eating watermelon (followed by a game of "horsie”) and demonstrating her lack of medical knowledge by strapping a blood pressure arm band around the warden’s neck!

The nurse character is not the only thing that allows this puppy to borderline on a level of camp silliness. The girls are seen transporting a strap-on dildo (yes, there is some strap-on action here) on a string from one cell to another, and a 300 pound lunch lady makes the food rounds, tossing grub into the cells as if she was an extra in a John Waters film. Most of the violence and gore is tame, that is until the three escaped prisoners are unleashed into the streets of Brazil, going on a crime and murder spree, with a penchant for castrating hairy men (one guy is fed his own member, I kid you not!). Having a cast full of hateful characters, and not bringing any humanity to them (like in CAGED HEAT for example) prevent this from being a total success, but in terms of shear exploitation and unabashed thrills, BARE BEHIND BARS is a winner.

Keeping up their usual standard of high quality DVD releases, Blue Underground presents BARE BEHIND BARS in a 1.66:1 anamorphic transfer. The image looks extremely clean with nice detail, vibrant colors and natural fleshtones. The English-dubbed mono audio is crystal clear. There are no extras on the discs, except for a wild international trailer which highlights all the sensationalism on hand (do not view it before the feature!). (George R. Reis)