Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Savage Island, Women Behind Bars Exploitation

From the late 1960s through the mid 1980s, the "women behind bars" sub-genre flourished.  Sexploitation is a more relevant description of these  movies than Exploitation, and Pam Grier and Linda Blair led the way in delivering these guilty pleasures to us.  Of the almost hundred films I've featured on this blog, it is shocking that 1985's "Savage Island" will be the first of this sub-genre.  Though the popularity of these movies has waned, some have been made under the guise of "critically acclaimed films" (e.g. Kate Beckinsale in "Brokedown Palace").  So today, here is the incredibly raunchy entry of "Savage Island."
The plot:  Linda Blair is Daly, the head of a ring of jewel thieves who will invade a South American island rich in emeralds.  The island is run by tyrants who have beautiful women convicts as slave labor.  These women are dressed in rags that fall off a lot, and are beaten and raped by guards continuously.  Daly's team goes in after they are able to plant Maria (Christina Lai, pictured below) into the prison, so she can act as the "inside man" during the invasion.  The team will invade the prison and steal the emeralds.  Fortunately for our beautiful captives, Daly has a heart, and freeing the women becomes a goal, as well.  As Maria is savagely introduced to the prison, she befriends Muriel (Ajita Wilson) and together they plot to steal the jewels and escape when the invasion comes.
Don't be fooled, most of the film chronicles beautiful damsels in peril, with whips, rape, and torture.  Muriel is able to save Maria from the advances of some of the more masculine female prisoners which results in her being strung up in the tropical heat (see below picture). With Muriel temporarily out of the picture, Maria is preyed upon (use your imagination) by evil guards.  The invasion comes, and Muriel, Maria, and the other prisoners are able to exact bloody revenge on prison personnel, including the warden.  After a bloody revolt, the girls, and Daly's gang must then survive the jungle (which include snakes, prison patrols, and some very blood-thirsty leeches).    
The action is fast and furious.  Cat-fights, shower scenes, gunfights, nudity, jungle carnage, and beautiful women are plentiful in this flick.  Will Maria and Murial surive the jungle and be successfully reintroduced to civilization?  Will a Brubaker type warden reform the South American penal system?  The ending won't disappoint.  Revenge and vengeance are major themes of the makers of "Savage Island."  Lai and Wilson steal the show, as Linda Blair appears in the first and last scene only....though heavily armed in each one.  If you have had your fill of over-rated superhero movies, treat yourself to some good sexploitation...you deserve it!

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