Women Behind Bars (1975)


Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Jess Franco
Written by: Marius Lesoeur

Jess Franco is not a particularly good filmmaker. I’ve learned that when his name is on a film, it probably means “long and boring, but with lots of nice tits and crotch shots.”

That’s exactly what I get with his entry on the Nasties list. Women Behind Bars is exactly what it sounds like: a women in prison movie.

Lina Romay (star of Naked Hottie With No Plot, I mean, Bare Breasted Countess and many other Franco films, including his real life) is thrown in prison for killing her boyfriend, who has just stolen lots of diamonds. She is sent to, of course, a women’s prison with, of course, sadistic guards and a warden with more on his mind than just having these women pay their debts to society.

A hot blonde who is having sex with the warden befriends her. But HARK! She’s double-dealing with the warden and just wants to get info about the diamonds out of Lina.

Meanwhile, in the free world, a lawyer is trying to find the diamonds, too. He plots to get Lina out of prison so that she will lead him to the diamonds.

Wait…what?! That barely makes any sense…unless, of course, you have a brain. Then you’ve just figured out the “twist.” Clever.

There’s absolutely nothing nasty about this movie until about an hour in when Lina gets a very short torture scene. In fact, it takes almost half an hour to even show boobs! (In Franco time that’s, like, 10 hours.)

Luckily, Lina has some very nice boobs and she has NO problem showing them off, along with other of her attributes. There are LOTS of very loving shots of her crotchal area throughout the film. Go figure.

For a movie about a heist and women in prison, there’s precious little actual violence. All of the gun shots take place off screen and the roughie scenes are pretty tame…for the most part. (The creepiest one is where Jess gets to beat his own real life girlfriend. Nice one.)

Basically, this movie is just an excuse to see the lovely Lina running around with her top off all the time. It’s interesting how European women apparently don’t care at all about their breasts hanging out of their clothes. Lina runs around during her escape scene with boobs hangin’ and doesn’t even pretend to cover them up.

Other than that, the movie is boring, the plot is nearly nonexistent and the music sometimes sounds like cast-off bits from the Frankenstein score. There’s no gore at all and, for the most part, the violence is really, really tame. I don’t even remember seeing a drop of blood. Even Lina doesn’t seem to feel any of her torture because, at one point, she’s lies on her back after being whipped!

LOW POINT: That one torture scene that probably made it a Nasty. Lina gets electrodes attached to her labia. And, yeah…they show it. It’s pretty dark, but there are definitely lips. It’s the most disturbing part of the movie, but it’s still pretty tame by Nasty standards. (Nasdards? Hmmm….) Right after that, she appears to be having it kissed better by another inmate. Awwwww.