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Monday, September 22, 2014

99 Women (1969)

A South American prison for women is located on an island far away from civilization. It's run by a sadistic warden (Mercedes McCambridge) and governed by a corrupt official (Herbert Lom). When a new administrator (Maria Schell) is sent to make humanitarian changes, the two plot to have her discredited and keep the status quo. Directed by Jesus "Jess" Franco (who's never actually made a good movie as I can remember), this low budget exploitation "women behind bars" flick is rather tame and slow moving. The slight story is padded out by soft core porn inserts and inmate catfights. Any pretense to reality flies right out the window once we see inmates wearing thong underwear and black nylons! McCambridge can't resist the urge to ham it up but Schell, perhaps oblivious to the kind of movie she's in, gives a sincere performance that stands out among the sleazy surroundings. Bruno Nicolai provides the underscore and the theme song is sung by Barbara McNair. With Luciana Paluzzi, Maria Rohm and Rosalba Neri.

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