To date the only W.I.P. (Women in Prison) shot in 3-D and somehow I doubt anyone will be tackling this subject matter in this new 3-D era. The title is a bit of a misnomer as these are girls from prison but 90% of the film is prison free. The gist of the plot is six female prisoners are given a weekend furlough by Dr. Vivian Reinhardt so they can experience the real world before their release. Detective Jack (no last name given) has other plans as he intends to have each girl followed. Seems bank robber Johnny Bricker has struck again and, a year previously, he tried to hijack a bus with these very six girls in it. So bright Jack figures one is his girlfriend and will lead the cops to the fugitive.
The film opens how Orson Welles originally planned to open CITIZEN KANE: a prison shower scene that results in a gaggle of chicks getting into a cat fight. After being admonished, the girls set out on their separate ways and the audience gets a series of five vignettes telling how each girl uses her weekend of freedom to better her life outside the joint.
Segment 2: a frigid girl (whose name I’m pretty sure is never said) uses the doctor’s pleasure pad to finally overcome her puritanical upbringing that made her “a thief and drug addict” and please her sideburns stylin' husband Frank. Sex on multi-colored 70s pillows that would make a swami uncomfortable cures all, Psychology 101.
Segment 3: Joyce visits her former brother-in-law Ken at his auto body shop to apologize for killing his brother. “Eh, he didn’t do right by you,” Ken admits before offering a joint. Then a biker gang that only 70s cinema could provide shows up and force Ken to rape Joyce. “Women are all cows. You want to look at them, you look!” oddly philosophizes gang leader Hawk.
Outside of the rampant nudity and bountiful bosoms, the audience is treated to a bunch of run-of-the-mill 3-D gags where people offer things toward the camera. All kinds of things from cigarettes to blow torches to hoes (the gardening kind, ya pervs) are poked at the camera lens to create some sort of “it’s coming right at us” effect. The opening shower scene offers the same shot over and over of a shower head spraying water towards the camera. Not on the camera a la PSYCHO (1960) but towards it. I’m sure all of it looked more impressive on a 40-ft screen.
Without the benefit of seeing this in 3-D, PRISON GIRLS is pretty grim stuff. The opening credits unfold over stock footage of older black-and-white W.I.P. flicks with some of the most haggard ladies on display. And even though there is a ton of unclad skin on screen, the film itself is actually depressing as nearly every girl suffers some horrible indignity to remind us that it is “a cold, cruel world” out there. The last 3 minutes tries to put a moral slant on it all, but it is too little, too late. Here is the final anti-establishment bit where a prisoner turns the tables on the psychologist (who looks like Harry Shearer in a wig). Take that, old lady!