16 February 2008

Bare Behind Bars

Bare Behind Bars
a.k.a. A Prisao
Brazil - 1980
Director – Oswaldo de Olivera
Theatre Pictures, 19??, DVD

Bare Behind Bars has the benefit of a few years experience. The 60’s & 70’s gave us a taste, and so by the time things got really graphic, the industry had some idea what the public wanted from a women in prison flick. The grindhouse was just still around, and home video market didn’t really exist yet, so these things still had a venue. It was the transition from the former to the latter that was the impetus for the home grindhouse.

Being a “foreign” offshoot of WIP movies, BBB has all the benefit of its forebears. No pun intended, but really, the market audience has been targeted with precision. Fluff is dispensed with before the film even starts, and within minutes, mostly open green blouses are shed for a giggly shower fight scene ended with a fire-hose.

Immediately post-credits, the warden inflicts lesbianism on the rebellious friend of a recently deceased inmate, a theme repeated thrust home and which will undoubtedly lead to her downfall at the hands of said inmate. But, too distracted by the veritable buffet of cowed flesh, the warden and her open shirted lieutenants have their hands too full to pay much attention to a coup. The prison nurse, an ether addicted lesbian floozy, meanwhile tongue bathes the trim and conspires to let them all escape if they agree to 40 more minutes of grainy predictable friction. Fights, breast massages, groin grinding aplenty and copious moaning accompany shots of beatings, solitary confinement and shiv inflicted prison justice.

While it disposes with most of the excessive plot of other more moralistic, or humorous entries in the WIP genre, and also with most of the stomach turning gritty hardcore of still others, BBB manages to insert all the earmarks of the genre, peppered with just enough secular absurdity to make a good excuse. Bare Behind Bars shows a lot, but doesn’t say much, which, at the very least keeps it honest.

The Blue Underground DVD cover. This version is undoubtedly better than the DVD I found and probably doesn't have the japanese subtitles.

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