It says DVD here but this is the same cover art on my VHS tape.
Phillipines/United States - 1983
Director – Cirio H. Santiago
VEC, 198?, VHS
With all the hope in the world, I opened my heart to Caged Fury because of the genre, and the name of Cirio Santiago. I tracked my immediate knowledge of his name to Future Hunters, but the recently deceased exploitation director/producer is well established as one of the exploitation greats and has left an impressive wake.In any case, I may have imagined for Caged Fury shoes too big to reasonably fill, but I can hardly be blamed.
A pre-credit Manchurian Candidatesque assassination bodes well, but is quickly overshadowed. A young Canadian woman with a Farah Fawcet-do is shuttled to a prison camp in Vietnam where women are brainwashed with daily volleyball-games and nightly booby-electrocutions.
The repeated shots of stony, vacant stares sandwiched between lines of banal dialogue very quickly grew to an excruciating crescendo of purgatorial painfulness. I know why the guards and commandant are so pissed off all the time.
“You have no brains to wash” the film boldly declares while rooting heartily in plot items that are somehow related to previously undisclosed information, and information related to plot items never to be disclosed. The requisite Women In Prison shower scene lasts mere scintillating seconds before an escape attempt, alluded to only in passing before, suddenly takes on an abrupt and suicidal immediacy.
Giving her Vietnamese prison-guard boyfriend everything she has, Canada hides with him in a chicken coop where a quaint and conveniently placed lantern give the subsequent copulation a 70’s cigarette advertisement feeling I just can’t shake. Shooting, and recapture follow.
All along the way, this movie has not provided me with the correct answers, and needs to be electrocuted into agreement, making what is really a rather hateful experience into something rather Phyrrically amusing.
Another ill-concieved escape attempt on a steam locomotive motivates the film, like our heroines under pain of torture into an explosive and genuinely entertaining, but tragically last minute exploitation plot-twist that this whole movie should mercifully have been all along.