United States - 1987
Director – Chuck Vincent
Lightning Video, 1988, VHS
Women In Prison films are a lot of things besides just women in prison. They can be anything from truly uncomfortable social commentary like Born Innocent, to hard core cut-n-paste porn like 99 Women or cheap fart-joke comedy like Slammer Girls. While this film might fall short of the actual fart bullseye, it hit quite a few branches on the way down.
The first tinny strains of music on the soundtrack bring back memories of many an uber shitty barbarian movie. Not surprising considering director Vincent helmed one of the shittiest, Warrior Queen, made the same year as Slammer Girls, and starring exploitation clydsedale Sybil Danning (Chained Heat and Jungle Warriors and Rick Hill, (Deathstalker himself in the first and fourth of that epic series). Vincent’s use of a regular stable of actors doesn’t stop at barbarians though.
A good-ol boy politician Jerry Calwell extols the virtues of electrocuting prison inmates, a position which apparently wins him the governors seat and the ire of an anonymous gloved hand which shoots him in the family jewels during his victory party. In an act that would make OJ and Cinderella proud, the cops run around trying to fit the assassins dropped glove to someone’s, anyone’s hand, winding up with innocent and dumb as a bag of wet sand Melody Campbell. Newspaper man Harry Weiner (that should give you a pretty good idea of where the humor is headed) decides to go undercover in the prison and expose Governor Callwell’s shady double business as manufacturer of JC Electric Chairs.
Melody is sent to prison where she meets a plethora of very crudely executed character types just groaning like overfilled sacks of offal with expletive-inducing puns ready to burst the shoddy seams. Thankfully - this is a women-in-prison film after all - their little tunics are strained too, and the ladies take it in stride to frequently relieve such pressure with surprisingly proactive nonchalance. Perhaps Chuck Vincent’s penchant for hiring former porn stars has something to do with this carefree attitude. In any case it does make the film more bare-able.
One such boob assault is committed by Tank (Tantala Ray of something called Tantala’s Fat Rack) and Mosquito against a whimpering nude Melody. Also on the inside is Mrs.Crabapples, the harsh prison matron who enjoys punishing the prisoners (though she falls short of lesbianism), some of whom don’t like it and some who do.
“Don’t I get any lashes? Not even just a few?”
Melody being the former, (much to the exasperated delight of her cellmates) finds herself time and again the scapegoat of the other women’s shenanigans and punished ruthlessly by Crabapples and her beefcake guards who double as barbarian strippers when the girls throw a welcome-back-from-solitary party for Melody. The crude, bludgeoning humor is ruthless and clearly must be meant to weaken your defenses for the final deluge of double entendre to come cascading from the ruptured sack.
Calwell’s mistress Candy Treat (Tally Brittany of, ahem, Warrior Queen) wants to be the prison warden because she was once in a Women In Prison film but didn’t get any good lines, and she wants to punish Melody for blasting Callwell’s dingaling. That seems like a plot thread that might take some actual acting from Brittany, so instead she takes most of her clothes off and gyrates with lots of “boi-oi-oi-oing” noises in a failed attempt to raise Callwell’s new transplanted penis for the solitary gay punchline of the film.
Finally, during a musical number resoundingly barked by the prisoners during Melody’s wedding (to Weiner) Calwell and Crabapples are revealed to be her parents, which doesn’t make much sense, but doesn’t have to at this point. Slammer Girls has absolutely no qualms about wallowing in stone dumb humor, dragging its knuckles intentionally through a base combination of slapstick and titty-flick that would make Benny Hill proud. The seemingly unassailable standards of WIP films make a lot of them seem almost forgettable except for occasional extremes of sex, violence or “exotic” locales (see Caged Fury). Even if it is remarkably simple (or not so for Chuck Vincent), Slammer Girls manages to stand out because the film, and those involved send-up those standards with glee.