Home Video | Review by Dan Taylor
1974 flick WOMEN IN CELL BLOCK 7 comes to
us courtesy of 'Sybil Danning's Adventure
Video'. Now, I just want to get something
off my chest about ol' Sybil. (Sorry, no
pun intended.) I want to know who the hell
she thinks she's kidding. She's getting
a bit long in the tooth, and that turkey
neck is startin' to bother me. But that's
nothing compared to the incredibly unfunny
intro that I had to suffer through before
the flick started. Luckily, this painful
(yet thankfully brief) intro did nothing
to detract from the excellent Women in Prison
flick which soon bathed my face in the warm
glow of true exploitation... or was that
the effect of my 11th Natty Boh and too
many Cheese Crisps?
Yes, for as lame as GIRLS
RIOT turned out to be, WOMEN IN CELL
BLOCK 7 proved to be the perfect follow-up
flick. I guess that's the difference between
girls and women... the older they get, the
more they deliver "the goods."
The flick opens in true-Italiano
fashion as a narrator explains in two minutes
what would have taken twenty minutes to
act out. In essence, the Italian mob double-crosses
the New York mob, and is able to get the
whole thing blamed on INTERPOL. When the
double-crosser is killed, the drugs he stole
disappear and the mob pins the blame on
his superior in "The Family"...
who is actually an INTERPOL double-agent!
The police, however, know he doesn't have
the drugs, so they toss the double-crosser's
girlfriend into a women's prison, hoping
that the cavity searches and lesbo advances
will help jog her somewhat "cloudy"
memory! And, they put the double-agent's
daughter (also an INTERPOL agent) into the
prison to get close to the babe. WHEW!
CATFIGHT #1 occurs 54 minutes
into the flick and lasts for about a minute.
However, unlike alot of catfights and some
professional boxing matches, this one has
no "feeling out" period and one
slap gets the two combatants into some serious
clothes-ripping, hair-grabbing and panty-pulling!
Credit must be given to the fight scene's
cameraman, who takes great pains (and risks
personal injury) to put YOU IN THE ACTION
with some incredibly gritty and gutsy camerawork!
CATFIGHT #2 takes place about
16 minutes later and only lasts for less
than one minute. However, the inmates do
give a few tips on "How to Use Furniture
and Well-Placed Kicks to Gain the Upper
Hand." Who knows, this may prove to
be invaluable information in years to come.
While WOMEN IN CELL BLOCK
7 is an extremely entertaining and pretty
well-done exercise in WIP cinema, there
is one major drawback. Namely, the first
word in the title is "Women,"
therefore, the filmmakers should have spent
MUCH LESS time lurching back and forth between
the women's prison and the INTERPOL double-agent
who has been kidnapped by a faction of his
While these mob scenes are
definitely fun, they aren't able to take
them far enough, because the WIP scenes
are what the movie is built around. And
boy, there are some pretty good scenes.
They include: several lesbian sequences
with lush romantic scores which help take
your mind off any unncessary plot; great
scenes in the courtyard of the prison where
the rival cliques get together to bitch,
flirt and make deals; cavity searches; a
"visit to the doc"; protesting
Italian inmates being hosed down by the
guards; and dialogue like "Tell that
bitch she owes me a pile of dope. And I
better get it, or I'll cut her tits off."
WOMEN IN CELL BLOCK 7 receives
an enthusiastic endorsement for its overall
mood and execution and decent catfights.