True Story of a Woman in Jail: Sex Hell (1975)
Director: Kôyû Ohara
Where to get it: Synapse/Impulse Pictures/CAV
The series of films from NIKKATSU PRODUCTIONS continues with one of the most unusual and controversial “women in prison” films of all-time! A group of young women is thrown into a horrible juvenile hall, due to their illegal acts. They soon wish they were back on the outside, as a gang of inmates subjects this “fresh meat” to the horrors of being locked up. Mayumi, a new inmate with a mysterious past, stands up for herself and fights back! NO ONE is going to push her around, and she hatches an escape plan to seek revenge on the person who had her incarcerated.
And we are in sex hell for this recent release under Synapse’s Impulse brand. And while that could be the title, it’s really not that bad. We’ve seen the 70’s style “women in prison” movies before. But this one puts an Asian twist on that concept and packs some of the sensual and bizarre elements that Asian cinema is known for. Among women being “used” by the people which is keeping them in custody, we also have female fights, very weird scenes that are sure to grab your attention, and some cool violence! Don’t let the sexual overtones fool you, it’s not a bad film overall. Even if it is overran with a sexual nature for the majority of it.
One other perk about this release (besides the nudity and cat fights), is the fact that this movie looks just outstanding for a standard DVD made of a film from 1975. This company has worked some very amazing work on titles before, but I’ve seen footage of other releases of this film and they can’t hold a candle to this one. I never was the biggest women in prison movie fan, but I do respect what this film does and I respect the effort that went into preserving it. While I can’t call it one of my overall favorities, I can say it’s worth watching and will be a must own for fans of this genre.