Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
In 1985 Director Joel Silberg tried to kill Hip-Hop with his opus to rap known as 'Rappin'.  Hip-Hop survived.  Two years later Mr. Silberg tried to put the action film genre in a deep sleep with his epic 'Catch the Heat'.  The action film survived but I don't think it's ever really been the same since.  In 1990 Silberg attempted to put the Dance Movie out of its misery with his classic 'Lambada'.  He succeeded this time.  Imagine my absolute horror, knees shaking with fear to see that in 1993 Joel Silberg decided to take a whack at the beloved and cherished Women in Prison genre.  Well my friends, while today, in the year of twenty-whatever, the WIP genre might be dead, I can say, with some certainty, that it was NOT Joel Silberg's fault as he pretty much got this one nailed.

Colleen (Rebecca Chambers), Bonnie (Lori Jo Hendrix), Audrey (Kena Land) and Michelle (Gilya Stem) are four wild and crazy American Girls hanging out somewhere in the Middle East when Colleen gets the bright idea that the crew should make the trek across the border to Turkey.  Note the Colleen is the 'supervisor' of this event, and might we mention that Colleen sucks at her job.  Worst Supervisor Ever.  This was post 'Desert Shield' so maybe Colleen figured all those horror stories that had been so widely documented in print and cinema about horrible Turkish prisons was just a distant memory.  I guess.  While the drive to the Turkish border was fairly uneventful, Michelle did whip out the acoustic, on request, and started singing 'Oh Susannah'.  That's what they went with.  I thought maybe I was gonna hear some Baez or a little early Etheridge, but I got 'Oh Susannah'.

Fortunately that 1880's harmonizing quartet is ended by the evil border guard who stashes some cocaine in the van and then carts the girls off their new personal hell, which will be lorded over by the lecherous eye of Warden Saladeen (Uri Gavriel).  You know the routine,
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strip search, cavity search, showers… Unfortunately this is the good news for our girls, with the bad news being that Saldeen's prison is just a mid-point to white slavery… after he's thoroughly 'checked them out' of course. 

As you might imagine this prison isn't so hot for the girls but it's particularly problematic for the bountiful Bonnie who's gravity defying boobs have not only caught attention of Warden Saladeen, they have also piqued the interest of top yard bitch Hellena (Toni Naples) who has made it her life mission to rape poor Bonnie, as if the warden isn't doing that enough at the already.

After Colleen, the defacto leader of the group considering she does look like a slightly more masculine version of Keanu Reeves, if Keanu had really nice boobs, which he might have because I can't recall seeing Keanu with his shirt off… uh… where was I?  Oh yeah, After Colleen has a chance meeting in solitary with Sarah, Sarah informs Colleen that she's about to be sold into slavery, every orifice will be raped, she will be branded like a farm cow, infected with every STD known to exist, and then tossed away to die… as you can see Sarah is kind of a Negative Nellie…  Colleen figures the girls' gotta get the hell out of there.  But how?  If you put together the fortuitous appearance of a key to the facility, then tossed in a little girl on girl action, combined with the fortuitous appearance of a firearm… then you guessed it!  It's not going to be an easy escape but I do foresee four 1990's era hot chicks singing 'Oh Susannah' all the way back home.

We probably shouldn't be giving Joel Silberg too much credit for the rousing success that is his WIP epic 'Prison Heat' because this is one genre that is really difficult to screw up.  I mean it's been done, but it's hard.  All you really need is a group of women who agree to get naked, a venue to stage a group shower scene, and some loon to play the warden and you are set!  You barely need a script since it's pretty much been written already!  I'm pleased to say that 'Prison Heat' got these basics down though ultra pretty Kena Land apparently refused to get naked.  Of course we at the FCU decry the gratuitous exploitation of women in these kinds of movies, but yet this tragic oversight made me very sad.

True enough there's not a lot that's unique about 'Prison Heat' aside from the rousing rendition of 'Oh Susannah', but our director does seem to be in complete harmony with the kind of movie that he is making.  The story is negligible and completely nonsensical, but it does keep things moving forward at a brisk pace, and on the occasions that it does look like the story is about to slow down, Mr. Silberg made sure that Lori Jo Hendrix took a shower, got her shirt ripped off, or got raped which always seemed to jump start everything.  It was like magic. 

It is a WIP flick so it does have its fair share of stupidity, in particular I did notice the girls got to keep their belongings, like Michelle got to keep her acoustic guitar.  From where I was sitting that guitar equaled six garottes and upon shattering, and endless supply of shanks.  But then that's just me thinking all violent and stuff.

Of course 'Prison Heat' isn't a legitimately good movie, and to tell you the truth I don't want to see a WIP that's legitimately good because that would mean I would seriously have to soul search and protest the horrible treatment of these women in these movies, when all we really to see is hot chicks take showers and make a run for it.  I mean… not me… but for some that's all they want.  'Prison Heat' makes this happen.
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