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Media Blasters presents
Women in Fury (Femmine in fuga) (1985)

"My God, what savages they are."
- Dr. Louis Kunya (Henri Pagnoncelli)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: December 17, 2001

Stars: Suzane Carvalho, Rossana Ghessa, Gloria Cristal, Henri Pagnoncelli, Leonardo Jose
Other Stars: Zeni Pereira, Marli Mendes, Silvia Carvalho, Adele Malheiros, Nedira Campos, Ibanez Filho, Breno Bonin, Gilson Moura, Adalberto Silva,
Director: Michele Massimo Tarantini

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (Extreme violence, gore, nudity, explicit sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:29m:41s
Release Date: September 25, 2001
UPC: 631595010497
Genre: late night

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ C+B+B+ D

DVD Review

Even as far back as 1950, the idea of the women's prison as an exploitation movie is evident, in the tagline "You don't know women until you know them without men!" for the Oscar ® nominated 1950 film Caged featuring Bewitched star, Agnes Moorehead. Before going on to films like Silence Of The Lambs or Philadelphia, Jonathan Demme made his debut with Chained Heat (1974), which sparked a string of sequels, and the premise would make its way into the likes of Wendy O Williams vehicle Reform School Girls or Ilsa: The Wicked Warden. Most of these films are derived from the same story: young innocent girl is wrongly accused of a crime and sent to a foreign prison, where her lesbian cell mates take advantage of her, a demented warden abuses her, and a sympathetic social worker tries to free her. The scenario allows for scenes of gang rape, shower sequences, the obligatory hosedown, and the defiling by an authority figure. No women-in-prison film would be complete without a prisoner uprising, and at least one rival inmate out to corrupt the innocent prisoner, which invariably turns them over to the dark side.

With the plot a no-brainer, the only real variables are the extent to which any of these standard occurances get to exploit their stars, and the level of violence that accompanies them. While some try to work under the pretense of delivering a message, most of the films in this genre dispatch with character study—at least they appear to—and get down to the core of what the film is about: getting the women naked.

"This is a true story which happened to real people: a story of injustice and overwhelming violence which, when it does not kill, invariably alters the personality." - introductory naration

Written and directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini (Confessions of a Lady Cop, Massacre in Dinosaur Valley), Women In Fury (Femmine in fuga) follows the girls in prison blueprint to a tee. Covering for her heroin addicted brother (Paulo Guarnieri), the young and innocent Angela McDuvall (Suzane Carvalho) confesses to the murder of a Brazilian drug lord, and is sentenced to 18 years in the San Antonio Liberte women's prison. As the fresh meat in the cell block, she is the immediate prey of the resident lesbian, and also gets under the skin of the Head Matron's current plaything, Paoula, who doesn't like the competition. She is afforded the protection of Denise, a tough prison veteran, feared by the other inmates, but even so falls prey to a gang rape which winds her up in the infirmary, where she meets the narrator of the story, Dr. Louis Kunya (Henri Pagnoncelli), who makes it his mission to have her aquitted of her crime and freed before the prison takes its toll on her. However, his attempts are obstructed by the corrupt Captain Bonifacio (Leonardo Jose), and the Matron whose appetite for the young girl puts Angela in even more jeopardy. Can she escape this Brazilian hell hole intact? Well, I'll leave that for you to uncover.

Women In Fury was marketed as part five of the Women's Penitentiary series, which also included the completely non-related films Women in Cages, The Big Bird Cage, The Big Doll House and Violenza in un carcere femminile. It follows the women's prison tradition, complete with all the prerequisite plot devices to extract our beautiful young victim, and most of her supporting cast from their clothing at every available opportunity. Those concerned by the description of "brief" nudity on the packaging needn't worry, unlike some of these pictures, there is ample opportunity for the girls to become undressed throughout the film, whether during a catfight, a couple of lesbian encounters, while being hosed down during a confessional, or while trying to escape through the Brazilian jungles. There is an attempt to string this all together with the storyline, which has about as much impact as one would expect for a movie of this nature. The cinematography is fairly decent, relying on wide angle shots for the majority of the picture. There's lots of violence, lots of skin, and plenty of fairly attractive women.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Women In Fury is presented in full-frame. Transfer quality is very good, with suitable contrast and color saturation. Print flaws are minimal. There is some edge enhancement and color bleeding, and black levels are variable for darker scenes, which occasionally are a bit murky. Grain levels are not intrusive. On the whole, the image is better than expected.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is presented in dubbed English only. Quality is adequate, with no major defects to report. There is some slight distortion in a few places, but overall frequency range is fine. The dub is serviceable. I wouldn't expect much more.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 11 cues and remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Demonia, Women In Prison, Prisoner Maria
Packaging: Unknown keep style
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Extras are limited to trailers for Demonia, Women In Prison and Prisoner Maria.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

A classic example of the women's prison exploitation flick, Women In Fury contains all the necessary ingredients to make it successful. Chock full of nudity and violence, it ranks among the better in the genre, with a semi-cohesive story to set up a standard series of events. Recommended for genre fans only.


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