Most of the sex behind bars, whether realized or simply attempted, comes courtesy of that stock character, the Evil Warden. When she’s working in tandem with her No. 2, the Sadistic Matron, then look out ladies: It’s gonna be a tumultuous time in the big house. Who’s the worst (or is that best?) of the worst? Let’s count ‘em down:
5. Mrs. Charles (Deborah May), Caged Fear, aka Jail Force (1992) — She might look nice, but beware: She forces inmates into prostitution!
4. Bri Terry (Georgia Morgan), 10 Violent Women (1982) — This bitter old lesbian tortures any girl who dares resist her creepy advances.
3. McQueen (Barbara Steele), Caged Heat (1974) — Sexually repressed due to her disability (or maybe her Sally Jesse Raphael glasses), the wheelchair-bound McQueen allows the sadistic prison doctor to run rampant, molesting and lobotomizing inmates at his will.
2. Sutter (Sybil Danning) and Edna (Pat Ast), Reform School Girls (1986) — Warden Sutter allows her sadistic matron Edna to run rampant, molesting inmates and squashing kittens at her will!
1. Magda Kassar (Brigitte Nielsen) and Rosa Schmidt (Jana Svandová), Chained Heat 2 (1993) — The dastardliest of the dastardly warden/matron duos, Magda and Rosa will stop at nothing to satisfy their greedy urges. They force the convicts into the aforementioned nude drug operation, they force the convicts into prostitution, and they force the convicts into their beds! Not one prisoner is tough enough to withstand the mighty power of Brigitte Nielsen’s enormous shoulder pads.
Though the women in prison flick’s heyday has passed, the subgenre is still alive and kicking on television, from a series devoted to it (Bad Girls) to the random episode here and there on any number of shows, new or old: there’s the infamous “Angels in Chains” episode of Charlie’s Angels, “Locked Up and Tied Down” from Season 4 of Xena, “Locked Up” from The L Word‘s inaugural season, and many more, from CSI to Quantum Leap to Knight Rider. It seems the chicks in chains fad will never completely die.