Sunday, January 8, 2017

Caged Fury (Philippines Women In Prison, 1983)

1983 - Caged Fury (Lea Productions)

[A Filipino production for the export market. Released in West Germay as “Das Foltercamp Der Geschändeten Frauen”, “Straflager Fernostand” and “Hell Train: Camp der Verlorenen Frauen”, in Spain as “Furia Enjaulada”, in Portugal as “Mulheres Em Fuga”, in Finland as “Naisarmeija”]

Director Cirio H. Santiago Writer Bobby Greenwood Producer Emilia Blas Music Ernani Cuenco Sound Supervisor Rolly Ruta Sound Effects Technician Rodrigo Capule Production Designer Junte C. Guzman Production Manager Santiago Garcia Assistant Directors Bobby Greenwood [as Barbara Greenwood], Tiny Lizaso Special Effects Mariano Garcia Makeup/Prosthetic Artist Juanita “Nita” Manahan Props Lorenzo Fernandez Setman In-Charge Virgilio Sanchez Field Soundman Rafael Bulotano Boom Operator Felipe Reynera First Assistant Camera Romulo Araojo Second Assistant Camera Freddie Medes Second Camera Operator Felizardo Anastacio Third Camera Operator Narcisco Magkalas Fourth Camera Operator Generoso Buenaseda Clapper Loader Jose Cabrales Unit Manager Eliseo Corpuz Electrician Eliseo Corpuz Generator Operator Pablito Echavez Grips Rodrigo Cabrales, Armando Cayosa, Jose dela Cruz, Ramon Mariano, Ricardo Sto. Tomas Casting Jim Wynorski Assistant Production Manager Rogelio Alvarez Associate Production Designer Gerry Guzman Field Coordinator Edmundo Cruz Driver Pablito Echavez Assistant Editors Federico “Toto” Natividad, Efren Salvador Post-Production Liaison Nestor Baluyot Titles Dave de Vera Stills Angel De Leon Vice President Lea Santos Blas Treasurer Fidelio Santos Controller Jose Santos Blas Corporation Secretary Estrella T. Mendoza Administrative Officer for Publicity Teresa Santos Blas Assistant Boy Ruben Teneza Booker Julie S. Enriquez Publicity Director Bibsy M. Carballo ....

Cast Bernadette Williams (Denise), Jennifer Laine (Linda), Taaffe O'Connell (Honey), Catherine March (Jackie), Margaret Magick (Bette), Gina Alajar (Nguyet), Elizabeth Oropesa (Chinh), Efren Reyes Jr (Pram Van Tin), Jose Mari Avellana (Van Duc), Leo Martinez (Doctor), Bobby Greenwood (Kay Dunning), Ken Metcalfe (Hartman), Ernie Zarate (Dang), Mike Cohen (Hartman's Boss), Nello Nayo (Chinh's Boss), Eddie Villamor (Viet Officer), Dave "Martin"/D'Martyn (General Burnside), Bill Scott (Major Perkins), Belo Borja (Viet Officer), SOS Daredevils

Mini-review by Andrew Leavold

Uncle Cirio marries the Women In Prison genre with The Manchurian Candidate in his baffling Caged Fury (1982), not for his Premiere Productions but as a gun-for-hire for major indie Lea Productions. Blonde Canadian Denise (Bernadette Williams) and 16 year old Vietnamese girl Nguyet (Gina Alajar) are hauled to a North Vietnamese brainwashing camp, where between volleyball games its predominantly female prisoners are molded into ticking time bombs for political assassinations – cue additional nod to Charles Bronson thriller Telefon (1977). Camp intrigue abounds as a suspected CIA plant Linda (Jennifer Laine) is tortured, resident moll and possible mole Honey (Taaffe O’Connell) plays one officer against the other, and Denise attempts to escape with sensitive, doe-eyed guard Pram (Efren Reyes Jr). There’s political intrigue too, as American company man Hartman (Ken Metcalfe) attempts to swap the girls for an NV General with a stunning-looking yet devious Chinh (Elizabeth Oropesa), culminating in a train ride, guns blazing and chased by a Vietnamese tank squad (!!), to an almost certain inferno. For a Women In Prison film, Caged Fury is quaintly anachronistic and feels like Cirio introduced his patchwork effort to a much nastier drive-in market five to ten years too late. For one thing it’s heavy on plotting and light on the sadism, despite the better efforts of the camp’s Colonel Van Duc (Jo Mari Avellana) and his sleazy medical officer (Leo Martinez) to attach electrodes – or, in campspeak, “truth buttons” – to the inmates’ nipples (“CIA?” “No…” ZZZZAPPP!!!!), and an almost psychedelic rape montage as the train’s soldiers unleash their pent-up lust on the prisoners. As if to spite Cirio’s restraint, the Germans released an X-rated version with porno inserts titled “Hell Train: Camp Der Verlorenen Frauen” – I say “nein”, and as a Cirio purist, I can only follow Van Duc’s sole camp rule: “OBEY!”

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