Directed by: Bruno Mattei
Actors: Laura Gemser, Gabriele Tinti, Maria Romano, Ursula Flores, Lorraine De Salle
Country: Italy | France
Also known as: Violenza in un carcere femminile, Chicks in Chains, Emanuelle In Prison, Emanuelle Reports From Women’s Prison, Caged Women, Women’s Penitentiary 4
Description: Once again, Gemser plays our favorite globe-trotting, free-loving journalist, this time writing an expose on the harsh conditions in a notorious women’s penitentiary. She deliberately has herself arrested and sentenced on fake drug charges so she can infiltrate the institution and get the inside scoop. She certainly has no problem gathering plenty of dirt for her report. The prison facilities are especially grungy and the kinky warden (Lorraine De Selle) gets off on watching the lesbian inmates have sex with one another. When they’re not in the mood, she dispatches her guards to rape them. Unfortunately, Emanuelle has neglected to notify the authorities or anybody else of her plans, which isn’t exactly the brightest of ideas. With no one to vouch for her innocence, she’s left trapped with no way out just like the other pisoners.
In an ill-advised act of defiance, she dumps a bucket of sewage from the toilet on a guard and gets thrown in a dungeon where she’s nibbled on by rats that inflict fake looking wounds. Later, the warden torments her with one of the weirdest torture techniques I’ve ever seen: a huge brass bell is lowered over her body and repeatedly clanged! In a standard cliche of the genre that dates back at least to 1971’s THE BIG DOLL HOUSE, she’s eventually befriended by the prison doctor (played by Gemser’s regular co-star and real life husband, Gabriele Tinti). Oddly, there’s also a portion of the prison reserved for men, where a shrill voiced gay prisoner provides stereotypical comic relief.
Throughout the ’70, ’80s, and ’90s, Director Bruno Mattei pumped out a bunch of low rent exploitation quickies ranging from Nazi atrocities such as S.S. EXTERMINATION LOVE CAMP (1977) to splatter flicks like ZOMBIE INFERNO (1981). He had helmed a couple of previous Black Emanuelle sequels dating back to 1978 and was probably running out of steam for the series when he came up with the inspired idea of injecting the popular character into the time-tested women in prison scenario. A familiar heroine in a desperate situation should have been a winning exploitation combination but oddly, the film largely fails to deliver either the violence and suspense of most WIP movies or the eroticism of the typical Black Emanuelle film. Of course Ms. Gemser does show off her pert little body in several nude scenes, including one in which she’s raped in the infirmary by the corrupt prison inspector, and De Selle contributes some partial nudity during a voyeuristic sex scene. Somehow, though, the rest of the film is a bit too low key to generate much excitement.
Nevertheless, Mattei apparently liked the approach well enough to repeat it practically verbatim the following year. Emanuelle winds up behind bars again (with Tinti and De Selle once more on hand) in the next installment of the series, WOMEN’S PRISON MASSACRE (1983). It’s more violent than its predecessor but is probably the only film Gemser ever made in which she manages to keep her clothes on from start to finish.