Sunday, July 6, 2008

Chained Heat

Yeah, you heard me. Chained. Heat. Linda Blair and Sybil Danning. Women in Prison. Or as the advertising tagline would have it, "2000 women, stripped of all they had, except the will to survive." I should point out that there are actually only about thirty women who actually appear on screen. Although there are allegedly tensions between the White Girl Gang and the Black Girl Gang, we only see two African-American inmates, one of whom gets killed pretty quickly. The remaining one, the Dutchess, is played by Tamara Dobson, who was Cleopatra Jones, though. So she's got a pretty strong presence. There's also an entire Latino gang we never see any actual evidence of.

It's a really poorly run prison, in my opinion. The inmates apparently get to wander around wherever they want, even in the middle of the night. And the warden's office contains both a bed (with leather sheets) and a jacuzzi. Oh, and a stuffed mountain lion with glowing eyes. And then there are the sadistic rapist guards, but that's just the sort of thing you have to expect in a movie like this. With all that going on, you wouldn't expect quite so much frolicking, but I guess even hardened criminals like to splash each other in the shower.

The plot is pretty much by the numbers: young, nubile Carol (Linda Blair) goes to jail and gets caught up in the whirl of elaborate drug rings, lesbians, and riots. Actually, the only riot in the movie is organized by Carol herself, but that's after she gets raped, goes to solitary, and becomes Tough and Hard, as indicated by her development of a New York accent.

I saw the movie the way you're supposed to: as a midnight (really 11:00 pm) showing at a tiny movie house in the neighborhood. It was a good crowd, because there was a lot of laughter during the movie. Somewhere in the 25 years since it was made, it turned into a comedy

Now, let's talk about Chained Heat sequels. You're not going to believe some of this nonsense! Note that I haven't actually seen any of these movies myself. Yet.

First, there's Chained Heat II from 1993. It stars Brigitte Nielsen, so I have to assume they're skipping past the "young and nubile" stage and jumping the protagonist straight to "tough as nails revenger". It takes place in "a Czech prison, where the sadistic warden and guards rape and perform bizarre sex acts on the prisoners" according to IMDB. The director is Lloyd A. Simandi, who will direct many more of these sequels. For some reason, his company is called "North American Pictures", although he does most of his work in Europe. Weird.

Next: 1998's Hell Mountain, also called Chained Heat 3: The Horror of Hell Mountain. Also shot in the Czech Republic, it's set in Apocalyptical Times, where someone named Stryker keeps women as slaves to work in his mines. There's also something about "the last professor on Earth". This was remade as Rage of the Innocents in 2000, but it appears to have been one of those "remakes" that includes a lot of footage from the first movie.

Now here's where it gets weird. The next movie is Chained Rage: Slave to Love, which is apparently mostly made of footage shot for Rage of the Innocents (which itself was largely made out of Hell Mountain footage). IMDB doesn't list it as an alternate title, but the image it shows is called "Bound Heat: Chained Rage". And there's no plot synopsis, so I don't know what happens in it. At this point, we're looking at sequels to Forgotten Rage, but we'll get back to Chained Heat in a few paragraphs.

Next up, something called either "Dakota Bound" or "White Slave Lovers", in which a plague kills everyone on earth except for twenty women from a private school. There are no characters named "Dakota", and I'm getting increasingly skeptical about this chain (ha!) of movies.

Cries of Innocence at least sounds sort of related to the previous movies, since a small group of women are enslaved by the controllers of the only source of water that isn't plague-ridden. It's also called Forgotten Rage: White Slave Secrets, so it's got the names of two previous movies in it.

Finally (in this series) we get to Bound Cargo, from 2003. Apparently women are on the run from soldiers and are taken in by a lonely widow, and soft-core hijinx ensue.

Okay! Now let's rewind a bit. Remember Chained Heat 3: The Horror of Hell Mountain? There was also Dark Confessions, which was marketed as Chained Heat III: No Holds Barred. I don't know what happens in it, but the IMDB Plot Keywords are "W.i.p." (women in prison, makes sense), "Falsely Convicted" (typical, although I'll point out that Linda Blair's character was actually guilty in the first one), "Lesbian" (no surprise), "Monastery" (really?) and "Prostitution Ring". And apparently sexual slavery is involved at some point.

Now, there are sequels to Dark Confessions, which are therefore also sequels to Chained Heat. We start with The Final Victim, which has a boarding school with a lesbian warden. It's also called "Bound Heat: Tears at Dawn" and "Girl Camp 2003: Chained Vengeance". Next, Girl Camp 2004: Lesbian Fleshpots, IMDB says "A woman infiltrates a factory producing subservient young women in order to steal from its bank account," and I can't possibly improve on that.

Finally (for now), we get Chained Fury: Lesbian Slave Desires. The only interesting thing about this one is that one of its Plot Keywords is "Czechploitation".

So there you go! Those sequels were all produced by Lloyd A. Simandi, including both of the Chained Heat 3 movies. He also made a series of "Medieval Fleshpot" movies, if you're curious.

Oh! There's also a spot wheree someone says to Linda Blair that something will happen "so fast it will make your head spin". It seems like someone should have realized that it's hard to say that to Linda Blair without reminding the audience of The Exorcist.