Prison Girls 3DOverview -
The arousing pulse-pounding thrills of Prison Girls comes home in 3-D! The infamous 1972 adult shocker is thin on plot, story, and acting, but displays many other *ahem* three-dimensional assets. Too weird to be genuinely sexy, too goofy to be ignored, this is a one of a kind. Given the elements available 3-D Film Archive did their best to restore this to a watchable condition and it’s certainly better than we’ve ever seen in the comfort and safety of our own homes before. But the appeal of this one is going to be pretty limited, even for 3-D Blu-ray collectors. For Fans Only
From Tom DeSimone, cult director of Hell Night, The Concrete Jungle and Reform School Girls, comes Prison Girls—“The First Real Adult Film in 3-D!” Six female prisoners are given a weekend furlough in preparation for their upcoming parole. While out, the groovy jailbirds have miscellaneous sexual experiences—some good, some bad, some downright shocking! The irresistible cast includes Jacqueline Giroux (To Live and Die in L.A.), Uschi Digard (Supervixens), Candy Samples (Flesh Gordon), Annik Borel (Werewolf Woman), Tracy Handfuss (A Clockwork Blue), Maria Arnold (Meatcleaver Massacre) and Linda York (A Scream in the Streets). This special edition Blu-ray of Prison Girls presents the film remastered in three sensational dimensions by 3-D Film Archive!
Newly Restored and Remastered in 3-D by 3-D Film Archive
NEW Audio Commentary by Horror-Fix.com's James G. Chandler and Ash Hamilton
Deleted Scene (2-D)
Theatrical Trailer (2-D)
Optional English Subtitles
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
There are films where a three-dimensional experience is integral for properly viewing a film; House of Wax with Vincent Price, Richard Carlson’s three 3-D films, It Came From Outer Space, The Maze, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Many other films used 3-D as a gimmick to get butts in theater seats for a premium ticket price. As Hollywood effectively abandoned 3-D in the mid 1950s, it survived in small bursts - most notoriously in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a selling point for adult films. 1972’s Prison Girls from cult director Tom DeSimone of Hell Night and Concrete Jungle fame falls into that camp - and I do mean camp. While there’s nudity aplenty, it’s of the relatively innocuously repetitive softcore variety (oh look, more breasts...) and the films overly melodramatic approach hampers rather than helps - but hey, at least there are some creative uses of three-dimensional photography!
Plot? What’s that? I guess this bawdy 3-D sexposé has the loose framework of a story, but it’s little more than motivation to have men and women in various stages of undress undulating in front of the camera. Our “story,” such as it is, features a group of women due for parole from a women’s correctional facility. The warden and prison psychiatrist think it’s a good idea for these troubled-but-attractive gals to “acclimate” back into society slowly by issuing them a three-day furlough outside the prison walls while hoping to catch a career criminal who may or may not be associated with one or more of these ladies. See where this is going yet? Once on the outside, the ladies encounter a range of provocative experiences - some good, others tragic.
A fixture of the sexploitation market Prison Girls isn’t a movie most people will jump on for an evening’s entertainment. Even fans of the sub-genre may find this flick to be a stretch. Amature acting, silly plot setups, and the frequent repetitive nudity gradually burns out the novelty of seeing it in three-dimensions. Viewed flat (the 2-D presentation), the film isn’t much to speak of either. 2-D might make it easier to enjoy with a group of bawdy friends, but the appeal is in 3-D so you’d better stock up on glasses.
It’s a flick that absolutely depends on the 3-D experience and I’ll give credit to DeSimone and his crew, they come up with some interesting uses for their faulty dual-camera rig. The opening shower fight is a perfect indicator of things to come, but then it’s also about the best part of the film. With the best rise over too quickly, we’re left to simply cuddle with the remainder. As the story sags and things become increasingly melodramatic, it starts to become rather boring and repetitive for several long stretches with thankful bursts of comedy from the daffy dialog. Even some inventive 3-D gags and an action-packed final police shootout sequence ultimately fail to… reinvigorate the flick. But hey, that’s kinda what you get from early 70s semi-pornographic movies like this. They’re not all winners!
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
rison Girls 3-D is paroled onto Blu-ray 3-D with a single-disc release from 3-D Film Archive and Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Pressed onto a Region A BD-50 disc, the disc is housed in a standard case with identical slipcover. If your home setup is 3-D ready, the disc will automatically opt into 3-D viewing but menu structure lets you turn that off for 2-D or Anaglyph 3-D viewing.
As an opening title card explains, Prison Girls was shot on the dual camera 16-mm Optovision 3-D system, but the camera shutters weren’t interlocked so the image is out of phase. From there the film was then printed to left/right 3-D on 35mm. So what we’re getting is an out of phase 16mm blowup and the results are best described as “as good as it’s likely ever going to get.”
While you do get a decent enough 3-D experience, it’s nowhere near the quality and depth of what we got to see with some of the Nudie Cuties or on The Stewardesses. It’s alright, there’s certainly depth and dimension with some creative parallax effects, but between the faulty camera rigs to the amateurish photography, the range of impressive three-dimensional highlights can vary from shot to shot. Close ups and middle shots tend to offer the best experiences, the further away the less viable the 3-D experience becomes. As I mentioned, that opening shower scene is pretty much the best indicator of things to come.
Elements are in decent-ish shape, there’s a fair bit of speckling, colors can appear a little washed out at times, there were trapped hairs in the gate, and focal detail can be rather soft in any given scene. Z-Axis depth is appreciable up to a point. If a body part, bar of soap, or an acetylene torch points to the camera, the protrusion effect is appreciable and can be entertaining. Far depth is limited, as I said. If you imagine the set space anything beyond some 20 feet and that sense of three dimensional depth diminishes. So don’t expect any exciting establishing vistas or scenery. Given the film and the elements they had to work with, the team at 3-D Film Archive certainly pulled off a semi-miracle for this one restoring it to a condition that’s at least watchable and appreciable on 3-D Blu-ray.
Now this release does come with a red/cyan Anaglyph 3-D and it’s pretty good. A viable echo of the true Blu-ray 3-D experience it does give you a sense of depth and dimension and the key highlights do come through. Obviously not as good as the true Blu-ray 3-D, but more enjoyable I’d say than watching it flat in 2-D. The Red/Cyan image is comfortable enough without terrible eyestrain.
On the audio side, we don’t get much better than the image quality. An amateurish production, a lot of dialog exchanges are lost or fade out likely because the boom operator simply wasn’t in position. Quiet static scenes do best in that regard but if there’s any activity dialog can slip around. But then again, it’s not like you fired up Prison Girls 3-D for the impressive witty Oscar Wilde prose. Dialog exchanges are more of the Akdov Telmig variety so you’re not missing much. Sound effects are also iffy and I doubt any post-production foley work was done when the goofy canned music often takes over the entire soundscape. Again, pretty much what one would expect for a feature like this. Hiss and cracks are present but not too disruptive. If anything they add flavor to the experience.
Bonus features are relatively slim, but there’s some good stuff in here. On top of the trailer and a deleted scene in 2-D, there’s a rather entertaining audio commentary from James G. Chandler and Ash Hamilton from horror-fix.com. It’s a lively track and never boring. Honestly, their commentary is probably more entertaining than the actual film so give that a run when you can.
- Audio Commentary featuring James G. Chandler and Ash Hamilton
- Deleted Scene (2D)
Prison Girls 3-D is an oddity for sure. Too salacious for general audiences but far from the shocking or graphic material found onine today. It’s a bawdy, campy weird little movie that comes up with some convenient setups for unclothed ladies with a g-string thin plot to hold it together. Even poorly filmed with faulty equipment, there are still some fun 3-D highlights to enjoy and in the right company it can be a campy fun watch. The crew at 3-D Film Archive certainly had their work cut out for them on this one and they delivered something that’s at least watchable and enjoyable in digital polarized 3-D or in Anaglyph 3-D. 2-D is available but without that extra dimension, the film is a bit of a snooze. Fans of bawdy salacious content that happens to be in three dimensions, you should get a kick out of this one. For Fans Only.
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