Reviewed by Stephenee Snell
Rating: 2 Beans
ate to admit it, but I love prison movies, both the good ("Shawshank Redemption") and the bad (check my review of "Caged Heat"). So when I discovered the dusty copy of "Caged Fear" on the shelf with the ever popular David Keith(!), I was ready for a great bad movie.
"Caged Fear" should have been called "Caged Tears" for you will surely weep with remorse if you watch this boring mess.
David Keith ("An Officer and a Gentleman" and "The Lords of Discipline" are his fifteen minutes of fame) is Tommy, an ex-con who has busted his parole to see his girl Kristen (Kristen Cloke). Deciding to marry, they are shown rings they obviously can't afford by a snooty jewelry shop owner. Tommy robs the place while Kristen drives the getaway jeep. With the cops closing in, Kristen disgustingly dumps Tommy, vowing to have nothing more to do with him.
The cops bust Kristen who honorably gives no info about Tommy's whereabouts. So off she goes to Emma Woods Correctional Center. On the way, psycho Blanche (Karen Black - in her typical psycho role) freaks out with Kris, yells about a ticket, then assaults her - not with a hidden knife or a shiv - with pee! She pees on Kris!
Anyway, there's the typical Deputy Warden: Mrs. Charles (Deborah May) and the usual all male horny guards with Major Skinner (Rick Dean) as the ringleader. Of course, Kris befriends the outcasts: a wimpy black woman and a lovelorn dike.
Meanwhile - get this - Tommy meets a sympathetic guy in a bar who turns out to be - are you ready? - the new warden of Emma Woods! As Warden Hayes (Ray Sharkey) chases Tommy, he careens off the road, is thrown from the car, and killed. So what does ol' Tommy do? Why, he assumes the warden's identity and heads off to the prison to save his damsel in distress!
From then on, it's all pretty predictable: Kris pisses off Mrs. Charles for rebuking her advances; Kris is almost and then eventually raped by Major Skinner; one of the inmates figures out that Tommy is an ex-con while he tries to portray the warden...I could go on but you're smart enough to figure it out.
During the finale, the psycho inmates break out, the inmates riot, Mrs. Charles learns Tommy's identity, everyone runs around a lot, Mrs. Charles and Major Skinner get gunned down, and Tommy and Kris drive off into the dawn of a new day.
Sorry, but I couldn't buy the pee scene, I mean, was that the best and most provacative they could come up with? And unlike most of your other women-in-prison flicks, the inmates were not running around in undies and bitch-slapping each other. Guys, you will surely be disappointed: no gratuitous nudity. What's really bad is the director's sense of timing: for the finale, Tommy starts the morning off with a meeting of the staff only for the next scenes to be in the dead of night. Guess the director could only rent the prison during evening hours.
This was not even a good bad prison movie. After seeing "Caged Fear" my only fear was that someday I might be assaulted by a peeing psycho!
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