Women Behind Bars


by Tuna

Women Behind Bars is yet another Jess Franco "women in prison" film made in West Germany, starring Lina Romay and Martine Stedil. Yes, those are practically their own sub-genre Compare it to Barbed Wire Dolls, made the same year. The major difference between the two film is that Jess himself takes a major role this time.

The film starts with a diamond theft in which the gang leader shoots the others, then returns to a bar owned by him and Romay. She then shoots him and turns herself in, claiming that he was cheating, and it was an act of passion. She is sentenced to a special prison to serve her two years. An insurance investigator, sure that the new inmate must knew where the diamonds are, travels there to talk with her. Meanwhile, the prison warden also thinks his new prisoner knows the whereabouts of the jewels, so he asks his inmate lover (Martine Stedil) to get close to Romay. Of course, there is more going on.

In a new interview conducted specifically for this release, Jess Franco says that he likes this film very much, because of a simple plot which is easy to understand. That's true enough, but is not a significant drawing card for fans of WIP films. Sadly, Women Behind Bars is lacking in some of the genre expectations, and isn't, for the most part, especially nasty, sensational, or exciting. There are two scenes of torture, a girl/girl scene, and sex between the corrupt warden and a prisoner. On the other hand, the film is missing other genre staples such as a shower scene and a good cat fight.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


It's of interest mainly to Jess Franco fans because it's barely satisfactory for those craving WIP action, and generally unappealing to those interested in nether the director nor the genre.


  • It features Linay Romay in her prime, and both Romay and Martine Stedil do extended full frontal and rear nudity, some of it in great light.


No major reviews online







5.1 IMDB summary (of 10)



* widescreen anamorphic

* Blue Underground releases a remastered version that sports a great transfer of the English language version

* includes the original French trailer

* a new interview with Jess Franco.