“I only wear this shirt to distract people from my face. It’s my only defense.”

On some undisclosed island in the South Pacific, Pam Grier plays Lee Danier, an angry hooker in an evening dress who gets sent to a not-so-classy women’s reform prison in the middle of the jungle. Do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200.  There’s also Karen, played by Margaret Markov,who has likewise earned herself some prison time, due to her nasty habit of trying to instigate revolutions on communist islands. But she looks more like she barely escaped her last photo shoot. Karen and Lee don’t play well together, especially in confined spaces. So when they misbehave in the cafeteria, they’re forced to stand in a walk-in Easy Bake Oven out in the sun for the day as punishment. Fortunately we’ve got a non-stick cooking Pam as our star. The wardens are fed-up with having to break-up their catfights, which cuts into their group shower ogling time. So they chain the two together; make them wear yellow, prison issued mini-skirts; and send them on a bus trip to be interrogated. The bus ride comes to a quick halt, though, when Karen’s rabble-rousing friends attack the convoy. We know they’re revolutionaries because of the amount of their facial hair. The longer your mustache, the more you’re fightin’ “The Man.”

Lee and Karen barely escape into the jungle during the poorly planned rescue attempt, and are forced to hitchhike as nuns across the island and negotiate with oily, fat guys before stabbing them with a screwdriver. They sure make Catholic school nuns almost look tame by comparison. A corrupt cop is sent to track the nuns on the run, but only if he can break away from watching the local drunks play pool long enough. There’re also some hired thugs who are looking for Lee since she is one their prized hookers–their “best in show ho.” They inconspicuously drive around in a giant, decorated, clown jeep, blaring Mexican show tunes, possibly hoping for some women prisoners to just suddenly dart out in front of them, but instead they end up in pointless gunfights or wrestling around in their underwear with the locals. Not quite sure who’re the good guys and bad guys in this one, but I do know that hired thugs look particularly disturbing in baby blue western shirts.

Wouldn’t you think that would hurt your street cred a bit if you wore a shirt like that? Ruben is the head thug with the worst fashion sense, played by Rob Zombie’s favorite psycho, Sid Hag. He reminds me a bit of a local used car salesman, but without the charm and trustworthiness. “Come on down to Ruben Ford–free drug bribes for the kids!”

This is a good little exploitation film, light on the exploitation but heavy on the facial hair and gunfights. Also check out Pam Grier in “Coffy”, another great early blaxploitation movie from the 70’s. She’s all Coffy…without the caffeine.

Roadside Attractions

-Peeping Tom wardens
-chain chockin’
-convincts in a can
-jungle cat fights
-nuns on the run
-jump-starting hookers
-gratuitous use of a western shirt
-puppies with underwear hats
-21 breasts
-37 deaths
-multiple shootouts
-circus mercenary jeeps
-tempera paint blood splatters

rated 7.7 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Black Mamma, White Mamma