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Released as part of an Erotic / Porno Film Collection, SEX HELL is your classic Women in Prison movie that follows the formula of CAGED HEAT (even its storyline is more or less the same), but exploits it even more (as if that were possible). Every clichéd happening of what goes on when a bunch of female criminals are locked up in one place takes place here: medical examinations, group bathing, girl-on-girl prison sex, sex with guards, cat fights, and every other degradation you could fathom. It’s exploitation at its finest and even goes overboard in its obsession with bodily functions, such as peeing, pooping, and menstrual cycles.
While I’m sure the film was hardcore for its time, this is erotica—not porn. There’s no full frontal nudity (from men or women), no beaver shots, no shots that confirm if the rug matches the carpet, no penetration or anything else that would classify it as porn. It could be closely compared to soft-core, but even soft-core shows a bush or two (hell, even CAGED HEAT showed a bush or two). That aside, there’s plenty of sex, plenty of nudity, and plenty of needlessly topless situations that keeps one’s interest for the full 72 minute run time. SEX HELL is full sexploitation that edges into some uncomfortable and not very fun situations, but that could just be the general Japanese handling of sex, where the women never really seem to be enjoying themselves and the men are always dirty old men. Not to say there’s a lot of rape going on here, but because they never appear to be having a good time while getting drilled, it sorta feels that way.
All that to say, for fans of the grindhouse, for fans of Women in Prison exploitation cinema, or simply sexploitation films (in general) from the ‘70s, SEX HELL is definitely for you. If you’re not really into any of those things, then… well, you’re not missing much by skipping this one.
Audio: 2.0 Mono in Japanese (with English subtitles) is adequate… it is what it is.