Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Against Their Will Women in Prison|
Actors: Stacy Keach, Judith Light, Michael Woods
Genres: Drama, Television
False Advertising and Guilty Pleasures.
Paul Aragon | Virginia | 11/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First thing first. This is not a Women In Prison flick. If you buy this film expecting to see sleazy depictions of misogyny conducted on helpless scantly clad and naked female inmates by brutal prison officials, you will be greatly dissapointed. I don't know if this is a case of purposeful false advertising, or simply the result of sloppily conceived film distribution, but both the title and DVD cover suggest something akin to Caged Heat, or The Big Birdcage. Here we have a film with the suggestive title of Against Their Will, and a cover that focuses almost entirely on a female inmates busty prison T-shirt clad chest stretched taunt between iron bars. Surely Ilsa The Wicked Warden runs this correctional facility? Though the story does focus on the sexual abuse of female inmates, it does so with all the family oriented cleanliness of an after school special. Though the cover art suggests otherwise, you will not be treated to near nude cat fights, nudity, or any other violent tidbits of raunchy exploitative mature audience material. Outside of two cuss words pertaining to female dogs and loose women, and a bit of blood on the main characters face during one steril brief moment ( it is meant to be a prison fight, but we never see any punches thrown ), the only thing that even makes this film PG 13 is the adult themes.
Keeping the color crayons within the lines.
What this film really is, is a paint by the numbers made for TV melodrama. It is one of those inspiring stories in which a little lone individual rises up against insurmountable odds to achieve a triumph of the spirit, while overthrowing high ranking sacred cow officials within a corrupt bureaucracy. It is also a film with a completely formulated plot, in which every character is exactly what they appear to be and are thus entirely readable. If only real life where so simple.
If a person is a complete snake in this film, they will have no admirable redeeming qualities to their personality whatsoever. There is even one character in this film who is portrayed as an unattractive man who gives into temptation and has sex with inmates as a way of making up for a past of being undesired by the opposite sex. He is of course painted as a wishy-washy simpleton with all the yokel characteristics one would expect of a good natured good ol' boy lost, including the moniker Stewie. Though the DVD claimes that its contents are based on a true story, you will not find any actual reality in this feature. Even our repeat felon heroine is only thrown back into prison on a set up. In other words, there is an excuse for her latest incarceration that suggests that she is both innocent and righteous. Since she is the smartest of all cookies in this film, she quickly realizes that the prison staff is actively engaged in violating the inmates. She also clearly understands the implications of these atrocities. Since this is a 90 minute long A to Z story line, she does exactly what this story line suggests a herione should do, but not what any real person would ever do in her actual situation. So naturally, she speaks up in front of the corrupt prison guards and incites her fellow inmates with complete in your face fist shaking defiance. Unlike real life, she has absolutely no fear of retaliation, it is as if she knew that her story line had been preordained all along. All the side characters also act within the expected story guide lines like perfectly trained circus poodles. For example, she has a son who spends every single scene he is in except for the very last one despising her for being a trashy X-con. It is only when she beats the prison system and is publicly vindicated that he completely changes his tune and embraces her, literally and figuratively, during the final pay off. There is something so entirely campy and oddly enjoyable about the formulated plot mixed with the lead characters self righteous indignant portrayal.
The irony here, is that had this film actually been a sexploitation sleaze fest, the viewer would of been required not to think in order to enjoy it. As it turns out, the viewer is still required to shut their brains off in order to watch this feature. Against Their Will manages to work as a kind of guilty pleasure film that does exactly what you expect and want it to do. Since it is not a big studio film, I can only rate it as a movie of the week, that is why I give Against Their Will four stars. Despite the false advertising and the predictible story line, or what I may think of myself, this is still a stomping good watch. Just don't expect a Women In Prison Film."