Certainly had potential --- but failed to deliver
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I generally love women-in-prison films because I really enjoy that whole genre of vulnerable young imprisoned girls being preyed upon by bad-girl-cellmates, evil lesbian guards, and that always lustful female warden. This one DOES have the lustful female warden (but not enough of her), and there is one guard who just might be a lesbian, but the rest of it is disappointing and falls flat. For one thing, there are WAY too many guys in this film! Big mistake! Basically, in the future women will be enslaved to work the salt mines, but one girl in particular has a boyfriend on the outside who wants to break her out. And, of course, he does. The best scenes (in my opinion) involve the beautiful, older female warden and the two young, blonde female sex-slaves she keeps for her private pleasures. I really liked it whenever those three were on the screen. Unfortunately, that was only twice, and too briefly at that. Of course, there's also an obligatory shower scene, but the women all kept their clothes on!?! What fun is that? Granted, their outfits were skimpy... but really! I liked the scene, but like the film itself it COULD have been a LOT better!"
Not your father's women-in-prison flick
Franco Jesse | Pittsburgh, USA | 08/03/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In some indefinite future scenario, society is divided into two groups: an evil, tech-savvy, militaristic elite and the remainder, who look and act like Eastern Europeans from the 19th century. The story is told mainly from the point of view of two young village women, Shira (Nicole Nieth) and pickpocket Ariel (Kate Rodger), who, along with other women, are forced into slave labor in the dreaded Hell Mountain mines. (The fact that they do not recruit big husky men to do the job is somewhat explained by the fact that there is a weight restriction on who gets drafted).
Shira's boyfriend attempts to spring her from the mountain prison by enlisting the help of the last of the 'teachers', apparently the only non-elite holdout left who is acquainted with the fine arts of shooting guns, blowing things up, and using high-tech equipment.
However, the flick works best when the women are on the screen. Like most WIP films, this one features lesbianism, a sadistic female overseer (who takes a whip to Ariel), the mandatory 'hose-down', and a snarly queen bee (portrayed in over-the-top fashion by Sarah Douglas, in the kind of role she was born to play). But these gals don't just loll around in their make-up and Frederick's of Hollywood outfits--they've got work to do. The film presents gritty images of every detail of the women's arduous manual labor (although why such a high-tech society can't use more sophisticated mining methods is never explained). Oh well, all the better to catch liberal glimpses of female flesh through the holey, ragged work clothes they are issued.
Unfortunately, the movie falls short when it comes to the breakout attempt. The ending seems rushed and cheap, as if the production crew started to run out of money and time near the end of filming. So viewers don't get the big emotional payoff we've been waiting for.
The settings also seems oddly out of joint. 'Hell Mountain', when seen at a distance, resembles the opening credits background painting for Paramount Pictures (can they get sued for that?). Close up, the outside of the mountain looks like a cheesy school science project.
Still, the inside of the mine is appropriately cramped, and makes a sharp contrast to the cavernous passages of the evil overlords. The lead actresses are appealing (especially Kate Rodger), and I give the flick credit for being different. Just don't mistake it for a Pam Grier epic."
You'd have o be chained to the couch to watch this movie!
nothing227 | Los Angeles, USA | 09/17/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Undeservedly overlooked at this year's Oscars, this is actually a retitling of a film called 'Hell Mountain', and has all the hallmarks of a tedious cash-in. You'd be half right; while nothing to do with the 1983 classic, as post-apocalyptic soft-porn B-movies go, it's not at all bad. And, believe me, I've seen enough to know how bad it *can* get. Fortunately, CH3 is set in a future where fertiliser and guns are in short-supply, but civilization still has an abundant supply of thongs and hair-stylists. The plot/excuse has a village exchanging their nubile young girls with an evil (and disfigured, natch) man who runs the fertiliser mine. This peeves one of the boyfriends, who looks like Kyle McLachlan, but sadly possesses none of the quirky wit. Oh, and all teachers bar one have been exterminated."