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The Naked Cage - Blu-ray Review

3 beers

Looking for a quick study of the attitude and overall swagger of the 1980s?  Few things are as tonally expressive AND summative as the opening few minutes of this flick when it comes to the 1980s heyday.  Look no further.

The Naked Cage opens with a shot of a two-lane highway.  It is baking beneath the sun.  A naked pair of fine looking legs struts into the frame.  The Fabulous Thunderbirds’ “Tuff Enough” begins to play.  The woman, Rita (Christina Whitaker) is wearing flaming red cowboy boots.  There’s a profile shot of her face.  She is wearing stylized sunglasses; only silver reflects back.  A car approaches.  She smiles.  She knows she’s getting picked up.  The man behind the wheel would be crazy not to. 

Brakes screech.  Rita, who just escaped prison, lowers her sunglasses.  She grins.  This car has just been stolen.  She knows it.  And so it begins.  Don’t go falling in love, though.  Rita tears through her men like few others and she’s got one more fella, Willy (John Terlesky), to burn through before landing in lock-up for a very long time.

Damn, nothing screams 1980s like the blur Cannon Films logo and that sunbaked opening scene.  You already know this film is going to be over the top, completely off its rocker, and so stylized that it escapes gravity’s laws, yet you still don’t care.  The Naked Cage, now issued on blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory, remains one sweet ride through the canyons of rock and schlock. 

The Naked Cage, about the framing of the sweet and innocent Michelle (Shari Shattuck) for a bank robbery gone wrong and her subsequent time in a women’s prison battling an intense female warden  (Angel Tompkins) who lusts after her prisoners, an aggressive male guard who has to stick his dick in all that he sees, the territorial girl gangs in the prison, and Rita, is your classic 1980s slice of climatic cheese.  It’s full of bad acting, gratuitous shower scenes, and a whole truckload of stereotypes.  It also, as towels are dropped every six minutes or so, doesn’t truly give a fuck if it offends your puritanical notions of morality. 

In it, a recovering heroin addict gets forcibly put back on the sauce.  Deals are made that ruin the lives of others.  And evil spins out of control as the entire prison riots itself into a panic.  There ain’t no controlling the chaos once the bars have been slammed in this prison; Michelle is truly on her own.

Written and directed by Paul Nicholas (Chained Heat), The Naked Cage knows it’s a b-movie.  It also knows its target audience and builds upon the bunk bed hootenanny by embracing the whole women-in-prison genre of films wholeheartedly.  It’s campy.  The scenery gets chewed time and time again from every cast member and we get a lot of women-on-women action.  It’s seemingly allowed in this prison.  

As a critique of the criminal justice system, there are probably better movies to watch.  For the thrills and spills of women in prison, one simply cannot go wrong with the hijinks found inside The Naked Cage.



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The Naked Cage - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
97 mins
: Paul Nicholas
Paul Nicholas
Shari Shattuck, Angel Tompkins, Lucinda Crosby
: Drama | Action
Raw violence and hot rage explode.
Memorable Movie Quote: "We'll pray. We'll pray. We'll pray for the last time. We'll pray."
Theatrical Distributor:
Cannon Film Distributors
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 7, 1986
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 7, 2017
Synopsis: From the director of Chained Heat comes a new tale of survival behind bars! Michelle (Shari Shattuck, Arena) is young and pretty... and in prison for someone else's crime. Soon, the naive newcomer is making enemies in all the wrong places. Diane, a kinky warden, wants to maneuver Michelle into her plush private "pleasure room." The sadistic guard wants to pay her a visit in solitary confinement. And a ruthless, psychotic fellow inmate just wants to see her dead. As a full-blown cell block riot explodes around her, Michelle plunges into a desperate, deadly confrontation with the treacherous foe that can prove her innocence – or destroy her life!


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The Naked Cage - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- May 2, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region A

Shout Factory, under the lengthy arm of its Scream Factory offshoot, presents The Naked Cage on 1080p with a new transfer from the original 35mm interpositive.  With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and DTS-HD Master Audio Mono sound mix, the film retains its cinematic vibe.  The colors are bold – get a load of the warden’s pleasure-room and you’ll get a grand example of how vivid it is – and shadows are detailed.  Lines are thick and hold their edges and the details are consistency strong.  Skin tones are strong, too.  There are quite a bit of tan bodies actually.  Textures in background and in clothing are ripe and expressive.



  • None

Special Features:

Nope, not really.  

  • Original Theatrical Trailer


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The Naked Cage - Blu-ray Review