Hell Behind Bars

Watch Hell Behind Bars

  • 1984
  • 1 hr 27 min
  • 3.8  (349)

Hell Behind Bars is a gritty exploitation film directed by Chano Urueta and released in 1984. The movie features an ensemble cast and is set inside a grim and violent women's prison in a Latin American country. Despite its relatively low budget and exploitative nature, Hell Behind Bars offers a searing critique of institutional oppression and gender-based violence.

The story follows the experiences of a group of female inmates who are subjected to horrific abuse and degradation by the corrupt prison staff. The protagonist is a young woman named Carmen (played by Ajita Wilson), who is being held in the prison on trumped-up charges of drug trafficking. Carmen is forced to navigate a brutal world where rape, torture, and murder are commonplace.

One of the major themes of the film is the power dynamics between the prisoners and the guards. The guards are portrayed as sadistic, misogynistic bullies who take pleasure in inflicting pain on the inmates. They routinely use physical violence, sexual assault, and psychological manipulation to maintain control over the women. The inmates, on the other hand, are portrayed as largely powerless and vulnerable. They are frequently victimized and forced to rely on their own cunning and resourcefulness to survive.

Another key element of the film is the portrayal of sexuality and gender. Many of the prisoners are lesbians, and their relationships are depicted as a source of comfort and strength in a hostile environment. However, their same-sex desires also make them targets for abuse and discrimination. The film also explores the ways in which social norms and expectations around femininity and masculinity are enforced through violence and coercion.

Hell Behind Bars is unapologetically graphic in its depiction of violence and sexual assault. The camera lingers on scenes of women being beaten, stripped, and humiliated, and the sound design is often deliberately unsettling. The aim seems to be to shock and unsettle the viewer, to make them feel the same sense of horror and disgust that the characters are experiencing.

Despite its questionable content, Hell Behind Bars is an important film in the history of Latin American cinema. It stands as a testament to the courage and resilience of women in the face of institutional oppression and violence. The film's frank portrayal of sexuality and gender also represents a bold challenge to traditional social norms and expectations.

Overall, Hell Behind Bars is a difficult and disturbing film that is not for the faint of heart. It offers a powerful critique of institutional violence and gender-based oppression, but its portrayal of these issues is at times exploitative and graphic. Nevertheless, the film is a valuable contribution to the canon of Latin American cinema and remains a potent example of the power of film to challenge social norms and provoke critical thought.

Hell Behind Bars is a 1984 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 3.8.

Where to Watch Hell Behind Bars
Hell Behind Bars is available to watch free on Plex and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Hell Behind Bars for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 27 min
  • IMDB Rating
    3.8  (349)