Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Phil’s Exploitation Cinema: FUGITIVE GIRLS (1974) from Vinegar Syndrome - August 10, 2019


Starring Jabie Abercrombe, Rene Bond, Tallie Cochrane, Donna Young, Margie Lanier, Harvey Shain, Nicolle Riddell, Edward D. Wood Jr.
Screenplay by Stephen C. Apostolof (original screenplay) (as A.C. Stephen), Edward D. Wood Jr. (original screenplay)
Cinematography by Robert Birchall
Edited by Luigi Rogatoni (as Louigi Rogatoni)
Produced by Stephen C. Apostolof (as A.C. Stephen), S.B. Cooper
Directed by Stephen C. Apostolof (as A.C. Stephen)
Originally released by SCA Distributors
Re-Released by Vinegar Syndrome

Awww......is there anything better than 70's exploitation smut? The short answer is no! During this groovy decade, drive-ins and grindhouses were filled with these types of movies: sex crazed fiends, hot nude scenes, sizzling sex scenes, violence, and acting that ranks right below high school drama class. However, they were never boring; sometimes there were really risque with the subject manners ranging from lesbianism, rape, violence towards women, and prison treatment. A lot of these topics appear in the grindhouse sexploitation classic FUGITIVE GIRLS (which was co-written by the late, great Edward D. Wood Jr.) from Vinegar Syndrome!

The film's official synopsis: Beautiful Dee is implicated in a fatal liquor store shooting committed by her boyfriend. Sent to an all-female work camp, she quickly finds herself at the mercy of four other violent and sex crazed prisoners who force her into their daring escape plan. Once on the outside, the five fugitives embark on a brutal and sex filled rampage across the countryside, while making their way to a mystery site rumored to have a buried suitcase full of money!

Original Theatrical Poster (1974)
The movie was directed by Stephen C. Apostolof (as A.C. Stephen) and co-written by Edward D. Wood Jr. The same team that brought us ORGY OF THE DEAD (also from Vinegar Syndrome), this dynamic duo hit their peak with this movie (the two made nine films together). Hell, even Wood has a couple of roles in the movie, unfortunately you can see how hard life has hit him. Sadly, Wood would pass away on December 10, 1978, four years later after appearing here. Another legendary sexploitation star appears in the film. Rene Bond got her start acting in several Harry Novak produced exploitation flicks, such as COUNTRY CUZZINS, COUNTRY HOOKER, and PLEASE DON'T EAT MY MOTHER. She would also appear in several hardcore pornography films, and was one of the first actresses to have a breast enlargement. She left the film industry in the late seventies and was never seen again, until he appeared on the old game show Break the Bank in the mid-eighties. She passed away from of liver problems on June 2, 1996 at the young age of 45. Apostolof made two more movies after this, then left the film industry. He made several appearances in Ed Wood documentaries, then died on August 14, 2005, aged 77.

There were actually two different versions of the film being played back then. There was the exploitation version called FUGITIVE GIRLS without the softcore sex scenes, then there was the one with all the softcore sex scenes which was called FIVE LOOSE WOMEN. Now, thanks to Vinegar Syndrome, they were able to restore the film with all of the sexiness and put it out under the title.

Vinegar Syndrome once again has done an incredible job of restoring the film, featuring a newly 2k scan from the 35mm original camera negative. Some of the special features include the following: Audio commentary track with Frank Henenlotter (Exploitation filmmaker) and Rudolph Grey (Ed Wood biographer), archival audio interview with Tallie Cochrane (actress), moderated by Casey Scott, original theatrical and promo trailer, and English SDH Subtitles. The region free Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is limited to only 2,500 units, ans as I am writing this review, there are only eight copies left on their website!!

FUGITIVE GIRLS is a sexploitation cult classic for fans who love these films, and is a required addition to any Ed Wood library!! Here is a film that has been long overdue for a reissue and a rediscovery, and now you have a chance to won this amazing sex-filled, nudity laced, Ed Wood hamming it up acting, and lesbian loving gem of a flick! So what the hell are you waiting for? Order this movie now! 4 out of 5 stars! Highly recommended!

FUGITIVE GIRLS is available in a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack from Vinegar Syndrome. To order a copy for yourself, visit their website at vinegarsyndrome.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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