Chained Heat

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Chained Heat
Chained Heat poster
Directed byPaul Nicholas
Produced byBilly Fine
Monica Teuber [de]
Written byAaron Butler, as Vincent Mongol
Paul Nicholas
Music byJoseph Conlan
CinematographyMac Ahlberg
Edited byNino di Marco
Distributed byJensen Farley Pictures
Release date
  • May 27, 1983 (1983-05-27)
Running time
95 min.
CountryUnited States
West Germany
Budget$1.3 million[1]
Box officeover $20 million[1]

Chained Heat (alternate title: Das Frauenlager in West Germany) is a 1983 American-German exploitation film in the women-in-prison genre. It was co-written and directed by Paul Nicholas (as Paul Nicolas) for Jensen Farley Pictures.[2] Producer was Paul Fine, who had previously produced The Concrete Jungle.


The film takes place in the California women's prison in which naive teenager Carol Henderson (Linda Blair) is sentenced to serve 18 months for accidentally killing a man. Warden Backman (John Vernon) has a hot tub in his office; his assistant, Captain Taylor (Stella Stevens) controls the prison's prostitutes and has a lover who is also involved in a clandestine affair with Ericka (Sybil Danning), the leader of the white prisoners, while the black prisoners are led by Duchess (Tamara Dobson). Lesbian rapists deal drugs. Eventually the administration pushes the prisoners too far and they drop their race-based feuding to revolt against their common enemy.[2][3][4]

Production and release[edit]

Chained Heat was produced for $950,000. It opened on May 27, 1983 in 404 theaters nationwide and made $2,252,682 in its opening weekend. The film was in theaters for two and a half weeks in total. As of 2009, the film's domestic gross is $6,149,983.[5]


During its release the film came under fire from critics for its sexism and from gay rights activists for negative and stereotypical portrayals of lesbians as violent and predatory. A Variety review described it as "silly, almost campy" and judged Nicholas to have "display[ed] little feel for the prison genre, emphasizing archaic sex-for-voyeurs scenes".[4] As of February 2019 Chained Heat's rating on Rotten Tomatoes is 56% positive reviews.[6]

The film was nominated for two Razzie Awards including Worst Actress for Blair and won Worst Supporting Actress for Danning.[7]

Chained Heat (Uncut and remastered edition) was released in 2011 as a DVD Women In Prison box set with Red Heat (1985) and Jungle Warriors (1984).


In 1993 the sequel Chained Heat II, starring Brigitte Nielsen, Paul Koslo, Kimberley Kates and Kari Whitman was released. The film was directed by Lloyd Simandl and released in Canada.[8] This was followed by the 1998 release of Chained Heat 3: Hell Mountain. The film starred Nicole Nieth, Kate Rodgers, and Bentley Mitchum and was directed by Mike Rhol from a screenplay by Chris Hyde.[9]

Both sequels bear little to no relation to the first film.


Actor Role
Linda Blair Carol
John Vernon Warden Backman
Sybil Danning Ericka
Tamara Dobson Dutchess
Stella Stevens Capt. Taylor
Sharon Hughes Val
Henry Silva Lester
Edy Williams Paula
Nita Talbot Kaufman
Louisa Moritz Bubbles
Michael Callan Martin
Greta Blackburn Lulu


  1. ^ a b JAILED BAIT--A NEW WAVE OF WOMEN-IN-PRISON FILMS BROESKE, PAT H. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 19 May 1985: ac24.
  2. ^ a b Overview, Chained Heat, The New York Times, archived at the Wayback Machine on April 10, 2013.
  3. ^ Karl Williams, Synopsis, Chained Heat, AllMovie, accessed 2019-02-02.
  4. ^ a b Review: Chained Heat, Variety, December 31, 1982.
  5. ^ Chained Heat (1983)
  6. ^ Chained Heat Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes
  7. ^ Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0.
  8. ^ Chained Heat II - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes - New York Times
  9. ^ Hell Mountain (1998)

External links[edit]