17 & Life: Jail Bait (2013)
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other cast:, Sara Malakul Lane, Erin O'Brien, Tammy Klein, Nicole Alexandra Shipley, Barrett Perlman, Diana Danger, Jennifer Robyn Jacobs, Hiram A. Murray, Steve Hanks, Andray Johnson, Marguerite Nocera, Johnny Meyer, Kira Powell, Phillip Wheeler
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Pam Greer? -- PHHHT!
Favorite Movie Quote: "Your breath smells like puke"
Meet Anna Nix (SHARKTOPUS' Sara Malakul Lane), young, pretty, talented, and on her way to a full ride college scholarship. All that stands in her way - her abusive stepfather. On one ill-fated "rendezvous," Anna fights off the stepfather's advances, and accidentally kills him. Involuntary manslaughter. In court, her mother defends the late stepfather, and poor Anna is shipped off to a women's maximum security prison, where her stepfather's abusive behavior was just the warm-up act.
17 & LIFE: JAILBAIT is all the worst-case scenarios of every "woman in chains" prison movie ever made. The prison is a zoo of the worst the California Prison System has failed to rehabilitate. And Anna is just a party favor, introduced into lesbianism by her cellmate (Jennifer Robyn Jacobs), forced into choosing sides in the prison hierarchy by Kody (BIKINI SPRING BREAK's Erin O'Brien), attacked by the African American gang for making the wrong choice, and thrown into solitary confinement (always naked, no less) more time than this reviewer could count. But the biggest of the lowest is Warden Frank Baragan (#holdyourbreath's Steve Hanks), who takes "special favor" to Anna - whenever the mood suited him. The only thing writer/director Jared Cohn flinched on was that Anna was not Linda Blair'd. Still, the BORN BAD writer/director crammed as much sex, nudity, drug use, and violence to classify this film as grindhouse quality.
Now the gripes.
Though the film had all the components of a Class-One exploitation film, this reviewer went all "nerd-o" on the technical faux pas. Though Anna was an accomplished and talented cellist, Lane did not know her way about the instrument. Any cellist would tell immediately she was pretending to play. Also, any child of the Sixties would spot the obvious misrepresentation of heroin needles. As mentioned, these were technical goofs that most would never even notice, and did not affect the raw intensity of the film. Also the ending was a bit Hollywood and very abrupt, as if the film had to wrap up to get in the prerequisite Asylum 90 minute time frame. But up until that point, no one on Earth would want to trade places with Anna during her ordeal in the women's prison.
On my personal rating scale of with '5' being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and '0' being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie earns a '4,' using Patented Bell Curve for Independent Films. 17 & LIFE: JAILBAIT is curiously described as a "coming-of-age" film, which brings up memories of STAND BY ME or The SUMMER of 42. This film is as far from these warm and fuzzy movies as it could possibly be! Look for a cameo by MILF and CELEBRITY SEX TAPE's Tammy Klein as the Judge that sentences Anna.
The film is unrated, but has hard-R nudity, hard-R sex, hard-R violence, rape, and drug use; don't expect this film on the Lifetime Channel anytime soon. If you need a harder women's prison fix than the ones "back then," 17 & LIFE: JAILBAIT will satisfy the most jaded sensationalist junkie.
17 & LIFE: JAILBAIT will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray December 31, 2013.
Final Note: For those who want a little pre-JAILBAIT, Indy Planet and The Asylum have produced a comic book of the movie, available now.
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