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U.S., 1974
Directed by Jonathan Demme
With Juanita Brown, Roberta Collins, Erica Gavin, Ella Reid, Rainbeaux Smith, Barbara Steele
Cinematography by Tak Fujimoto
Music by John Cale, featuring guitar by Mike Bloomfield
Approx. 83 min. DCP.

Jonathan Demme’s directorial debut is an all-out Lez-sploitation prison-escape rape-revenge drama, starring Barbara Steele as the sadistic prison matron with Erica Gavin left with no option but to lead a break out. With cinematography by Tak Fujimoto, and a striking, blues-inflected score by John Cale.


“Campy, choppy, and generally immature…”
– Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

“If there’s one institution with a more dubious reputation than women’s prisons, it’s women’s prison movies. Trite dialogue, cheesy lesbian sex and prison guards with personalities somewhere between Heinrich Himmler and the Marquis de Sade are the staples of this pulp genre. While a talented director occasionally gets seduced into trying his hand at the form, as Jonathan Demme did with his semi-socially conscious 1974 feature film debut, CAGED HEAT — featuring the immortal tagline ‘White hot desires melting cold prison steel!’”
– Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times

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