Chained Girls (1965)
Updated: Oct 16, 2020
Documentary / Exploitation
TW: Blood, Death or Dying, Homophobia, Rape, Suicide, Violence
Worth Watching? Yes
Bechdel Test? Fail
Race Bechdel Test? Fail
Synopsis (from imdb): This exploitation classic purports to expose the secrets of the 1960s lesbian underworld.
My Thoughts: "Who or what is a lesbian", this movie asks in its opening sequence. It goes on to helpfully define different types of lesbians, including butch, butch, butch, and butch (oh and one femme for every butch). The juxtaposition between Chained Girls and Bad Girls Go to Hell is worth exploring, if you can stomach it. In Bad Girls Go To Hell, rape is turned into pornography for the benefit of men. The purpose of the film could not be more clear. The protagonist is raped four times in Bad Girls Go To Hell. She is seriously beaten twice, once during a rape. This was intended to be a titillating and sexy film. Chained Girls is purported to be a documentary on the evils of lesbianism. I found it quite funny until it reached the end, where the lesbian initiation ritual takes place (spoiler: it's gang rape). A few of my favorite quotes from this movie:
"Wherever girls and young women are to be found in any number, it is quite possible that lesbians can be found"
"Quite often, the boundaries of female homosexuality are so vague that women slip into lesbianism without realizing that they are lesbians"
"Many lesbians have their own special vocabulary. The phrase "coming out" denotes a lesbian's sexual debut"
"Some couples have stayed together for as long as four and five months!"
"Then there are the teenage lesbians, or baby butch. They roam big city streets in large gangs assaulting everyone who falls within their path. Some of the weapons that they use run the gamut of fists, lead pipes, chains"
"For as the saying goes, for every dyke who walks there, there is a femme for her"
Queer Body Count: 0
Straight Body Count: 0
Total Queer Body Count: 10 (30%)
Total Straight Body Count: 12 (8%)
Queer Sexual Violence Victim Count: 0
Straight Sexual Violence Victim Count: 0
Total Queer Sexual Violence Victim Count: 4 (12%)
Total Straight Sexual Violence Victim Count: 1 (1%)