Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Concrete Jungle, 1982

A little-known B-movie for Overlooked Films at Todd Mason’s blog Sweet Freedom.

In the days before videocassette recorder and video cassette and colour and cable television, I watched films in the theatre, often alone. I saw all kinds of films, mostly bad films; so bad, in fact, you’d have to be really frantic to go to a theatre to see them. One did this sort of thing in one’s adolescence, when one is rudderless.

Even after all these years, I can’t get over the fact that I actually saw The Concrete Jungle made by someone called Tom DeSimone and starring Jill St. John, Tracey E. Bregman, and BarBara Luna. I have no idea who they are.

I don’t know if I went for this film because I thought it was about urban construction but I do remember that it made me squirm in my seat. I dislike films involving frame-ups and innocent victims doing torturous time in prison usually at the mercy of the evil warden and a bunch of depraved sex maniacs. The repeated rape of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) in The Shawshank Redemption (1994), an otherwise brilliant film, had me squirming too.

You might think the girl-on-girl action in The Concrete Jungle would raise testosterone levels in a 15-year old. It didn’t because I was scared silly. Since then, I have seen few sick films, like The Exorcist (1973), again brilliant but sick.

Around the time I saw The Concrete Jungle, I also saw two other films in the theatre, one about heaven and the other hell—Jesus Christ, a documentary, and The Day After (1983) that some people thought was a porn film. It was, in fact, about the devastating effects of nuclear war.

As I said, I saw all kinds of films back then. Did you?

10 comments:

  1. I didn't realize this was a "sick" kinda film. I've never seen it.

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    1. Charles, I thought it was sick at the time. Now I wouldn't even bother watching it, certainly not with a poster like that.

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  2. Not seen or heard of it to be honest - and I'm not going to hunt it down either!
    On first glance, I was confusing it with a book by Evan Hunter (Ed McBain) - The Blackboard Jungle. Probably a slightly easier watch and read!

    I was never big on the cinema as a younster to be honest.

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    1. Col, it's not worth seeing this film. I'd go with the Ed McBain novel which, I'm sure, is far superior. I watched a lot of films in the theatre as a youngster; now I go there once or twice a year.

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  3. A women in prison film. I am surprised it had such well-known actresses (Jill St. John, Barbara Luna). But then, this is a sub-genre I know little about.

    The movies I saw as a teenager were much tamer. But that is so long ago I don't remember any specifics.

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    1. Tracy, I didn't know they were well-known though BarBara Luna sounds vaguely familiar. I remember seeing a lot of animated films in my childhood and early youth and then occasionally films like the one reviewed above. I didn't have a fixed plan, I just went and saw whatever was running.

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  4. HaHaHa Prashant. What were you doing in theatre watching a movie like this? And where were the others: Friends, Family?

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    1. Neer, when I returned from Goa to Bombay, my place of birth, I didn't have any friends, so I used to go to the cinema hall to while away my time. That was also the period when I used to read a lot, like two books a day, more than I ever have at any time since. Lots of Chase, Gardner, Cronin, jack Higgins, Oliver Strange, Jeffrey Archer, J.T. Edson, and Hardy Boys.

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  5. I'll never understand why girl-on-girl action would "raise the testoterone level" in ANY man let alone a 15 year-old. One of the mysteries of life. Some guy attempted to explain his obsession for lesbian love scenes in movies to me but his detailed monologue made no sense at all to me. (no, i'm not going to even paraphrase it!) In any case this apparently is the reason women in prison films are made. That and a lot of cat fights and women acting and talking tough. The only one I find remotely interesting is SWAMP WOMEN, a bottom of the barrel Roger Corman movie with Marie Windsor and Beverly Garland. It's more of a escape from prison movie than one set in a prison though. The worst I ever saw was the infamous BORN INNOCENT, a TV movie about a teen girls' detention center. Horrifying for the 1970s, but probably merely tame these days.

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    1. John, I won't understand that either! I think it's the only women-in-prison film I've seen. Fortunately, I don't have obsessions for any kind of scenes in the movies though I'll admit I'm partial to comedy and animated and, of course, have gun-will shoot action films, like the COMMANDO variety. I'm not familiar with SWAMP WOMEN or BORN INNOCENT. I'm more careful what I watch these days, you know!

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