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Swamp Women (a.k.a., Swamp Diamonds) (1955).

June 23, 2010

The Scoop:
A guy gets stuck in the swamp with five beautiful women in pastel shirts and hair. It sounds like a dream come true, except that one of the women is his ineffectual girlfriend and the rest are escaped prisoners who are trying to recover a hidden stash of diamonds. As if that’s not enough right there, it turns out that one of the prisoners is an undercover cop who infiltrated the gang in prison in order to find out where they hid the diamonds. Tempers flare, faces get slapped and it all ends pretty badly.

Director Roger Corman’s minimal plot taps into the women-in-prison vibe he would go on to perfect in his 1970s work, with plenty of overheated passion, catfights and short-shorts. And the cast of familiar faces — including Marie Windsor, Beverly Garland, Mike “Touch” Connors of “Mannix” and a host of Corman regulars — rises to the challenge, throwing themselves into the material. (And the brackish water.) But of course, since this is Corman, he has to take this strong core and pad it out extensively with B-roll footage of Mardi Gras and the Louisiana Bayou.

And so a potentially strong idea turns into an endurance test, albeit at campy one. Still, at times it’s one of the more fun early Corman flicks. You could do much worse, I suppose.

Best Line:
“I’m gonna louse ’em all up!”

Side Note:
If the melodramatic pickpocket at the beginning looks familiar, that’s because he’s played by Corman regular Jonathon Haze, who whose best role came in “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960).

Companion Viewing:
“The Big Bird Cage” (1972).

1,000 Misspent Hours.
Ryan Watches 50 Movies.

Take a Look:
It’s a slappy, punchy good time!

The daring prison escape:

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