Chained Heat II (1993) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

As time goes on I find the concept of sequels to be more and more confusing. At one time, a sequel meant that the second film told more about the same characters. Rocky 2 told more about Rocky in the period after Rocky 1. Sometimes the follow-up indicates a prequel rather than a sequel (Batman Begins), or maybe a bit of both (Godfather, Part II), but the basic idea should be to relate more about the same characters. I generally don't mind this kind of sequel. Sometimes, as in Godfather 2 or The Empire Strikes Back, or Aliens, or Goldfinger, the sequels are almost as good as or even better than the originals. Even when this type of sequel is vastly inferior to the progenitor, I still don't view the later pictures as rip-offs, but just failures.

There has also been a second kind of sequel which lives kind of a parallel existence: the kind where the second and subsequent movies are not additional adventures of the same characters, but are essentially the same damned movie over again with a different cast, like those sequels to Wild Things. I find this type of sequel to be extremely irritating. Chained Heat II is such a sequel. It stars different people, but it is fundamentally the same movie as Chained Heat, which in turn is fundamentally the same movie as every other "women in prison" flick. The formula is as follows: an innocent woman is framed or railroaded into prison, where she encounters sadistic lesbians and/or corrupt authorities. The matrons and warden make the inmates get naked for inspections and work details. The inmates also take frequent showers. The prison authorities are also using the women to generate income, always through illegal activities, usually through white slavery or prostitution. The innocent girl struggles to escape. Yada, yada ...

This came from the Czechsploitation assembly line of producer Lloyd Simandl, who moved his studio, North American Pictures, from Canada to the Czech Republic to reduce costs, and started the ball rolling with Chained Heat II. The business model was obviously successful, because he has been making his movies there ever since, churning  out an array of "B" genre movies in and around Prague. I can see why it works for him. The Czech Republic has plenty of atmospheric shooting locations: cobblestone medieval streets, glorious palaces, closed factories and prisons, Communist relics, moribund towns, and so forth. The Czechs also have the technical capability to deliver a product which looks very similar in quality to anything in Western Europe, so Simandl found himself in a great position - doing business in his home country with low production costs, cheap labor, pretty girls, an educated work force, and capable Western-style technicians. Most of his movies include a handful of American and Canadian performers (or others who speak English fluently), and they deliver the bulk of the lines, while the Czech actors take small roles or hang out in the background as extras. In this case, as guards, prisoners, thugs, drivers, and others not required to speak much, if at all.

In the case of Jana Svandova, who played the butch matron in Chained Heat II, she did speak many lines, and they may or may not have been in English. Some of her lines seemed to include English words, but wildly mispronounced, as if Lotte Lenya had decided to impersonate Inspector Clouseau.

Amazingly enough, this movie looks excellent. It's on good film stock, is properly lighted, and is directed with reasonable competence, if not flair. If you choose a few moments at random and leave the sound off, you might swear it was an A-level Hollywood movie. It has no pizzazz, tepid characterization, and not a lot of energy, but it does have a (barely) serviceable plot, some over-the-top sexual shenanigans, and lots of nudity.

The real disappointment for you "guilty pleasure seekers" is that most of the nudity is provided by the Czechs, playing minor characters and extras. They're all attractive, but basically anonymous. There are various unnamed prisoners providing breasts and buns in group scenes, plus Petra Susser (topless in many scenes and a brief frontal) and Lucie Benesova (the full monty in a shower scene). Among the international stars, one (Kari Whitman) shows no flesh at all, and another (Brigitte Nielsen) delivers nothing but a hint of areola. That leaves Kimberly Kates as the only North American providing nudity. Kates does supply full-frontal exposure in the shower, and later shows her breasts in a nicely lighted après-sex scene.

If all the nudity had come from women familiar to us, I would recommend CH2 as a guilty pleasure film  As it stands, it's not recommended, but is a reasonably competent if unoriginal WIP film, so it's a weak but acceptable selection of you're looking for genre kicks. On the other hand, you would consider it complete crap if you're looking for a real movie.



  • There are no features, but ...
  • The transfer is widescreen, anamorphically enhanced, and looks great



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The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C-. I would recommend it as a guilty pleasure film if all the nudity had come from women familiar to us. As it stands, it's not recommended, but is a reasonably competent if unoriginal WIP film, so it's a weak but acceptable selection of you're looking for genre kicks. On the other hand, you would consider it complete crap if you're looking for a real movie.

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