Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content
Short Take: A clever and heartfelt homage to the noir (mostly, B) women-in-prison flicks.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2009
Duration: 95 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Steve Balderson
Writer: Frankie Krainz, Steve Balderson
Starring: Karen Black, Susan Traylor, Jane Wiedlin, Mink Stole, Stacy Cunningham, Jeff Dylan Graham, Starina Johnson, Pleasant Gehman, Betti O, Lady Monster, September Carter

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Stuck! Stuck! is a clever and heartfelt homage to the noir (mostly, B) women-in-prison flicks. As noted by screenwriter Frankie Krainz, Stuck has all the hallmarks of the genre, “a wrongly accused heroine, hard boiled dames, diabolical alliances, forbidden love, cat-fighting cuties, a sadistic warden, and corrupt prison guards.”

Setting up the story, the innocent and naive Daisy (Starina Johnson) sees her mother commit suicide, but a nosey neighbor, aptly played by the legendary Karen Black, frames the death as a murder, landing poor Daisy behind bars.

Daisy shares the cellblock with a quirky clutch of murderesses, including the sultry bad girl, Dutch (Pleasant Gehman) who, from the get-go, has an eye to seduce Daisy.

Other inmates include the religious zealot (the iconic, Mink Stole), and the black-widowesque husband-killer (Susan Traylor) and her mentally challenged Princess (Jane Wiedlin, from the Go Gos). Throw in the show-stealing Stacy Cunningham as the bad-ass guard, Amazon, and you have a lively cast that evokes emotions ranging from light-heartedness to lust and disgust.

The film was shot in black and white and sets the audience up to think the movie is set in the 1950s. However, intentional anachronisms give the movie a more timeless quality.

Stuck has a blatant lesbian theme (and a short portrayal of Daisy and Dutch enjoying each other’s company, though separated by bars). It should be noted, though, the film also has some (brief) graphic portrayals of death and rape that may bother some viewers.

Just being a women-in-prison movie, Stuck is in consideration for becoming a cult film. Adding in heavy-hitting cult favs like Karen Black and Mink Stole (and a rock star) almost seals the deal.

But don’t be fooled. Strong performances, subtle plot points and raw, “one-take” direction, by Steve Balderson (Firecracker) that balances cheese and pathos, make this a movie worth watching.  (CJ)