Swamp Women aka Swamp Diamonds
Genre: Crime, Adventure
Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Mike Conners, Beverly Garland, Marie Windsor
Swamp Women aka Swamp Diamonds was one of the earlier efforts from noted director Roger Corman. Though he helmed several notorious B-movies throughout the 50s and 60s, his notoriety of being one of the “world’s worst directors” isn’t really fair. Without Roger Corman there would not have been the rise of independent films that would rise up in the mid 60s. Corman finagled a multi-picture deal with a fledging independent company called American Releasing. Later this company would change its name to American International Pictures (AIP) and would become one of the most successful independent studios in film history. This would be thanks, in most part, to the diligent work of Roger Corman. He was a master of making films as quick and cheap as possible, sometimes shooting multiple films at the same time on the same sets. Sure his films looked like the cheap rush-jobs they were but they made a profit. He’s been one of the most prolific producers the industry has ever produced and his influence on American cinema is almost incalculable. In 2009 he was given an academy award for Lifetime Achievement. You can’t be called the “worst director ever” and win a Lifetime Achievement award.
That being said, however, the films Corman directed early in his career are still boring, ugly and cheap. Swamp Women is certainly no exception. This entire movie is just one big, ugly mess of lazy direction. I imagine the script for this film was only about 20 pages or so because the majority of this movie is either boring filler or redundant, poorly ad-libbed scenes. Misplaced stock footage, cheap sets and poor performances abound in this typical Corman fare. Like many other Corman films, this one was featured in an episode of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” under its alternate title of Swamp Diamonds. Swamp Diamonds is actually a better title for this movie than Swamp Women. The plot is, at its barest, about these four women searching for diamonds in the swampland of Louisiana. They are NOT women from the swamp, they are not familiar at all with this terrain. In fact, one of them has the stupid line of: “This stinkin’ swamp water stinks.” The term “Swamp Women” conjures up a very different image of rough southern gals than this movie has to offer.
Seeing as I am reviewing this film as part of a series of Women in Prison films I should probably go over the “women in prison” aspects of this flick. Some diamonds were stolen by three women and hidden in a swamp 3 years ago. A female police officer (Carole Matthews) is sent undercover to help these gals break out of prison and find the lost diamonds. How do they break out of prison? They simply open the window and crawl outside. What kind of cheap tom-foolery is this?
Now these women trek through the swamps of Louisiana and ALL they do is fight. They argue about this and that, then they take their boat through the swamp. They stop to camp while arguing some more, then they take their boat through the swamp. At one point they take Mike “Touch” Conners hostage and he tags along for the ride. He has the thrilling job to sit tied to a tree watching these bitches argue for 90 minutes. I cannot stress enough that this woman is 80% women arguing with each other and 20% lame and predictable plot.
I am thankful that I watched the MST3K version of this movie (Swamp Diamonds) instead of actually trying to tough it out on its own. I’d actually recommend checking out this particular episode of MST3K – its one of the funnier ones and even has an enjoyable short – “What To Do on a Date.” This movie is a horrid mess of crap and should be avoided. It’s not even “sexy exploitation.” But then again – the title Swamp Women doesn’t exactly scream hot ladies and sex now, does it. I guess it’s a fitting title since the movie features plenty of swamps and some women (though I’m pretty sure one of them was a dude). So, if you like swamps and you like ugly women arguing about petty shit, then you’s LOVE this movie. If, however, you are a normal human being then you’d probably be better off avoiding this.