Note: Today’s post is in collaboration with Todd from Cinema Monolith, bringing back our two-person Cheeseathon! Head over to Todd’s blog to find out his thoughts on this alligator-infused crime thriller.

Swamp Women 1956
(Image via IMDb)

Lee Hampton (Carole Matthews) is in prison, but not for any crime. She’s an undercover policewoman attempting to find stolen diamonds. Three prisoners — Josie (Marie Windsor), Vera (Beverly Garland), and Billie (Jil Jarmyn) — were involved in the crime and are said to have hidden the jewels somewhere.

Lee enters prison with a plan to break out and bring the three convicts with her. She hopes they’ll agree to show her where the jewels are and split the profits in exchange for a spot in her getaway car.

Will Lee succeed? Will she even survive?

Swamp Women was directed by Roger Corman and written by David Stern.

There’s a lot to poke fun at in Swamp Women: the in-and-out Southern accents, the over-the-top sass, and shocked screams of “WHAT IS THAT?!” when a relatively normal alligator appears in its natural habitat. But I have to say, I kind of fell in love with this film.

It’s one of those films that has a little bit of everything. Characters attend Mardi Gras festivities (including some neat old stock footage), break out of prison, engage in undercover sleuthing, go on a tumultuous river excursion, romance a snooty geologist, and dig up stolen jewels. They’re a busy bunch, and I enjoyed nearly every minute of their shenanigans.

I knew practically nothing about this film going in — hadn’t even read a proper synopsis. But I was very into it by the 15-minute mark, and it continued to hold my interest with ease thanks to its greed, betrayal, crime, and conflict.

Swamp Women 1956-2
(Image via YouTube)

Central to the story is a gang of angry, brash lady-prisoners and an undercover woman cop, all of whom just made me love the film more. Even when the pace slows a bit, their tense dynamics, many (and surprisingly intense, though clearly added to appeal to a certain viewer) wrestling matches, and fast-talking jabs kept me hooked. I especially loved Marie Windsor’s performance.

The acting and writing can be a little ridiculous, of course, but this is such a good late-night cheeser. It isn’t the laugh-out-loud type of so-bad-it’s-good, but it kept my attention and kept me chuckling. It’s quite simple in story and not nearly as high on corn as it could have been, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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