Swamp Diamonds (1956)

Also known as Cruel Swamp or Swamp Women but not Swamp Woman, this Roger Corman-directed movie has undercover police officer Lee Hampton get in with a gang of females who escape from jail and head out to the swamp — hey the title didn’t lie! — to find a hidden cache of diamonds.

This is the first film that Corman made with Lawrence, Bernard and David Wolner, who eventually bankrolled New World Pictures. They were the owners of New Orleans’ first drive-in theaters, so having movies of their own helped keep costs down.

Released on a double bill with Gunslinger, the bayou setting really helps make this movie better than it should be. It’s in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (And How They Got That Way) by Harry Medved and Randy Lowell, but there are definitely way worse films than this one.

Every woman in this movie — Marie Windsor (the queen of the b’s who appeared in The KillingThe Day Mars Invaded Earth and 170 other movies), Beverly Garland (GunslingerIt Conquered the World), Susan Cummings (The Street Is My Beat) and Jil Jarmyn (No Man’s Woman) — is the kind of girl who’d sooner punch you in the jaw than kiss you on the lips and that’s exactly why I love them all so much.

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