Jailbird Rock (1988)

Jesse (Robin Antin, who helped form the Pussycat Dolls and choreographed Paris Hilton’s Carl’s Jr. commercial) murders her abusive stepfather and gets sent to prison, a prison filled with all the WIP cliches, like delousing showers, mean girl butchery thanks to Maxine Farmer (Rhonda Aldrich, Cynthia from Boogeyman II) and her henchwoman Echo (Robin Cleaver) and a mix between prison blues and the clothing that would define breakdance.

When I hear phrases like “women in prison plus breakdance,” a part of me passes out I get so excited and I wake up and the other part of my brain is just yelling at the screening and dancing around the room like I’m on Solid Gold in 1982.

Luckily, Jesse has the nerdy Peggy (Valerie Jean Richards, Hard Rock NightmareAppointment With Death), singing tough girl Samantha (Jacqueline Houston) and Mouse (Annie Livingstone, Skatelady from The Wizard of Speed and Time) on her side.

It also has a cruel warden played by Ron Lacey, who once he was Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark knew he’d only be slimy villains. And even though director Phillip Schuman made the X-rated Randy, which starred Juliet “Aunt Peg” Anderson and Desiree Cousteau, he forgets that most people come to WIP movies for the nudity and sleaze, not girls practicing long and involved dance numbers under the guise of escape.

Filmed in 1984 and released long after the death of the craze in 1988, you should watch this in the only way that matters: a battered VHS rip dubbed into a language that  it was not shot in.

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