I'm back for another year! I'm a little surprised I'm still doing reviews. Part of me wants to keep doing them because it helps me pass the time at home some days. My plans for the end of the year last year was thrown out the window when my computer decided to act up. I still need to get it worked on, but at least the main issue I was having has cleared itself up for the moment at least. The next film I wanted to watch is another Ellie Church film called Amazon Hot Box (2018). While this isn't really a horror film, it does have some horror elements to be found in it.
Penny (Kelsey Carlisle) has been thrown into an all women's prison in the banana republic of Rattica. Once inside, she meets Val (Tristan Risk), who is also in prison but sees herself as the boss of all the other women. She also meets Inga Von Krupp (Ellie Church) who oversees the prison and believes a spy has found her way into the prison. Krupp has made a machine she believes will get anyone to talk. Penny believes she shouldn't be in prison, but with no trial, she has no choice. Will she be able to get out or will Val make her into one of her women or worse yet, will Krupp decide that Penny is a spy?
Amazon Hot Box was written and directed by James Bickert. I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie. I can't say that I have watched many of the women in prison films that Amazon Hot Box pulls from. I'm not really a fan of those types of films. I have nothing against them, they just don't float my boat, so to speak. Since I'm a fan of both Ellie Church and James Bickert, I wanted to give this movie a try. I'm glad that I did because it is a fun movie. Many have said that Bickert managed to capture the feel of the older women in prison films Bickert uses different elements from different films and even one from his previous films by using the Jett Bryant character. This didn't seem to be a sequel to Bickert's other films though. His scenes are funny, but I couldn't really figure out why he was in this story. Having Bryant in the movie does make Amazon Hot Box feel like a sequel because it doesn't really fit what we know of him in the other films. At the same time, it doesn't really fit with the other two films. Besides throwing in Bickert's main character from his other two films, he also throws in spies, a torture machine, mind control, zombies, and Inga, who feels like a woman straight out of Nazi Germany. What do all of these things have to do with the plot? I have no idea. That is the problem with Amazon Hot Box. While it is a fun movie, the plot feels like it is all over the place and very little seems to tie together. Bickert tried to cram in so much that the plot doesn't always make a lot of sense and it jumps around a lot. Bryant decides to go meet the people living on the island and then we see home running away from a small angry mob. No idea as to why this happened, it just did. I also didn't care much for the way the film ends. I liked that it shows the fate of most of the characters, but there is very little being said during it all. It is just one long scene with some music playing over it for the most part.
The effects are pretty mixed for me. There are scenes where some of the effects are CGI and some are practical effects. The CGI effects stand out nit because they look bad, even though they could have been done better, but mostly because they look out of place. Some of the goriest scenes play out towards the end of the movie. I was surprised that Bickert waited so long to get some gory effects in based on his other two films, but at least there are some. There are some good effects to be found and some not so good ones as well. The acting is really what makes Amazon Hot Box so much fun. Ellie Church stands out a lot in this movie. I won't say that I think it is her best acting that I have seen so far, but her character is my favorite one of her's so far. Church does an outstanding job. Another stand out is Tristan Risk who really gets into playing her role. Risk's acting can come across as over-the-top, but it feels right that it does. Not to take away from anyone else in the cast, as they all do a wonderful job with their roles.
Another character that confused me some was Agent Sixx, played by Jordan Phipps. She comes across as someone that can kick ass when she needs to do so, but then she can't figure out how her gun works at all. I don't know which spy agency she was really supposed to be working for, but I just couldn't see an agency sending someone that can't figure out their gun into a mission. It was kind of funny but come on. Amazon Hot Box is a bit easy to rip on than to praise. Don't let that keep you from watching this one though. I think it is easier for me to rip on it just because I'm not really into the women in prison genre all that much. If you do enjoy this type of genre, you really should check out Amazon Hot Box. It gets very good reviews from those that do love the genre. If you are like me and don't mind it but aren't that into it, this film is still worth a watch in my book. It is a fun film which is always a good thing.
3 out of 5 Put me in a hot box with a snake, I can take it!