Pam Grier and Sid Haig stole the show in Jack Hill's Filipino-women-in-prison hit The Big Doll House, and they pretty much power this superior action-packed semi-sequel as a South American Bonnie-and-Clyde team. The revolu... more »tionaries with mercenary hearts decide to liberate the inmates of a jungle women's prison at the urging of their lonely army of single men. All the conventions are there--scantily clad women, a deranged warden (so evil he kicks a puppy in his first scene!), catfights, the occasional kinky punishment, and of course all those showers. But Hill softens the usual sadistic formula with tongue-in-cheek humor (Haig infiltrates the all-gay prison-guard squad by shamelessly flirting with the captain) and a zippy pace. Though not quite as empowering as Caged Heat, The Big Bird Cage remains one of the most energized and entertaining women-in-prison films ever made. --Sean Axmaker« less
"Wow....I just finished watching this movie and it is a real jem. Ladies in prison flicks are cool but this one takes the cake as far as campy goes. Here are some of the things you will experience if you watch this flick.
1. Tons of 70's babes with tight skimpy outfits on.
2. More babes with skimpy outfits on.
3. Homosexual prison gaurds
4. Homosexual prison warden
5. A Philipino Revolution
6. More 70's babes with tight outfits on.
7. A woman hanging by her ponytail as punishment for trying to escape
8. Mud wrestling
9. Crazed women inmates imprisoned in an cage with other crazy wild women (they act like animals....funny!)
10. Inmates who want to be "raped" by men, because they haven't "had any sex in a very long time".
11. More sex starved female inmates in tight outfits.....especially one very "hot blond babe" who begs for sex!!
I must admit this is by far the funniest and sickest movie I have seen in a long time. The plot centers around this band of revolutionaries who want to take over thier country by force. They come up with the crazy idea of breaking into an all "womens prison" and freeing the women who will help them with the revolution.(This is the first time I have ever seen anyone break "into" a prison.) Not much of what goes on makes any sence but it sure makes for one hell of a laugh riot. Roger Corman impressed me again. I have only seen one other Roger Corman movie "Bucket of Blood" and I have to admit that this film is stranger and funnier than "Bucket". As I was watching this film I kept asking myself "Is Roger Corman for real?... is he trying to be serious or trying to be funny?"....the script is a zany hoot and the film kept my attention all the way through. I recieved the VHS version and there was 2 spots where the audio did not sync up to the film, this error actually added to the wierdness of the flick. The entire movie had that "made for T.V" feel to it. There is some nudity and bad launguage but the contentnt is so bizzare and offbeat that it deserved a "R" rating. I highly recommned this film for the cinema nut who thinks he has seen it all. You will not be dissapointed!.....the highlight of the film is when halfway thru the movie you find out the prison guards and warden prefer men sexually over women...gay prison guards!!!!.....this twist in the scipt is just TOO FUNNY!!........buy it today....you will thank me!!"
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are tons of women in prison films out there. There are so many that often times they seem almost repetitive. However, this film was very unique because it provided a great mix of comedy and action. Pam Grier as a tough revolutionary provided all the action as she ploted to free the mistreated women from prison. The comedy mostly came from the sexually deprived women, who were full of one-liners and crazy notions. But of course the movie still contained all the things that make a good prison explotation film....lots of nudity...violence...bad laguage and did I mention lots of nudity. It's worth seeing! If you like it also check out THE BIG DOLL HOUSE."
Pam, Sid, and Anitra...............Now that's a 3-some!,
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 11/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Toning things down a bit from Big Doll House, Hill returned to his old stomping grounds the following year to make The Big Bird Cage, essentially a spoof of the WIP genre. If you don't take it too seriously and can handle a few sudden 180-degree mood swings, it's one of the most entertaining and certainly best-made women's prison movies of the 1970's. Somewhere on a dictatorially reigned tropical island, American actress Terry (Anita Ford) is taken hostage by revolutionary Django (Sid Haig), when he pulls of a heist on a bar with his girlfriend Blossom (Pam Grier) and other fellow revolutionaries. While on the run from the police, Django leaves Terry back, who is mistaken for his female accomplice and brought to a jungle prison camp for women...
Anitra Ford is the token heroine, but Pam Grier makes an even stronger impression as a singing, machine-gun carrying revolutionary. Once again Pam rules with an iron-clad fist as soon as she arrives at the jungle prison, taking charge of the other prisoners (with a classic line of dialogue I can't repeat here) and engineering the inevitable prison break. Sid Haig is a fellow revolutionary this time around. He hits Pam with a real dead duck, and a mud fight ensues. Carol Speed (Abby) makes an appearance, the guards are all gay this time around (though again it's impossible to take offense at this broad, almost slapstick humor), and there are beautiful locations, some used later in Apocalypse Now. The cruel warden casually kicks a dog (off-screen) while ranting, "No fighting! No fornication! Work, work! Punishment, punishment!" For 1972, there's a surprising amount of full-frontal nudity (priceless dialogue: "My God! She's all covered with chicken fat!") An interesting tidbit is that the prison's sugar mill was designed by Hill's father, a man of considerable talent who also designed the Disneyland castle!
Pam Grier star quality is evident from the start, even if these admittedly sleazy productions never got the attention or respect of the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown (Two-Disc Collector's Edition). Credit is due to Roger Corman for giving her a start in movies. Interestingly, in both movies, women rape men - a feminist statement or simply an additional exploitation gimmick? You decide. For the various prices, its are worthy additions to the "guilty pleasures" section of your video collection. As Jack Hill says in one of his commentaries, "PC is a bummer." "
Too heavy-handed and dreary.
S. Spears | Florence, MA | 12/30/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This film was the one of the first, of the 70s women-in-prison film genre. This movie was incredibly violent, with lots of sadistic torture being inflicted on the inmates. The film takes place in the Phillipines, which looks like a horribly ugly country. No doubt, the producers used this factor to their advantage, to emphasize the gruesome situation that the prisoners were in.
Blaxploitation movie queen Pam Grier, has the starring role in this movie. She plays Blossom, a renegade who gets thrown in the vile women's prison, on trumped-up charges. Her boyfriend, played by Sid Haig, tries to rescue Blossom. He and Blossom are part of a political guerrilla faction, and Blossom's incarceration was orchestrated by the corrupt, Phillipino government.
Pam Grier and Sid Haig, stand-out amongst the otherwise lackluster cast. The film itself, put way too much emphasis on violence perpetrated against the prisoners. Their captors just used them solely as objects of their sadism. This got boring real fast. This movie could've used more interesting plot-lines, and subtlety. This is not one of Roger Corman's better pictures. The many women-in-prison films that followed this one, were much better all around. I'd recommend The Big Bird Cage, only to Pam Grier fans."
Jack Hill, precursor to 80's action directors?
S. M. Robare | Duluth, GA USA | 03/31/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not out and out familiar with the Women In Prison genre, nor am I all that familiar with the work of Jack Hill. I came to this flick by way of a growing interest in Transgressive/Exploitation cinema of the 60's and 70's.
That being said, The Big Bird Cage is a strange animal of a flick. The trailer for the film comes off as a mean, angry, sadistic prison exploitation movie, when in actuality it's more light-hearted than it lets on. The plot is fairly simple, a band of revolutionaries, lead by Pam Grier and Sid Haig, plan to raid a women's prison/work camp in the hopes of boosting the morale of their troops (by getting the men some ladies) as well as starting a revolution (e.g. the storming of the Bastille in the French Rev.)
What follows is fairly entertaining fare involving bumbling overweight homosexual guards, a angry, tall, blonde, Amazon-like woman greased in chicken fat, and one of the best performances from Sid Haig this side of House of a Thousand Corpses. Though firmly rooted in the exploitation genre, this film feels more like an 80's action film than standard 70's exploitation fare (Thriller: A Cruel Picture, 2000 Maniacs, Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS). I think it's because the film is more concerned with entertainment and crass humor than shock value and gore.
All in all the film feels like a long episode of the A-Team with a lot more nudity, mud wrestling, and female leads. "