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The Big Doll House: Roger Corman Classics
The Big Doll House Roger Corman Classics
Actors: Judith M. Brown, Roberta Collins, Pam Grier, Brooke Mills, Pat Woodell
Director: Jack Hill
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Special Interests, Cult Movies, Mystery & Suspense
R     1999     1hr 35min

Female prisoners in a Phillippine jail are being subjected to sadistic torture. Five of the women--along with the help of two men--plot an escape.


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Movie Details

Actors: Judith M. Brown, Roberta Collins, Pam Grier, Brooke Mills, Pat Woodell
Director: Jack Hill
Creators: Fred Conde, Cirio H. Santiago, Eddie Romero, Jane Schaffer, John Ashley, Roger Corman, Don Spencer
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Special Interests, Cult Movies, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Pam Grier, Drama, Child Safety & First Aid, Action & Adventure, Prison, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: New Concorde
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/27/1999
Original Release Date: 01/01/1971
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1971
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Big Doll House equels Big Fun
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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 prison guards!!!!.....this twist in the scipt is just TOO FUNNY!! it will thank me!!"
Pam Grier stars in a "Women in Prison" action film.
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While any movie starring Pam Grier is worth watching, the Big Doll House is a particularly entertaining entry in the "Women in Prison" film genre. Produced by the great Roger Corman and filmed in the Philippines, this movie features all the violence, mayhem, and nudity one expects in a 70's "Girls Behind Bars" flick. It also has the added bonus of a great scene where Pam Grier and another woman fight it out in the mud of the rice fields (where the women are forced to toil). Don't miss it!"
Judith Brown & Pam Grier!
Johny Bottom | Jacksonville, NC | 08/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a combo. 'Ladies in Prison' movies is the best idea next to breast implants, and we all know Pammy don't need those. Nudity, violence, one liners, sex, and the great cat-fights. Pam is the star, but Judith don't take no back seat! When farmer man wants to feel Pam's melons through the bars, he get's more than what he bargained for. Talk about plowing. All these characters pop up again and again in the 'Pam Prison' series. SOmetimes she the prisoner, sometimes the warden, and sometimes the revolutionist. Why does every 'woman in prison' film have to have a revolution anyway??? Well no matter, Pam and Judith like I said are a pair that can't be beat!"
"Search them...inside and out!"
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 02/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In the late 1960s actor/producer John Ashley, initially famous for appearing in a number of JD flicks, hooked up with writer/director/producer Eddie Romero in the Philippines to crank out a handful of inexpensive (i.e.cheapo), somewhat successful horror features. Always an eye towards the frugal, producer/director/writer Roger Corman jumped on the bandwagon in the early 1970s, teaming up with the pair to release his second feature under his newly formed `New World' (later to be known as Concorde) film group, a chicks in chains flick titled The Big Doll House (1971). Directed by Jack Hill (Spider Baby, The Big Bird Cage, Switchblade Sisters), the film features Judith M. Brown (Willie Dynamite), Roberta Collins (Women in Cages, Caged Heat), Brooke Mills (The Student Teachers), Pat Woodell (The Twilight People), and Pam Grier (Coffy, Foxy Brown), in her first major role. Also appearing is Christiane Schmidtmer (The Giant Spider Invasion), Kathryn Loder (Foxy Brown), Jerry Frank (Voodoo Island), and Sid `tall, bald and bearded' Haig (Spider Baby, Diamonds Are Forever).

The film starts out with the arrival of three new inmates at some podunk, backwater, women's prison located in the Philippines, I'm guessing, given the large number of Philippino extras running around. As the women are processed (full body cavity searches for everyone!) we meet Collier (Brown), one of the three prisoners, along with a butcher than butch head guard named Lucian (Loder). After this we get to meet Collier's new cellmates, and they're quite the assortment...there's Grear (Grier), who got tossed in the pokey for hustling and has a real hate/hate complex towards men, Bodine (Woodell), a political prisoner whose boyfriend is a rebel insurgent leader hiding out in the hills, Harrad (Mills), a weird junkie type with pyromaniac tendencies, incarcerated for killing her baby (that's lovely), a blondie named Alcott (Collins), and so is difficult in the prison, as the days are filled with tedium labor either toiling in excessively muddy fields or weaving baskets, while the nights involve entertaining oneself with cockroach races, shankings, snitching on your cellmates, or spending time in Lucian's private chamber of sadomasochistic delights. As the film progresses we witness scenes of torture, a gratuitous and pointless shower sequence, more torture, talk of escape, a food fight, a mysterious figure in a hood overseeing the torture, a catfight that devolves into a fine display of mud wrestling, time outs in the hot box, electroshock therapy, snakes, and fun and games with Harry (Haig) and his new partner Fred (Frank), a pair of entrepreneurs who sell food, smokes, and what not to the prisoners (don't worry if you don't have the cash, as Harry will let you slide for a good groping), fantasizing about all the man hungry flesh locked behind the bars. Tired of being used and abused, a core group of girls plan an elaborate escape attempt, one that involves kidnapping the head mistress named Miss Dietrich (Schmidtmer).

What The Big Doll House lacks in aspects like cohesive story, good acting, and solid characters it more than makes up for in unmitigated sleazy fun. One thing that did surprise me a little was the fact there wasn't as much nekkidness in this movie as I would have expected. Oh, there was a decent amount, most all topless shots, a lot limited to flashes of flesh soon to be obscured by an arm, or someone turning their back towards the camera. This didn't bother me because what there was, was pretty nice (hello Ms. Grier...nice to see you and the twins). What was most notable was the complete absence of any Sapphic action. It was often alluded to in the story, but the film never delivered the goods (I wasn't looking for any hardcore dueling batwing action, but a little face suckage and copious fondling would have been nice). The plot is of the loosey goosey variety, meaning this is more or less an assemblage of sleaze soaked sequences eventually leading up to the big escape attempt. This was pretty much what I was expecting, as director Hill obviously knew enough to avoid attempting the premise of serious, social commentary in an effort to cover up the exploitive nature of the material, as was done in Corman's earlier film The Student Nurses (1970), which tried to conceal its lurid and skeezy nature by touching awkwardly upon a slew of feminine issues. While the characters themselves were of the garden-variety stock one would normally expect in a feature like this, some of the performances did stand out. Pam Grier makes one helluva butch prisoner, and I thought Haig's character just a whole lot of fun. Loder's character of Lucian, the sadistic, snake loving head guard was decent, but I only wish she would have turned it up a notch or two, as there was certainly room to do so...and check out the various native to the region extras in the prison...looks like they were recruited off the streets, having little idea what was actually going on...the last half of this film could have been titled `The Misadventures of Harry and Fred', as the pair play a more prominent role in the story, becoming entangled in the escape attempt as the women use the lure of hot prison lovin' to get the pair of knuckleheads to unwittingly help them in their plans, culminating in a sequence where the two end up in their underwear, forced at gunpoint to engage some naughty fun in the back of their truck in a twisted effort by the escapees to return some of the humiliation and degradation heaped upon them by their once captors. To say anymore would spoil things, so I'll leave it at that...overall, The Big Doll House was generally what I expected, an entertaining film packed with good, wholesome, scuzzy fun. This film was followed up a year later by one titled The Big Bird Cage (1972), which also featured Grier, and was written and directed by Jack Hill.

The fullscreen (1.33:1) picture quality on this DVD release is decent, and the Dolby Digital audio comes through well. As far as special features, there's cast and crew biographies, an original theatrical trailer, and a five minute interview piece between Leonard Maltin and Roger Corman where the two talk about this film like it was some form of high art. Corman also claims he decided to make this film in the Philippines because he thought he could get more for his money, but I think it was really just an effort to keep more dough in his pocket rather than spend what he saved on better production values. Also included are previews for the films Death Race 2000 (1975), Grand Theft Auto (1977), Eat My Dust (1976), Big Bad Mama (1974), and Humanoids from the Deep (1980), all recently re-issued onto DVD by Walt Disney Video, which, within the past year, acquired the release rights to Corman's extensive Concorde-New Horizons catalog of films.


If I learned anything from this film, it's that if you ever find yourself in prison, avoid, if at all possible, sharing a cell with a junkie.