Big Bird Cage, The (1972)

Big Bird Cage, The (1972)

“What an army we could raise, if we only had a lot of women!”

A social climber (Anitra Ford) is taken hostage during a siege by revolutionary lovers Blossom (Pam Grier) and Django (Sid Haig), and sent to a women’s prison in the jungle. Will Terry (Ford) and her fellow prisoners be able to escape their brutal fate?

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Pam Grier Films
  • Prisoners
  • Revolutionaries
  • Strong Females

Director Jack Hill’s follow-up to The Big Doll House (1971) was this similarly themed WIP exploitation flick, once again starring Pam Grier — though this time she’s given the role of an undercover revolutionary:

… romantically paired with Sid Haig, whose “schtick” is to pretend to be gay to distract the male prison guards:

Of primary note in the cast is Anitra Ford — of “The Price is Right” modeling fame — playing a leggy, sultry hostage:

… surrounded by a bevy of “types”, including sex-obsessed Carla:

… jokey “Bull” Jones (Teda Bracci):

… Amazonian Karen:

… and pint-sized Mickie (Carol Speed):

There’s everything here you would expect in such a flick, including an elaborate “torture” machine (actually a sugar mill) the women are forced to work with (the titular “big bird cage”):

… mud wrestling, rape, attempted escapes, and a fiery denouement. Only hardcore fans of the genre need bother to check this one out.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Anitra Ford’s bemused performance as Terry

Must See?
No; you can skip this one unless you’re a fan of the genre. Listed as a Camp Classic and a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “Big Bird Cage, The (1972)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see.

    ~ though it could very well be the liveliest entry in this WIP series. That could be because apparently director Hill hoped it would stand out as more of a spoof. It doesn’t really work as such (and logic is stretched occasionally) but there is more of a… what, lighthearted (?) approach here.

    The gay aspect (the two main guards being inexplicably gay and a very game Haig going undercover as gay) is played in the right spirit and is certainly amusing. But that doesn’t – along with anything else – qualify it as a camp classic. Appeal as a cult movie would be understandable.

    This should have been a lot more fun but it has its moments. (Interesting that a woman – Jane Schaffer – served as producer; one of her few credits.)

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