Currently in an unspecified South American country, Terry, a beautiful and promiscuous woman uses her sex appeal to climb the social ladder, getting friendly with high-ranking bureaucrats and other government officials. When the latest government event is interrupted by a group of revolutionaries led by Blossom and Django, Terry finds herself in a concentration camp for woman. In charge of this camp is Warden Zappa, an evil man, who subjects the women to sadistic cruelty on nearly a daily basis. Meanwhile, Django and Blossom make plans to liberate these imprisoned woman, with Blossom infiltrating the confines of the prison by intentionally getting arrested. Jack Hill & Roger Corman's The Big Bird Cage is a very fun, exploitative 'women in prison' film with fantastic performances by Pam Grier, Sid Haig, and Anitra Ford. Jack Hill's films never take themselves too seriously but they always embrace their off-beat premise, with The Big Bird Cage being no exception. Pam Grier plays Blossom, the tough-as-nails revolutionary leader's girlfriend to perfection, and together with Ford's free-spirited nymphomaniac, they provide strong, dynamic characters whose take-no-shit attitudes are only matched in brazen by their skimpy prison attire. I'm not sure a review of The Big Bird Cage can ever be written without mentioning Sid Haig, who in an attempt to infiltrate the camp pretends to be a homosexual guard. Incredibly out-dated and borderline offensive by today's standards, Haig's flamboyant and fun performance provides much of the laughs of the film, helping to soften the blow of the more intense moments. I've always found Hill's movies to be fascinating in their ability to be simultaneously be about the empowerment of woman while also objectifying them at every turn. The Big Bird Cage is sexy, violent, sleazy, and well-crafted, delivering a fun exploitation film that's entertaining and captivating.
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