The Big Bird Cage (1972)

Good gravy, this was  absolutely hysterical. I don’t know where to begin, other than to say it was a real blast to watch. Basically, it’s a follow up to Hill’s previous women in prison film, the Big Doll House, this time set in the heart of a jungle. Which is apparently guarded by a bunch of gay men.

So what does the movie do this time? Well, it has Sid Haig play a leader to a bunch of rebels wanting to overthrow the government, and in the midst of their revolutionary activities, his men start to find themselves in need of some female companionship, so to combat this the the group devises a plan to release the women inmates from the nearby prison camp and bring them to help relief some pent up sexual desires from the rebel men. To achieve this, Pam Grier is sent to the camp as a prisoner, while Sid shaves his manly beard down to sexy and slightly fruity mustache, and seduces one of the prison camp’s male guards in a public restroom so that he can get a job offer to work at the prison camp. The logic on the latter is entirely sound, right? Two gay guys together in a small damp bathroom, checking each other out as they are relieving themselves. They’re not going to do anything obscene like solicit anonymous sex from each other and then part ways and disappear into the night. Heavens no, they’ll exchange compliments and then discuss about possible employment opportunities in the region. In any case, while that is taking place, the movie indulges in the typical genre tropes of cat fighting, etc. until it’s time to for the climactic mass prison break to commence, which is very spectacular.

So like I said, it’s very fun movie to watch. I also have to commend the writers, because they really did outdo themselves this time around when coming up things to fill the running time between the mandatory cat fights and women getting tortured scenes. For example, my favorite is the scene where the inmate who I like to refer to as the Amazon due to her height and strength, decides to strip down naked and cover her body in chicken grease and then run across the prison compound to have a grudge match against Pam Grier, which leads to this Benny Hill style chase sequence where she’s running naked in the jungle and the guards can’t stop her because the grease makes it impossible to get a solid grip on her. There’s also a pretty funny rape scene where  one of the meaner gay male guards has his comeuppance during the prison break, as he gets captured, pinned down and then brutally gang raped by a group of sexually frustrated women inmates, and while he’s crying that he can’t manage an erection, the women just smirk and go “we’ll see about that” and call turns in what order they get to have a go at him.


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