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Terry, a social-climbing young woman accidentally gets caught up in the activities of two revolutionaries, Blossom and Django, and finds herself in a concentration camp for women. In the center of the camp is a towering wooden machine ("The Big Bird Cage") in which the women risk their lives processing sugar as the evil warden looks on. The prisoners are subjected to sadistic cruelty from the guards and fellow prisoners, and all attempts at escape are dealt with...permanently. Terry's only hope for escape lies in Blossom and her revolutionary allies. Written by
Jonathan Ruskin <JonRuskin@aol.com>
Despite the fact that women in prison films are famous for sex and sleaze (two of my most favourite things to see in movies), I have to say that I'm not a big fan of the genre overall and it's mostly due to the fact that these films are often very similar to one another. The Big Bird Cage cuts down on both of these two elements, but replaces them with a bucket load of fun and good humour; and the result is a film that sets itself apart from most of the rest of the genre. The film is made up of two parts; on the one hand, we have a women's prison ruled over by the usual assortment of sadistic guards, and on the other hand; we have a band of revolutionaries lead by Sid Haig and Pam Grier. After a robbery in a bar, a young female socialite is captured and wrongly imprisoned in said women's prison, where the inmates are forced to work inside a huge wooden structure known as 'The Big Bird Cage'. It's not long before one of the revolutionaries comes up with a plan involving the liberation of the women at the prison camp in order to attract more men to their regime...
This film features three standout performances - from Sid Haig, Pam Grier and Anitra Ford. It's Haig and Grier's screen time together that is the main highlight, and we get treated to things like Haig slapping Grier with a wet fish! Of course, the film is really rather stupid with several silly decisions taking centre stage; but this all just adds to the fun! One of the best things about the film in my opinion was the gay prison guards - quite a difference to most women in prison films! The setting also sets this one apart from most of the rest of the genre
gone are the damp and dirty insides of most women's prisons and it's
replaced by a rather more sunny setting and it's certainly a very welcome change. The plot really doesn't make much sense and is often played more for laughs than anything else - but personally I'm completely fine with that and the film really is very funny - Sid Haig's infiltration of the camp being a big highlight. The film is constantly entertaining throughout and manages to keep this up until the climax - although the ending does represent something of a change in tone. Overall, The Big Bird Cage is an excellent film and undoubtedly one of the best women in prison flicks ever made - don't miss this one!
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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