AN EXPLOITATION RE-VISITATION
The Big Doll House (1971)
If you remember, a short time ago I did a series about exploitation movies, particularly those directed by Jack Hill. There were two almost identical movies, one by Jack Hill, one by another director in the same year using most of the same people, the same basic story, hell, even the same sets. The other was Women In Cages which I found but I couldn't find this one - until now.
By now if you read the series you know how this movie goes: Women who go to prison in a jungle slave labor camp usually because of something done to them by men try to get by with pairing up (if you know what I mean), mud wrestling, food fights, whatever Mr. Hill thought men would want to see - which includes lots and lots of clothes being ripped off. Oh, and Pam Grier and Sid Haig, have to have them or it's just not complete. And for this one Pam Grier got to sing the title song Long-Time Woman (I won't comment on that).
Of course the lead guard is a sadistic psycho named Lucien (played by Kathryn Loder who also played the heavy in Foxy Brown. She was mostly known for her Broadway performances but sadly died young from complications of diabetes). In fact if you look around the movie you'll notice (besides Grier and Haig of course) that most of the faces you've seen in at least one if not several exploitation films.
After the obligatory scenes of torture (including an electric lactation machine which looked very interesting - uh, that's a joke - it was apparently some sort of titty electrocution device) involving whips, chains, being cooped up in a small bamboo cage in the sun all day, sent to a sauna for days at a time, and some sort of Rube Goldberg device for slowwwwwly lowering cobras to prisoners to bite them (instead of just, you know, grabbing one and shoving it at them) the girls decide to rebel and escape. And if you've seen one of these films, that's never good.
Haig and his partner are recruited to help since they have a truck. Somehow they get weapons and off they go - without Pam Grier, who gets killed by her junkie girlfriend.
Worst. Plan. Ever. That's what you could say about all of these movies, 'cause in all the prison ones I found they never survive. Hell, they seem to bring armed military guys out of the woodwork by the dozens and always fall under a hail of gunfire. One survives, the main character of this particular movie to walk by herself down the road. She's picked up by a guy driving a jeep. When he asks her where she wants to go she says, 'Anywhere you want.' He says, 'Good 'cause we've been looking for you all day - you're going back to prison.'
What amazes me are the people who complain (now) about these movies as being 'sexist'. Uh, duh - it's an exploitation flick? It was a THING in the 70's, just like there's a THING for movies with psychos that can't die, a THING for Paranormal Activity movies in an endless supply, a THING for creature features... it wasn't a direct arrow at the heart of the women's rights movement, it was a bloody cheap movie for crying out loud. They made 'em in bulk BECAUSE they were cheap, easy and very very popular.
C'est la vie.
Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.