Jack Hill – Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told [+Extras] (1964)


‘Spider Baby’ is a wonderfully inventive and original b-grade movie full of mad fun. Writer/director Jack Hill began as a Roger Corman protege, co-writing ‘The Terror’ and also working on Coppola’s underrated ‘Dementia 13’, before striking out on his own with ‘Spider Baby’, a movie which became embroiled in a legal dispute and took four years to get released. Hill went on to direct Pam Grier movies and the trash classic ‘Switchblade Sisters’ in the Seventies, but it’s arguable whether he ever surpassed this cult favourite. Horror legend Lon Chaney, Jr stars with a very thoughtful performance(!), and ‘Dementia 13’s Mary Mitchel and Karl Schanzer, and ‘The House On Haunted Hill’s Carol Ohmart are among the supporting cast, but the real stars are newcomers Jill Banner as the bewitching Virginia, and the remarkable Sid Haig as the unforgettable Ralph. Banner went on to appear in the dazzling ‘The President’s Analyst’ before her untimely death, while Haig’s ongoing career included several movies with Jack Hill, including blaxsploitation classic ‘Coffy’, and Lucas’ ‘THX 1138’. ‘Spider Baby’ is a brilliant example of what can be achieved on a small budget with some originality and willingness to take risks. Continue reading

Jack Hill – The Big Bird Cage (1972)

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review from :movies.com
THE BIG BIRD CAGE/ FACTS Director Jack Hill followed up his genre-defining women-in-prison film THE BIG DOLL HOUSE with this action-packed sequel, also starring Pam Grier and set in the Philippines. Grier plays Blossom, the machine gun-toting girlfriend of revolutionary leader Django (Sid Haig). His fellow revolutionaries want girlfriends too, so Django and Blossom make plans to liberate the nearby women’s prison, a grueling sugar mill work camp run by the high-strung Warden Zappa (Andy Centera). Slender babe Anitra Ford co-stars as Torry, a free-spirited nymphomaniac whose bedding of important political figures has landed her in the prison, and who together with Blossom makes plans for the big, explosion-packed breakout. Grier and Ford are both dynamite with their bad attitudes and skimpy prison attire, and there’s plenty of catfights–both in and out of the mud, and showers. Aside from some dated gay-stereotype humor involving the male guards of the camp, this is still pretty rock-solid entertainment, replete with suspense, sex, bloodsoaked veangance, and captivating outdoor cinematography by Phillip Sandalan. Hill and Grier would follow up this success with the blaxploitation classic COFFY the following year. *Cast* Pam Grier , Anitra Ford , Sid Haig , Vic Diaz , Carol Speed , Andy Centenera Continue reading