Sunday, August 7, 2011

Movies on DVD Blogging–The Big Bird Cage

This little gimmick is something I tried on my Facebook Page and I’m sure I’ll have the same success rate here as I did there.  What that means is nobody will read this shit here either.  I  mean, why just have your family and friends ignoring your shit when you can have the whole wide internet world ignore it?  Pretty cool when you look at it that way.
The way this works is that  while I’m  watching something on my TV, I’ll grab the web cam and take a shot of something in the movie that captures my interest and write a comment for it.  It may be a DVD I own or am renting,or  it could be an old Classic TV series.  It could be something I’m watching on Netflix or Amazon, or on the regular TV series.  Whatever floats my boat. 
What kind of comments?    It may be something as dry as a symopsis of the film, something I’ve noticed about one of the actors or the character they are playing, or maybe something I just want to poke a little fun at.
Sure to be Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Why are you doing this?
Because I  feel like it.  Next question.
What kind of  movies did you try this out on at Facebook?
Eyes Wide Shut, Quo Vadis, Tangled, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Getting Straight, and the last one I did was an episode of Buffy. As you can see, it can run the gamut, there is no set criteria.  It’s just what I’m feeling.
Why use your web cam?  Why don’t you just take screen captures on your computer and post them?
A.  Because not everything can be played on my computer.
B.  I would lose my spontaneity.
C.  You would lose the effect of what it actually looks like on a flat screen TV and how it really looks to me in my bedroom sanctuary.
D.  More Copyright issues that way, probably less this way.  It’s not like I’m showing the freakin’ movie or anything like that.  I’m in a sense, actually promoting it…..unless it’s really really bad.  And the pictures should be just crappy enough that nobody would care anyway.  I think.
E.  It would be too much like work to do screen captures and not as much fun as this.  And I’m a fun kind of guy because as Arthur said, “Fun is the best thing to have.”  When this becomes too much like work, I quit.
Will you post the ones you did on Facebook?
It’s doubtful.  But it could possibly happen if I need a blog post and don’t feel like screwing around with anything else.  Besides, the pictures are open to the public.  You just have to find them.
Why are you swearing so much?
In my real personna, it comes and it goes, same as it does here.  This is who I am sometimes.
Now that we have that idiotic stuff  out of the way, let’s get on with it. 
I finally received my copy of Roger Corman’s Cult Classics, the Women in Cages Collection from Amazon.  There are three movies in the set. 
They are: 
Women in Cages,  The Big Doll House, and The Big Bird Cage.  Three classic films of the B-Genre from the seventies.
Two of these star the great Pam Grier which most of you may know from her recent stints in the Quentin Tarantino movie Foxy Brown. 
Woman In Cages Collection Cover
But it was Roger Corman who gave Miss Grier her biggest break when he he cast her in The Big Doll House and The Big Bird Cage, the movie which I’m  going to view tonight. 
I originally saw both of those movies as part of a triple feature at a cinema near downtown Columbus back in the early seventies.  I guess you could classify it as a Grindhouse Theater since it was showing films such as this on a continuous basis.  Other films I saw there were fine cinematic masterpieces such as Student Nurses and Private Duty Nurses.  I was very much interested in human anatomy back in those days and those films did not disappoint.  But character and plot development?  I couldn’t tell you a damn thing?  After all , it was 40 years ago.
Rated R
Okay, now that we’ve taken care of that, let’s move on.
Ass Shot
I decided to watch the trailer that was on the DVD first.  It was really grainy, had lines through it  and was  in really bad shape, just like a Quentin Tarantino flick.  He would be so pleased. 
Seriously, I did hope the movie wasn’t like that.  And oh yeah, here’s the shot all you pervs out there are craving.  That’s what you came for isn’t it?  Now that you’ve seen this anonymous butt you can move on because there isn’t anymore.  Go read my Jenni-cam article or something, better yet, go find the thousands of nude pictures of her available by learning how to use Google Image search properly.  You have to turn off the search content filter.
Picture 137
I didn’t know who Anitra Ford was.  I know, shame on me  But since her name was in letters as big as Pam Grier’s,  that must mean she has an important role in this film.  So I looked her up on the IMDB and now I feel such shame that I didn’t know she was a Price is Right Girl.  Actually, her whole biography is kind of interesting.  Go read it yourself, do I look like the Freakin Enycyclopedia Britannica?
Picture 138
My first glimpse of Anitra Ford.  Or should I say Anitra Ford’s ass.  How did I know it was Anitra?  Do you really have to be a genius to figure that out?  I would also like to say  that it’s a mighty fine ass, something any young actress can really be proud of.  I was also glad to see that, unlike the trailer,  for the feature part of the program, they cleaned the picture up quite nicely.
Picture 140
Pam Grier plays a singer.  She doesn’t look so tough here. Did she do her own warbling?  How the hell do I know?  I wasn’t paying attention to that. I was thinking of moon pies.   (Later, by listening to the director’s commentary I found out that not only did she do her own singing, Pam is a very good singer.)
Picture 142
Here’s what Anitra looks like from the front.  Just in case you’re interested and don’t see her purely as a sex object like Bob Barker and I do.  I couldn’t help notice how frizzy her hair was though.  Either that was the style back then or Corman wouldn’t spring for a hair stylist.  Another one of those little details you won’t remember from having seen the film forty years ago.
Picture 146
Did I say Pam didn’t look so tough?  It’s amazing what a machine gun hidden in your guitar will do for your perception of things.  And I knew all along she wasn’t really a nightclub singer.
Picture 147
I  didn’t see this plot twist coming.  The guy with the beard was a member of Pam Grier’s gang.  So after they get all the loot from the patrons at the night club, he decides he wants a piece of Anitra’s ass  and kidnaps her by carrying her out to what appears to be a getaway golf cart.  Except when he gets there, the golf cart is full and they drive off without him, to the 13th hole I suppose. 
So he steals a cab and shoves a not very reluctant Anitra inside.  She asks him what he intends to do with her, and Bearded Guy replies something to the effect that  he’s going to rape her.  She says, that’s okay because she really likes sex and wouldn’t mind being raped by him at all.  No, that’s not the plot twist.  That’s expected in these kind of  movies in which all women are sex starved, sex craving  bimbos.  But hey, it’s all in good fun so what the hell!
The plot twist is that  the taxi gets cornered on a bridge by the cops.  Bearded Guy decides to say adios and escapes by jumping off the bridge.  So Anitra gets arrested as an accomplice.  I fully expected that Pam Grier would be the one going to prison first, not Miss Price Is Right price tag turner.
Picture 148
So in a bit of irony, the innocent Anitra gets taken to court, is forced to cop a plea by the crooked cops and the crooked judge, and sent up river wearing the same red dress she started the movie with.  I guess besides not springing for a hair stylist, Corman skimped on the wardrobe department as well.  Not that I minded.
Picture 149
The prison camp Commandant.  You just know by looking at this asshole that he’s going to be a real bastard before it’s over with.  Think Colonel Klink of Hogan’s Heroes with a different accent and without the laugh track.  Yeah, he’s not going to be a funny guy, even if he does look like Gilbert Godfried.  The actor is Andres Centenara, but you can call him Warden Zappa, no relation to the more famous Frank Zappa or his daughter Moon Unit.
Picture 156
One of the girls tries to entice head guard, Rocco, by flashing and playing with her nipples while he guards the shower door.  The problem is that  Rocco, like some of the other guards, is gay.  So no matter how many times they flash their titties, Rocco isn’t in the market.  So I guess that enables him to beat on them with careless abandon whenever the mood strikes.
Picture 153
Remember bearded guy?  We catch up with  him struggling to get through the forest and back to his base of operations.  Unlike Anitra, who managed to keep her red ass clinging dress intact all the way up river, Bearded Guy can’t keep his pants or shirt on walking through the jungle for a few days.  Of course, just looking at this screen shot, you can tell he compensates for his lack of worthy apparel with a little over acting.  But I think it’s played that way on purpose.
Picture 158
Girl’s, meet Anitra.  Anitra,  meet the  girls.  I’ve seen this scene somewhere before though.  Anitra’s little flesh flash reminds me of something I posted somewhere. Where could it have been?  Oh yeah, now I remember.  It was here. It is here that I finally figured out that Anitra’s character name is Terry.  Although Anitra  is cooler, I guess I’ll call her Terry from here on out.
Picture 154
Bearded Guy finally makes it back to his camp and Pam isn’t all that happy to see him.  Being blind as a bat and not seeing the condition he’s in, she thinks he’s been out in the forest screwing Terry for the past couple of days.  Then again, maybe a person doing the nasty with Terry would end up looking like this.
Picture 155
As you can see, Pam doesn’t stay pissed with bearded guy and after a mud bath, head up to their shack to play hide the bologna.  We also find out some things.  Pam’s name is Blossom, and Bearded Guy is named Django and he is played by Sid Haig, and this guy has a ton of credits to his name and is still going strong. 
As it turns out, Django and Terry  really are revolutionaries.  I thought that was just a bullshit story.  They never say what they are revolting against (Evil Women’s Prisons or being stuck in  B Movies?) or what country they are in.  Judging from the surrounding area of dense foliate, a nearby river, the heat and humidity, and the general lack of education of the populace, my guess is Mississippi.
Not long after this the Revolutionaries come up with a new plan of recruitment.  They’ll break all the women out of the local prison, who will be so grateful that they’ll join up just out of gratitude.  How does this plan work?  Well, first they have to get somebody on the inside, and since there’s only one woman around, you can guess who the lucky girl is going to be without me telling you.
Picture 158 (2)
The Big Bird Cage.  And here I thought it would be an actual cage.  No, I didn’t expect it to have giant parakeets in it, and I didn’t think Big Bird was in this movie.  I don’t think they had Sesame Street in those days.  What it is though is a Sugar Mill, built by Colonel Klink-Zappa, so that the harvested sugar cane can be refined, squeezed and processed, then sprinkled on your Captain Crunch Cereal.  The Quaker Oats factory is just down the road and to the left.
Picture 159
And although it wasn’t meant to work that way,  it does a good job of chopping up female prisoners as well if they don’t watch their back.  These broads spend so much time fighting each other, it’s no damn wonder they can never escape.  Is this what they call a hand job?
Picture 163
I couldn’t go on without mentioning Karen McKevi’s  role as Karen.  For me she, was the big dog in the bone yard.  I think she stands about 6 1/2 feet, which pretty much sums up my feelings about that.
Picture 167
Warden Zappa throws a little soirée for some high faluting government officials. In the crazy world of B-Movies, a lot of the girls main goal is not trying to escape, but attempting to getting invited to one of these orgies since  their one desire is to get laid by a man, any man or just to get their brains fucked out in general.  
Picture 175
But what I said above doesn’t hold true for everybody.  This gal goes batshit crazy when these viral young handsome fellows come on to her, which causes major problems around Camp Zappa.  I know she looks like she’s in orgasmic ecstasy here, but believe me when I tell you these guys wienies are about to become as limp as a night crawler.
Picture 176
Terry tries to escape when her other plans go awry.  Here she comes across some nice Pilipino Gentlemen and asks for their assistance.  Unfortunately she’s about to learn that the words “Help Me Please” means “Rape Me Please” in the Philippines.  And the other reason I posted this outfit?  It gives us a chance to see Terry in another skimpy blouse while being quite wet as well.  Ah!  Life’s little pleasures and treasures.
 Picture 178
This is the punishment for getting yourself raped in the Philippines.  Either that or it’s a new hair treatment, and remember, Terry did have the frizzies early in the movie.  I know you’re saying that it would not be possible for someone to survive such torture.  Well, bub, let me explain some shit to you:  There is no such thing as a light saber either. And yeah, it was really her punishment for trying to escape.
Picture 179
While Terry decides to just hang around outside  for a while, Blossom finally get’s herself registered at the  Hotel Zappa Deluxe.  Blossom is the boss now and if these clowns don’t know that yet, they will know it right quick.
Picture 182
Blossom:  My name’s Blossom, but that don’t mean shit.  All you have to know is that now I run this place.  Any other  questions?
Girl:  Yeeeahh… where do you want to be buried, nigga’?
Picture 183
Blossom:  That’s Miss Nigga’ to you bitch.
You just have to love that shit.
Picture 184
The other part of Django’s plan is to infiltrate the camp by getting himself hired on.  This consists of  putting on a beret, baring his midriff in front of Rocco, and sashaying into the Men’s Room to let Rocco have a good look at his package.  Is this what they call Penis Envy?  Or is it just Penal Lust? 
On one hand you want to laugh, on the other hand you’re a bit bugged by the stereotype of gays.  But that’s the way Hollywood portrayed them in those days, and in some cases, still do.  So it is what it is.
Picture 185
Unfortunately, a monkey wrench is thrown into their plan when the Warden discovers who Blossom is and proceeds to have Rocco torture her for information.  Unlike Terry though, she gets to keep her hairdo.
Picture 187
Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  She’s taking a shower and lathering herself up.  Well, Karen is lathering herself up but not with soap.  And she’s not taking a shower.  That you see, is chicken grease.  And just why should she be covering herself from head to toe with the remnants of a day’s work at KFC?  
But there are bigger questions.  Will Django spring Blossom and Terry before sadistic Warden Zappa does them in?  Or will he succumb to the seductive charms of Rocco?  Will the girls join the revolution in support of more B movies like this one?
You’ll have to either go to Shout Factory or someplace like Amazon to buy the movie to find that out.  And it’s one helluva deal.  You get three of these movies for the price of what one normally costs and these are good transfers, not the usual public domain shit some companies churn out to throw in the bargain bin at Wal-mart or K-mart.  A couple of things do irk me though.
The first is that Netflix has basically quit carrying Shout Factory titles altogether.  So you can’t get this there but you might try to get it at Blockbuster On-line. I haven’t checked.   Sad to say, is that Netflix’s DVD rental service is steadily going downhill which makes their recent big price increase kind of a joke.  Seriously thinking of canceling the DVD portion.
Better yet, don’t be such a tight wad and buy the damn thing.  This one  movie alone is worth it.  You get a little bit of everything:  action, comedy both intended and unintended, some surprisingly snappy dialogue,  torture, beautiful naked women, an Ex Price-is-Right tag turner, and  practically everything else you could want in a movie like this.
You can’t watch a movie like The Big Bird Cage and be expecting an A List 100 million dollar Hollywood extravaganza.  There’s no comparing the two.  You have to watch it in the spirit in which it was made, and whether or not even on a very limited budget the Producer, Director, Writers, and actors at least put a little effort into achieving the final result.
I really had fun watching The Big Bird Cage.  I’ve only watched a little of it with the Director’s Commentary but look forward to more of that.  I’m not sure that today’s jaded young audiences (and yes, they are quite jaded) will ever know the joys of a film such as this, but hey at least it’s in color.  You don’t know how many times I hear some young foolish idiot punk kid proclaim they won’t watch a black and white movie for any reason.
But the trick is not to take a film like The Big Bird Cage seriously, and if you can do that, you should be okay.  So grading The Big Bird Cage on the Roger Corman B Movie curve (as compared to other films), I’d have to give it *** out of *****. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:39 PM

    This is available on Dishnetwork On Demand in SD or HD for free if you have the right type receiver.