Synopsis by Mark Deming
Jack Hill directed this alternately brutal and campy look at desperate women behind bars. An American named Collier (Judy Brown) has been convicted of murder in the Philippines and is sentenced to a grim women's prison in the jungle, where a mysterious German woman, Miss Deitrich (Christiane Schmidtmer), is the warden, and her head guard, sadistic Lucian (Katheryn Loder), keeps her charges in line through intimidation and violence. Collier shares a cell with tough-talking bisexual prostitute Grear (Pam Grier), hard-boiled political prisoner Bodine (Pat Woodell), thick-skinned but good-humored Alcott (Roberta Collins), drug-addicted Harrad (Brooke Mills), and tight-lipped Ferina (Gina Stuart). Bodine's boyfriend is the leader of an underground revolutionary faction, and when she learns he and his comrades are in danger, she begins to plot an escape for herself and her cellmates, with travelling peddlers Harry (Sid Haig) and Fred (Jerry Frank) becoming her unwitting collaborators. Meanwhile, Lucian is stepping up her torture of the prisoners at the behest of a mysterious masked stranger, and Collier is determined to find out who is behind the systematic brutality. The Big Doll House was the first "Women In Prison" exploitation epic produced for Roger Corman's New World Pictures; it was a big hit on the dive-in and grind house circuit, and spawned dozens of imitations (which are still being produced today). By the way, that's Pam Grier singing the theme song!
woman, atrocity, captive, captor, escape, prison, sadist, sex, warden