Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heroes Of Blaxploitation: Sid Haig

Day Twenty-four:

The very talented Sid Haig (b.1939) has had the great fortune of having a wonderful and lasting acting career that has been spanning over five decades.

Though he worked a lot throughout the 60's, it wasn't until Jack Hill's Spider Baby (1968) and Sid's outlandish role and performance when we really took note of him. Soon Sid was working on some high profile genre films like the Joe Namath & Ann Margaret biker flick C.C. And Company (1970) as well as George Lucas' THX 1138 (1971).

Sid continued his great partnership with Jack Hill and made the film Pit Stop (1969) together as well as the awesome women in prison double feature of The Big Doll House (1971) and The Big Bird Cage (1972) with Pam Grier. Sid also appeared in the cult flicks Trained To Kill: USA (AKA: The No Mercy Man) (1973), Wonder Women (1973) and Emperor Of The North (1973) with Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin.

Sid starred in a string of blaxploitation films in the early to mid-70's with bang-up roles in the Blaxploitation favorites: Black Mama, White Mama (1973), The Jack Hill directed Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974) as well as Savage Sisters (1974).  Haig worked a lot more through the 70's, mostly in genre films like Beyond Atlantis (1973), The Woman Hunt (1973), The Don Is Dead (1973), Busting (1974) and later a starring role on the TV series Jason Of Star Command (1978-81) co-starring Blaxploitation amazon queen Tamara Dobson.

Sid Haig worked dexterously over the years in film and TV but quit Film & TV acting in the early 90's after being fed up with the meager "baddie" roles he was being given. Eventually he was lured back by Quentin Tarantino with a role in Jackie Brown (1997) as a judge opposite his frequent co-star Pam Grier. While Sid's focus was on the theater group he ran, he eventually returned to films after being cajoled back with a prime role by Rob Zombie for the film House Of A Thousand Corpses (2003). They two have had a successful partnership since which led to films like The Devil's Rejects (2005), The Halloween Remake (2007) and other projects.

Though I'm not the biggest Rob Zombie movie fan in the world, at least he has the good sense to cast wonderful actors like Sid Haig which helped give him the career resurgence he so rightfully deserves. Sid has been getting a lot of work since, and it's a real pleasure to see him back on the screen where he belongs.

Sid and Pam, rolling around in the mud!

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