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The Big Cube

One of the more bizarre entries in the genre of 1960's Drug-Addled Cinema, The Big Cube (1969) stars a worn-around-the-edges Lana Turner as Adriana, a famous actress who gives up show business to marry a rich businessman (Dan O'Herlihy). This irks his teen daughter, Lisa (Karin Mossberg, who inexplicably has an Swedish accent), so she shows her independence by hitting the town with her free-spirited pal Bibi (Pamela Rodgers) and dropping acid with a bunch of hippeies at a nightclub called The Trip. While getting her freak on, Lisa catches the eye of a too-groovy cad named Johnny (George Chakiris) who's less smitten with Lisa's whack-job charms than he is with her family's money. After a yachting trip goes bad and Dad goes missing, Lisa's acting-out with her wild friends at the family manse ticks off Adriana, and Lisa's announcement that she's going to marry Johnny is the last straw. So Adriana cuts off Lisa's inheritance, which naturally inspires the lovebirds to hatch a plan that involves dosing Adriana with LSD, driving her crazy, and having her committed. There's a lot of camp to savor in The Big Cube — Turner (at the tail end of her career) starts the movie doing Shakepeare, progresses through saintly motherhood to drug-induced dementia, and chews up the screen every step of the way with vigor. The real joy in watching this picture is in the way that the film takes itself so very, very seriously, with the actors committing themselves fully to ridiculous dialogue and painful overacting. It's fun in the same manner as old school safety films and after-school specials — it's hard to believe that people actually used to fall for this stuff.

Part of Warner's "Cult Camp Classics 2" box set (with Caged and Trog), the DVD offers a beautifully clean, full-screen (1.33:1) transfer with outstanding color saturation and sharpness. The Dolby monaural sound (English, with optional English or Spanish subtitles) is quite good, as well. Theatrical trailer, keep-case.
—Dawn Taylor

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