Jack Hill is, along with his UCLA film school classmate Francis Ford Coppola, a product of Roger Corman's studio system. Coppola moved on , but Hill stayed with Corman for the duration of his career. One of Hill's class projects, a short film called The Host that can be found as an extra on the Switchblade Sisters DVD, was later adapted by Coppola as part of Apocalypse Now.
Hill's early work with Corman involved shooting additional footage so that films such as The Wasp Woman and Dementia 13 could be padded to television broadcast length. One of his early features was the insane and ill-fated Spider Baby. A twisted black comedy, Spider Baby was filmed in 1964 but was held in litigation for four years.
Hill's first major success was the women-in-prison film The Big Doll House, which made a star out of Pam Grier. The two went on to make The Big Bird Cage, Coffy and Foxy Brown together. Later Hill efforts include Switchblade Sisters, frequently mentioned by Quentin Tarantino as a favorite, and The Swinging Cheerleaders and its sequels.
Hill is also an accomplished musician whose playing appears in the soundtracks of many films including Dr. Zhivago, King Rat, and the Mission Impossible television series.