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DVD_MOCKUP

After sitting through that last gem in the rather large number of Vinegar Syndrome releases this month, I felt it was time to reward myself by watching something that might actually have a good chance at being entertaining (seriously…sheesh!)

So regular Third Eye readers out there know exactly where I was going to head next.

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From Essex films in 1976, we get the very first appearance of China de Sade herself, star of China Lust and the Jade Pussycat, Ms. Linda Wong.  Yes, we’re talking Anthony Spinelli’s Oriental Babysitter.

“When a Chinese girl is young, she’s not allowed to show her emotions to others.  But when she’s alone, she can grieve, laugh, live by her fantasies…if she has any.”

With this rather bizarre and shortsighted soliloquy, we meet for the first time the stunning Linda Carol Seki (yep, in true clueless Hollywood style, they marketed a Japanese as Chinese…sure, any ol’ Asian will do!), who looks twice as ravishing in pigtails as in her normal ‘do.

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A doofy looking dork (one David Book) forces himself on her in her very first babysitting experience. He’s quite believable as a drunk, he’s certainly got the matted hair, sloppy dress sense and jowls of a seasoned barfly…damn she’s got some appealing nether regions, particularly for a porn star…yeah, this is about my speed without a doubt.  One can only hope Vinegar Syndrome has plans for Wong’s other opuses to get a DVD release in the near future…

While Wong has a tendency to deliver lines in a rather slow, stoned fashion, this is pretty much how I recall her always being – her all too brief life is testament to her more unfortunate predilections in this area.  Nonetheless, she’s one hell of an aesthetic centerpiece, and gets a whole lot more screentime than I recall her getting in the aforementioned trio of VHS era perusals.

Boy, she was probably better off sticking with the cheating husbands – her unrelated encounter with a “Mr. Justin” (Jon Martin, who’s hardly as “gorgeous” as she claims in the narration, but at least looks more like a 70’s bubblegum type than the usual scruggly male porn star) turns into one of the most exaggeratedly aggressive backdoor encounters I’ve seen on film, complete with a lot of screaming (likely fake, but still).  Geez…and she even gets to claim how much she liked it in the voiceover.  Yeah, right.

“Mr. Harris” (Peter Johns, a sort of cross between Ron Jeremy and Harry Reems, who’d become something of a regular in Wong’s films) is up next, with an unusual-for-Western hardcore fingering (something Asian girls really seem to dig, as anyone familiar with Japanese AV or the ladies themselves should be well aware).  He has the misfortune to get interrupted by his perverted wife, who gives the obligatory lesbi-scene.

After putting the viewer to sleep and killing half as much time as we’ve already gone through with three boy-girl scenes (!), Johns finally stops peeping on this boring scene for a bit of a menage a trois (well, OK, the two of them trade off granting him oral favors, and he never does get to finish).

And it just keeps on going…and going…and going.  One couple after the next, with only the barest verbal nod to this having anything to do with her being a babysitter (or in fact anything beyond some stunning Asian girl the various guys and occasional ladies are doing the nasty with).

Things end on a bit of a sour note, though, with that half hour sequence between Wong, an R. Bolla type (Henry Fletcher) and a chinless wonder with male-like pubes named Connie Peters (seriously, take a look at that undergrowth…it’s scary!).

The Spinelli touch is evident mainly in the vibrant cinematography and appropriate framing – you get plenty of close ups, but there’s no comparison to where the industry went from the 90’s forward.  You can always tell these disembodied body parts belong to a human being, who’s very much there and reacting as one might expect onscreen.

These are adult films to be sure, but the human element is still there – and that’s what really separates vintage “porno chic” (and even its 80’s SOV descendants) from the dehumanized, affectless abusiveness of “modern” porn, and thereby both infinitely preferable and of far greater value within the confines of the genre and market it caters to.

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The bottom line with Oriental Babysitter is you get Linda Wong.  And more of her than you’ll ever see onscreen again, honestly.  She’s got a deep, sexy alto voice (albeit one marked by a pronouncedly stoned delivery) AND she’s drop dead gorgeous.  There’s not a hell of a lot going on plotwise, most of the guys range from loser to disgusting, and there’s at least two 10 minute-plus femme to femme timewasters, but seriously.

It’s Linda Wong.  One of the most gorgeous ladies in adult cinema.  And she’s onscreen for the entire running time, no exceptions, no cutaways to lesser lady starlets (at least until the last few minutes, when Fletcher and Peters take center stage).  Even with that, this is still by far the most Wong you’re likely to get in a single feature.

And honestly, what more could you ask for?

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“You sure you’ve never done any of these flicks before? ”
“No, why?”
“You’re so loose.”

The co-feature on this double bill is another Spinelli feature from 1978 starring 80’s regular Joey Silvera (nee Nassivera).  I understand he’s still in the industry, which is pretty astonishing for a guy who’s been at this since the early 70’s…

A goofy Tom Byron analogue (Blair Harris, also of Spinelli’s Expectations) is getting it on with titless wonder “Sue Morris” (Mimi Morgan, who comes complete with nasty flip hairdo that makes her look a whole lot older than she probably was at the time (seriously, wasn’t that look dead by 1964?)

She has a pronounced overbite and vocal tonality that brings to mind Dark Shadows’ Kathryn Leigh Scott, but she’s not even in the same ballpark looks wise – even for cougar and MILF fans, Morgan really ain’t much to look at.  Oh, well, at least she comes with a nice rear view.

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Seeing Silvera without his trademark mustachio is a bit strange, but he’s certainly appeared without it before and since.  But that poofy hairdo and forehead atop such a skinny little bod sure does bring lite rocker and Vixen songwriter Richard Marx to mind…

Essentially, Silvera’s a bum living off her “ill gotten gains” as a professional porn star (seriously, this is one of those self referential jobs, though Spinelli keeps things from ever getting too far out of hand) and plying her with sex, Kato Kaelin style.  When Morgan gets pissy about it, he just throws a fit and starts knocking toiletries around, then bangs her to shut her up.  Works every time.

Jack Wright of Expectations and Confessions shows up, but he’s a lot more Peter Brady this time around.  Apparently he’s the guy who lent the house to the production she’s working on this week, and just dropped by to invite her to one of his regular “swing parties”.

“It’ll get rid of all your inhibitions…make you a better person…”

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Hey, is that Don Fernando as one of the swingers at Wright’s party?  Another 80’s favorite…either Spinelli was extremely forward thinking, or he had a penchant for giving new guys a start in the industry.  Nice ‘fro, Don…LOL

Being the genius she apparently is, Morgan brings Silvera to the party, and while she gets ice cubes stuffed up inside her by Wright, Silvera gets with some drugged out hippie type (one Sonya Spizer, who’s a bit plain and Midwestern looking, but could easily fit a cheerleader part).

When everybody’s all finished and dressed to leave, Suzannah French (who’s wearing the ugliest pair of plastic aviator glasses ever produced) gets right up in her face and accosts her like a demented pickpocket, with this highly believable and quite intellectual exchange:

(stoned voice) “My name is Andie.”
(disbelieving tone) “Well, I’m Sue.”
“I know.  I’ve been wanting to kiss you.”
“But I’m not sure that I.”

And as quick and simple as that, they’re going at it.  Before you know it, she’s giving French a half-assed whipping, with everyone cheering her on insanely before she gets caught up in the frenzy of the crowd and starts putting a little oomph into it.

Suddenly, she’s in the middle of an existential crisis:

“I don’t know who I am anymore.

A few days ago, I was an operator at the phone company.  Then my no future husband turns me on to acting in explicit sex films.  The next night, I’m at my first swing party, not only turning on with you, but making love with this chick who then begs me to hurt her.

And do you know the craziest part of all this?  I like it.  I’m enjoying myself.”
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For those worried about how the plot ties up, Silvera winds up banging Spizer again in Morgan’s pad.  Morgan, who’s already planning on moving in with Wright, gets shot up with the world’s hugest syringe by Silvera before getting into a 3 way with him and Spizer (bedecked in a painful looking hard plastic strap on).  When it’s all said and done, he cluelessly asks “we’re OK, now, right?” as she walks out on him.  Roll credits (complete with a cheesy 70’s soft rock tune that appears at both ends of the film).

Well, it’s Spinelli.  The aesthetic sense is definitely present (just check out the walnut wood-centric decor in both Morgan and Wright’s pads, as well as that outdoor veranda sequence with the chimes), as is the grim interpersonal commentary and drama.

While Confessions and Expectations came off a whole lot better (and more sophisticated) than The First Time does, it’s really not bad, even with such an iffy performer as the lead.  Oriental Babysitter, it’s Linda Wong at her most stunning – enough said.

Another recommended double bill from Vinegar Syndrome from the glory days of Times Square.  So what are you waiting for?

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