“Maybe we should go to New York…you know, one of those singles bars, and pick up a little tail.”
“Nah, that takes money. We ain’t got money.”
And so begins the first of two X rated roughies, Abduction of an American Playgirl. Delivered without directorial credit, this moody Winter set opus features the most accomplished of adult film actors, Joe Sarno regular Eric Edwards alongside his even schlubbier sidekick and Yiddish take on the Italian Stallion sterotype Alan Marlow.
Bored and horny one afternoon, these two boobs make the snap decision to abduct the first girl who crosses their path for sex.
“Hey, what’re you, nuts? We’ll get the chair for rape.”
After that amusingly exaggerated overestimation of actual U.S. law, the bumbling duo do just that, grabbing plain Janeish Janis Joplin lookalike Darby Lloyd Rains in broad daylight and taking her straight to their house (!)
Rifling through her purse, Edwards discovers she’s wealthy socialite ‘Jackie Miller’ and the plan changes from abduction and rape to include extortion as well. Of course, they’ve got it covered – they’re only going to ask for 5 grand (!). Hey, big spender…
They’ve got two problems: her father could care less about getting her back (much less paying for the privilege) and she really enjoys her new situation, to the point where she essentially turns the tables on just who’s abducted who…
Dare I admit to enjoying this tawdry bit of roughie absurdity? Apart from its basic premise, Abduction of an American Playgirl is so far from something like Scum of the Earth, Bad Girls Go to Hell or the Olga films as to be wholly unrecognizable. In fact, it’s farce pure and simple.
The sheer comedy of the whole scenario makes the film’s authorship a real question of note, as it comes off much akin to a sociopathic, politically incorrect X rated take on your typical classic comedy scenario. In fact, if Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello or the Three Stooges were marketing themselves to the neanderthal set instead of the general public, the end result would come off a hell of a lot like Abduction of an American Playgirl.
Edwards and Marlow are amusing throughout, the script is full of silly bits and smile inducing one liners, and Rains has a rather nice body when unencumbered by couteure, pale skinned and just full figured enough to be visually quite sensual.
She also appears to actually be enjoying herself if not getting off throughout her numerous coital scenes. The very fact that she seems to be so very appreciative of the boys’ efforts in and of itself makes her quite appealing, despite her somewhat less than glamour model looks…
The bottom line is this. If you don’t mind the sheer asociality of the entire premise, this is a fun little picture for the over 18 male, and Rains actually proves rather appealing by dint of her apparent intrinsic carnality. Just try not to focus too much on her average at best Midwestern style features if you’re planning on enjoying the feature for its more prurient (as opposed to cinematic or aesthetic) aspects.
On the complete opposite end of the equation comes Claude Goddard’s 1976 Winter Heat, which headlines hardcore legend Jamie Gillis and infamous cougar type Helen Madigan (also of Vinegar Syndrome’s Lustful Feelings). While the film spotlights a rather impressive disco soundtrack, it’s a much darker affair – practically the sinister flipside of the surprisingly good natured (!) leading film.
Still set in Winter, with the protagonists once again shown driving around in a crappy old station wagon and still revolving around de facto abduction (well, more of a home invasion, actually), this is far closer to a grindhouse horror picture ala I Spit on Your Grave or Last House on the Left than either your typical XXX film or the 60’s style roughie.
Virgin and the Lover and Abigail Lesley is Back in Town vet Susan Sloan joins Jennifer Jordan (of the Kristine deBell Alice in Wonderland) and someone named Jenny Lane (about whom more shortly) as a trio of vacationers who find themselves pushed around by Gillis, Madigan and their sleazy pals Alex Mann (himself an apparent ex con, better known to cineastes as veteran of such New York based sexploitation auteurs as Joe Sarno, Michael Findlay, Doris Wishman and even Florida based Barry Mahon (!) and Mickey Humm.
An interesting tidbit about the film is that it represents the final of four adult pictures apiece for Lane, Humm and director Goddard (Lane and Humm costarred in three of said films, two of which were helmed by Goddard). One is left to surmise their shared experience on Winter Heat was traumatic enough to push all three of them to exit the industry immediately thereafter!
With a soundtrack falling somewhere between Van McCoy and Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra and a moody, isolated setting in the snowy woods, Winter Heat is quite effective aesthetically, though the print is in nowhere near the shape of Abduction of an American Playgirl (which was vibrant and stellar) – there’s a reason it’s the second feature here.
While actual physical rough stuff is nearly nonexistent, dialogue and implication combine to make matters quite uncomfortable at points, particularly in relation to a Gillis scene with a youthful looking if quite attractive Bree Anthony (of Vixens of Kung Fu and Oriental Blue fame) about 45 minutes into the picture.
By the close of the film, things turn more towards standard adult film fare and the Anthony/Gillis scene actually turns out to be the film’s highlight. Anthony really is a very pretty, wide eyed young lady, so once the grim setup is taken away and a more typical coital scenario takes over, all of the earlier nastiness fades into the background and the viewer finds themselves subconsciously relaxing to enjoy the proceedings (for the first time in the entire film!). But it doesn’t really cover for the ugliness on display or implied in the first three reels…
Far from the (perhaps inappropriately) lighthearted romp and boys’ locker room fantasy of the insatiable female that Abduction of an American Playgirl taps into, Winter Heat is far more in line with your average David Hess film (anything from Last House to Hitch Hike or House on the Edge of the Park), with Gillis very much in the Krug role herein.
Suffice to say, this is not one to show the girlfriend – in fact, putting all aesthetic considerations aside, I doubt I’ll be revisiting this somewhat repugnant bit of celluloid any time soon.
While the anonymously helmed lead feature is quite enjoyable (despite certain iffy plot points thereof), the Goddard picture will probably prove overly squirm inducing to the average, properly socialized viewer. As such, this double bill of 70’s adult cinema roughies comes recommended to those of a particularly openminded sensibility only.