Our old pal Carlos Tobalina returns as the raid of his entire filmography continues. This time around, we get a pair of uncharacteristically big budgeted period costumers.
First up, we get a film supposedly directed by John Holmes himself (!). The most impressive credit here goes to fencing instructor Richard Stephen, who actually manages to teach the generally hopeless Holmes to work a pas de deux or two (though the fact that the sequence is sped up via undercranked film says a lot) in a credits roll bit of business with “the cruel Colonel Zatski” (Will Verdi).
Holmes roundly dispatches the foul villain in sufficient time to keep his rendezvous with horse faced Ann Coulter lookalike “Lady Angie” (Jane Goodman), and Tobalina even allows John another of his usual onscreen drug fixes when he introduces the lady to “that delightful new fad” of blow. Gee, thanks, Carlos.
An inordinate amount of screentime is blown on Holmes watching an endless three way lesbo thing between three sisters (Diane Bills, Susan Catherine Susser and Nancy Hoffman) whom he eventually rogers before waking up in Me Generation-modern day to a wet dream. Yep, it’s time to go see a shrink (Susan Silver, probably the best looking thing on display here), to whom he relates his discovery of an ancestor’s hand me downs, inclusive of a vial of “hundred year old aphrodisiac fluid that hadn’t evaporated”, which he promptly takes (!).
Stopping off at a hotel, he boffs butch Iris Medina before heading down to “the ranch” for a patented Tobalina orgy*, inclusive of old pals John Seeman and Blair Harris, as well as Suzanne French and some guy going by “Creepee” (David Book)! Harris comes out best, getting some action from cute redhead Maureen Spring, but being a Tobalina production, he’s got to make it a weird incestuous thing in the script (rolls eyes).
* OK, it’s more of a crosscut room to room partner swap this time, but you get the idea.
Oh, and it all winds up with Paul (Peter Johns) getting a whiff of the aphrodisiac and demanding Holmes give him some gay action at gunpoint (thankfully offscreen this time around). Seriously, that’s the end of the film! We never even get to see Susan Silver strip off, leaving this one’s prurient value entirely at the feet of the comparatively barely on camera Maureen Spring! Gee, thanks, Carlos.
With some really nice location footage and well appointed establishing shots (which may very well be appropriated stock footage from some public television travel show), Tobalina…er, ‘Holmes’ really goes all out here, with plenty of attractive costumerie and even an attempt to shoot the more obvious hotel and living room sequences to focus on vaguely antiquarian furnishings (though there’s plenty of 70’s curtains, corduroy and even a rather prominent high capacity extension cord on display). Aside from the amusement factor that always accompanies a Holmes performance, that’s pretty much the sole selling point here.
Tobalina owns up next time around for 1982’s Casanova 2, which opens on footage from the period bits of the first film before two swordsmen and a swordswoman (Cathy Linger) ambush Holmes-as-Casanova in Zatski’s name. He saves Linger long enough to take doctor’s advice and “make her last moments as happy as possible”, but not before ballin’ the jack with doofy looking, none too intelligent Myra the gypsy (Bridgette Felina), who turns it into an ersatz ménage a trois.
Tobalina himself turns up as El Conde de la Riva (yep, the same name Holmes gave as his coke supplier in the first Casanova ‘epic’!), who raises the putative “son” of Holmes and Linger, none other than Don Juan (Bjorn Beck), to whom he passes on the infamous aphrodisiac perfume of the first film (a nice excuse to write Holmes out of the picture while still giving him top billing).
From here, Tobalina essentially repeats the earlier portions of the original film, but without Holmes’ goofy camp value and with even less distinctive females, before taking a weird right turn. Apparently procreation was on Carlos’ mind, as not only do we have the “passing of the torch” from Holmes to the awful, mittel-European accented Beck, but Beck’s solicitation by the Count de Leon to surrogate father wife Isabella (Jesie St. James)’ child. This allows Carlos to tie the films together, as Don Juan is supposed to be 70’s era Holmes’ grandfather (!). Tobalina pads out the next half hour or so with footage from the first film, often extending scenes beyond what was shown therein.
In fact, it becomes increasingly apparent that with the possible exception of the Beck sequences, the entire film consists of little more than previously unreleased footage from the 1977 production, inclusive of the aforementioned extended scenes and a Tobalina orgy including Bonnie Holiday. Oh, and remember Holmes’ shrink Susan Silver? Well, now they’re business partners, marketing his aphrodisiac perfume for mass consumption! The last 15 minutes are padded out by William Margold dialing in as a TV newsman, which allows Tobalina to “air” unrelated outdoor sex scenes as part of a news piece on “the pleasure revolution”(!)
There are some actual mansion location shots here (the Count de Leon’s parlor is an absolute aesthete’s dream), but it’s hard to disguise the fact that this was a hastily, flimsily cobbled together excuse to dump a bunch of stock footage from various Tobalina productions and pass it off as a film proper. And dammit, Silver still never takes her damn clothes off, despite a very modest scripted scene at the end featuring her and John “post coitally” chatting beneath satin sheets. Ripoff!
In all, a bit more upscale than you’d expect from a pair of Tobalina productions, but they are what they are, and that’s of middling value at best.