Vinegar Syndrome take you a trip back into bottom of the bill drive in territory with three oddities from the late 60’s and early 70’s.
First up, John Hayes (Grave of the Vampire, Garden of the Dead, Dream No Evil) delivers a seriously awkward hybrid of sexploiter and nazisploitation ala Don Edmonds (Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS) which predates the latter subgenre by a good 5 years.
Watching this one, I had to shake my head in disbelief. Are there really films with no purpose to exist? No plot, no characterization, nothing but a few naked and willing girls and a few uniforms from the prop department?
Apparently so, as Hayes delivers a plotless, pointless, nearly dialogue free waste of good celluloid whose only recommendation comes by way of a trio of uncredited future names in exploitation: Grave of the Vampire, Kolchak the Night Stalker and the Nicholas Hammond Amazing Spiderman’s Michael Pataki, the good natured, ubiquitous bust queen Uschi Digard and Sandy Carey (of Bob Chinn’s entertaining The Devil’s Garden).
Nobody even tries to act, which is unsurprising given that there may be about a double spaced page worth of lines in the film: it’s a half dozen or less middling attractive ladies baring themselves and feigning coitus and guys in soldier uniforms coming around to use and abuse them. Interestingly, Hayes makes the American soldiers ten times more unsympathetic than their Nazi opponents!
This film is so particularly uneventful and repetitive, that this is pretty much all that stood out: some guy who looks like Bobby Astyr gets it on with a drag queen type who’s really into Hitler by pretending to be German, and there’s some nasty jerkoff running the US troops who’s really only in it for treasure, which is pretty much just a convenient excuse so this asshole can abuse the good natured madam of a whorehouse. At least he gets his comeuppance. Seriously, that’s all there is to it, beyond one massage parlor sequence after another and a weird song and dance number followed by a reasonably pretty girl in full body clown makeup…who then pulls a massage parlor sequence. Whew.
Then we head over to Chris Warfield, both infamous for the nigh-unwatchable Purely Physical and Cathouse Fever and contrarily for the fairly stylish Champagne for Breakfast, as he delivers two non-hardcore drive in efforts.
First up is a rather strange character piece featuring Sandy Dempsey as a hippie free love type who turns out to be something of a vindictive psycho. Little Miss Innocence is actually referring to the homely, horse faced and bucktoothed Joni Mitchell wannabe Terri Johnson, who is supposedly a “virgin” despite apparently running away from home to hitch around with Dempsey and being game to serve as the sacrificial lamb in the latter’s game of personal gain and vengeance against all males (or at least so the denouement would have us believe…she seems rather oversexed and happy to service and be serviced before that!).
Seriously, if she’s supposed to be so innocent and shy, why the hell is she so easily coerced into letting a post-midlife crisis John Alderman deflower her, much less winding up in a long round of three ways and nonstop bedroom marathons thereafter? Whatever…
Look, skanky pimp stable butterfly tattoo aside, Dempsey is sleazy, giggly and eager to please throughout the better part of the proceedings, despite being a manipulative, callous loon, so there is a reason to check this one out, particularly for any fans of the lady and her work. And it’s not as grim as a casual glance at the plot might suggest – Alderman may be getting worked over, but it’s a pretty light sentence – what guy wouldn’t want to wind up with his troubles for a few weeks, right?
But while it is the sort of film that might have turned up as part of a lesser double bill under Something Weird a few years back, it’s pretty ephemeral, and it’s even harder to take Alderman reassuring Johnson how “beautiful” she is (shades of Ben Affleck’s fittingly blind Daredevil telling the oddly bone structured Jennifer Garner’s Elektra the same thing in 2003’s Daredevil!) over and over. Not terrible by any means…but nothing to get excited about either.
Finally, pretty redhead Sondra Currie (Policewomen, Code Red’s Gabriella, Gabriella/Class of ’74) joins a surprisingly respectable acting turn from director Warfield himself (!) as the disturbed heroine of Teenage Seductress.
Now the title is something of a misnomer, as Currie could hardly be confused for anything even approximating a college graduate, much less a teenager, but she is a real looker and carries a reasonable degree of acting chops. Currie is another weirdo who got screwed up by her domineering lunatic of a mother (gee, who ever heard of that happening? The mothers of the world have a lot to answer for…) hellbent on a mission to find and (get this) screw the father who abandoned her and her nutcase of a mother years ago.
There’s a lot of Currie looking in the mirror and playing impromptu hopscotch when nobody’s looking, a bit of a love interest in Latino gallery owner Reggie Gonzales (Sonny Cooper) and some pretty good-for-exploitation acting from our two leads, but suffice to say this one’s pretty frigging dark.
Your call on these three…they’re something of a mixed bag. Picture quality is the usual shockingly good-for-obscure-exploiters thing viewers have come to expect from Vinegar Syndrome and Process Blue, that pretty much goes without saying. As far as the films themselves…well, how horny are you? If you’re not dropping by for the naked ladies, there’s not much else to hang your hat on this time around.