An unusual pairing of likeable hardcore veteran Bob Chinn and crusty softcore producer Bob Cresse (Love Camp 7, Mondo Freudo, House on Bare Mountain), the latter making his first venture into straight up adult film.
John Leslie none too believably portrays a vice cop whose sorta cute but rather bored ladyfriend Veronica (Taylor) makes it with him on a rather nice leather loveseat as sleepy jazz plays (think Julie London’s Julie is Her Name without vocals).
While he’s home boffing his disinterested beau, a few guys with atrocious Eurotrash accents (Steve Blake, Alain Patrick, Turk Lyon) are kidnapping and magically brainwashing a Lina Romay lookalike (Laura Bourbon) to diddle herself and kill seemingly random dumpy good ol’ boy drug mules and steal their stash.
In retrospect, it’s not hard to divine the film’s genesis in the world of arty 60’s softcore skinflicks…the same detached, distracted, stoned/disinterested vibe of ennui seems to pervade throughout, with most if not all of the performers and all of the prurient sequences feeling especially dry if not dull…well out of character for a Chinn production of the era, and hardcore of its time in general.
There’s even an ill-fitting “experimental” soundtrack, working light electronic nonsense, classical and jazz together in the sort of effect you get from a Michael and Roberta Findlay production of a decade prior (think Mnaisdika, or the Yoko Ono vehicle Satan’s Bed)…if not a Doris Wishman film (!)
Leslie also lives with his sister (the rather doofy looking, poorly coiffed, mu mu-sporting Tanya Shea), in a weird relationship that sees her cooking breakfast for and doting over him, before she winds up diddling herself to a headless Playgirl centerfold. Picture a thorazine-prescribed Karen Carpenter getting weirdly excited over this, and you get the idea – shudder.
There’s a quick pick up shot from Fisherman’s Wharf, but the scene is shot, scored and obviously post dubbed very much in the vein of Wishman (or perhaps her regular cohort in bad cinematography, Chuck “C.W.” Smith)…consider it an establishing shot that, as filmed, establishes absolutely nothing! Apparently this was just filler to break up Shea’s diddling from her otherwise instantly getting kidnapped and brainwashed by those same clowns…
Shea gets slightly better treatment than Bourbon, as they see fit to give her a lanky Swede (Enjil von Bergdorfe) to diddle herself…well, each other with before sending her out to bump off Br’er Bear Leslie. When she botches the job, it’s Chinn to the rescue (in a brief cameo as a doctor who actually pays house calls…imagine that nowadays!)
Sexy Sharon Thorpe, Desiree West and Vicki Lyon are on hand as other drugged and brainwashed victims, West getting intimate with a showroom dummy (how Kraftwerk of them!) and the latter being subjected to bad synthesizer sound collage via Speak N’ Spell (!)
Eventually, matters come to a head (cough) when the baddies go full on Death Wish with Shea and Leslie…well, I wish I could say he goes all Paul Kersey on their asses, but instead he gets easily captured and winds up on a one way boat ride. Dumb luck (and a light assist from Lyon) get him out of the fix and see him more or less inadvertently putting a stop to the operation. It’s all rather deux ex machina.
As regulars may have already expected, only the barely on screen Thorpe and West (once persuaded to move from the Auton to a pair of real guys) provide any small measure of heat, but it’s too little too late – this is more of a curio for those interested in a “what if…” scenario (as in, “what if all those Something Weird films went further”, or “what if guys like Cresse, Friedman and Stan Borden joined forces with a proper director from the age of porno chic.”). Even so, West ain’t a hard one to watch in action, however briefly, and Thorpe is nice to look at even when she’s not really required to do anything.
The sole extra (other than a commentary track, for those so inclined) consists of a short interview with Chinn where he briefly talks Cresse, the film’s direct swipes from Koji Wakamatsu’s The Love Robots, why so many adult films were shot in Frisco and the story behind the Robert Husong pseudonym. There’s also a very brief “director intro” where he refers to the film at his first attempt at a neo-noir (which seems a bit disingenuous given his already long running Johnny Wadd, Private Detective series).
This is by no one’s standards a high water mark in the Chinn oeuvre – we’ve already reviewed far better, and I’m sure there are many more to come in future releases. Even so, there are a few, if all too underutilized cuties onscreen and the weirdness factor of seeing Chinn paired with Cresse.
Too bad there was quite so much of Shea (shudder) and far too much of that odd, experimental/restrained/detached sixties softcore approach to leave this of much interest to the crowd that its cast, authorship and release date would otherwise be expected to be drawn to it.