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Poor Annette Haven.

She’s married to a hairy doofus (Richard Bern) so obsessed with sports he’s got footballs and televisions set up on the ledge of their jacuzzi (you keep expecting a Patrick moment, but sadly, no one gets electrocuted here). At least she’s got a second TV and top loading VCR to watch sports-related porn!

This starts the film off on the right foot with cute Sharon Mitchell lookalike “Phaery Burd” (yeah, great pseudo there…) as a willowy domme of a ref who “punishes” fumbling QB Ken Scudder in the best way…and boy, is she expert in oral matters. Too bad this bit is short and subject to quick cutting (and cross cutting back to Haven and Bern throughout).

So what’s a frustrated sports widow to do, but head out for a sauna lesbi-session with the sorta cute but awkward looking Sarah Silverman lookalike Nicole Black and Southern fried Lisa De Leeuw?

Their post-fiddling chatter brings the gal pals to the local disco singles bar, where Herschel Savage is a bartender who gets as much service as he gives and a bearded Paul Thomas (looking for all the world like that doofus from Thirtysomething) MC’s a “wet short shorts” contest featuring all of two scrawny guys (Mike Horner being one). Horny Haven fantasizes a “handy” fling with both of ’em, an extra looks straight into the camera and a drunken lush dumps booze on Purely Physical‘s Laura Lazare, who spends her entire night trying to get a rise out of Savage’s flaccidity.

Some random guy who looks like a dead ringer for my old hippie pal (oft noted in the course of these pages and occasional podcasts) gets with Silverman…er, Black (who later winds up the evening with car attendant Jesse Adams), Blair Harris goes for De Leeuw and our football obsessed hubby gets joined in the hot tub by Billy Dee and some Eric Edwards clone. To defuse the eyebrow raising homoeroticism of this, two odd looking “cheerleaders” join in, but Bern still only has eyes for the game. Worst of all, Paul Thomas sings both “feelings” and “when time goes by” off key!

You can tell “Harry Lewis” (Lee Utterbach) wasn’t one of the big names in the industry. Despite some seriously aesthetic settings and decor and some excellent, well lit cinematography, any prurient interest and heat generated by the performers or look of the film is immediately defused, time and time again, by the director’s weird propensity towards quick cuts and cross-editing.

A decidedly jokey vibe doesn’t exactly help matters, so that what seems in minute long excerpts to be a smokin’ must see of the last days of disco winds up as a very forgettable (if quite eye pleasing) minor entry in the annals of adult film of the era.

Next up, Ken Gibb (the third of the wholly pseudonymous “Lewis Brothers”, one of whom shares this double feature disc) offers a merry widow film from three years later, which kicks off with a decidedly Tobalina-esque opening written rant (supposedly from Lisa De Leeuw!) about how nobody held a gun to your head to see this film, so shut the fuck up LOL. Seriously, that’s almost a word for word.

Anyway, Scary old Jesie St. James (in a short bob that practically screams middle age and Cyndi Lauper-level tricolor eyeshadow) boffs her way through the chauffeur, the pool boy and assorted staffers and business acquaintances. Yeesh.

Apropos of nothing (or at least nothing to do with our ostensible tale of the rich widow and her exploits), Paul Thomas bangs some ugly Mary Lou Retton type at the office, horsey Joanna Storm gets with Eric Edwards there as well…in fact, the only highlight to be found in the prurience department is cute Debi Diamond, who has some prudish thing going on and a weird fling with our next heroin(e) of discussion…someone I did not expect to encounter after so many years remove.

It was definitely a surprise to see Loose Ends / Ten Little Maidens star Janey Robbins in the cast.  A mouthy, hard bitten biker bitch cum truck stop waitress type, her aggro style, prominent tats (from the days when nobody had one) and demeanor seem an ill fit with the doofy, laid back corporate office vibe and setting of the film otherwise. All the same, as those two films were early discoveries from the family collection, her presence brings a touch of unexpected nostalgia to the proceedings – and in case it went unsaid, she ain’t so bad looking for all that.

The whole damn thing is shot in soft focus, with all the cheesecloth and vaseline softcore of the era was all too prone towards, so even the patented Vinegar Syndrome remastering can only upgrade this one to, in its best moments, 1980’s TV level quality. It simply wasn’t shot with clarity and hi-def in mind…

Gibb displays absolutely none of the aesthetic or cinematographic orientation of supposed “brother” Harry (Utterbach), and while the co feature had at least Haven, Black and “Burd” to tickle the fancy of those inclined, this one’s packed to the gills with unattractive Z-listers…it says something when the best you’ve got to offer here is Janey Robbins.*

* yeah, yeah, there’s Debi Diamond…but she’s the one ringer in a cast of castoffs otherwise.

The sole extra turns out to be an hour and a quarter long audio commentary track with the various “Lewis Brothers”, listed as “a conversation with…” as it appears to be more generalized and unrelated to the film to whose running time it’s appended to.

I’m glad to see more films of an early to mid 80’s vintage starting to appear of late. While the more storied era of “porno chic” hails from the decade prior, this was more of my wheelhouse, and featured (as a broad rule of thumb) a better looking and more diverse pool of starlets – in point of fact, most of yours truly’s personal faves hail from this very era, at the dawn of video.

Unfortunately, this double bill of “Lewis Brothers” films manages to fall outside of what we’re talking about there, with Ladies Night something of an overly edited and jokey sendoff to the genre’s 70’s “heyday” and Her Wicked Ways a definite anomaly, neither as well plotted, acted, aesthetic or classy as the 70’s films tended to be or as fun, dayglo and filled with gorgeous women as the 80’s scene was.

In the end, Her Wicked Ways is more than forgettable, and probably best consigned to the great delete bin of mental retention (or more precisely, the opposite thereof) immediately after viewing.

Get it for Ladies Night…just don’t expect to settle in and enjoy a scene, because Utterbach will be sure to pull the rug out on it inside of a minute or so.

 

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