Review

  • Juvenile delinquency, updated to late '60s soft porn, is the theme of THE GIRL GRABBERS, a project that suffers from incompetence. Long before the picture completely falls apart in its final reels one senses something amiss.

    I've seen most of director Simon Nuchtern's films, and they all lack that special something -we call quality.

    Under the credits we watch two very young looking toughs Nick and Louie (John Spence and Stefan Peters), who Nuchtern encourages to overact. They seem like pranksters -feeling up women or knocking down their groceries as they crash along a Greenwich Village sidewalk.

    Things turn sinister as they gain access to a brownstone and break into Tania's apartment, who coincidentally is one of the women they accosted. Roughing her up, they fail to find any money or jewelry so Nick rapes her as goonish (played sort of retarded for effect) Louie holds her down.

    Casting 1-shot Ludmilla Tchor as Tania was a good move, as the busty non-actress looks like a real-life Mittel European woman in NYC's melting pot. In some scenes she seems really shocked or at least surprised by the action, not method acting but probably due to improvisation.

    Nuchtern's very poor script structure has Tania's boyfriend Paul (Paul Cox) nearly bowled over by the boys as they exit the building, and he soon embarks on a film-long quest for revenge after Tania tells him about the rape. Nuchtern has done porn, action, drama and horror movies, but I'd hate to see a mystery film (or even police procedural) from him based on the lame plotting here.

    Blundering along, Paul interviews people trying to identify and find the whereabouts of the hooligans, with a prostitute/dancer Lynn (energetic soft porn regular Jackie Richards) giving him info about her pimp -Nick. This leads Paul to a car repair company serving as a front, run by Frank (one-note tough guy actor Alaistair Burr), where Nick supposedly works.

    We've had some okay topless footage and the film has plodded along acceptably to this point, but it becomes very silly in a hurry. Frank is working on some multi-million dollar drug deal (completely unbelievable) for which Nuchtern rented a Peugeot but otherwise delivers puny action footage.

    The good guys, including Tania and Paul (and later Lynn) are kidnapped and tied up in bondage to be tortured for information about how much they now about the baddies' skulduggery, and Nuchtern ends up with an asinine shoot-out finish that is staged like a backyard movie made by kids in elementary school. I know that "anyone can make a movie", especially now in the shoot-it-on-video era, but Nuchtern was ahead of his time in blatant amateurism.

    Several members of the cast also appeared in a poor soft porn film by Sidney Knight titled LOVE IS WHERE IT'S AT, in which Alaistair gives a particularly embarrassing performance. Spence is tediously creepy as the pimp/rapist, while thick-lipped Peters as his violent partner in crime is merely awful.

    The moronic blogger/shill Robin who wrote the SWV liner notes makes a big deal of this being R. Bolla's first film in the lead role credited to unknown Paul Cox; it's untrue and the actor looks nothing like porn veteran Bolla, resembling F. Murray Abraham (and that's a real stretch, too) more. Just some more misinformation to delude the fans.