19 October 2015 | lor_
Embarrassing attempt at '60s porn from the mainstream
This terrible film is the result of a mainstream filmmaker poaching on the territory of indie exploitation specialists, Albert Zugsmith made one of his expeditions away from his day job of cranking out studio product to concoct "mature" movies to compete for bookings at the nation's adult cinemas with the Barry Mahons, A.C. Stephens and Joe Sarnos -professional pornographers.
His overwritten script is truly ludicrous: purporting to be based on the studies in sex of host Dr. Lee Gladden, Zugsmith has his characters frequently namedropping social scientists and spouting statistics, just to prove that our auteur has done a lot of research. This amounts to fraud, as the paying audience wanted to see titillating suggestive simulated sex and nudity, not being captive to a boring lecture by the protagonists.
Cast plays multiple roles in the movie's haphazard, crazy-quilt structure, notably Hollywood vet and frequent exploitation film front man Alex D'Arcy as Pierre Louis, the corrupt employer of antihero (truly a cad) Aaron, played by an unknown actor. Other principal roles is taken by Hampton Fancher, a journeyman TV actor, who later became a screenwriter, most notably collaborating on "Blade Runner" and Sharon Cintron (ex Playboy centerfold model) as his wife -who become involved in wife swapping, a topic not quite monopolized by Joe Sarno at this time, as evidenced by Zugsmith's poaching here.
Aaron has the good fortune to marry pretty Chinese-American heroine Peggy, played by a rather untalented neophyte Lovey Song, who Zugsmith later cast in "Psychedelic Sexualis", an obscure film one expects Vinegar Syndrome to be releasing anon.
Their up & down relationship (pun intended) is chronicled in absolutely boring fashion by Zugsmith, using a framework of her hesitantly subjecting herself to the care of psychologist Dr. Gladden, who after several reels of Freudian approach lapses into spouting psychological platitudes to explain Song's condition to her (and the audience) in laborious fashion. I thought sure it was going to be an incest reveal, but no, not daddy but some boys abused her in her youth, with Song looking mighty fine as a jail-bait schoolgirl in flashback.
Many women go topless to give the film some fleeting moments of prurient interest, notably a stunner as fig-leaf clad Eve in an idiotic Garden of Eden prologue. To cheat the paying customers, Zugsmith presents Song with a big covered-up chest lying on the psychologist's shrink-like couch, and later parades her in bikinis and nightgowns, but his leading lady never goes topless. She resembles a '60s version of current porn star/auteur Dana Vespoli.
Film proper begins with a stupid flash-forward of D'Arcy taking Song to a $6 a night motel as pure tease: Zugsmith finally catches up with this scene near the end of the movie in Moebius strip fashion, and it turns out the two of them were on a Scavenger Hunt! But not to worry, scene turns into a sleazy gang-bang after all, as Zugsmith seems obsessed with the whole gang-bang phenomenon, using it in virtually the same causation of neuroses manner in his more entertaining later porn "classic" (just kidding) "Sappho, Darling".
Many filmmakers besides Zugsmith have become entranced with the cinematic ploy of hypnotism, though Gladden with his soothing voice and plenty of repetition runs it into the ground here. Picture's attempt to be hip is laughable, especially in several party scenes of folks doing the frug, and an excuse for mild topless shots, including a well-credited appearance of Rudi Gernreich's cultural artifact of that time, the topless bathing suit.
Watching pretentious garbage like this makes one appreciate the honest simplicity of a Barry Mahon, and perhaps for the film buff underscores the difference between the ground-breaking work in movie rediscoveries by the late Mike Weldon of Something Weird Video, as compared to the "print quality is everything" latter-day approach of johnny-come-latelies in the field like the Vinegar Syndrome honchos.