Cargo of Love (1968)

  |  Drama

A young woman answering an ad for a traveling companion winds up drugged, kidnapped and in the clutches of a white slavery ring.


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24 January 2011 | lor_
Upon inspection, rejected!
Homeland security has nothing to fear from CARGO OF LOVE, a timid soft porn film in the "roughie" category. I recently enjoyed director Anton Holden's TEENAGE TRAMP, but this earlier work is n.s.g.

Alternate title is almost clever (THE BED AND THE BEAUTIFUL), but it's "just missed a decent pun" status is indicative of the half-hearted, low energy effort here. Theme is white slavery, rather poorly executed as the story seems to be taking place in Cuba or some banana republic instead of, as the synopsis indicates, the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Intro has blonde Sheila Britton raped by her drunken b.f. Tony. She answers a help wanted ad for a traveling companion (to a widow) and meets up with obvious villainess Gloria Irizary. Soon Gloria has drugged Sheila and whisked her away to captivity where whippings are de rigeur.

I felt sorry for character comedian Richard B. Schull, very identifiable though uncredited as the doctor who takes care of Gloria's stable of forced prostitutes. He agrees to hide the fact that one of them is pregnant (virtually a death sentence in this context) in return for sexual favors -embarrassing for RBS.

Porn vet Sam Stewart, not very convincing cast as "Pepe", saves Sheila from two creepy thugs who try to rape her, but with Gloria's permission he gets to do it himself.

Most surprising scene was when a busty girl gives Gloria a massage; I thought the dragon lady would remain prim & proper but she got down with the rest of the cast. Once the FBI gets on the case there's some extremely clumsily staged "action" scenes of escaping and the like, but mainly this film is designed to showcase women being abused, photographed in harsh lighting and dramatic wide angle distortion shots, for the titillation of the less wholesome segment of the porn audience.

It's pretty stupid and pointless, and has no screenplay credit as a result. Holden definitely has a nasty streak and a talent for pursuing same on celluloid, but the producer/distributor Charles Abrams of this trash has a perfect track record - every film of his still available (not lost) has been a stinker.

Silliest element here is a Q-type lecture by her boss before FBI agent Barbara Wallace is sent in undercover to find and help Sheila. She's fitted out (only in the verbal description -it never made it to the prop department for this cheapie) with a special magnetic bra that has an option to stretch out 200 feet of elastic for Spiderman type climbing routines in a pinch. Wallace comments: "it's a real living bra". If I'd written crap like that I wouldn't want my name attached to a screenplay either.

Soundtrack is library music familiar from the Findlays' "Flesh" trilogy of films, with suspense cues conjuring up a James Bond mood, but the same tracks are repeated three or four times each, self-defeating.

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