Add a Review

  • NY porn production, credited onscreen to the direction of Odus Hamlin, strongly resembles the work of 1960s softcore auteur Joseph W Sarno and utilizes one of his favorite plots. A closed sexual circle is infiltrated by a free spirit who stirs things up. In this case, 28-ish "teenager" Matilda arrives to spend time with her cousin (Crystal Sync). The cousin shares a house with b.f. and another couple. All are blue-collar working people, though there is just rather vague reference to the workday world. The two cousins have a sexual past, which Sync doesn't like to think about, but the barrier soon comes crashing down.

    Story is interesting, though at close to 2 hours, much too long for the genre. The occasional bouts of explicit sex are mostly a little gratuitous and get in the way of the story (or maybe the story is too complex and gets in the way of the explicit sex). Some of the dialogue is tin-ear awful. The cast are all very natural-looking, like real people, and most obviously have professional acting experience.

    Lead Crystal Sync is one of the most hardly-the-types you'll ever see in a porn film, a 5'9" brunette distinctly on the skinny side, non-voluptuous, non-glamorous, with cultivated vocal patterns, but she racked up numerous credits in the genre between about 1975 and 1981 and eventually scored enough cash to fix the seriously bucked teeth she had at the time of this picture. (For probably her best work, see 1981's THE TIFFANY MINX, a meaningless title which masks a really interesting and wellmade porno-suspense film.)Tech credits are somewhat primitive, and the musical score (discordant guitar riffs) is strictly a matter of taste.

    Some prints of STUFF were retitled GIRL TROUBLE in the late 1980s, when any titles that smacked of underage sex were hastily doctored during the Traci Lords scandal; YOUNG STUFF has nothing to do with the story in any event. This is NOT a film for seekers of cheap porno thrills. It is quite slow, quite long, with "dry" spells that seem to last forever, and walks a very uneasy tightrope between porn grinder and slice of life art film -- eventually not quite working in either direction.

    This is a commendable attempt to do something "different" within the porn genre, but it really doesn't work. The sex is realistic and not that photogenic; the discursive story would probably have been more interesting with the sex held to a softcore level and dished out in less seemingly-obligatory manner. I give this a 3.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Back in the '70's, as is known to cinephiles, adult films were exactly that -- adult, in that they contained a lot of sex, a LOT of sex, but they were also films, because they were literally on film and they had scripts, actors, actresses, producers and such, instead of what there is today, a guy with a video camera and some beautiful people intertwining.

    "Young Stuff" is the former kind of film, it obviously has aspirations, the makers seem to want it to be taken seriously. In a lot of ways, it should be. It has a story, and is quite interesting in that the performers are more than performing, they act, and make their characters interesting.

    The actors aren't buff and muscular, notwithstanding Sonny Landham in his porn days. He proceeded to mainstream movies, significant roles in "48 Hours" and "Predator". The actresses are attractive, but not plasticine gorgeous, sans tattoos, and would be considered too hirsute in today's world. But sexy? Uhhh, yessum.

    Joseph Sarno, here directing under a pseudonym "Otis Hamlin", is at his best. He excels in a particular story: have a group of people, with simmering lusts suppressed in their lives and minds, thrown into turmoil by the arrival of a catalyst, a woman with a passionate mindset, kinky tastes, and an erotic demeanor.

    The movie takes place in a southern town, the mill has closed, and the townfolk don't have much to do, except, well, the obvious. Two couples live together in a small house, waiting for the mill to reopen. They are visited often by a female blond acquaintance, who uses their abode to entertain male "friends" for a bit of companionship, and well, other things.

    The two couples are pretty much in love and happy, but then comes to town one of the wives' cousin. Good old, or young, Matilda. This might be a good place to mention that "young stuff" is *not* anything even close to one of those movies where they have over 18 actresses who look younger than they are, to simulate very young sex. Nothing like that sort of thing (which is repellent to say the least, I would say). All the actors and actresses here are well into their twenties, if not older. They really should have named it something else.

    Anyway, the two couples are somewhat thrown into turmoil by her arrival, since she ends up seducing the various characters in the House.

    Matilda first seduces the "milkman" which is kind of funny, since the idea of a milkman is so far removed from today's universe, he might as well be a cave painting artist. But had them they did in the '70's, and I'm old enough to remember them, so it's charming in that regard. Though the silly white uniform is not quite convincing, it *is* funny.

    The Milkman (Landham) helps her seduce others in the House, and the whole plot culminates (climaxes?) in a seven person group hug at the end of the movie. And the folks are the better for it, or so we are led to believe, though, with Sarno, there's always an undercurrent of "are they really happier with all the sex?" Joseph Sarno is one of those iconic directors, who has remarkable talent, and probably could have done much in mainstream film, but obviously has an eye for the darker and more sexually oriented parts of the human psyche.

    This plot, a woman arriving in a situation and causing tumult by unleashing a great deal of sexually pent up charges. Other films that are similar, at least in plot, are "Confessions of a Young American Housewife" and "Abigail Leslie is Back In Town." In fact, in the latter, the name of one of the characters "Alice Anne" is the same as a main character in "Young Stuff", and the two have similar backwoods southern accents, though very dissimilar otherwise.

    Sarno seems to find fascinating is the idea of women seducing other women -- in this, and the other movies named herein, a sexually adventurous woman succeeds spectacularly at bringing on (and out) the bisexual in the women around her.

    This isn't a wall to wall sex fest, it has an actual plot and, if you can believe it, a script. The actors actually had to learn lines, and had to, wait for it, act. But there is plenty of it, sex that is, from onesomes to sevensomes, and everything in between. There isn't much of the gross out stuff seen in today's adult movies, I won't describe, as in even doing so would be in poor taste. Suffice it to say, that even the "dirty" talk in this movie is more erotic than all the boring things the "stars" of today seem to want to say to each other while mindlessly engaging in certain acts.

    Not exactly the easiest to find, if you like it, I'd suggest looking out for the other two mentioned, and "Girl on Girl". Which sounds like a trivial video churn out, but it's not. In fact Sarno's movies are mostly softcore (this one is not). I've read he disliked harcore films, perhaps because they left so little to the imagination. That's another element of this film - the sex scenes, while erotic, are not quite as formulaic as in most other X'ers. The cameras, the moments, the angles, the inflections, are somewhat different than in most other movies, even other popular and well received 70's X-rated flicks.

    By "content" I mean simply that some movies have explicit sex in them, some, like "Basic Instinct", implied explicit sex, and others, just a little sex, and others with lots of violence. None of that really matters if the movie is well made. (Except for the obvious, which I won't mention since even to do so is grotesque.) I'd recommend it, simply because it's a likable erotic outing, also even if as period piece curiosity.
  • Most renowned and rightfully revered for his superlative soft-core sex films from the '60s and '70s, the late Joe Sarno would also churn out a considerable amount of "stronger" features as mucky movie houses moved away from the simulated stuff towards the full color penetration of hardcore. While "churning out" pretty much describes the filmmaker's approach towards the explicit throughout most of the '80s, his XXX offerings from the previous decade still bear the traces of a master craftsman valiantly attempting to elevate a both then as now disregarded genre above its lowly station. He would achieve this through the very elements that made his sexploitation flicks stand out from the crowd, i.e. involved story lines, psychologically sound characterizations and surprisingly decent acting. Anyone who has ever watched one of Sarno's suggestive tease flicks, amongst which I would like to proffer 1968's ALL THE SINS OF SODOM as a very good place to start exploring a rather massive body of work, should be well aware that he was also second to none when it came to creating a palpably erotic atmosphere where every glance and gesture would draw the audience deeper into tantalizing turmoil.

    One of the truly amazing things about THE TROUBLE WITH YOUNG STUFF remains that it was one of at least four films Sarno shot almost simultaneously back in 1976, along with the equally excellent SLIPPERY WHEN WET and the far more obscure HOT WIVES and THE HONEY CUP, all of them made in and around the same locations with minor cast variations. This fact really serves as a tribute to the talented "cinéaste" whose output would eventually grow so large and unwieldy that by life's end he had no idea how many movies he might have made, a conundrum duly shared by the rest of the world in light of the vast number of aliases he had employed, some still unconfirmed to this day. Unlike some of the other creatives of carnality, Sarno knew exactly what he could achieve given the time and budget at his disposal and how to tailor his narratives to bring out the best of his financial and artistic resources. Often working with the same handful of dramatically gifted New York performers meant he could write parts bearing them in mind and capitalize on any specific forte they might possess.

    Another aspect routinely skipped over in other people's adult efforts is the presence of an economic reality as opposed to the anything goes fantasy fulfillment environment most porn appears to take place in. For instance, here it's a rundown small town somewhere in the South and most of the characters have been unemployed ever since the local textile mill was forced to close down, not exactly a setting conducive to carnality at first glance. But Sarno uses this bleak situation, undoubtedly recognizable to much of the day's audience, to reinforce the morals and motivations that drive his "dramatis personae" and therefore imbue them with a life and urgency that's uncommon to say the least in the fornication film field.

    Longtime friends Alice Ann and Rose (Crystal Sync and Marlene Willoughby respectively) share an apartment with their blue collar boyfriends Roger Caine and Bob Bolla, both of whom are still employed if only just, largely out of financial necessity as these living arrangements put obvious strain on both couples. Their slutty sidekick Dinah (quite possibly Nancy Dare's career performance) further exacerbates this increasingly untenable situation by bringing over her occasional boyfriends such as milkman Sonny Landham as her strict mom (Gloria Leonard) won't allow her to entertain at home. About to make matters much worse, although her transgressive behavior indicates the possibility of an eventual much-needed catharsis for several of the plot's protagonists, is Alice Ann's two minutes past jail bait cousin Matilda (Jenny Baxter) who was "sent away" for being an unmanageable teen and now seems to have some kind of retaliation on her mind. Adult cinema theorists (should such a beast exist !) can chalk this up as another variation on Sarno's favorite theme of the intimate interloper wreaking havoc within the "family" unit by seducing each member thereof, as in DADDY DARLING, BABY LOVE or LAURA'S TOYS to name but a few of the more obvious examples.

    Scored with appropriately sombre guitar strumming by Jack Justis, the narrative delves much deeper into people's psyches than adult is wont to do without sacrificing the sex which Sarno manages to incorporate into the film's fabric as both an intrinsic and invaluable element. The exceptional cast, comprised of just eight people, rises beautifully to the occasion with the women especially standing out. The mischievous Baxter, who worked in the porn industry to pay for college tuition, makes the most of a meaty part as the proverbial fly in the ointment but it's the usually campy Marlene Willoughby who ultimately impresses most of all. Dowdied down from her familiar larger than life persona and stripped of its attendant mannerisms, she really comes into her own as the apparently resilient Italian American Rose whose sexual, emotional and eventually even moral victimization at the hands of the scheming Matilda proves particularly jarring. Although the come-on implied by the film's title isn't complete hogwash in light of the climactic revelations that are arrived at in a scene between the estranged cousins, it has always crippled a movie that deserved a much better fate and reputation than it has been wrongfully saddled with over the years.