Case Number 10517: Small Claims Court


Private Screening Collection // 1985 // 91 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Chief Counsel Rob Lineberger (Retired) // December 22nd, 2006

The Charge

The first in a series of adventures based on the world wide best sellers

The Case

If Love Circles is a wild freefall, Christina is rock bottom. Maybe there was a hangover effect from watching the annoying Love Circles back-to-back with Christina, but I could barely tolerate this movie.

There's no time to go into everything that is wrong with Christina, but we'll touch on the highlights. The Charge above comes from a gaudy orange title card that introduces Christina Von Belle. I dunno, maybe Harry Alan Towers and crew thought they had a sure-fire winner here. Lord knows, the man is discriminating and has some success with softcore. But the promotional tone, the hard sell before we've even shaken hands, queers the deal from the get-go.

The movie starts with its strongest assets, which are barely hidden behind Jewel Shepard's vest. Naked but for that vest and some wild '80s pants, Christina Von Belle entices every man on the dance floor. If you like Jewel Shepard, you will love Christina much more than I did. She gets dressed and undressed so often I wonder why they bothered to dress her again. This is a very good thing in a softcore flick. I also like roast beef sandwiches, but if a waiter came by every couple of hours and force fed me a roast beef sandwich, I'd ask for a change of pace. Christina boffs a swarthy playboy, then a swarthy rogue, then a swarthy infinitum.

Except, of course, for when she's boffing the ruthless squad of lesbian commandos, as mentioned on the back cover: "But when Christina is kidnapped by a ruthless squad of lesbian commandos, she is forced to submit to a shocking ordeal of carnal degradation." I don't know about you, but the phrase "ruthless squad of lesbian commandos" perks my ears. Enjoy that sensation, because this squad is as commando and lesbian as I am. The fight scenes are like this: kick [pause] {head jerk}...Arghhh!

This brings us to another of Christina's failings: it is plum stupid. Stupid in the purest sense of the word. Basically, Christina is serially kidnapped by gangs of strange, horny people. The plot is aimless, pitting Christina against idle rich, motorcycle-riding commandos, smugglers/gourmet chefs, mariachi singers...the list is as endless as it is nonsensical. Had she turned a corner and been kidnapped by Young Republicans in Members Only jackets who were accomplished ventriloquists, it would scarcely surprise.

What would a gang of Young Republicans in Members Only jackets sound like? Oh, you know, dear fellow, they would undoubtedly be absolutely stuffed with self importance. We upper class elite always are, you know, dear chap. Smithers, be a good lad and fetch us some braundy, so we may re-tie-ah to the drawing room. Brilliant, now that's settled, what say we have a nice sauna and take off these confining Members Only jackets? Had it made custom in Algiers, you know.

Tell me when you're ready for me to shut up, or just watch Christina for 91 minutes of similar dialogue.

Even the delectable Josephine Jacqueline Jones cannot salvage this miserable flick. She isn't set up properly at all. Believe you me, I was begging for a change of pace by the time Jones showed up and doffed her leopard print fatigues. In her starring vehicle Black Venus (how I long for you...), Jones was set up properly. The camera lingered, traced. Here, she pops her nipples out and runs around a bit.

Had the cinematography been up to snuff, this ploy might have worked. Fully half of Christina's naked time is swathed in impenetrable darkness, mere dark blobs against other dark blobs. On the other hand, Christina's "mad scenes" -- did I forget to mention the mad scenes? -- are brilliant white, like she's inside an amniotic sac being lit by stadium lights. The transfer does an adequate-to-poor job with this source material, with warbled, stuttering footage in some places and at least one major break in the film stock. The sound keeps pace, dropping in and out like a stuttering engine.

On rare occasions, golden sunlight so dense it could be honey dances delicately over waves. Also to her credit, Christina makes an earnest attempt with great sets, a chase scene or two, big yachts and fancy cars, helicopters, polished silver, and other Bondian trappings. It's as though to say "Look at all this cool stuff, isn't this a cool movie by association?" Whatever else you can say, Towers has the pull to bring in some nice locations and accouterments.

At least Love Circles had a sense of humor and the decency to show a variety of naked women. I didn't know what I had back then, those looooong 91 minutes ago. If Christina is The First in a Series of Adventures based on the World wide Best Sellers, I'll just slum it with fringe works of literature from here on out, thanks.

Review content copyright © 2006 Rob Lineberger; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 45

Perp Profile
Studio: Private Screening Collection
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

* English

Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 1985
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks
* None

* IMDb