Something Weird Video // 1967 // 199 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron // July 23rd, 2004
There's nothing as good as a girl gone bad!
When Judy Collins -- who's looked at love from both sides now, if you believe the song -- heads off to the big city to seek her fortune, she gets to know the country rube ropes all too quickly. Leaving her less-than-understanding boy-toy Johnny back home with the rednecks, Ms. Thang heads for New Orleans, hoping to give the French Quarter a peek at her boo until it cries "Lecherous Uncle." Too bad her plans get polluted before she ever samples a king cake. Using the standard, safe mode of early '60s cross-country transportation -- hitchhiking -- Judy fights off her would-be rapist ride and steals his car. She ends up in a sleazy NOLA dive where a dirty old man peeps at her with withered intent. She moves on to a boarding house where a raspy-voiced harlot sets her up as a lingerie model. And nothing corrupt can come from that, right? Well, no sooner than you can say "Private Session" Judy is assaulted, turning her unbalanced and unemployed. The suggested cure-all? Why, exotic dancing! That's right, she ends up stripping at the Flamingo Club because, when you're a Girl in Trouble, there's not much else you can do but shake your moneymaker.
When bad weather grounds his cross-country flight in Las Vegas, big-time important CEO John Cabot ruminates on his failing marriage and lack of sex by renting a hotel room with an in-suite swimming pool (talk about swanky!). After failing to lure his wife to Sin City for some underwater aerobics, John heads out to the Strip and runs into tantalizing teen troublemaker Susan. Described as a young lady "100% completely without morals," we half expect old Sue to be on a one-woman killing spree while renouncing God at the same time. Instead, she is gambling, which is almost the same thing, ethically. It's middle-aged lust at first sight for the hard-up Cabot, and Susan is not so adrift in her deficiency of scruples as to turn down a male meal ticket. After a night of attempted passion, Sue and her aptly named John head out to do some horseback riding and -- as happens on trips to the wilderness -- they are invited to an orgy. Seeing the kind of smutty shenanigans that go on at such lewd love-ins shocks John back to his community property senses. Sue just hangs around looking for more man meat. What else do you expect from a Good Time With A Bad Girl?
Sally Down has come to Los Angeles to seek fame and fortune, which apparently requires her to get dressed and undressed in a complex ritual that takes several minutes of screen time to accomplish. Seeking work as a waitress, Sally is approached by a debonair dude named Nick Mason, who says he can get her work as a "model." Since that line is not yet old enough to have miscreant mold on it, Sally falls for it hooker, line, and sinker. Before you know it, she's a drug-addled tramp held prisoner in a seedy whorehouse containing quite possibly the most pug-fug-mug-digdug-ugly sluts this side of a burn unit. And the customers ain't nothing to celebrate, either. Naturally, Sally is a huge hit, and soon she has several regulars, including clean-cut Tommy Cole. Old Tom's callgirl crush has him risking everything to sneak Sally out of the brothel. But the drunken house madam won't stand for it, and a courtesy call to the cops angers the corrupt police officer who's in on the racket. It's up to Mason to silence the confused Cole once and for all. Murder and mayhem ensues, all to show us that, in the world of wanton women, even Bad Girls Do Cry.
With titles that tell more than they ever show, the Teen Turmoil Triple Feature from Something Weird Video is about as slutty as a weeping paper cut and as promiscuous as a paraplegic wombat. Promising to demonstrate the secret, scandalous situations that occur when good girls go bad, all we end up with are a bunch of boring morality tales with lots of cautionary examples, but very little corrupting carnality. About the closest we get to something seedy is Barry Mahon's excuse for naked torso close-ups, Good Time With A Bad Girl. When the most amazing, exciting thing about your film is the fact that the main character has a swimming pool in his hotel room, you know there is something seriously wrong with your skin flick. Mahon's misguided mess is a voiceover slice of vice that skitters around the issues of jailbait, statutory rape, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, with extended orgy scenes featuring the loudest, most arcane vibrator in the history of cinema. Endless scenes of this handheld history lesson caressing Susan's sex sacks takes the place of exposition and narrative normalcy. Mahon can't seem to decide if his film is a comedy or a pile of craven crap. He has a man reject a direct come-on from a randy lass to continue playing in an all-male strip poker game. And when a couple of lesbians light up the sauna, we see only limited swatches of their sweaty succulence. Frankly, there is far too much that is funny/odd, not hilarious/ha-ha about Barry's bawdy business trip in the city of sin. The promised pulchritude is barely passable.
At least little monkey boy Sid Melton really believed that shtick really sells the smut when he crafted the half-comedy / half-porno peek at white slavery known as Bad Girls Do Cry. A near-silent film with irritating, continuous loops of awful background music that literally rots your brain, this Doris Wishman-style overdubbing disaster (characters never speak directly to each other -- all we see are nearly-still close-ups of the intended listener as the other individual talks) is Melton's cinematic mental meltdown. It's a sure-fire flop in both the pratfall and pandering departments. Sid thinks everything goes better with goofy, and he adds bizarre focus-shifting shenanigans to his stupid storyline: oddities like a radio soap opera where all the characters are named Jean; an inebriated madam who does spit takes and gets tangled up in phone cords; and an insane coupling of a corpulent man with obviously fake facial hair and a merrily mugging skank who looks like Mammy Yokum's worst nightmare. Burlesque queen Misty Ayers plays the lead role of Sally Down as a series of costume changes (which we witness in far too much striptease detail) and lipstick touch-ups, always looking like she's ready for the Shriners' convention instead of a hard night on her back. Some may find this complete lack of directorial skill refreshing or even savant-like genius. But what it really is can best be defined by a single word -- boring! The complete lack of T&A, meshed with Melton's misplaced mirth-making, turns this tale of a good girl gone wrong into Streetwalkers' Night at the Friar's Club.
Which leaves us with Girl in Trouble, and we still aren't getting very much of what we paid for. Tammy Clark, as Judy Collins, at least drops her top on occasion to give us a glorious glimpse of her droopy dough love lumps, but there is really nothing more to this movie than that. The entire storyline revolves around the kind of incidents of idiocy that have been the bread and butter of contemporary slasher films since the movie title itself intoned Don't Go In the House. Indeed, if Judy had just practiced Nancy Reagan's anti-drug mantra a little more often, maybe she wouldn't be peeling off her panties in public. When offered a chance to hitchhike with an obvious deviant, she should have said "No!" When told she could make big money as nightgown-and-teddy talent, she should have said "Nix!" When the lecherous load with too much Vitalis in his hair tried to trip the light fleshtastic with her, she should have said "Nein!" And when all she has left to her name is a one-way ticket to a titty bar catwalk, she should have covered up her shame and said "Never!" Instead, Judy has to reach personal and ethical ground zero before she can start the rebuilding process. And yet the title keeps telling us that she is a Girl in Trouble. And as long as we're discussing her ability to use common sense, the moniker has a very good point. Make no mistake about it, this is one young lady destined to make Dr. Laura Schlessinger's Top Ten Retarded Tarts list. Sadly, of the trio of tripe offered here, this film is the least fecal. Where is Myrtle Pennypacker when you need her?
Dredging the bottom of the product barrel to buy some time between major releases, Something Weird gives this DVD its usual Triple Feature treatment. That means, the disc is long on film and short on extras. The bonuses here do have potential. The trailers for films with unforgettable titles like The Diary of Knockers McCalla and Prowl Girls are frisky fun. And anyone wondering what crying Bad Girl Misty Aires looks like almost au natural, one peek at the archival burlesque short Misty Ayers, Striptease Goddess will provide a welcome bit of bodkin. Otherwise, the same old gallery showing a similar collection of adult film magazine covers (along with the same old instrumental music) rounds out the added content. As for the image, all three films suffer from monochrome misfortunes. The transfers start off decent (Trouble) and get progressively worse, until we witness the black-and-white snuff film features of Melton's full-frame seedy sitcom. While the other two films' 1.66:1 non-anamorphic pictures feature one-color concepts that are acceptable, for the most part, these are not up to par with some of the direct-from-negative niceness SWV has presented in the past. And as with most mono mixes, the Dolby Digital here is perfectly fine.
For centuries, the stories of innocent young ladies led down the path to disrepute have formed the foundation for a great deal of our literature, theater, and art. So naturally, when exploitation was looking for premises to pilfer, the denial of virtue and the corruption of morals were a perfect fit. In the hands of a maverick moviemaker like Doris Wishman or a pandering producer like Harry Novak, these saucy stories really sizzle with sleaze. But Girl in Trouble / Good Time With A Bad Girl / Bad Girls Do Cry shows that not every date with a hot-to-trot temptress leads to erotic release. Sometimes, a bad girl is just that -- rotten and irredeemable. Like these films.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Something Weird Video
* 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic (Good Time With A Bad Girl and Bad Girls Do Cry)
* Full Frame (Girl in Trouble)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 199 Minutes
Release Year: 1967
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Archival Short Subject
* Gallery of Exploitation Art with Soundtrack Rarities
* IMDb: Girl in Trouble
* IMDb: Good Time With A Bad Girl
* IMDb: Bad Girls Do Cry