Judge Bill Gibron never bet an exploitation film he couldn't say something dirty about.
When too much is not enough…
Barbara Morton is a typical rich 1960s suburbanite, which means she's got problems out the ying yang. She is trapped in a loveless marriage with investment broker-turned-attention eunuch Barton. She is plagued by nightmares in which she worships and/or is stripped of large amounts of money. Oh, and she's a hooker…you know, for kicks. Seems Barbara likes feeling dirty and unclean, and the best way to experience such personal debasing is via giving up the clam for cash. Barbara—putting on the erotic, evocative nom de poon of "Brandy"—has her own private apartment where she entertains the dregs of white collar America. She beds one man who looks like Jabba the Hutt's Mexican brother. Then there is the balding businessman who appears to suffer from premature ejaculation while his pay date is undressing. And let's not even mention the lard ass that hires Brandy/Babs to strip while he stuffs his pie hole with a ten-course meal (apparently, Barbara is the after dinner purgative). All this loose living has left our heroine confused and contused. She calls upon a psychiatrist to aid in her sexual insanity, but all he can do it ask dopey questions about some bohemian beatnik who beats Barbara up. Desperate to determine what makes her trick, Ms. Morton continues her carnal concubine ways, knowing full well that one day she'll run into The Agony of Love—or her husband, since he apparently uses her escort service to entertain clients.
Tigercat and Kitten are a couple of Sappho sisters traveling the backroads of So-Cal, looking for love in all the lez places. When they come across a male hitchhiker, Kitty wants to stop. But the Tigress has other, less guy-friendly ideas. They eventually pick up the thumb rider and he immediately hops all over the more feminine feline. Tiger puts the kibosh on the tryst with a well-placed boulder to the head, and suddenly, our lipstick lovers are murderers. Still, it doesn't seem to put a damper on their social calendar, since Tiger has planned a birthday celebration for her pussy pal. Kitten takes the longest shower in the history of cinema, having an equally elongated flashback to the time when she was heterosexual and happy. Oh sure, some men slapped her around, and when love of her life Brian found out she was with child, he left the confused cat like a tabby at a dog dinner party. But life was apparently so much better when men, not madams, ruled the risqué roost. At the get-together, the frisky fems strip off their skorts and start in on the same-sex sharking. A battle between Tiger and a completely butch babe sends Kitty into a spiraling shame cycle and the feline flees the scene. Running back to big bad Bri, Kitten feels safe again. But Tigercat is on the prowl, and she's killed once for her purr-fect paramour. Frankly, there is no stopping a woman in love, especially when she is The Girl with the Hungry Eyes.
The Agony of Love is a Doris Wishman wannabe, a film transplanting its grim grittiness to the sun-drenched streets of LA, with the hope that no one in the raincoat crowd will notice the distinct difference between Doris's delirious designs and this movie's miscreant motives. Actually, writer/director William Rotsler, famous for such exploitation excrement as Mantis in Lace and Street of a Thousand Pleasures, knew darn well that none of his demographic would give a rat's rectum about the cinematic similarities, as long as star Pat Barrington was constantly taking off her top. Plumped full of silicone (in those days, injected directly into the breast, the better to harden and rot there) and hampered by a hairpiece that can best be described as a wounded wasp's nest, Barrington bumps, grinds, and genuflects her way through this tawdry tale of a bored housewife gone whore for fun. This toothpick with tits has lots of fans in the exploitation realm and they really get their rummy eyefuls as Barrington can barely go a minute without removing her clothes. As for the rest of this sordid story, with all its Electra complexities and call girliness, Rotsler creates a kind of roadmap narrative, something even the most retarded reprobate can follow with fluidity. Barbara longs for her husband, he rejects her, she sells her stuff for cash, has some bad dreams, and, finally, goes to a shrink to dissect her delirium. Repeat. The Agony of Love leads you on from the very beginning, telegraphing its finale with about as much grace as a drunken Teamster essaying Swan Lake. Believers in Barrington's bodkin will definitely be entranced. All others will find this bored hooking hausfrau to be so very "swinging '60s" that it should come with shag carpet.
The Girl with the Hungry Eyes, on the other hand, only has its evocative title going for it. Several other entities have shared this sensational designation. Night Gallery labeled one of its better episodes with the same name (actually, it was based on a short story from 1949, written by Fritz Leiber). Jefferson Starship liked it too, since they created an entire song around the ethereal nomenclature. Heck, even ex-Raspberry Eric Carmen brought a bubblegum poppiness to the proceedings with his Dirty Dancing dribble, "Hungry Eyes." What does this have to do with our little lesbian love lumbering, you ask? Nothing much, which is the exact emotion you'll experience after sitting through this 80 minutes of monotony. Kitty and Tigercat claim to be sisters in same-sexology, but we never really witness much wanton womb raiding. Indeed, our lumbering loverboy, Brian, offers up a last moment rant against homosexuality that totally changes the tolerance level of this tepid tale. At the helm once again, director Rotsler manages to find a way to make his bare bones storytelling style even more simplistic. Sure, it may seem overly convoluted, since we are treated to flashbacks within day/dream sequences, but with only about ten total scenes, each soft focus excursion is a rendezvous with irritation. Kitty has a twenty-minute memory of Brian that could be its own short subject. The lesbian get-together features another quarter hour honorarium from the fake-breasted P. Barrington (putting on a free show that these fems more or less ignore). Even the ending is drawn out as Tigercat drives aimlessly for eons, only to locate Kitty at the one place she should have figured she'd run to. While it does have some gloriously goofy moments, The Girl With the Hungry Eyes is rather dull and lifeless. Your eyes will also be starved—for entertainment, that is, once this muddled mediocrity starts to unfold.
Hoping to perk up this package with a few fantastic extras, Something Weird raids their vaults to offer up several trailers and a little archival interest. Of the mini-movie ads offered on this DVD, Cool It, Baby and Diary of a Swinger leave the longest, lasting impression. Pat Barrington makes two more appearances in the short subjects—doing an LSD doobie dance during what appears to be Moby Grape's light show, and entertaining some skanky hippies with her Greek groin gyrations. Our final carnal clip is a dozy, however. A man-hating hooker informs us of her female fantasies as a grubby guy mounts and messes with her in the appropriately titled Lesbian Hooker Turns a Trick.
On the technical side, both The Agony of Love and The Girl with the Hungry Eyes are black and white beauties, almost perfect in their 1.33:1 full screen imagery. While not as sharp as other SWV monochrome offerings (both films suffer from overexposure and blatant brightness), these are still some sensational, near defect free transfers.
Too bad that such a stellar setting is wasted on two completely ineffectual films. While you may mope along with Ms. Barrington as she turns her "talents" into an ATM, Kitty's copulation confusion—and Tigercat's single-minded silliness—will merely bore you to tawdry tears. The Agony of Love / The Girl with the Hungry Eyes sound a lot more evocative than they actually are. Both of these movies give sex a derivative, not a dirty, connotation.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Something Weird Video
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