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From Secret Key, one of the big players in the softcore home video market, comes this installment in their retro-erotic collection. The Love Statue is certainly retro, but it's not erotic and really only retains its value as a nostalgic oddity, documenting simpler times when "sexploitation" meant a brief flash of side boob.
Our story follows a gentleman named Tyler Westin (Peter Ratray), a struggling artist in Greenwich Village. Sure, he's trying to live the hip scene, but he goes too far when he samples some of that sweet, sweet acid. He trips out something fierce and wanders the street in a drugged-up funk. Back at his apartment, things get even more far out, when he hallucinates a hot and heavy sexual encounter with the titular "Love Statue" come to life. When he finally snaps to, there's a body on the floor and (I'm assuming) a disgusting mess on that statue. What happened daddy-o?
That's the main question the story attempts to answer in its 80 minute runtime. If that whodunit plot, mixed with throwback imagery and dated thematic material appeals to you, there might be something worthy of your time in The Love Statue.
On the other hand, if you're jonesing for sweaty dose of '60s fornication, you've come to the wrong place. I'm not sure what falls under the umbrella of "sexploitation" or if there's a statute of limitations in effect, but this movie is not erotic, at least not by anything resembling the 21st century definition. There is only one lewdish sequence and that's when Tyler has his love statue trip. What that encompasses: Gigi Darlene, who plays the come-to-life statue, disrobing with her back to the camera and from afar embracing Tyler on the couch.
That's it. The rest of the film is a half-baked proto-psychological thriller featuring questionable acting and an uninteresting plot. Sure, some of the looks at the burgeoning drug culture in the '60s has its kicks, but I can't see The Love Statue appealing to fans of retro-erotica or semi-interesting movie-making.
Secret Key's DVD is decent, though, starting with a clean black and white transfer and an adequate stereo mix. Moving into a nice selection of extras: interviews with director David Durston and Peter Ratray, commentary with director David Durston and film historian Michael Bowen, liner notes, and two fun retro LSD scare films.
Guilty of not being as nearly awesome as an acid-trip/murder-mystery/weirdo-romance flick should be.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Secret Key Motion Pictures
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