Ever since the birth of modern sexploitation in the late sixties, everyone knows that it has been traditionally a classification of film created exclusively “by men for men”. But one exception to this is Doris Wishman, a female director of sixties “nudie cutie” movies who went on to make a few flesh films in the seventies including the James Bond inspired “DOUBLE AGENT 73” and “DEADLY WEAPONS” starring a woman named “Chesty Morgan”; who makes Elvira look flat chested by comparison. Yet, I was intrigued by this LOVE TOY title, if only to see how a woman would portray a sexploitation film especially since it is such a male dominated subgenre devoted to such lewd and bizarre acts of visual female domination onscreen. Having seen it, I can say that Ms Wishman made a film that perhaps few male directors of the day would dare to, perhaps even today. This being said, let us unwrap this LOVE TOY and see what play value it ultimately brings us?
As most sexploitation films this starts out with a grave injustice committed upon an innocent female character. A skeezy card shark named Alex is playing a friendly game of cards with his dear friend Marcus at least until his friend loses and it appears that Alex is now the new owner of everything that Marcus ever held from his house to his business all the way to his car. But after spying a picture of his comely young (legal aged) daughter Alex makes a deal with his friend Marcus which may allow him to maintain some shred of financial dignity. If Marcus will agree to let Alex have his own daughter sexually for just one evening, then all debts will be forgiven and it will be like the night “never even happened” (an odd sentiment indeed once you see the ending of this). Of course Marcus hems and haws at first at this preposterous and degrading offer, but when Alex asks Marcus for the keys to his new car, he accommodates the strange “indecent proposal”, begrudgingly; broken. Of course he tries to change his mind a minute later out of some last decent fleeting notion of parental pride but Alex and his pretty but psychotic wife Mary (Who looks a little like Cameron Diaz) refuse to honor this and overpower him at once and tire him to a chair. From here things get kind of weird….
Alex wastes no time in going up to young Chris’s room where she is sleeping and explaining the situation to her. While she is noticeably horrified about the terrible, awful and degrading situation that her father had put herself in, she does prove to be a much stronger person than her father ever was and does her best to honor the family’s debt to this terrible man. Now I should state openly that if Chris’s “repayment actions” were depicted in a realistic, brutal, rapey X rated fashion that this film would be too bleak for me to enjoy personally, but because this is goofy sexploitation which sells the “sizzle not the steak”, I found this to be amusing, humorous even in a madcap sort of way.
For one thing, while Alex is a methodical card player with a heart of stone, when it comes to matters of intimacy of a woman he has the maturity and imagination of a young boy. He forces Chris to engage in all manner of bizarre role playing fetishes, (and no by I am not talking about the same Cop/Streetwalker) motifs that bored married couples play). First he names her after a cherished pet cat and forces her to lap up milk from a bowl, second he calls her “mommy” and actually tries to suckle her breasts, he then spanks her in the manner of a little girl who misbehaved (for going off and playing with Tommy?) Later he insists that she ride him like a pony while beating him with his own belt. This is so much fun for him that later he insists that he be allowed to do the same thing to her. While Alex plays crazy naked games with his “love toy”, his dutiful wife Mary hangs out in the other room with Marcus, the young girl’s father. She grinds shamelessly against the captive man like a cat in heat, and strips away his clothes just so she can put out cigarettes out on his chest. She eventually tires of this sport and secretly watches Alex diddle the young girl for the eleventh time, masturbating profusely as she looks on, and eventually joins them in a three-way. Of course because Alex is absolutely insane, insatiable and absolutely an arrogant asshole he eventually decides it would be fun to untie the girl’s father and invite him into the room for a four way???
Yes, that sickened me too and ruined what was otherwise a perfect unrated experience of an ancient soft-core film that could rival the sheer explicitness of ANYTHING currently broadcast on Cinemax after Dark in HD. Yet it should be said that the ending of this thing has kind of a “Stewie Kills Lois” aspect to it where it is revealed that all may not be actually as it appears? But then it doubles back on itself in a logic loop and lets us know that everything that just happened is inevitable and may happen repeatedly, forever…Best just to listen to the girls scream in the final few moments and try and figure it out for yourself.
This was great, lots of full frontal, unrated sexual simulation with just enough impossible, absurd stupidity where you didn’t feel too bad of a human for smiling; laughing openly/mouth agape at what could have been perceived a tale of white slavery, incest or prostitution or any other of the erection killing social issues of a Lifetime Movie if played seriously. It follows the my personal magic formula of Sexy, Savage and Silly that I like in a sexploitation film and yet you really didn’t know what was going to happen next, which is the hallmark of any good movie.
While it can be assumed that Doris Wishman’s particular contributions to cult film may be devoid of modern feminist values, it is easy to say that they aren’t worthless either. With this film Ms. Wishman held her own in the old boy’s network of “soft-core, sexploitation” and showed that she could compete with the likes of Roger Corman, Don Edmonds and countless other male directors of the day. And while it isn’t exactly pretty, this film is “good” enough to where she achieved a type of true equality.
Extras include those long series assortments of coming attractions from Something Weird which always feature film trailers more lurid than the movie you just watched. Perhaps more maddening still is the fact that most of these other films aren’t available from this retailer, in fact, many of theses advertised pictures were never available on any purchasable home media format whatsoever. How mean of you to do this Something Weird (and by that of course I mean I personally appreciate the particularly insidious dark irony of “teasing” a modern day audience’s film lust for old flicks that have no surviving feature length copies).