11 January 2008

Filmlog, Ginger

Ginger, 1971, 100 minutes

I've recently reacquired a Netflix subscription, and I've been using it for two things: 1.) to check out classic and new classic films that I haven't seen for whatever reason and 2.) to expose myself to some genres and some older films that I haven't exposed myself to before.

And boy, Ginger is definitely not of the first type.

In a nutshell, this is a titty flick from 1971. The titular (pun intended) character is, according to the blurb, a "James Bond type" who uses her looks and sexual appetite to tackle evildoers. In practice, that means that this blonde bombshell goes around and sleeps with (or at least exposes herself to) everyone in sight in order to accomplish her goals.

The minuses to a film like this are obvious. The acting is moderately bad at best and absolutely horrendous at worst. The lead heavy Rex Halsey (played by Duane Tucker, vaguely familiar to me from Fast Times at Ridgemont High) has a habit of standing against a wall to be shot solo at all times, making some strange editing and directorial choices as the spacial relationships between characters changes moment-to-moment. Either the director was totally incompetent, or most of his scenes were shot separately and edited in later (guess which way I'm leaning?), because it's just incoherent at times.

But who's coming to this party for the acting? How are the tits?

Well, they're seventies tits. Which means heavy tanlines, droopage, and otherwise "natural" physiques that you never see in movies nowadays. Not a drop of silicone in sight, and if that's your thing, this is quite a movie, because every female character comes up completely nude (or nearly so) at some point during the film. (For that matter, lovers of cock will also be satiated, as most of the male characters also drop trou, at least for a side view or a nice ass shot.) The sex scenes are shot with a minimalist style, meaning someone basically sat the camera down while a guy climbed on top of a girl and rubbed around for a bit.

The positives? Well, aside from the nearly constant nudity, there's a recurring theme of bondage, first of a redhead getting tied up with her bathing suit on a beach (prickly sand on the tits, ouch!), then of a male character in a torture scene (more on this later), and finally of our heroine, hogtied and left in a hotel room towards the end. It's interesting to see such activity in something resembling a "mainstream" (okay, not really) film.

Back to that torture scene. Ginger ties a guy up and threatens to cut his balls off with piano wire; in doing so, she delivers a fairly decent monologue about the treatment of Japanese POWs in WWII. It seemed almost Tarantinoesque, and I'm guessing that it's in those types of scenes in grindhouse flicks like this that Tarantino got the inspiration for his style.

Overall, a dud, but an interesting one if you like old-school skin flicks.

Next in my Netflix queue (not necessarily to be movielogged), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Following, and Baby Face.

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