By scrutinizing each entry separately, we will uncover the realism behind the repugnance and the unsightliness beneath the undergarments. Let's start with:
Free Love Confidential
Rating: More Stinky Than Kinky
Plot: Kaye and Giselle are the kind of swinging '60s housewives that gave the decade its explicit abnormal bent.
Seems neither is happy with the way in which their husbands bring the hump, so they decide to become explorers in the erotic. They grab a copy of the local Free Press, peruse the ads for possible perversions, and decide that having some nude photos taken will be just the thing to satisfy their internal itch. After a picture-snapping pot party with the oversexed artist, the gals forget to grab the negatives. Before they know it, a whip carrying lesbo named Mickey is blackmailing the babes – and she wants more than money. Confused as to how to end the extortion, the girls are given a final mandate. Come up with $500 smackers and Mickey will deliver the damaging evidence. Naturally, the drop off takes place at a notorious downtown strip club where a full blown acid orgy is under way. Kaye freaks out, hallucinates murdering Mickey, and winds up blubbering like a beluga on the dance floor. In the morning, our twice-baked babes discover the awful truth – Mickey never had the negatives. The grift was just a way of getting a little Free Love Confidential.
Okay flesh fans, here's the good news about Gordon Heller's Free Love Confidential. In the arena of bodkin, this is one director who bares it all – almost – and often.
Sadly, the skanks he hired to do the disrobing look like rejects from the Pazuzu auditions for The Exorcist. Faces pinched up in obvious plastic surgery disaster mode and teeth tarnished by a life laced with bad liquor, loud men, and loose morals, our stars are so skuzzy they make Courtney Love look like Mother Angelica. Since we are stuck with these unattractive gals for the entire film (only Mickey makes a run for their mutt ugly money when she disrobes and flashes her flapjacks) an exploitation fan has to make a rather difficult decision. Either they ignore the witchy woman weirdness of the duo, accept their lack of looks and get with the grinding, or just ignore this nausea all together and find a hobby. It's a flesh feast given that desirability is as important to arousal as a full frontal shot, and in rare occasions, the availability of nudity can overcome some fairly non-photogenic facets. But the two actresses here are just plain scary. This means that all that's left is the narrative, and it's a barebone bit of bullcrap that uses the blackmailing as an excuse for endless scenes of counterfeit copulating. It all grows very dull and repetitive after a while.
For Single Swingers Only
Rating; More Stinky Than Kinky
Plot: Gracie and Gloria can't stand their current living arrangements. .
In between frequent, chest-lathering showers, the gals argue over the lack of 'kicks' in their current communal dwelling, and decide to find a place where the girls are groovy and the guys generate pure animal magnetism. Reading an ad in the local paper for a singles apartment complex, they are immediately taken with the prospect of unlimited love and a vacancy near the pool. After being introduced to the place by the resident female peeper, our heroines soon meet up with the amiable Arty and the dishy Dave. A couple of steaks and a few shots of scotch later, and Gloria's giving Art some action while Gracie makes sure that Dave loves her before she agrees to this thing called a 'one night stand'. Interpersonal issues get even more complicated as Gloria learns the secrets of Sappho and allows another gal pal to use her apartment for an adulterous tryst. Oddly enough, Art is doing the same thing – minus the lesbianism, that is. Shocked by this sudden shift into Sodom and Gomorrah, Gracie decides that she no longer wants to live in a place that advertises For Single Swingers Only.
Oh boy. Here's a real heinous head scratcher for you.
Dopey director Don Davis, eager to add a little foreign spice to his sodden sex flick, hires Scandinavian sex bomb Heidi Anderson to be the lead in his sensual exposé of life inside a singles apartment complex. Unfortunately, he forgets to make sure that she can actually speak in something close to understandable English. When he discovers her accent is so thick that members of ABBA would have a hard time deciphering what she's saying, he simply piles on the voice over narrative and dramatic acting moments and sets his shutter to 'shoot'. Of course, his gamble goes gangrenous, resulting in the ridiculously routine For Single Swingers Only. Ms. Anderson may have a delicious rack that simply cries out for attention, but her pigeon pronunciation would make Popeye cringe. She mangles almost every word of her overdone dialogue, and then throws in some tempered glamour fits and calls it a performance. Toward the end, when she's confronting a beau whose bonking another, her Gracie just comes off as grating. Regrettably, our only alternative is the fright wigged wonder Sharon Sanford. With a literal rat's nest on her head and a demeanor that suggests crack whore in training or disbarred cocktail waitress, she's a poor replacement for Heidi's palpable pulchritude. Yet since both babes are lost in a mediocre movie that lacks even a smidgen of sexiness, we discover we really don't care.
The A/V Club
Rating: Standard Skin Fare
Black and white usually looks pretty good when it's given the preservationist's polish by the wizards at Something Weird. Thanks to the availability of original negatives, clean stock elements and direct contact with the people responsible, Mike Vraney and his crackerjack staff can usually deliver amazing 1.33:1 full frame transfers. Color, on the other hand, always causes some concern. Either the prints are pristine – and look it – or the hues are hampered by emulsion scratches and storage striations. The monochrome Free Love Confidential has a few editing defects (especially during the slapdash freak out that is supposed to signify the acid orgy), but otherwise looks pretty good. For Single Swingers Only however, looks lousy. While nothing captures the suggested sleaze of these ersatz sex films better than a masterful single tint image, bad pigmentation leads to a decided snuff film quality that's hard to handle. As for the Dolby Digital Mono mix, there is nothing new or novel about its flat and featureless elements. Aside from the shoddy '60s garage rock score provided for Free Love Confidential and the jarring jazz of Single Swingers, the aural elements here are unexceptional.
Rating: Standard Skin Fare
As part of the packaging for these two unexceptional titles, SWV breaks out the ballyhoo and even tosses in an mini-movie featurette as part of the package. Sadly, The Wife Swappers is an equally repellent portrait of suburbanites sharing spouses that ought to have stayed behind closed doors. As our narrator wanders through the swap meet and greet, giving us both personal and sociological details about the event, we come to a startling realization – the '60s really sucked! Just for allowing these meat and potatoes pervs to believe they had a right to such risqué behavior, the decade deserves to have its nostalgia privileges revoked ASAP. Luckily, the rest of the extras are a fine bit of fun. Trailers for films like Run, Swinger Run and Strange Rampage are always good for a giggle, and the usual galleries of exploitation art offer some interesting marketing concepts. If you can tolerate the mock doc moments of Swappers, you will definitely enjoy the rest of the added content provided here.
Grindhouse Grade: More Stinky than Kinky (Rent It)
Call it the most chauvinistic judgment ever rendered by a so-called exploitation fan, but the fright mask fugliness of the ladies featured in each of these films is enough to put you off proto-porn for weeks to come. Purists who believe that everything within the grindhouse genre deserves respect and recognition will still have a hard time supporting the shoddy softcore – and undeniable ugliness – of the talent traipsed out. As flawed as the fornication is in For Single Swingers Only, it's light years ahead of the horrid humping that makes up the majority of Free Love Confidential. If you like your women on the walking wounded side, don't be afraid to indulge in this decadent slice of silly sensuality. If looks matter to you, then don't even dare. All you'll end up with is unhinged jaw line and a head full of noxious nudie nightmares.
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