This 1975 sex comedy begins with a shot of Linda standing naked in front of an American flag with a text piece underneath stating 'this picture is intended to offend everybody.' From there we catch some footage of a frontier era wagon train then footage of religious zealots parading in the streets. We witness protest footage of various kinds, a black Klansman, a guy in a bear suit, all to demonstrate the apathy sweeping across America at the time that the film was shot.
With the country in disarray, the only one that the people can turn to in hopes of restoring some semblance of sanity is the one and only Linda Lovelace. Linda speaks to the people and tells them of her firm belief in breast feeding, talks about oral sex, and attempts to give some sort of an idea of what her political platform will be.
Linda gathers up a gang to help her on the campaign trail (literally a penis shaped trail at that!) including a few different sub-cultural stereotypes and former Monkee, Mikey Dolenz, and off they go to win the votes they'll need. This is, of course, is after she meets with Uncle Sam himself, who has been locked away in an old folks home and left to rot. Unfortunately for Linda and her rag tag group of amigos, there's another candidate who isn't going to take losing lying down. What he doesn't realize is that it's going to take more than an opposing candidate, some maniacal preachers and the odd hitman or two to stop Linda from being the 'first female president to go down in history.'
The soundtrack by 'Big Mack And The Truckers' is interesting, but not as cool as the 'blow the trumpet beat the drums, elect the president who really cums... Linda Lovelace For President...all my dreams of you are wet until you are the president... oh... Linda Lovelace For President' number we hear about fifteen minutes in. This song is one of a few interesting musical numbers that give the soundtrack to this odd film a lot of charm. But what about the rest of the picture?
The cinematography is pretty standard, the plot is terrible, the acting is even worse but somehow the movie remains very watchable in spite of itself. It's one of those fabulous disasters that could have only been made in the seventies. Despite the sheer terribleness of it all, Lovelace does do a pretty good job with some of the comedic bits and the spots where she's playing up on the more puritanical aspects of the political race are quite funny considering that she's known for giving blow jobs on camera. She proves here that, although she wasn't exactly a 'good' actress in the traditional sense that there was more to screen presence than her amazing abilities as a, ahem, shall we say, sword swallower.
There is a fair bit of nudity and some obviously simulated sex but there' nothing in here that would prove to be too shocking nowadays and nothing that comes even close to the explicitness of her XXX films. In fact, the whole thing feels very much like an episode of Hee-Haw or Mama's Family gone horribly, horribly wrong. Linda spends a lot of her campaign time hitting the small mid-western and southern towns, full of strange hillbilly types, which just adds to the weirdness of it all. If the premise weren't strange enough on its own, there's also the Scatman Crothers factor. That's right, Scatman plays a pimped out soul brother and you best not mess with him.
Linda Lovelace For President previously appeared on DVD in Alpha Blue Archives' Linda Lovelace Collection where it was paired up with a few of her notorious loops and the soft version of the Joe Sarno directed Deep Throat 2. Dark Sky's new DVD release presents the film in an anamorphic 1.85.1 widescreen transfer that looks considerably better than the film's last digital incarnation. There's some grain and minor print damage throughout the film and a bit of age/wear/tear related flicker in some scenes but color detail is nice and natural looking and there aren't any problems with mpeg compression artifacts or edge enhancement. The picture is nice and watchable from start to finish and this transfer really does present the film in very nice quality.
The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track sounds clean and clear. There are a couple of spots where some really minor background hiss can be heard but unless you're listening for it specifically you probably won't notice it much at all. The occasional pop hits the mix now and again but generally this mix is completely fine.
The only really substantial supplement on this disc is Deep Vote: The Oral History Of Linda Lovelace For President (8:59, 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen, interlaced). Executive Producer Arthur Marks shows up and talks about how and why this film came to be. He covers Jack Margolis' screen play and of course talks about the casting of the film, how Claudio Guzman came to direct the picture as well as how various celebrities came to appear in the film. There are some clips from the feature used here as well as a scattering of archival photos and while it would have been nice to hear from more than one person (obviously Lovelace is no longer with us and even if she were, who knows if she'd want to talk about this or any other of her films) this is a genuinely interesting and lighthearted look at the history of this truly unique picture.
Aside from that, there are some slick static menus and chapter selection. Dark Sky has also done a nice job on the cover art, using the film's theatrical poster on the reverse side and preserving it for posterity.
Linda Lovelace For President probably won't appeal to anyone outside of Lovelace's already established fan base, but considering the impact of Deep Throat, that's probably a bigger target demographic than most people realize. As a comedy, it's a mediocre with some interesting ideas but as a curiosity piece, it's pretty much invaluable and it's on that level that this nice looking DVD from Dark Sky Films comes recommended.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.