DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
International DVDs
Video Games

Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds

Sponsored Links

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Teaser/ Frankie and Johnnie...Were Lovers
Teaser/ Frankie and Johnnie...Were Lovers
Image // Unrated // September 6, 2005
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Bill Gibron | posted August 31, 2005 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
Printer Friendly

Rene Bond is kind of a litmus test for exploitation fans. There are those who find her enticing, incredibly sexy, capable of carnal arousal, and representative of the best the genre has to offer. In either of her forms - flat chested and fantastic or post breast enhancement surgery - the skin and steam queen's loyalists lament those losers who find her a chipmunk-like sex cherub. Indeed, to this critic, Ms. Bond resembles a perplexing porn pimple about ready to pop, with grapefruit like implants sitting awkwardly on her junior high school style frame. She may be interesting, but alluring or erotic are not some of her stronger selling points. Yet there are those who will decry such descriptions, claiming that Bond matches vice-for-vice with other greater grindhouse vixens like Uschi Digart, Pat Barrington and Gigi Darlene.

From the Something Weird Video standpoint, Bond has been well represented (she is one of company founder Mike Vraney's fave raves). The Seattle based exploitation preservationists have offered many of her more memorable titles to avid aficionados, including Country Hooker, Country Cuzzins, The Adult Version of Jekyll and Hyde and Please Don't Eat My Mother. Still, these films really fail to totally capture the Bond that men manipulate themselves over. She is often nothing more than an ancillary character in some of these stories, showing up for a single sex scene (usually with her baffling boyfriend/suitcase pimp Ric Lutze) before disappearing from the narrative completely. While her winning personality usually comes across, along with a cocky self-assurance, Bond needs the right vehicle in order to shine. Luckily, the September SWV release, Teaser/Frankie and Johnnie...Were Lovers gives us a double of the randy Rene many fans make flippy floppy over.

A film like Teaser exposes the Bond mystique perfectly. This little nothing of a movie, a sordid rape drama with elements of swinging and white slavery doesn't even star the Pat Benatar of the nudie cutie. Instead, that dreary distinction goes to human peculiarity Becky Sharpe (here playing the cleverly named BECKY Bartolucci). Some might find Sharpe's angular manly moves kind of fetching, but she still resembles a sex change candidate in mid-surgical indecision. There is just something so masculine, so brawny and asexual about her presence that you can't quite put your finger on it - nor would you ever want to. In Teaser, Sharpe is a clerk in a stamp shop by day, a student by afternoon, and an unreserved wild-ass stripper/go-go dancer as the sun sets over the horizon. Indeed, after a long day of philately, our heroine likes nothing better than to remove her clothes - and inhibitions - and shake that literal moneymaker before heading home to a very frumpy mother.

It just so happens that, on this particular evening, some butthead named Buck (Ric Lutze) wants to buy Becky's favors - and this leering letch doesn't take "No!" for an answer (it's the 70s, after all). When Becky balks at his love offer, he follows her out of the club, waits for her car to discorporate, and then sexually assaults her. Sort of satisfied, Buck leaves Becky to brood as he takes off into the night. A few hours later, Becky is spotted by Paul and Andrea, who do a pretty convincing impersonation of concerned Good Samaritans. They take the battered and bruised babe to their home, give her a glass (make that GLASSES) of comforting wine, and assure her that everything will be just fine. Naturally, this leads to lesbian oil rubs, drug-induced fantasies, and a playful same-sex romp between Becky and Andrea in the couple's convenient swimming pool. Little does our clueless Miss know, but Paul and his companion are pervs, and he plans on selling his houseguest into white slavery (again, this is the 70s) and wouldn't you know it...Buck is the buyer!

Teaser sure takes its time getting to its tainted point. If you want endless scenes of Becky Sharpe doing the nude watusi, if you long for Rene Bond to get all greasy and give an androgynous actress the big rub, if you crave a Sappho scene where calm kissing in semi-sensuality is as far as the carnality goes, then this rather routine movie will be your video Viagra. Sharpe's got the dreary doe-eyed innocent act down pat. As a matter of fact, she's so immature you expect her to pull out a copy of Tiger Beat at any moment to moon over images of Jimmy Osmond. When she claims her age as 19, we wonder if that's in dog years (Ms. Sharpe is NOT attractive), especially since she proves her imbecilic IQ by readily accepting rides from strangers (OK, so she was tied up and ravished at the time, but doesn't she remember her grade school educational filmstrips???).

Those looking for the bountiful Bonds will be happy to know Rene ratchets up the sex scenes here. She does most of the dirty work, while Sharpe sits around looking stunted. The true porn piece de resistance comes during a rather understaffed orgy. Teaser is a movie that believes in backdoor action and plenty of it. Rene gets reamed from behind, her newly acquired 'assets' shifting suggestively in the winds of wantonness. Along with her sketchy skinny dip, Crisco caresses, and shag snacking, it's a real sleazoid tour de force. Frankly, without Bonds, Teaser would be trash. The set up sucks, the finale is laughable, and the overall tone is one of "hardcore minus penetration". Anyone wondering why people palpitate over the exploitation genre will have a hard time finding such excitement incentives here. True to its title, this movie is all teasing and very little pleasing...except for the reliable Rene.

For those still flummoxed by this so-called smut pixie, it's the second feature that is the true eye opener. Like some long lost heterosexual Holy Grail, carnal connoisseurs have often said that some of Bond's best work is contained in one of her most madcap softcore extravaganzas, 1975's Frankie and Johnnie...Were Lovers. Like a demented version of the Elvis/Elly May Clampett spectacle, or the Streisand/Kristofferson version of A Star is Born (this ribald romp predates the mainstream movie by a year) with plenty of pelvic pow wowing, our story of scar-crossed lovers is an absolute hoot.

Rene plays a famous singer (go figure) and attempts to warble like a sexually active songbird in this film, giving us quasi-arousing renditions of the title tune, as well as a somber torch ballad meant to make the men moist. As usual, her pathetic paramour Ric the retard is here, this time essaying the role of a grease monkey (in more than one way) who dreams of building the world's first "safety" car. All he needs is some incentive - and $30K of Rene's money (sound familiar, Ric???). Naturally, bedding his dollar bill babe is one way to work the wallet.

Frankie and Johnnie is a flat-out fantastic farce surrounded by friggin'. If Johnnie's not getting beaten to a bloody pulp by Frankie's ex-husband (a beefy Hispanic man who looks like he needs to step away from the Tapas bar once in a while) our couple is humping on a waterbed like a pair of slutty synchronized swimmers. To add some spice to the miscreant mix, Frankie has a friend named Alice who just can't seem to keep her skirt down - and she's jonesing for some Johnnie cakes. There are endless shots of Lutze looking stupid, a party scene featuring Boxcar Willie's illegitimate half-brother, Compost Pile Pete, and numerous nods to nookie. There's even a shower beating (it's Rene who gets her corporeal clock cleaned this time, thanks to Ric), the longest, slowest car chase in the history of cinema, and an odd sequence where Johnnie beds Alice in a tumbledown shack they spot along the road.

Perhaps the most memorable moment in the movie occurs when Johnnie is at the handy local 'computer' station doing some last minute "calculations" (the device takes up three huge office spaces). While he's IBM-ing his illiterate heart out, Frankie shows up sans undies, and immediately demands full service. When Johnnie is reluctant, she orally entices him. When that doesn't work, it's time for a little manual manipulation. As Rene gets her digits into a dither, the CPU comments on the scene, adding completely inane robotic quips about Ms. Bond's boobs and her ability to ball. It's not long before Johnnie gives in, and the databank goes daffy with a running monologue on the polluted tomfoolery. It's sequences like these that make Frankie and Johnnie...Were Lovers such a treat. Add in the directorial oddities (the entire movie has ADR sound, meaning everything - including the foley - has a strange foreign film feel) and Rene's sultry tones (oh Lordy, how she can sing...sort of) and you've got another Something Weird Video classic.

As usual, the DVD offers differing levels of technical excellence. Both movies were shot in 1.33:1 full frame, but Frankie and Johnnie...Were Lovers wins the transfer wars. While not 100% clean, it still looks almost brand new. Teaser on the other hand has lots of scratches, blemishes and age defects. The color is fairly correct in each film (though it's a little faded in both) and there is some minor remastering "shimmer" during Teaser's darker moments. Otherwise, the Dolby Digital Mono matches the clarity of the prints, and the result is a decent pair of exploitation entities. As for bonus features, Something Weird is back to their old tricks. We are treated to a series of tantalizing trailers, with ads for Teenage Sex Kitten and The Dicktator as real standouts, and a gallery of sexploitation ad art. In addition, there is a 37 minute mini-movie featurette entitled Shot on Location. Originally a "soft double X" feature, it features Bond, Lutze and some other adult stars doing the standard "behind the scenes" balderdash during the making of a skin flick. It is light, loopy fun.

So if you have always had trouble getting "into" Rene Bond, if you find her more alarming than fetching or frankly can't understand what a certain segment of the male population sees in a chinless wonder with cheek pouches resembling those of a squirrel laden down for winter, give Teaser/Frankie and Johnnie...Were Lovers a spin. This deranged DVD proves that in the legacy of lewdness, Rene Bond deserves a place of prominence. You may not change your opinion of her loveliness, but she definitely added something zesty to the typical tawdriness found in the grindhouse.

Want more Gibron Goodness? Come to Bill's TINSEL TORN REBORN Blog (Updated Frequently) and Enjoy! Click Here

Popular Reviews
1. Barry Lyndon
2. Rawhead Rex
3. My Neighbor Totoro (GKIDS Release)
4. The Ghoul
5. The Beguiled
6. Junior Bonner
7. Children Of The Corn
8. Dreamgirls: Director's Extended Edition
9. Ernie Kovacs: Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection
10. Spirited Away

Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2017 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use