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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Last Step Down
Last Step Down
Kino // Unrated // September 30, 2014
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted October 7, 2014 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
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The Movie:

The Last Step Down features no opening credits, just a production company name and a title card before it launches into a fifteen minute scene in which two women (Uschi Digard and Neola Graef) wander into some sort of basement lair inhabited by a few monks. There's an alter setup and as the girls disrobe and lean back against it, the monks use dildos to spread some sort of ceremonial liquid on their cleavage. After that, everybody gets it on, including the head monk (a very mustachioed Michael Donovan O'Donnell).

Once that's over with, we head to a swanky home where we learn that the girls are named Norma Jena (Digard) and Suzie (Graef). Norma Jean is just lounging around on the couch when Suzie comes into the room, she's tired from a long night of turning tricks. Norma Jean makes her some coffee and then they have rad lesbian sex. After that, it turns out that someone referred to as Mother Harry (we assume this is their pimp) has sent over a new recruit, a virgin named Kathy (Terri Johnson), for some training. Kathy shows up and Suzie lets her into their house and tells her to get into a bikini. Kathy does what she's told and then heads to the poolside where she watches Suzie oil up Norma Jean's breasts. This gets everyone all hot and bothered and the three head inside for more rad lesbian sex.

At this point they decide the best thing to do with Kathy would be to bring her along on their next visit to the ‘weekend weirdos.' From there, yep, the three ladies wind up back in the monk's secret lair for more dildos, liquid and fairly graphic softcore bumping and grinding. When that's done the two elder hookers tell their new co-worker how much fun their job is but warn her that hospital visits are more frequent. The end.

This fairly plotless early seventies sexploitation picture is light on plot but chock full of skin. The cast is pretty small in number but hey, when you've got Uschi Digard top lining things, it's hard to get too bent out of shape. She looks great here and it's fun to hear her line delivery with her thick accent. Best known for appearing in plenty of softcore loops and features and exploitation pictures directed by the likes of Russ Meyer and Don Edmunds, if you're a fan of Ms. Digard you'll appreciate just how much screen time she gets here. Neola Graef also looks great and both she and Uschi do seem to enjoy spending time together in their birthday suits. Bucktoothed Terri Johnson is fun to watch and pretty cute in her own way. None of these ladies are going to win you over with convincing performances but they look good naked.

There's really nothing to the story, however. There are moments where it looks like the story will find some depth as our two elder hookers ponder why a looker like Kathy hasn't been laid yet, but nope, it never goes past that point. We also never learn anything about the monks or why they do what they do outside of the fact that they probably just enjoy dressing up in robes and rubbing dildos on big breasted prostitutes. If that's the reason, hey, no problem there… but those looking for depth should look elsewhere as there is absolutely none of that here (even if the title itself infers some sort of journey to Hell or dark character transformation). There is plenty of skin though, so on that level this is enjoyable trash.

The DVD:

The Last Step Down arrives on DVD framed at 1.66.1 anamorphic widescreen though you have to wonder as the movie plays out if it was meant to be seen fullframe as the tops and bottoms sometimes look a little tight. Regardless, the film sourced transfer hasn't undergone any serious restoration so small scratches and white specks are pretty common but the print damage that does appear isn't particularly distracting. Colors are reproduced fairly well and compression issues are never a problem. No obvious edge enhancement or noise reduction to complain about here. This isn't a pristine transfer but it's decent enough for a low budget obscurity such as this.

Sound:

The disc includes a Dolby Digital Mono track in English, there are no alternate language options or subtitles/closed captioning options provided. The dialogue is a bit muffled in spots but aside from that, this is fine for what it is. Expect a little bit of background hiss in some spots but typically the levels are balanced. The music used throughout the movie sounds alright. Not an amazing track but it gets the job done.

Extras:

The main extra on the disc is an 8mm short film that runs about fifteen minutes and which is entitled Blood Lust. As quick text piece tells us that this movie was originally sold via mail-order out of the back of men's magazines. The story sees a vampiress named Carmilla rise from the grave and then seduce a woman named Jennifer. After a lesbian encounter, she takes Jennifer back to a crypt where they have a three-way with Dracula (played by a pasty, balding buy). After Dracula takes care of Jennifer, he then ravishes Carmilla. Drac's a bit of a love machine, really, but Jennifer's boyfriend or husband or brother… some dude…. he shows up in the crypt with a stake and, well, you get the point. This is an amusing little softcore oddity with some fun set dressing and costuming that looks like it was taken from a Halloween supply store. Not much to the story, really, and it's obviously an adaptation of Carmilla without the depth or allegory of the written version, but it's sexy and sleazy and should appeal to those who enjoyed the feature presentation.

Aside from that we get static menus, chapter selection and trailers for a few other Redemption Films offerings.

Final Thoughts:

The Last Step Down is pretty superficial stuff, there's very little to the story and there's really no character development at all but it does offer undemanding fans of seventies softcore sexploitation films the chance to enjoy the talents of the three leading ladies with which it has been cast. The transfer is okay and the audio serviceable while the inclusion of the bonus short adds to the sleazy, sexy fun. Definitely not a movie for all tastes but those who are into this stuff should get a kick out of it and for that specific audience, yeah, it's worth hunting down.

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.

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