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Wanton Women , Wide Collars and Wigs
on March 6, 2004
This Harry Novak double feature has a mobster and Uschi Digart motif. "The Godson," directed by William ("Mantis in Lace") Rotsler, is the better of the two features. As a mob boss's godson, Jason Yukon has ambitions of doing more than overseeing the syndicate's prostitution operations, setting up women like Maria Arnold to advance his position. The true focus of this movie, however, is lots of simulated sex. Enter Uschi Digart, who shows off her ample bosom and sweet smile while flopping atop a john. Other giggling starlets include Jayne Allison, who wears a vapid smile (and little else) even though her sister was just murdered in a prior scene, and Orita de Chadwick (who moved on to hardcore movies). As entertaining as the softcore sex is, the fashions and the hair steal the show --especially the hair. Yukon, with his permed helmet, looks like Gary Shandling playing Mike Brady. The woman playing the madam wears a wig--and I hope for her sake it was a wig--that I can only describe as a red bouffant mullet (a bouffullet?). Lois Mitchell, who writhes naked through the opening credits as well as writhing beneath the woolly Yukon, changes hairstyles dramatically within a single scene. Another "actress" doesn't even bother to tuck all of her own hair beneath her cheap black wig. And the guy who plays her john (his name isn't listed, but he's a familiar--and unattractive--face in '70s softcore) appears to wear a wig as well. Also look for John ("Midnight Plowboy") Tull, in a small, fully-clothed, but pivotal, role. And with his own hair.
Tull and Digart return for "Below the Belt," which is supposed to be set in the world of boxing, but really, it's set in and around someone's Southern California home. Tull, not looking his best, is a bi-polar bully, Sammy, managing boxer Johnny (Steven Hodge). Though Hodge looks like he'd be more adept at rolling joints and playing pinball, he attracts the attention of gangster Louie Gardino, perhaps the worst-dressed mobster ever (and following the cast of "The Godson," that's saying something). Gardino tries to get control of Johnny by offering him Lisa (played by Mirka), but Johnny is a girl-shy virgin. And an imbecile, which is why, at the movie's opening, Sammy is able to steal Digart away from him in less than 30 seconds. In fact, Sammy gets all the women in this movie. The only women to escape Sammy's psychotic seductions are those who turn to other women, like gap-toothed Terry Johnson (check out her peeling back when she's going... *with* Mirka). "Below the Belt" has some amusing moments, and a few people, like Tull, try to act. Overall, though, it makes "The Godson" look like, well, "The Godfather." Directed by Bethel Buckalew, it actually makes the director's Southern sex comedies ("Country Cuzzins," "The Pigkeeper's Daughter") seem like sophisticated filmmaking by comparison. But there's all that sex to help salve the lack of cinematic finesse.
Extras include trailers for "Bust Out" (a.k.a. "Convicts Women"), "A Scream in the Streets," "The Manhandlers" and two for the same movie under different titles, "Up Your Alley" and "Bang! Bang! The Mafia Gang." There are two Uschi Digart shorts as well. One, "Uschi Meets Dracula," is total silliness, only featuring her "talents" in one brief scene as she changes clothes in a phone booth (and flashes George "Buck" Flower). The other, a peepshow loop, will be more satisfying to her fans as it shows her every curve, mound and crevice.