Sugar Cookies

Dir: Theodore Gershuny
Star: Mary Woronov, Lynn Lowry, George Shannon, Monique Van Vooren

In his introduction on the DVD, producer Lloyd Kaufman describes this as the only X-rated movie ever to lose money. I can see why, for as erotic entertainment goes, this sucks. As a twisted sexual thriller, however, it's more successful, with a warped sensibility that, even thirty-four years on, still raises eyebrows. Max (Shannon) a maker of "art movies", kills his leading lady Alta, but makes it look like suicide. Alta's lover Camilla (Woronov - married to the director at the time, who wrote the part of a predatory, manipulative lesbian just for her...) is his alibi, but she recruits another young actress and begins a complex plot to re-enact the incident for revenge.

Though it'd be several years more before Kaufman would team with Michael Herz, most basic Troma elements can already be seen here: nudity, violence, questionable taste and lesbians. In many ways, it pre-dates both Basic Instinct and Larry Cohen's Special Effects - the latter also had the same woman play a murder victim and her actress replacement. Here, Lynn Lowry pulls double-duty; she and Woronov are an interesting contrast, and there's a certain authenticity to their scenes that borders on the sleazy, though the film takes way too long to get to the finale which is painfully obvious from early on. There's also a irritating subplot about Max's nephew that is gratingly unfunny. Regardless, if you see only one Oliver Stone movie this week (he was associate producer, graduating Yale the same class as Kaufman...and President George W. Bush), you're certainly better off watching this than Alexander.

November 2004

Hard on the outside...
Soft in the centre...
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