Dir: Ed Forsyth
Star: Joyce Jillson, Timothy Wayne-Brown, Tony Young, Thomas Reardon

I'd forgotten how one of the cardinal rules is, never trust a film whose cover has a painting of the lead character in action. Admittedly, this probably covers a hugh swathe of barbarian flicks, but even there, they rarely lived up to hopes. Here, the cover promises a blonde version of Cynthia Roth... Hang on, she IS blonde. Oh, well, you get the idea. The reality is something which plays like the retard cousin to Confessions of a Window Cleaner, combining seventies sex with extremely lame stabs at humour, and "martial arts" which are neither martial nor artistic, and whose only impact is to make the viewer beg for a return to the extremely lame stabs at humour. The focus is Tara B. True (Jillson, who'd go on to become, of all things, Nancy Reagan's astrologer), a trolly-dolly in the skies, who has to dress down at work to avoid sexual harassment, but has a man in every (air)port, plus any other number of casual hook-ups. One of her men is in hock to gangsters, and eventually gets Tara to take a package of "seashells" on her plane - it's actually guns, which the bad guys will use to hijack it and steal a shipment of cash that's also aboard. Of course, Tara uses his "martial arts" "skills" [all quotes used advisedly] to take out the bad guys in a finale which is no improvement on the preceding 80 minutes.

I suppose it does deserve some small credit for being ahead of its time, with a heroine who sleeps around in a manner which would make even James Bond (and early Bond, not the angst-riddled modern version) blush. There's also the presence of the legendary John Carradine, slumming it as a masochist who picks up Tara through the classified ads, and a couple of Russ Meyer's favorites playing minor roles, in Uschi Digard and Candy Samples. Indeed, you sense a Meyer-esque quality is what the makers are aiming for, but there is nowhere near the same sense of surreal excess, and nor is Jillson anything like a good enough actress to hold interest. You can see why she became an astrologer, and she didn't even have the guts to do her own nude scenes, the end credits explicitly pointing out that a body double was used, an admission which must be close to unique in exploitation cinema. On just about all levels, this is far about the sizzle than the steak, and even by Crown International's variable standards, is a disappointment.

[February 2014]

Not so super, after all
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