Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Climax of Blue Power, A (1975)

... aka: Deviate in Blue
... aka: Impersonator, The
... aka: Passion of Blue Power, The
... aka: Taste of Blue Power, The

Directed by:
"F.C. Perl" (Lee Frost)

Veteran exploitation director Lee Frost (using the name "F.C. Perl" here), who'd worked on such varied films as the haunted house nudie House on Bare Mountain (1962), the influential pre-Ilsa Nazisploitation flick (and video nasty) Love Camp 7 (1969), the biker flick Chrome and Hot Leather (1971) and the drive-in favorite The Thing with Two Heads (1972), decided to crank it up a few notches with this mean-spirited "roughie." Clearly, this was originally a soft X film and had hardcore inserts added to the mix later. I'm not sure if Frost filmed the more explicit stuff or not, but it was obviously shot at a different time because the lighting is completely different and the actresses in the original 'soft' film are not the same actresses pretending to be them in the hardcore shots. The lead actor, "Jason Carns" (I. William Quinn) however was brought back to help with the continuity (i.e. shoot some of the hard stuff). Quinn, who'd only appeared in R-rated films, was both better looking and a (slightly) better actor than your typical male X star. He'd previously had a memorable role as a gay hustler who got picked up by a necro mortician in the bizarre LOVE ME DEADLY (1973), and this was his sole venture into porn territory.

As Climax opens, NYC police officer Eddie (Quinn) busts Linda ("Linda Harris" / Starlyn Simone) for prostitution. On the drive to the station, he tries to scare her about a large court fine and all the "mean dykes" awaiting her in prison, then offers her an opportunity to get out of it. If she'll give him a blowjob, he'll let her off the hook: "For thirty minutes I'll save you thirty days." She reluctantly agrees, he drives off into the country, makes her strip in the backseat and then starts having his way with her. But this isn't sex for pleasure, it's sex for power. Eddie doesn't even finish. He suddenly stops, slaps her around, pulls a gun on her, forces her to get out of the car during the middle of a rain storm and "lay down in the mud and jerk off" while he watches and finishes himself off. After he's through, he informs her "You can get back to town on your own. I don't want to get my car dirty" and takes off, leaving the poor, terrified, naked girl out in the middle of nowhere. This sequence brings to mind real-life stories you'll see crop up in the news from time to time; ones of cops picking up prostitutes and beating / raping them, and also stories of men pretending to be cops to lure women into traps so they can rape them. In the case of Eddie, it's the latter.

Law enforcement is a profession that happens to quite fascinate me. There seem to be two specific and diametrically opposed types of people drawn to this line of dangerous work. The first are those selfless individuals who genuinely want to be of service to and help other people. On the flip side, there are those who secretly get their jollies being in a position of authority and power (and are just as apt to abuse that privilege). You can probably guess which camp Eddie falls into. Disappointed by his failures in life, he's stuck working as a lowly security guard who constantly gets hounded and belittled by his boss. Feeling otherwise powerless about his life, he vents by taking his frustrations out on women. And he has a particular predilection for women who are breaking the law and help indulge his desire to exert force over them.

Word from the streets about what he's been up to gets back to some real cops (played by Frost film regulars Wes Bishop and Marland Proctor), who promptly begin looking into things. A lonely, reclusive type, Eddie is out walking the beach one day when he hears a commotion coming from a beach house. When he peers inside the window, he sees a couple involved in a violent fight. The man has just discovered his wife Mildred (Angela Carnon) has been having an affair and comes at her with a gun. Mildred manages to get it away from him and shoots him dead. Eddie, who constantly listens in to the police dispatch on his CB radio, starts getting angry that the woman hasn't yet been arrested ("She's got to be punished!") But first, a trip to a massage parlor to, uh, relieve some tension.

At the massage parlor, the obese owner (Bob Cresee) offers Eddie the option of one or two girls who specialize in French and Japanese techniques. He walks off with Uschi Digard and ends up in a room with two completely different women. What follows is a long sex scene utilizing both Quinn and a completely different actor who keeps his head turned from the camera the entire time to conceal his identity! And it's too bad Uschi just disappeared, because the two girls who do this scene aren't very attractive and one has what appears to be a hemorrhoid on her ass. This scene also doesn't fit all that well with the frustrated psycho theme since Eddie completes his task and nods off afterward, where he has sepia-toned visions of what went down at Mildred's as well as fantasies of apprehending the murderess while spooky music plays.

Unable to get the woman out of his mind, Eddie returns to the beach house and spies on her having sex with her lover on the couch not even 24 hours after she'd killed her husband; a crime she has successfully managed to pass off as a suicide. After watching a subtitled sex loop, he has a dream that he handcuffs Mildred to a police car, rapes her and then whips her with his belt, then has another dream of her giving him a massage, their doubles having sex and some cat o' nine tails crotch whipping. Eddie eventually shows up at Mildred's house. He pulls a gun on her, tries to get her to confess to the crime, slaps her around, ties her up and locks her in a bedroom until she's willing to spill the beans. And then, something really odd happens. Eddie barges in on her wearing a blonde wig, make-up and a backless dress, strips her, feels her up, bathes her, violates her with his finger, tosses her on the bed and rapes her and then whips her with a belt. Everything leads up to a police car chase that ends in a bizarre and very unsatisfying fashion.

While the hardcore inserts do give this film a nastier edge than it otherwise would have had, it also does the film some harm. The fair-skinned, dark-haired Carnon refused to participate in the graphic sex, so who did these guys get to stand in for her? A sun-baked blonde with bad tan lines! If one can ignore all that, this is fairly well-acted and effectively sick and twisted if you like that kind of thing.


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