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, May 24, 2018

Takers, The (1971)

Directed by:
"Carlos Monsoya" (Carl Monson)

After beating a guy to death with a chain wrapped around his fist, middle aged E.J. (Fred Bush) and his bearded buddy Willie Boy (Coe Bart, who wouldn't look out of place hanging out at Spahn Ranch with Charles Manson and company) decide to spread some more 70s biker movie joy elsewhere. While out riding around, they spot a couple of hippie girls, including sleaze movie workhorse Kathy Hilton, standing on the sidewalk in the rain. They pull up to them and offer them a ride. "You got any grass?" one responds. They sure do, along with some other stuff. Next thing we know they're back at someone's place smoking weed, dropping acid and having near hardcore sex in multiple positions in multiple places, like in the shower and on some puke green shag carpet. A cheap kaleidoscopic effect is added to show how much they're trippin. After the bikers have their fill, they head off for another adventure. We can assume they left the girls unsatisfied. While there's no scene of them actually leaving, we do hear a voice-over of one girls shrieking "You bastards! You bastards!"

E.J. and Willie now "need some bread" so they pulls into a gas station, tell the attendant they want plugs for their bikes and then shoot him dead, pick his pockets and rob a cash box... all in broad daylight and with a bunch of other cars and people around them. They then venture over to a bus stop where aspiring lingerie model Barbie ("Susan Apple" / Anna Travers) is waiting for a ride. When her well-to-do married friend Laura ("Kim Kiya" / Vicki Carbe) picks her up, the bikers menace them for a little bit then let them drive off. But they haven't exactly let them go and instead tail behind them to their neighborhood so they can then locate their car at their own leisure. Getting burnt out on burnt out hippie chicks has made E.J. want more "classy cunts." You know, "some educated social type broads."






Soon after the bikers break in, they discover they're in luck: Laura's husband Jack is away on business and won't be back for an entire week. So why not just "take" what they want and take their sweet time getting it? Barbie and Laura are pushed, knocked down, slapped in the face, screamed at and stripped naked. They're called "bitches" and "sluts," are forced to drink booze, threatened with a gun and have their bare asses slapped. And, naturally, they also have to become sex slaves for the men, something that takes up most of the time here.






All things considered, Barbie is a good sport about what's going on and keeps her wits about her and her sarcastic sense of humor. She's even kind enough to remove her undies for one of the bikers before telling him to get on with it. Laura, on the other hand, is traumatized at first but Barbie encourages her to just play along until they leave and "keep taking your no baby pill" so she's doesn't get knocked up. Eventually, Barbie develops Stockholm Syndrome and actually starts liking sex with one of the goons. At night, both ladies have to cram their asses onto a small bed with their two attackers and have their ankles chained to the footboard.






Distributed theatrically by Harry Novak and his Boxoffice International Pictures, The Takers was likely filmed over the course of just a few days. It's scuzzy and cheap, the plot is bare bones, the camerawork is shoddy with lots of out of focus shots and the suspense and tension generated by the home invasion / hostage premise is pretty much nil. Instead, this focuses its energies on the nudity and sex. I suppose on those terms this does what it sets out do as everyone is naked nearly the entire time. A few of the one liners and the joke at the very end (featuring the director in a cameo) are actually pretty funny.






Co-star Vicki Carbe, who also acted as "Victoria Wales," was a September 1963 Playboy Playmate of the Month under the name Victoria Valentino. In 2014, she was in the news as one of many women to come forward accusing Bill Cosby of raping her. Her claims stretched back to a 1969 incident when she and then-roommate, actress Meg Foster, went to Cosby's home and had their drinks drugged. Watching her here playing a woman force fed alcohol to loosen her up by a sex predator shortly after the alleged incident with Cosby occurred adds an extra layer of discomfort to the proceedings.


The 2003 Special Edition DVD from Something Weird pairs this up with the same director's Booby Trap (1970); another Novak / Boxoffice International release.

1/2

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