Directors: Dwayne Avery, Carl Monson
Something Weird Video/Image Entertainment

Continuing to raid the vaults of Harry Novak, Something Weird has assembled an "Explosive Double Feature" that merely fizzles and pops. The trailer for BOOBY TRAP (viewed on several previous SWV discs) left me anxious to see the finished product, and THE TAKERS sounded right up my alley: demented and politically incorrect. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

Carl Monson (director of PLEASE DON'T EAT MY MOTHER!) is Jack Brannan, a psychotic ex-Marine who purchases 40 Claymore land mines and sets out to massacre the desert locale of a rock concert. With such a threadbare plot, that should be enough. Throw in some sex and violence and you're done. But oh no. Director/screenwriter Dwayne Avery decides to throw in a gaggle of confusing characters: Jack's ex-wife Taffy (Angela Carnon, one of the best actresses in sexploitation) and her boyfriend (hunky Christopher Geoffries, who played Carnon's husband in A.C. Stephens' DROP-OUT WIFE and may have been her real-life husband); a grizzled police detective and Jack's sister-in-law; a mobster running the club Taffy works in and his short, psychotic sidekick (Buck Kartalian of PLEASE DON'T EAT MY MOTHER!); and a screamingly gay snitch. To be honest, the various subplots were more than a little confusing and by the end of the film, I was scratching my head in disbelief at what an incomprehensible mess this film is. I had no desire to re-view the film, so my first and last impression is this: watch the trailer and avoid the film. The first 5 minutes are very well-done and had me hoping for the best (awesome title credits music!), but I could never recommend this film to anyone, not even Novak completists.

SWV's transfer for BOOBY TRAP is, like most all of their Novak titles, incredibly clean and colorful. The main titles, in garish red, bleed into the background footage, but there are few other problems apparent (grain and some dirt is obvious at reel changes, but that's to be expected). Unfortunately, I have a feeling that BOOBY TRAP is either cut or there's an alternate (better) version floating around somewhere. Two trailers appear on the disc: one for BOOBY TRAP, featuring several sex scenes not present in this version (one with Carnon and Geoffires in front of a fireplace, the other a more graphic version of the outdoors interlude starring the detective), and the other under its re-release title YOUNG AND WILD, featuring yet ANOTHER Carnon-Geoffries sex scene missing in this version, this time on a bearskin-covered waterbed! So, on top of feeling cheated by how slow BOOBY TRAP was, I also felt cheated of some steamy sex scenes that might have given the movie a reason to exist!!

OK, if you're a fan of the "degenerates-take-hostages-in-their-own-home" subgenre, you might dig parts of THE TAKERS. After a lengthy introduction of the title characters, bikers E.J. and Will, and their sexy (almost X-rated), druggy exploits with a pair of hippie hitchhikers, we are introduced to the heroines, Barbie and Laura, two suburbanite cuties who the animals follow home. After weaseling their way in, the young women become their personal sex slaves...only that one of them starts to like it... Tons of VERY hard sex and nudity and not much else to be found in THE TAKERS. The surprise ending isn't much of a surprise, especially to those who have seen the Italian version of Mario Bava's BLACK SABBATH. Nah, not much to recommend here. Another one to avoid.

The transfer for TAKERS is decidedly less impressive than BOOBY TRAP, but is still generally clean and easy on the eyes. Dirt and grain at reel changes, as to be expected. The mono audio is very weak, but this is a problem with the original sound shot on set.

Much like SWV's previous disc RAMRODDER/REVENGE OF THE VIRGINS, the trailers collected here would be more welcome on DVD than the feature films on the disc. In addition to the aforementioned trailers for the features (and a BOOBY TRAP TV spot), there are a slew of amazing previews on hand! First up is THE BLACK ALLEY CATS, an incredible politically incorrect gem starring Sandy Dempsey, Uschi Digart, and Marsha Jordan! YOWSA! I love all three of these ladies! Dempsey, who is usually stuck in a supporting role, takes center stage here as one of the Black Alley Cats, a group of rape victims who learn karate (hilarious!), grab some guns, and buy tacky Alley Cats leather jackets (the graphics on them remind me of the jackets in SHE-DEVILS ON WHEELS). Besides avenging themselves, they wreak havoc at a hoity toity society party (with guest Uschi Digart) and seek more revenge on a sleazy photographer and his moll (Jordan) who plan on blackmailing the girls with nude pictures of them! There's a girl fight, men forced at knife-point to service women, and the fabulous mammaries of Uschi Digart! Why isn't this on DVD? It should be paired up with THE BIG SNATCH (also starring Ms. Digart) for a Politically Incorrect Double Feature!! THE BLACK BUNCH is Harry Novak's answer to the blaxploitation boom. Set in the African continent, it details a big game hunter and his entourage running smack dab into a native revolution! Has some awesome dialogue and cheesy fight scenes, in addition to the expected nude black women. Surely a lesser entry in the genre, but it still looks like a hoot. This should be released on a double feature with THE DEVIL'S GARDEN! ERIKA'S HOT SUMMER needs no introduction: the incredible star of Russ Meyer's Vixen!, Erica Gavin, starred in a low-budget couples sex flick directed by Gary Graver that didn't see a release until her stardom was cemented by both VIXEN! and BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. She looks very young in it, and this is one of few starring roles in her criminally short career. According to an interview in "Glamour Girls", her scenes were shot in two days and she is dubbed by another actress! The trailer boasts, "That VIXEN! girl in her hottest role!". Yeah right... THE LOVES OF CYNTHIA is aka CYNTHIA'S SISTER, a British sex film imported by Harry Novak. Flanagan is a beautiful blonde model who, after being humiliated on the casting couch (the scene is the highlight of the DVD menu), plans to wrench her rich ex-boyfriend from her sister! I have to see this, it looks incredible! With whipping in a stable, a drug-induced gang bang, and an incredible performance from Flanagan. WEEKEND LOVERS is another Novak acquisition also directed by Dwayne Avery. It looks better than BOOBY TRAP, that can be said, but it could just be another misleading preview (lots of Novak trailers like that!). Look fast for "Dicora Carse", Juliet in SECRET SEX LIVES OF ROMEO AND JULIET! Features some witty humor and beautiful women, I might give it a look...

Surprisingly, there are only two shorts on the disc. "These Are the Aliens!" is a fascinating look at a real-life biker gang, warts and all. The biker mamas are sultry and sexy, the motorhogs bearded and greasy, and be prepared to wipe your eyes in disbelief as we see a biker actually piss into a beer can!! The gang jeers at the man and recounts their various crimes and misdemeanor (attempted murder, rape, assault with a deadly weapon), and we get to see a genuine biker barbecue, with some tasty-looking hamburgers! "Magnificent Monique" features a naked model feeling herself up in this mail order 8mm short. Surprisingly enough, this is a top heavy tart on display here (with obvious breast implants), something rare in films of this vintage. You can get this and a bunch of other awesome big bust loops on SWV's BIG BUST LOOPS series of VHS tapes. There are two galleries: one of Harry Novak poster art (with music from WILBUR AND THE BABY FACTORY, MIDNIGHT PLOWBOY, and other Novak hits!) and one of exploitation stills and photos, featuring dialogue from Novak films. These are always a big hit with me, I just love vintage advertising materials. No one sells movie like these anymore! Easter Egg hunters will find an anti-explosives PSA on the Extras menu.

Looking for explosive action? Gripping suspense? Sex and nudity beyond your imagination? As far as exploitation goes, this disc surely delivers: it promises a lot and delivers little. So with that in mind, I guess SWV succeeded in some way... Skip it. (Casey Scott)