Director: Manuel S. Conde
Something Weird Video/Image Entertainment

Only a few names in 70s sexploitation turned everything they touched into gold. One of these manic geniuses was Manuel S. Conde, a popular cinematographer as well as a producer and director of some of the finest jewels in the genre. It’s about time Something Weird put these two wacky wonders onto DVD; not only are they both delightfully sexy and filled with some of the most popular starlets of the period, they’re also exceptionally well-written and funny as hell! This guaranteed good time double feature is already one of the company’s finest in this short new year.

The same year Corman put out HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD, a tongue-in-cheek look at producing low-budget drive-in flicks, screenwriter Walt Davis (the pervert who gave us SEX PSYCHO and EVIL COME, EVIL GO) and producer Manuel S. Conde created DEEP JAWS, their tongue-in-cheek look at producing low-budget SEX flicks. The fact that by 1976 the softcore sexploitation genre was pretty much dead didn’t stop them, and what resulted is an insane, hilarious masterpiece that must seen by every fan of the genre! Uranus Films is broke! Owner P.G., his wife Henrietta, and son Junior don’t believe it, but the company’s so busted it can’t even afford toilet paper. The company accountant, Frank Genton, and his redhead secretary, Ms. Adams, notice that the big moneymakers in Variety are porno films, so decide to save the company by producing one of their own. How to fund it? Dr. Pissinger from the State Department (tee-hee) has transferred money into the company account to produce a film about the U.S.-Soviet space race, allowing them to churn out a quickie blue movie at the same time! They envision a sex-filled mermaid movie called DEEP JAWS, and proceed with writing, casting, and shooting their ultra-cheap sextravaganza.

Think FIRST NUDIE MUSICAL with an X rating instead of a PG rating, and sprinkle it with a who’s who cast of 70s sex starlets, and you’ve got DEEP JAWS! This film is packed with in-jokes, ridiculous dialogue, and best of all, a knowing sense of humor regarding the sex industry. Starlets sleep with producers, the director uses as many cost-cutting measures as possible, the crew drinks like fish, and behind-the-scenes pandemonium plagues the production before shooting even begins. Populated with over-the-top characters, one of the best is whiny Junior, wearing an Incredible Hulk T-shirt and licking an oversized lollipop, bellowing, “You can’t close Uranus! It’s gonna be mine someday!” and demanding to be the star of the movie. His rehearsal scene with an actress is priceless! Davis throws in a stereotypically gay hairdresser (“We can use mermen instead of mermaids! DEEP JAWS, the story of a homosexual shark!”), a squawk-box voiced starlet from the Judy Holliday school of acting, a black starlet refusing to ball a black actor (“He gave me the clap two weeks ago!”), and a French import who loves to show off her pubic hair. The plentiful sex scenes tend to go on a little long, but when competing with hardcore in 1976, this was a sure bet to keep people interested. Most are well-photographed and very erotic, many looking to cross the line into hardcore, including two encounters between Oscar, the elusive casting agent, and two Mexican hookers, a standing 69 between Frank and Ms. Adams, and Frank taking on a lovely blonde starlet in the costume room. However, the comedy in the film is kept up front and center, making this one of the most enjoyable 70s sexploitation films ever made.

Fans will, of course, also want to check this out for a cast of familiar faces. Candy Samples is given probably her best sexploitation role in what is basically the female lead as Henrietta, the Hollywood wife also entertaining an affair with Dr. Pissinger. She’s no actress, but delivers her dialogue with tongue firmly in cheek, but strangely doesn’t display her massive ticket-sellers except for one brief scene. For my money, Candy had the largest, heaviest hooters in all of drive-in sinema. The sheer weight of her 48DD bust could probably break a table! She does have a great comic scene falling into a pool! Simply stunning Sandi Carey co-stars as a scheming starlet with a highlighted scene making P.G. miserable poolside, demanding the lead role. She claims, “I could be another Cybill Sheperd”, and proceeds to demonstrate her oral prowess on him underwater! Sandi also tries some impromptu tap-dancing during an “audition” for Frank. One of the better actresses of the genre, Sandi’s pert breasts, ravishing smile, and divine sense of humor are all in full force here, and if you’ve never experienced her charms before, this is a good introduction to why she has a lasting cult audience today. Roxanne Brewer (FANTASM, HAND OF PLEASURE) has a pair of the largest breasts ever photographed, and her parlor trick of bouncing her tits up and down through the mere use of her pectoral muscles is still a stunner. She appeared in more men’s magazines than she did on film, but is a fondly remembered name from the 70s by breast fetishists. As a ditzy starlet, Anne Gaybis would have the most illustrious career, moving from sexploitation to mainstream bit parts over the course of 25 years! The only recognizable male cast member will be George ‘Buck’ Flower as the alcoholic hillbilly director, but every other actor is an unknown. Surprisingly, there’s plenty of full-frontal male nudity to go with the female nudity (thankfully not ‘Buck’ Flowers!).

After the nonsensical joy of DEEP JAWS, get ready for more merry mirth-making with THE DICKTATOR, once again written by the brilliant sicko Walt Davis (who also wrote the original songs in the film) and produced and photographed by Manuel S. Conde. The world is in a state of utter panic, as the birth rate has dropped to zero and all men are declared impotent after a male birth control pill does its job too well! The President calls upon world leaders from Africa (being blown by a white slave girl), Russia (bedding down with two wenches), France (giving his wife head in his office), Cuba (having his wife push their stalled car to a nearby town), England (being smothered by breasts during teatime), and Mexico (the lady dictator is being serviced by her husband) to a meeting of the United Nations to solve the issue. The result? A CIA agent is assigned to find any man left in the world with seed left to sow, and comes up with a group of five men: a San Francisco drag queen (“Bernice had balls…a Jewish fag”), an Oriental dope addict (“They’d given him a pill all right…but he’d smoked it! After a shave, shower, and shit, he looked a little better”), a Chilean shepherd (“I tried to hide my all-American disgust at his perverted Latin ways”), a Siberian political prisoner (“Boris had to use the pill to cure his frozen hemorrhoids”), and a black anthropology student who was force-feeding two ex-porno stars in order to eat them (the girls are enormously obese!). Each identified as The Dicktator (confusing, huh?), they are assigned their respective girls to impregnate and repopulate the planet.

If you thought DEEP JAWS was wild, be prepared for THE DICKTATOR, wall-to-wall silly humor with hot ladies and steamy sex sandwiched in-between. The film kicks off with some early shit humor (is this the first time a turd has been heard plopping into a toilet in cinema history?) before progressing into some great political commentary, with sounds of the world coming to an end outside the White House while the President plays with wind-up toys in the Oval Office and his secretary chats on the phone with a poster proclaiming, “Tape It Easy”, behind her! Witty! A black woman screams at the camera, “What are you sonnuvabitches doin’ to us now? You have a White House, why can’t we have a Black House?” All of the comedy is played completely over-the-top, and the dialogue is just incredible. Walt Davis really delivers scathingly funny punchlines and quips left and right, many in speech form. For example, when asked if he’s Jewish by his prospective mate, the gay Dicktator screams, “Am I Jewish? Is the Pope Catholic? Is Raquel Welch guilty of inflation? I’ve been circumcised, barmitzvah-ed, and you, my sweet plump young morsel, are about to be matzah balled! And in about 9 months, you’re going to be a Yiddisha mama!” One of the best moments has the Mexican presidentress whipping out her boobs and lamenting, “See these breasts, Senor? These breasts were meant to nurse babies, one on the left, one on the right! But they never will! You know why? Because you deprived me of my natural rights! Do something! Anything!”

In addition to the just-perfect dialogue, DICKTATOR’s cast is a virtual who’s-who of the softcore world of the 70s. Softcore queen Linda York, an often-ignored starlet of sexploitation, is the beautiful lass chosen to deflower the gay Dicktator, and shows the perfect balance of tease and raunch while making out with him (in full drag!) and licking his privates through his sheer nightie. The alluring Kathy Hilton, who always resembled to me an American version of Rosalba Neri, is made up as a Japanese geisha girl to tag-team the Oriental Dicktator with Mara Sonara. This isn’t one of her best appearances, though. The ravishing Rene Bond appears in one of her rare late-70s softcore outings as Carmen, a Hispanic beauty, with a rose in her hair, assigned to take on the shepherd Dicktator. She uses a charming, but actually believable Spanish accent, and turns on her vamp skillfully and superbly acted. When he reveals his name as Cy Onora, she squints his eyes and asks, “You aren’t Japanese, are you?” Aah, the politically incorrect 70s! Rene even has to bend over and baaa like a sheep for Cy to him to feel like he’s screwing his favorite sheep, Marta!! Yikes! Another all-star sex queen of the genre, Uschi Digart, is introduced swimming in a pool in a clingy red dress and swims across the width of the pool to meet her match, the Siberian Dicktator. She even has dialogue here, un-dubbed, making this is a real treat to see her at her prime with live sound. All-smiles and looking to be having a great time, as she usually did, Uschi mixes affectionate behavior like drying off her lover and getting him a glass of vodka with horny vixen moves like yanking his trousers off and feeling his goodies! A highlight of Uschi’s lengthy, incredible career! Angela Carnon, probably the best actress of the entire genre, plays a topless Russian wench servicing the Russian dictator while a snowstorm swirls into his room through an open window. Cyndee Summers cameos as a breasty topless British tart (in a blonde wig hiding her incredible red hair!) with cookies pasted to her nipples. Incredible actress Cleo O’Hara, who made a lasting impression in EVIL COME, EVIL GO, plays the White House secretary, listening in to all the President’s phone calls. No-name Yolanda Beck plays the black woman assigned to the black Dicktator…except she demanded a white man, so he rips her clothes off and rapes her!! To make matters more distasteful, she’s a grieving widow, left sobbing as the Dicktator leaves! Yech!

The men of the cast also include a number of familiar faces. Michael Donovan O’Donnell, familiar from Russ Meyer’s VIXEN!, SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS, and Ed Wood’s lost TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE, plays the British prime minister. Early hardcore porno stud Keith Erickson is the French president, planted between his wife’s legs during a phone call with the U.S. President. Walt Davis, looking unrecognizable from his on-screen supporting role in his own SEX PSYCHO 7 years earlier, is the Russian president, with gray hair and a beard and featured prominently in several sex scenes. Fellow director Zoltan Spencer cameos as a White House reporter during the international press conference. Gordon Freed, the male lead of DEEP JAWS, appears as a baby photographer mistaken for a Dicktator by a Mae West-imitation breasty gal in a towering platinum blonde wig! For male beefcake, you can’t go wrong with Ron Kory, the blonde actor playing the Siberian political prisoner, but otherwise, this is ladies’ night and then some!

Both films are presented in fullscreen from their original negatives! By all reasoning, neither film should be available looking this good, but here they are, preserved in the best way possible. DEEP JAWS looks much better, with crisp color, sharp detail, and really staggering clarity. THE DICKTATOR looks much grainier, with less clarity and a fuzzier picture, but both are acceptable transfers with no room from improvement. The mono mixes for the two features are a little subdued in some sequences, due to the audio recording equipment of the time, but dialogue comes across clearly throughout the features.

Kicking off the trailer collection is a preview for the sexiest softcore sexploitation film ever made, Mark Haggard’s THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRL. This was supposed to hit DVD a while ago, paired with its sub-par sequel THE ALL-AMERICAN WOMAN, but apparently the double feature has hit the backburner as it’s only offered now on VHS or DVD-R. See this one any way you can, you simply won’t forget it! Peggy Church (who only did a few films in the genre, all of them great) is Debbie, a young high school girl who experiences her sexual awakening one crazy summer through the joys of masturbation, lesbianism, oral sex, and mild kink, all while keeping her virginity intact. The trailer also makes good use of the beautiful piano score and the rockin’ “American Girl” theme song (“Oh say can you see what she’s doing to me?”). Hopefully whatever snags occurred to block this from hitting DVD will be fixed soon. This is an A+ classic that everyone interested in the genre should see. They don’t get much better than this! Previews for DEEP JAWS and THE DICKTATOR do a surprisingly good job of selling these softcore romps in an age when hardcore was the major moneymaker. TEASER is available on DVD, and I’ve sung its praises in that review elsewhere on DVD Drive-In. However, for those who missed it, this one’s highly recommended, with Becky Sharpe as a young girl raped by Ric Lutze and taken in by a high society couple who may not be as nice as they seem. Rene Bond is the female half of the duo, and delivers one of her finest performances (both acting and sex-wise). Sandy Dempsey cameos as a topless barmaid, too, and handsome John Paul Jones is Becky’s beau. THE DANISH CONNECTION is a softcore spin-off of the popular hardcore JOHNNY WADD series with co-star Rick Cassidy (aka gay superstud Jim Cassidy) as his sidekick banging lots of girls and trying to solve an international spy mystery. See Sandy Dempsey, Sandi Carey, Rene Bond, Cyndee Summers, John Holmes, and a half-woman, half-dog!! This one’s a lot of fun, directed by the incredibly sick Walt Davis and photographed by our Mr. Conde. Cassidy would return as the same character in a hardcore sequel that hit video as THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF PETER GALORE, with the return of Summers and co-starring Suzanne Fields (FLESH GORDON). TERROR AT ORGY CASTLE and EVIL COME, EVIL GO are on DVD with another feature, HAND OF PLEASURE, and all three are cheap California smut at its finest. EVIL COME is Walt Davis at it again with the story of a religious nut who recruits a lesbian lover and savagely murders anyone they deem sinful in the eyes of the Lord! Zoltan Spencer is the madman behind ORGY CASTLE, and all of his films are pretty hard-to-believe. This hour-long wonder has the feel of a Jean Rollin film, with more nudity and borderline hardcore sex, and less of a storyline. For acquired tastes only, but I certainly dug it. Finishing off the disc is a trusty Gallery of Sexploitation Ad Art with Exploitation Audio, which still manages to entertain considering it’s nothing new.

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(Casey Scott)