Director: Jack Arnold
Dark Sky Films/MPI

After helming several pivotal science fiction features of the 1950s (IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN), director Jack Arnold found his way to the small screen, lending his hand to a number of memorable series throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Amid episodes of "Gilligan's Island" and "The Love Boat", Jack was able to slip in a handful of features, delving into both the blaxploitation and sexploitation genres. After shooting BLACK EYE and before starting BOSS NIGGER, both staring Fred Williamson, Jack took a trip to jolly ol' England to direct a sex comedy that is overflowing with bare young ladies but is sadly light on laughs.

Making her way up the political scene one bed at a time, Bunny O'Hara (Christina Hart, THE STEWARDESSES) cunningly uses her God given talents to have her father (Gordon Sterne) reassigned to the prestigious position of U.S. Ambassador stationed in London. Well aware of his daughter’s promiscuous nature and fearful that her wanton ways could befoul his newly acquired political status, Mr. O'Hara enrolls Bunny in an elite boarding school in hopes that isolating her from the opposite sex will help to dampen her raging libido. Furious over her daddy’s decision, Bunny quickly bonds with her new roommates, Jackie (Jane Anthony), Sal (Drina Pavlovic) and Chris (Jill Damas) over their mutually dislike of the school's headmistress Miss Grimm (Eunice Black) and butch gym teacher Harriet (Sarah Brackett). Bored out of their minds without male companionship, the quartet devise a game in which the winner is the first to seal the deal with a partner chosen at random. Using the London papers as a selecting pool, each young lady picks an article indiscriminately drawing a Russian diplomat, the star of the Chinese ping pong team, an American foreign affairs expert and a member of British royalty as unknowing participants. With each of the would-be suitors being a "whose who" of current world affairs, the foursome risk causing an international incident as their harmless game provides an unforeseen kink in ongoing secret disarmament talks between the U.S. and China.

How can a movie with so much nudity be so dreadfully dull? If not for the four main cast members being naked for just over half of the film's 88 minute running time, GAMES GIRLS PLAY would have very little entertainment value. The film plays out like a typical 1970s sitcom, save for an abundance of nudity, allowing for a familiar camp value but it’s an aesthetic that offsets the film's sex scenes in a way that just doesn't sit quite right. Most of the situations that the quartet find themselves engaged in are far fetched, which is to be expected, but the lighthearted nature in which they are presented is borderline creepy. There's just not a lot of humor to be found in a 50 year old man trying to bed a girl young enough to be his daughter. Nor is it very appealing. It's also not always clear as to what is actually taking place, as too often the participants are (un)dressed for a XXX feature, only for the scene to play out strictly PG-13. One scene in particular features Jill Damas pushed into a gym shower by a dozen or so Chinese Ping Pong players, upon which she is lathered down and passed around. With most of the action fogged by steam and Jill’s reaction to the events boarding somewhere between annoyance and disappointment, it almost becomes an after thought that what just happened looked an awful lot like a gang bang.

The story itself is simple enough, with Christina Hart casually corrupting her roommates into a spur of the moment game of boff the bureaucrat, which certainly sounds like a promising premise, but things quickly turn south when the statesmen selected tend to resemble Sydney Pollack. Are we really supposed to believe that these girls find such pudgy, hairy men attractive? You do however have to give Christina Hart credit. She plays a convincing slut. One-liners that would have died the minute they hit your ear somehow sound natural coming from the blonde beauty. In fact all four leading ladies are quite enjoyable to watch, it’s just the messes they find themselves in that lead one to groan in disbelief. While each girl certainly has their own appeal, my own personal tastes lean toward the bustier of the group, Jill Damas, who appeared Jim Atkinson’s CAN YOU KEEP IT UP FOR A WEEK? released the same year.

Dark Sky Films presents GAMES GIRLS PLAY in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that is reasonably solid, save for frequent reoccurrences of grain, particularly early on. Little white specks come and go but nothing that is about to distract from the wealth of naked flesh and cheesy one-liners. Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is clear and concise with optional English Subtitles available. While the print on hand carries the title GAMES GIRLS PLAY, the end credits still list it as THE BUNNY CAPER, the film's original title also listed on three short TV spots included in the discs special features along with a theatrical trailer. "Naughty Games" is an interview with Christina Hart created exclusively for this release by END films. Short and sweet, the featurette catches up with Christina as she reflects upon her carrier on stage and screen and how being a Cheryl Ladd type landed her the film's lead. While it certainly won’t appeal to every taste, if you often find yourself awake at 2 A.M. clicking between TV Land and “Girls Gone Wild” commercials, GAMES GIRLS PLAY might be right up your ally. (Jason McElreath)