Director: Claudio Guzmán/Arthur Marks (uncredited)
Dark Sky Films

After the breakout success of DEEP THROAT in 1972, Linda Lovelace found herself thrown into the popular culture as a poster chic for porn. This was a label she would never fully shake, even later in life when she became a staunch anti-pornography activist. Hoping to capitalize on her familiar face and bankable assets, producer Arthur Marks (DETROIT 9000) commissioned a script following the exploits of the adult star's fictitious bid for the white house, a politically incorrect farce on the impending 1976 presidential elections that would be soft on costs but hard on laughs. The end result is rather dated and far from knee slapping but is enjoyable at least for one night. And don’t worry, I'll try and keep the sexual puns to a minimum, but it is hard.

It's 1976 and voter confidence is at an all time low. With voters dissatisfied with both the Democratic and Republican candidates, a committee of every racial and religious stereotype converse at what appears to be a national park/hippy commune to nominate an outsider to run on a third party ticket. After much debate, adult film star Linda Lovelace is unanimously chosen as the people’s candidate. Hesitant to take on such a large undertaking, Linda comes around to the idea after some encouraging words from her dear Uncle Sam (Robert Symonds, THE EXORCIST). Taking to the streets to rally and bed the everyday, working class voter to her cause, Linda embarks on a cross country bus tour, advised by here fellow Upright party constituents; the Reverend Billy Easter (Val Bisoglio), Chow Ming (Joey Forman), Adolph Von Luftwafter (Garry Goodrow) and Abdul Ali Umagooma (Fuddle Bagley), to name a few. Voter turnout is high and with all media coverage suggesting Linda as the frontrunner, the opposing parties hire a hit man (Chuck McCann) to take out the sultry favorite before she can take to the polls.

LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT feels like an extended episode of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" or "The Monkees", only raunchier and not half as funny. Any attempt to skewer contemporary counter culture and the current political climate are undermined by a barrage of inane, humorless one-liners and fifth grade dick jokes. I'm sorry but you can only shove so many sexual innuendoes into a 90 minute feature before the gag goes limp. That's not to say that the film isn't enjoyable as a snapshot of its era and a few (very few) jokes do educe a smirk. Rampant racist, sexist and blasphemous characters and situations where obviously meant to appall and stir up controversy, but instead come across silly and too frequently annoying, in particular a jive talking, hillbilly chimpanzee -- an aggravatingly annoying gag that does nothing for the film, save distract from the carnal action it's commenting on. And make no bones about it; all the action is of the softcore variety. There are several instances of full frontal nudity (mostly from Linda) and a bevy a of bouncing bosoms, but those looking for a follow up on par with DEEP THROAT will undeniably feel blue balled.

What the film lacks in intentional laughs, it makes up for in an overflow of cult cameo appeal. Scatman Crothers (THE SHINING), Joe E. Ross ("Car 54, Where Are You?"), Monte Landis (TARGETS), Arthur Metrano (Mauser from POLICE ACADEMY 2 & 3) and Micky Dolenz of "The Monkees" as a bespeckled bus driver are but a handful of the familiar faces from stage and screen that help raise the production value. I for one was pleasantly surprised to see a brief but welcomed cameo by big bust model Joyce Gibson (also know as Joyce Mandel and later Alexis Love) in a topless hot tub scene! While I definitely understand her appeal, I've never found Linda Lovelace to be all that attractive. I was however pleasantly surprised to find her both engaging and in top form throughout the picture, both with and without clothing. While Linda’s acting chops leave much to be desired, her screen presence, with her dark hair long and straight and her figure taught and lean, is undeniable. Most of her, okay, all of her jokes fall flat, by and large due to poor delivery, but surrounded by a seasoned and talented cast of supporting actors, she’s able to a stride her way to a satisfying climax.

Dark Sky Films has penetrated deep into the vaults for its presentation of LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT. Available in a new 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, the film holds up well with very little in the way of blemishes or marks. Colors are what you would expect from a low budget film of the 1970s, with fleshtones a little red but I can’t imagine the film having ever looked better. The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound hits the mark, highlighting an original score from Big Mac & the Truckers. An outstanding companion piece to the film, Deep Vote: The Oral History of LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT is a nine minute interview with producer Arthur Marks created exclusively for this release by End Films. Arthur discusses the film's origins and his first encounter with Linda, who he found quite difficult to work with. In her quest to go legit, Linda initially fought against any scenes of nudity, but thankfully her contract stipulated otherwise. Most surprising is Arthur’s remembrance of originally offering the film to Richard Donner to direct, who wisely passed in order to helm THE OMEN. Claudio Guzmán would eventually be hired but proved unreliable, leaving Arthur to pick up the slack. Slick and informative, the featurette rounds out a tight little package that is sure to get a rise out of those looking for a bit of T&A in there GOP. (Jason McElreath)