Seduction Cinema

Seduction Cinema appears to be the leading maker of softcore lesbian videos these days. They consistently put out shot-on-video, slickly-made productions, often spoofing mainstream films, and have built up their own star system with major cult followings. One of these typical Seduction Cinema offerings is SEXUAL CONFESSIONS, a 2003 video receiving its DVD debut just recently. It’s basically a series of lesbian scenes strung together with a psychiatrist plot, with Darian Caine, Kelli Summers, Katie Jordon, and Ruby LaRocca. The real reason for DVD Drive-In fans to be interested in this disc is the inclusion of 1973’s THREE PHASES OF EVE, a softcore sexploitation classic starring Sandi Carey and a host of other favorite stars from the California drive-in.

In this take-off of the Joanne Woodward Oscar-winning Hollywood film, Sandi plays Eve, a lovely housewife with three distinct multiple personalities who visits smarmy-looking psychiatrist Dr. Bushnell (the smarmy Ric Lutze!). Eve #1 is the prim and proper wife; Eve #2 is a sensuous lover, and Eve #3 is a sexually insatiable swinger. You can guess that since this is a sex film, Eve #3 is the primary focus! Eve #2 makes love to her husband while dinner burns on the stove; Eve #3 has a threeway with hubbie and muscular superstud Rick Cassidy; and Eve #1 is forced into a foursome with Suzanne Fields in a giant bouffant wig, Mindy Brandt, and a hairy mustachioed Romeo that transforms into an orgy when Dr Bushnell arrives!

Clocking in barely 45 minutes, this brief excursion into the universe of 70s sex isn’t a good example of what makes the genre so fascinating today, but because it’s filled with some of the most recognizable faces of the period, still holds some value for collectors and fanatics of the leading ladies. The sex appears to be hardcore, but isn’t shown up close and personal. None of the actors were strangers to the adult industry, so it’s easy to assume that they went all the way in their scenes, even if the cameras didn’t capture it.

Sandi Carey should be a cult legend, but for some reason isn’t really given her due all these years later. She is probably overshadowed by adorable Rene Bond and gargantuan Uschi Digart, but she was a chipper beauty with a glorious smile and a tight little body. You can’t really tell from EVE (she’s good in a few scenes), but Sandi was also a capable actress. Girls in these cheap weekend wonders weren’t hired for their acting talents, but Sandi still had a way with dialogue that many of her co-stars didn’t. She flitted back and forth between hard and soft films, but she really shined in her softcore films: Bob Chinn’s THE DEVIL’S GARDEN, as she is pursued by a voodoo cult; A TOUCH OF SWEDEN, as a nurse in an erotic rendezvous with a rock star; SASSY SUE, as a French waif mauled by bearish Patrick Wright; A SCREAM IN THE STREETS, as a pot-smoking nymph screwing John Tull; WILDCAT WOMEN, THE BLACK ALLEYCATS, Stephen Apostoloff’s CLASS REUNION and SNOW BUNNIES, THE AMOROUS ADVENTURES OF DON QUIXOTE AND SANCHO PANZA, the list goes on. Sandi always delivered the goods in films like these, and while she was rarely given star billing or leading lady status, she seemed to relish every chance she got to strut her stuff for the cameras. Of her hardcore films, she made several with John Holmes worth checking out (TROPIC OF PASSION, SEX AS YOU LIKE IT) and THE CHATEAU, with Sandi held captive in an S&M mansion overseen by dominating Suzanne Fields, is exceptional. Sam Sherman even took a liking to her, casting her in NAUGHTY STEWARDESSES and GIRLS FOR RENT and imagining a star vehicle for her that unfortunately never came to be. Going by the name “Mikel James” for Sherman’s films, one has to wonder if that was her real name? Wherever Sandi is today, she left behind an incredible filmography filled with jewels commemorating her girl-next-door beauty and sultry sex appeal.

In addition to Sandi, in brief supporting roles are FLESH GORDON star Suzanne Fields and overlooked Mindy Brandt. Brunette Mindy is for some reason confused with Rene Bond (Rene may have used that pseudonym in one film), but Mindy is strikingly different, with a 50-watt smile and lovely natural breasts. Suzanne wasn’t the most gorgeous girl in sexploitation or adult films, nor did she have the most rockin’ bod of her contemporaries, but she does have a certain something

Ric Lutze is hardly anyone’s idea of a sexually magnetic leading man, but he continued to get work in film after film after film, even into the 1980’s, after his break-up with Rene Bond (who retired in the late 70s). I guess he was reliable and people liked working with him, because his on-screen persona isn’t the most flattering. Rick Cassidy, on the other hand, can do no wrong in my book; always looking like he just came from the gym, muscles up to his ears, he was one of few bodybuilder porn stars before it became the norm years later in the 90s. He also jumped back and forth from gay porn (A DEEP COMPASSION, DESIRES OF THE DEVIL, and CHAPTER 3 as “Jim Cassidy”) to straight porn, and worked into the 80s, including appearing in a scene with Traci Lords in NEW WAVE HOOKERS in ’85.

Seduction has remastered THREE PHASES OF EVE as “SEXUAL CONFESSIONS” because the print they used had no credits or titles. The transfer does look pretty bad, but the bleeding colors, dirt and grain can be forgiven considering the rarity of the film. However, the film is letterboxed at 1.78:1 and features a “RetroSeduction Cinema” watermark throughout the film. Something Weird Video offers this as a double feature on VHS with THE EXECUTIVES’ WIVES (starring Barbara Mills and Capri), so that seems to be a better deal and the film is presented in a better fashion.

A trailer vault, containing previews for new shot-on-video films (most featuring recently departed EI guy Misty Mundae) and a few trailers for new compilations of 60s loops, and liner notes by 42nd Street Pete basically summarizing the movies are the only extras. (Casey Scott)