WHEN WOMEN PLAYED DING DONG (1971)/50,000 B.C. (1963)
Directors: Bruno Corbucci/Warner Rose
Something Weird Video/Image Entertainment

I'll make this quick: ladies and gentlemen, this is the worst disc Something Weird Video has ever released! The opening menu animation is cute and prepares the viewer for a fun little ride through the prehistoric age Something Weird style. Oh brother what a lousy ride it is!

WHEN WOMEN PLAYED DING DONG is a plotless sex comedy (much like Ed Wood's ONE MILLION AC/DC, the trailer for which is included on the disc). A tribe of cavemen battle another tribe for access to a spring of water. In-between battle scenes, there are sex jokes, fart jokes, and gay jokes. Ho-hum (twiddling of thumbs). Unlike two similarly titled films (WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS and WHEN WOMEN LOST THEIR TAILS), which starred the luscious Senta Berger and were at least mildly entertaining, this entry features Antonio Sabato (the same year he starred in Umberto Lenzi's excellent SEVEN BLOODSTAINED ORCHIDS) and Lucretia Love. But neither is given much to do. The dubbing is awkward, the humor dumb, and worst of all, the transfer is one of the worst in SWV's history. It is letterboxed at 2.35:1 (not advertised on the packaging), but the print is dirty and speckly, with no real defined color, and the mono audio is a tad admirable (the theme song is the one thing commendable about the film).

50,000 B.C. showed some promise before I started viewing it simply because it starred the incredibly cute Gigi Darlene, my personal favorite actress of the NYC nudie-cutie scene of the 1960s (runner-up: Darlene Bennett). When the film starts off with a jumpy, splicey print with faded color, you know the rest can't be good. Lo and behold, another disgusting transfer!! However, the rarity of this particular title might be able to justify the lack of digital quality on hand here. But the film itself is just as much of a headache as the transfer. A burlesque comedian, escaping from a bickering wife, is transported back in time to help a tribe of beautiful cavewomen fight an evil giant (Eddie Carmel, the closet mutant in THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE!). Comedian Charlie Robinson is incredibly irritating and if you think the fact that Darlene and OLGA herself Audrey Campbell are in the film would make it worth viewing, forget it. Darlene thankfully isn't dubbed, her luscious accent left intact, but her screentime is incredibly short. Campbell doesn't get any lines in herself. Darlene looks great, but the film doesn't and isn't.

The trailers are a mixed bag. Both main features have their previews on tap, and other prehistoric shenanigans can be seen as well. The aforementioned ONE MILLION AC/DC, NINE AGES OF NAKEDNESS, UNTAMED WOMEN, VIRGIN GODDESS, WILD WOMEN OF WONGO, and WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET each provide varying degrees of entertainment value. None of the shorts are worth mentioning. An arcade loop ("Cavewoman"), an excerpt from SEXY PROIBITISSIMO ("Prehistoric Strip"), an amateurish cartoon ("Darling, Get Me a Crocodile"), and an educational short ("The Battery"). (You know I intensely dislike an SWV disc if I don't even go into detail about the trailers or shorts!).

Final thoughts: this hit the streets before the announced OLGA triple feature? Before ALL AMERICAN GIRL? The fact that both films hit DVD before an abundance of much worthier films is a real crime. TOY BOX/TOYS ARE NOT FOR CHILDREN is thankfully still very fresh in my mind, so I've decided to refrain from whipping SWV twenty with a wet noodle. Thrice should be enough! (Casey Scott)