Color, 2011, 73m.
Directed by Jared Masters
Starring Jamie Devitt, Jennicka Andersson, Jessica Hichborn, Maura Murphy
Independent Entertainment (US R0 NTSC) / DD2.0
An unabashed love letter to late '60s sexploitation films, Climb It, Tarzan apes the visual style, attitude, and cadence of all those films about shady photographersand their usually undraped models, some of whom are more willing than others. Most cult film fans can rattle off a few of these with examples ranging from Joe Sarno's All the Sins of Sodom to Norman J. Warren's Her Private Hell, and this one certainly belongs in the same company as those. Except it's in color and, weirdly, has no male actors anywhere in sight. Think of it as the retro sleaze version of The Women.
Our sordid tale begins when sweet young aspiring model Ginger (Devitt) finds her hopes of glamour and glory in California thwarted when the only work she can find is posing for pinup magazines. Desperate to pay the bills, she falls into the clutches of perverse shutterbug Paula (Andersoon, easily the film's standout performance), who has an affinity for getting her girls into various compromising positions that would make their parents disown them forever. Then we meet all the other models, whom the film spends most of its time hanging out with as they lounge around by the pool, gab on the phone, pop their tops from time to time, and build their way up to the girl power finale.
The promotional materials for this film advertise "more than 50 budding starlets," which is both a blessing and a curse. Yes, there's a long parade of females on parade showing off in outfits ranging from slightly sexy to barely there at all, but the onslaught of characters also means there really isn't much of a story on which you can hang everything. Though this is his first film, director Jared Masters uses the cheap video production limitations to his advantage by creating a suitably seedy environment that somehow manages to feel more retro '80s (think SOV heyday) than '60s, but either way the vibrant colors make for some nice, tawdry eye candy. And while there isn't really much in the way of actual sex (as per vintage exploitation tradition), there's a little mild Bettie Page-style bondage stuff thrown in for good measure which will probably make the vintage erotica fan base happy.
Independent Entertainment's DVD carries a lot of breathless hype on the cover ("The shocking tribute to sexploitation cinema! From her pin-ups come her perversions! Good girls gone bad in Hollywood!"), and the disc does its best to deliver. The transfer itself is obviously about as good as you're going to get for a film most likely shot in standard def on a DVD camera judging by the looks of it, and the audio sounds fine for the most part but does occasionally suffer from a little muddled voice recording. The dialogue's fun, though, as is the soundtrack. As for extras, the only one directly connected to this film is 18 minutes of deleted scenes. In a real surprise, there's a lot of good material here that actually would have improved the film, whose running time could have easily bumped up another ten minutes or so without doing any damage. You get some extra burlesque dancing, a little maryjane use, and other assorted mild naughtiness, as well as some extra dialogue and plot development. Also included are trailers for a batch of other retro-skin titles from the same label including All the Sins of Sodom (of course), Naughty Nymphs, Fire in Her Bed, Hideout in the Sun, Moonlighting Wives, and Secret Desires.