Sunday, August 11, 2013

" 'Gator Bait" (1974) d/ Ferd and Beverly Sebastian

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Few redheads ever reached the volcanic heights of cinematic sensuality the way the late Claudia Jennings did in her brief but memorable run in drive-in fare of the early seventies, just four years removed from achieving  Playboy's Playmate of the Year at the outset of the decade here. For those unfamiliar with the tragic starlet, tonight's focus is as an adequate place to begin as any, a standard low budget chunk of swampy seventies sexploitation that's nearly as short on acting ( Not since Vic Morrow in Castellari's Great White has a main character gone in and out of accent as much as Jennings does here.) as it is long on boat chases ...and nipple slips during said boat chases.

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Wardrobe malfunctions happen to the best of 'em, even coon-ass bitches like Desiree (Claudia Jennings).
Desiree (Jennings) is interrupted while poaching snakes and 'gators by the sheriff's oversexed son Billy Boy (Clyde Ventura) and his buddy Ben Bracken (Ben Sebastian), and is graciously offered a sex or jail option from the relentless young poonhounds after a lengthy boat chase, to which she chooses option c: chucking a bag of poisonous snakes into their boat, causing the young lawman to not only shoot his father's boat full of bullet holes, but his partner-in-crime's face piece also gets a good aerating in the melee. Naturally, he blames the sunk boat and dead buddy on the wild scarlet-haired bayou minx, who once castrated one of the other Bracken boys when he came on too strong(!). The two lawmen boat over to lay the bad news on Pa Bracken, who's been bullwhipping six shades of shit out of one of his other sons for trying to fuck his own sister moments earlier(!!).

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"Rape?!!? Aw hell, I was just gonna ask ya to accompany me to the soda jerk to share a malted milk!"
An angry swampbilly posse motors out to the farthest reaches of the swamps where Desiree's shack lays, and her mute younger brother and sister are quickly set upon by the vengeful hicks and it only gets worse from there, when a sexually frustrated Castrati Bracken gives the girl a twenty gauge blast up the panty purse. 'Dere gon' be some re-vange fo dis, ah guaaar-on-tee.
The murderous rednecks vainly attempt to torch the Thibodeaux shack, but Desiree returns in time to discover her sister's lifeless body, leading the cajun swamp-ginger to exact bloody vengeance on all parties involved. If that wasn't bad enough, her plan of attack revolves around boat chases. Lots of boat chases. Seriously. Even Andrea Bocelli could see how this is all gonna wrap up, ten minutes into the movie.

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"You're wrong, Lowell, Berluti was left at the snapping turtle..."
Despite her erratic performance, Claudia still possesses enough beauty and screen presence to keep the viewer watching right up until the final reel, and though she doesn't appear fully nude here, there are the aforementioned bevvy of nipple slips to help the actress further stand out against the backdrop of horny hayseeds. On the other hand,  Janit Baldwin you may recall from Ruby (1976) or Humongous (1982). In fact, most of the supporting cast and crew are either named Baldwin or Sebastian. Wait a second, did I just watch a documentary? Either way, there's just enough CJ going on in this one to keep me from crawling into the back seat with my drive-in demigoddess and steaming up the windows, late eighties style. Deuce.

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How'd you like to make an Indio girl, Claudia? Sorry. Lenzi moment there.
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Nigel M said...

It's flawed. Not really sure what it is in particular because there are some really good ideas in there but there is something about the way they are knitted together that doesn't quite work. Maybe it is the performances that are the problem and these become more evident in between the set pieces. The set pieces themselves are great though. I don't dislike Gator Bait (much) but I think I would have liked to have liked it more than I did. The two B.Ws rating is fair enough.

beedubelhue said...

Agreed. Cheers!


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