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Suburban Roulette

USA 1968
produced by
Herschell Gordon Lewis, David Chudnow (executive) for Argent Film Productions
directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
starring Elizabeth Wilkinson, Ben Moore, Ione Rolnick, William Kerwin (as Thomas Wood), Allison Louise Downe (as Vicki Miles), Tony McCabe, Debbie Grant, Richard Mark Oliver, Joseph Trucco, Michael Shallop, Paul Shallop, Ray Woods, Bob Roth
screenplay by Herschell Gordon Lewis (as Sheldon Seymour), James Thomas

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Ilene (Elizabeth Wilkinson) and Bert Fisher (Ben Moore) move to the suburbs with their daughter Cindy (Debbie Grant), she to give up on having extra-marital affairs, and eh to give up drinking ... but soon enough, they have to realize that the suburbs with their never-ending Saturday night partying are not really the right place to give up anything, and before you know it, Bert's passed out on alcohol at a neighbour's pool, while Ilene ends up in bed with neighbour Ronnie (Tony McCabe), with whom she soon embarks on an affair - much to his dismay.

Pretty much the same is going on with the Fisher's neighbours: While Marty (William Kerwin) is having an affair with Margo (Allison Louise Downe) - incidently Ronnie's bisexual wife -, his wife Fran (Ione Rolnick) is drinking way too much.

Still, Ilene and Bert, Ronnie and Margo, Marty and Fran are meeting up every Saturday night, and occasionally the extra-marital pairings even change ... until Ilene wants a divorce to marry Ronnie, which proves to be too much for Bert, who first tries to beat up Bert - but ends up beaten up himself -, then leaves his home with his daughter for a while to let things cool down. Ilene meanwhile tries to propose marriage to Ronnie, but Ronnie breaks up with her. Heartbroken, she tries to kill herself with sleeping pills, but Bert arrives back home just in time to call an ambulance and save her life. But the next round of suburban roulette is to begin soon ...

 

Sure enough, the synopsis of this film sounds sleazy as can be, and no doubt the movie was marketed on its sleaziness in drive-ins around the country - yet the actual film is rather tame even for its time: There is no nudity involved, just a few sexy bikinis and bras, and the sex scenes are short and few and far between. But still, somehow the film works, not so much as a sexploitation picture of course, but as a social satire taking apart the supposedly ideal, clean life in American suburbia - and somehow, Herschell Gordon Lewis, a man better known for his explicit gore movies, pulls off the satirical aspects of his film just nicely and thus makes this sexfilm without any actual sex work rather nicely.

Recommended, actually.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD