Director : Bo Koup
Producer : Robert Holt
Starring: Jean Jennings, Susan McBain, Terri Hall, Wade Nichols, John Black
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice! Sweetheart is a story of abuse and submission. A love triangle twisted by outsiders results in the subjugation of all parties involved. Mabel is a wealthy housewife. When her cheating husband leaves her one morning to go to “work”, her house is invaded by two robbers. Seeing more than what they came for, the robbers subject Mabel to one sexual abuse after another. When Mabel’s lover Jack arrives, he too is sucked into a trap to the amusement of the robbers. While the robbers are indulging themselves, Mabel’s husband returns with his mistress. They discover what is going on and try to talk the robbers into getting rid of Mabel for them. The robbers, not wanting to miss an opportunity, take full advantage of the situation in a sexual revenge never seen on the screen.
For all that is actually known about either one of them, the Internet Adult Film Database may very well be correct in assuming that director “Bo Koup” and his regular and equally elusive producer Larry Windsor are one and the same. Fact is “their” names only ever seemed to appear in conjunction on a handful of serviceable one day wonders made halfway through the ’70s, strictly supporting features on Times Square double and triple bills, none of these got past the one hour mark. I suppose that makes SWEETHEART, which runs just a little over, their Magnum Opus. LOL ! In the shadow of the blockbusters trying to compete with Hollywood, there has always been a market for meat ‘n’ potatoes porn that often delivered the goods more effectively than their big budget brethren favoring production values. Shaun Costello built an entire career on his awesome ability to craft a modest mini movie containing a semblance of story as well the required action in a matter of days, sometimes just the one allotted to Poverty Row pornographers frequently unbothered to sign their handiwork or applying an absurd alias like…”Bo Koup” ?
With its threadbare thriller plot, this one has the sense not to waste much of its meager running time on set-up but get right down to business. Idle “rich bitch” Mabel Brooks (Susan McBain) is left in the lurch as husband Foster (Wade Nichols) makes a mad dash for work, presumably the only guy in porn to object to his wife waking him up with a passionately performed blow job, moaning he doesn’t like it in the morning ! Prowling the premises are a pair of petty thieves, whiny white trash Lee (a convincingly bratty Jean Jennings) forever pestering her black boyfriend Hank (John Black, the East Coast Johnnie Keyes, best remembered as the filling in the Sloan twins sandwich from Joe Sarno’s TIGRESSES AND OTHER MAN-EATERS) for diamonds and furs.
Breaking into the Brooks mansion, the crooks stumble upon poor Mabel attempting to assuage frustration with a handy vibrator while fantasizing about her lover Jack, a part filled with perhaps more reality than the fornication film format can handle by gormless slob type Philip Marlowe. The treatment she receives at the hands of her aggressors proves way too wimpy to qualify this flick as a “roughie”. Either way, she starts to enjoy the experience which might have made the scene reprehensible had the “humiliation” aspect played out as presumably planned. Basking in the afterglow, Mabel accidentally lets slip she has got a bad heart, pleading with the intruders not to tie her up but help themselves to her belongings. Uh oh !
Meanwhile, the unfeeling Foster’s making the bed squeak with Carol (Terri Hall), his wife’s cousin he allegedly dislikes as Mabel raises her allowance each time he speaks out against her. Turns out he charmed his way into wealth and wants to take advantage of his spouse’s precarious condition, DIABOLIQUE style, by provoking a heart attack. The conniving Carol suggests they fornicate in front of her, the shock of seeing her husband making it with her adored cousin surely more than she’ll be able to stand. Still sprawled on the mattress, Mabel wonders how she keeps “getting into these messes”, remembering a visit to Foster’s brother who immediately jumped her bones along with his buddy Bill Cort and a third male whose face is never shown. Like the trouper that she is, Sue entertains this unsavory selection of studs with admirable aplomb, making the down ‘n’ dirty loop action much hotter than it would otherwise be.
One of the great girls Friday of ’70s porn, McBain would give her all on pathetic projects hardly worth the effort, idiot aliases like “Suzy Humpfree” further adding insult to injury, intermittently rewarded for so much misdirected energy by a proper lead role on adult’s A list highlighting thespian capacities even her undemanding pay the rent jobs could never completely obscure. Acting’s actually surprisingly solid throughout, practically unheard of on these undemanding storefront quickies. Glamorpuss Nichols successfully suppresses his natural sensitivity as the caddish husband plotting his wife’s demise. Black brings a bruised machismo to the role of the downtrodden black stud constantly berated by his shrill slut of a (white) girlfriend who figures he should provide for her. He gets the best line as Nichols and Hall turn up at the climactic outdoor ordeal and he orders Jennings to “grab the pretty one…the girl, I mean” ! Good though these guys are, audiences came flocking to gawk at the girls of course. Hall’s more subdued than usual as the duplicitous cousin, incidentally hinting at her hidden agenda in ways the screenplay probably never intended, but top-billed Jennings tears into her part with greedy gusto.
The notoriously inept Doris Wishman’s DoP of choice, C. Davis Smith, does a no frills job on such short notice by keeping the genitals in focus and flooded with light, adding little to the noir atmosphere the hack helmsman is trying in vain to develop. Mood’s moot then as plot rears its ugly head after about an hour of uninterrupted intercourse as the scheming spouse tries to convince his wife’s tormentor to go that extra mile to the tune of $50,000 and a get out jail free card. As the entire cast’s out on the lawn screwing each other’s brains out, the denouement’s more than a bit convoluted to say the least. It is however pulled right back on track by stalwart Susie who ends the film on an unexpectedly haunting note, repeating “anything you want is yours” in increasingly mechanical fashion as the image freezes on a close-up of her expressive face, suggestive of so much the screenplay cannot proffer. Has Mabel gone off the deep end or is she just biding her time ? Blah surface notwithstanding, there may be more to this SWEETHEART than meets the eye.
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