Monthly Archives: October 2007

Bondage in Mainstream Movies

(1971)Director: Don SchainMonterey Home Video

(1972)Director: Don SchainMonterey Home Video

As the movie industry leaped
into the unforgettable decade of the 70s, exploitation films started to get
hotter and heavier for lack of better words. The first mainstream porno movie
didn’t arrive until 1973 with DEEP THROAT, but major studios had already been
increasingly using nudity in the era of the new ratings systems. Then you had
independent films like 1971’s GINGER, a softcore, R-rated action film that would
no doubt get an NC-17 today. A big hit at drive-in theaters, it spawned two
sequels as well as a minor movie career for its star.

McAllister is played by Cheri Caffaro, a tall, lanky bleach blonde of some
obvious appeal. Ginger is an independently wealthy young woman of no fixed
ability whose parents had just been killed in an accident. Given an assignment
in typical James Bond fashion (suitcase with weapons and all), she is hired by
private investigator Jason Varone (William Grannell), which is sort of like
working for Murray Slauter at the WJM newsroom. Ginger’s mission — to crack
down on a prostitution and drugs ring in a resort town in… New Jersey(!).
Here, a big drug deal is meeting two polite Hispanic guys in a dark warehouse,
and chewing them down to $600 (from $800) for a big bag of weed.

The leader of this ring is Rex
Halsey (Duane Tucker) an effeminate bastard with bad hair, bad clothes, and
thick leather neckwear. Halsey’s gang include a group of pretty young pros and a
no-nonsense black dude who takes out the oppression of his people on stuck-up
white women. Ginger infiltrates their group by performing an exotic dance at a
club for Halsey’s
pretty boy henchman. She helps a man-hating hooker by performing a lesbian act
on her, catfights another girl and ties her up with her own bikini, and later
knots a dude’s balls with sharp piano wires!

Caffaro can be described as sort
of the Caucasian equivalent of Pam Grier, with much less animal enthusiasm.
Ginger is nasty and aggressive, but Caffaro expresses this through the awful
delivery of her lines, as well as campy facial expressions that make her come
off as a comical vixen. The rest of the acting is also pretty lame, and the
production values resemble an early porno flick with some of the worst lighting
you’ll ever witness. The movie is low on action and many of the sequences drag
on too long. But it was a hit, and its themes of bondage made it memorable with
fans of kinkiness in cinema.

of bondage made it into the sequel, THE ABDUCTORS. As far as drive-in films go,
it starts off with a bang. We see two thugs escorting a naked blonde beauty to a
cell where she is left tied and gagged. Then, three cheerleaders (one is Jeramie
Rain from LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT) have their convertible’s tire shot and are
then stripped and kidnapped as well. Caffaro as Ginger is again hired by Varone
(Grannell) to investigate the vicinity of the abductions. This time she is given
an edible disk that gives off a radio signal within a 30-mile radius (much more
advanced technology than the previous film’s telephone in a briefcase).

Discovering that photos of all
the abductees ran in the paper prior to their kidnappings, Ginger gets the
attention of an advertising man (Richard Smedley, the zombie in BLOOD OF GHASTLY
HORROR) and interests him in giving publicity to a fashion model. The luscious
model is actually Carter Winston (Jennifer Brooks from THE ADULT VERSION OF &
HIDE), another detective working for Varone. Both Carter and Ginger fall hands
to the kidnappers
and face the same humiliation until their edible disks bring on Varone and the
cops, and they crack what turns out to be an operation that sells young women to
horny middle-aged businessmen!

THE ABDUCTORS is a step above
its predecessor in terms of budget and quality. There’s more action, the
villains are more interesting, and the editing is tighter. Even Caffaro seems
more confident in her character and in her acting as well. In a time where
political correctness had no meaning and a heroine could enjoy having sex with
her enemy only to cut off his manhood afterwards, the Ginger films provide some
decent after hour thrills.

Monterey Home Video has released
GINGER and THE ABDUCTORS on DVD separately. Unfortunately, they utilize their
old VHS masters so the transfers are so-so. First off all, they are full frame,
and both were obviously meant to be screened at 1.85:1.
is much dead space on the top of the screen, and judging from opening titles
that run off the screen, the sides lop off some picture information. The picture
quality on both is passable. Colors look ok, sometimes a bit soft, and some dark
scenes come off so badly that they’re hard to make out. The sound quality is
fine considering the limitations of the budget and the constant echoes of camera

The only extras are photo
galleries and a Caffaro filmography that states she worked with Jayne Mansfield
in 1976–nearly a decade after the actresses death! By the way, I contacted
Monterey regarding a DVD of the third Ginger film, 1973’s GIRLS ARE FOR LOVING.
Despite being advertised in the inlay sheet of THE ABDUCTORS DVD, they say that
“There are no plans at present” and that endorsement was a “misprint.” Hopefully
if the first two sell well they’ll reconsider.

Here is where you can order all

If you like Helpless Heroines in distress check out this free bondage gallery.  Must be 18 to view