Linda Lovelace For President
R1 - America - Dark Sky Films
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (14th October 2008).
The Film

Select porno actors have been trying to break out into mainstream film since the 1970’s invented the ‘Porno Chic’ trend that saw pornographic movies get more play in mainstream theatres. One of the most recent attempts was Jenna Jameson in “Zombie Strippers” (2008), these crossovers aren’t so much as ‘reinvetions’ but more of just a ‘reapplications.’ Around the same time Jameson was born, Linda Lovelace, made famous by her starring role in 1972’s “Deep Throat” had her own jab at thrusting herself into the film industry with 1975’s “Linda Lovelace for President” a comedy in the same vein as “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968)” but with an X rating, meaning more explicit nudity and some sex scenes.

In 1975, the United States is more upset than ever heading in to the 1976 elections and is unhappy with all the political candidates out there. Eventually a convention of every political party within the U.S. gathers to choose a new candidate, everyone from the Ku Klux Klan to the Black Power movement join in on the proceedings. A panel finally decides on someone they can get behind (sex puns are about 80% of the film’s script) Linda Lovelace. They convince her to run for president, becoming the candidate for the Up-Right party, touring the country to push the party to victory and Lovelace becoming the potential first woman president.

Puns, sexual innuendo and double entendre’s are the core for the movie, some of them are so terribly, horribly bad, they’re fantastic. The film even starts with a disclaimer stating the movie is out to offend equally, and they certainly hit their mark. Not only did they have the stereotypical ambiguously ethnic Asian on the council, wearing a hippie-esque version of Chinese communist party attire, but he’s obsessed with dry cleaning and speaks in one of the worst stereotypical-Asian accents since Charlie Chan or the Siamese cats in Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp.” Even better, the character is portrayed in Yellow-face, complete with bright blue, pulled back eyes, glue-d on “Fu-Manchu” style moustache to become the stereotypical Asian image that white actors have taken up for so long.

The actual directing of the movie is shoddy, a shining example of the fast and loose style of filming that was so prominent in the B/exploitation movie days. Many scenes have odd drops in audio, obscuring grain, or even one scene is entirely shot out of focus with no real artistic reason to do so, implying a one-take and move on tactic. The fact that Dark Sky chose to preserve this style deserves applause, half the fun of these movies is taking delight in how terrible they are, whether it being ridiculous puns, racist characterizations, or just how bad the style of the movie is itself.

Overall, “Linda Lovelace for President” is a bad movie. A very bad movie. Hilariously laughably bad. Even if you were to combine and edit “The Love Guru” (2008) with the entire “Austin Powers” trilogy (1997-2002), the ratio of sex-pun jokes per minute probably would stay even, or fall just behind, the rate they fly out of “Linda Lovelace for President.” A worthwhile movie to check out for any B-movie or Cult Film fan, a good addition to your collection. At it’s core, it’s a simply a horrible yet fun film to watch with little redeeming value.

Video

Much Like Dark Sky’s other recent sexploitation release “Games Girls Play,” “Linda Lovelace for President” is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, keeping much of the grain, dirt and shoddy quality of directing. There are entire scenes of the film where the camera is entirely out of focus, but yet was never re-shot, epitomizing the B-movie, exploitation style of production that was quickly done, cheaply made and fun to watch. While some films need incredible transfers when they get released on DVD, these 70’s exploitation films need to be left as gritty and dirty as possible, making this a great transfer for what the material is.

Audio

Also like Dark Sky’s other release, “Linda Lovelace for President” is presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, preserving the lowered sound quality effects that are present in the movie. There are major audio drops and pops as the movie goes on, but much like the video, the audio is intentionally maintained in this way to give a proper low-budget experience, to simulate the exploitation theatre feeling, and for that it’s a good transfer that properly executes what it intends to do. There are also optional English Subtitles.

Extras

Not much of anything included on the disc, but the one featurette included is fairly short, but well worth the time of watching.

The sole featurette, “Deep Vote: The Oral History of Linda Lovelace for President” featurette runs for 9 minutes even. Producer Arthur Marks talks about the making of Linda Lovelace, meeting her for the first time in person and his various productions including blaxploitation classic “Bucktown.” It’s interesting to hear from Marks about putting together the movie and the problems director Claudio Guzmán had in making the film and claims to have shot portions o the movie himself. A good retrospective on putting together an exploitation movie in the 70’s, it’s funny to hear marks talk fairly bluntly about how much he disliked Linda Lovelace after making the film.

Overall

The Film: F+ Video: B Audio: B Extras: B- Overall: C-

 


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