All the Young Wives/My Pleasure Is My Business [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Dark Force
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (23rd May 2024).
The Film

"The Retro Drive-In Series continues with 2 rare sexploitation flicks. The Box Office opens at 6:00 o'clock and the main feature is ALL THE YOUNG WIVES, politically incorrect and about evolving lifestyles on the 70's rural south. The 2nd co-hit starring actress/writer Xavier Hollander (THE HAPPY HOOKER) is the 1975 sex farce MY BUSINESS IS MY PLEASURE. It's slapstick comedy with a campy cult-ish quality. These long lost drive-in fare can now be relived in spectacular Hi-Def from Dark Force Entertainment."

All the Young Wives: In a small Southern town, Big Jim (Jerry Richards) owns everything and everyone. In the case of those for whom he provides a livelihood – including lackeys Harry (Mutant's Stuart Culpepper) and Sid (Moonrunners' Philip Pleasants) – Jim also feels that entitles him to their wives. His own child bride Melody (Loving's Linda Cook) – christened "God's little virgin" by Harry's wife and Jim's frequent bed-mate Sharon (Edie Kramer) – on the other hand, Jim treats "like a wedding cake. He doesn't want to spoil the icing." Melody never leaves the house, not even to visit the stables to visit a horse Jim ostensibly bought for her but actually intends to race it for profit. The only person who person Jim does not own, unbeknownst to Jim himself, is racehorse trainer Sam (The Doctors' Edmund Genest) who feels he owes his employer him nothing off the clock, and is even training a better horse for Jim's black neighbor Barney (The Farmer's Johnny Popwell). When Big Jim returns from a hunting trip to discover Melody hobnobbing with the common folk, he flies into a rage, which only makes Melody more eager for Sam's company, not only on the town but in the bed and in the haystacks. Unfortunately, Sid's discovery of both Melody and Sam "getting some extras on the side," gives him the ammunition he needs when Big Jim finds out that he has embezzled thirty-thousand dollars from him.

Neither "hicksploitation" given the setting or "blaxploitation" given Big Jim's overt racism towards his workers and Barney, or even a Joe Sarno-esque observation of sexual mores, All the Young Wives favors serious (melo)dramatics over exploitation (or sexploitation). There is some nudity but the sex scenes never stray beyond an R-rating, and are mostly shown in moody shadows intercut as flashbacks or fantasies to the tune of "Melody's Theme" but the focus is more on character dynamics. Some of the actors have Georgia-area regional film credits as well as work on soaps and episodic television, and the actors with fewer or no other film credits are probably stage actors. Richards seems deliberately hammy, suited to his character, and manages to convey both hurt pride and impotent rage through threats of physical violence; so much so that someone telling him "you don't have anything that I want," is more satisfying than the anticipated just desserts. Genest and Pleasants are also effective as two sides of the coin in employees screwing over their boss. The film's women are actually far more interesting. Melody is not seduced and even seems annoyed when Sam treats her like a naive innocent, and Cook does not entirely pull off her character arc. Sharon seems to possess contempt for Melody but seems to think even less of her husband when he tries to stifle her open amusement at Jim's embarrassment when Melody challenges his orders in front of his employees. When Barney arranges as assignation for Jim with "colored" Fancy (April Johnson) so Melody and Sam can have some time together, Fancy taunts him under the guise of seduction, getting in jabs about his age and his "dinosaur" attitudes that hit home but his pride takes a back seat to his libido. Director William Diehl had been the editor of Altanta Magazine and later became a novelist, penning the source novel for Sharky's Machine while serving on a jury and later the legal thriller that became Primal Fear. His only other credit is the hard-to-see The Secretary.

Secretly deported from America by a senator (Robert Goodier's Power Play) lest she upset his political ambitions for his presidential candidate son-in-law, high-class prostitute Gabrielle (Xaviera Hollander) and her sexually-exhausted pilot (Spasms' Peter McConnell) are repeatedly refused permission to land across the globe on account of her being "too sexy." The only place that will accept her is the Republic of Gestalt whose president (cartoon voice actor Henry Ramer) needs a distraction from investigations into his corrupt practices. His effete chief of state Freddie (Covergirl's Colin Fox) convinces him that he can become a moral hero by putting Gabrielle on trial and deporting her. Several undercover detectives, all played (badly) by voice actor Marvin Goldhar, try to catch her in the act as she accepts party invitations from a gangster/producer (Dead Ringers' Nick Nichols) and naively goes to job interviews by lusty employers like a sexually-frustrated sex therapist (The Woman in Red's Monica Parker) and a cross-dressing artist (Shivers' Allan Kolman) while being savvy enough not to fall for the appeals of a supposedly dying man (Black Christmas' Sydney Brown) for a final fling or the threats of pornographer Alfie (Kenneth Lynch) – who has the police chief (Don Cullen) in his pocket – who worries about the influence of her message of sexual liberation to his stable of hookers/starlets lead by Gabrielle's adoring fan Mimi (Renata Plestina). The president is going to have an even harder time catching her doing anything illegal when she falls in love with studly starving artist Gus (The Silent Partner's Michael Kirby) who only has to his name a leather jacket, tight ripped jeans, and not one shirt.

"The Happy Hooker" Hollander was not involved in the film adaptation of her autobiography – or its even more juvenile sequels The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington and The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood – which is unfortunate as she really is the only good thing about her only starring role in My Pleasure is My Business, a lame Canadian/West German comedy which was also one of the few directorial credits of prolific TV character actor Al Waxman (Cagney & Lacey). The film possesses nothing as fresh as the Québécois and everything stale from the German sex comedies of the era. The comic actors mug for the camera, the musical "commentary" underlining the antics of the detective is grating, the naughty gags are sub-Benny Hill, and the delightful Hollander just seems amused by the sexual hangups of the characters (and, by extension, the filmmakers). Far too little time is actually spent on scenes between her and Kirby who actually have some chemistry. The pair might have actually generated some heat in a film that was actually erotic… and actually funny. Apart from a few small appearances in films, Hollander did not capitalize on her star power but remains a "personality" to this day.


All the Young Wives was first released theatrically by United Film Organization owned by producer M.A. Ripps (Common Law Wife) as "You All Come" and then reissued to unsuspecting sexploitation audiences two years later as "Naked Rider" (the title under which Something Weird Video released the film on tape). We have not seen the Something Weird version, but Dark Force's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen presentation – which features the original title – is riddled with green emulsion scratches and contains at least one splice from damage that initially has one wondering if a shot was censored or snipped by the projectionist – however, when the scene cuts back the characters had not as yet taken off their clothes – but there is fair detail underneath the damage in close-ups. Some scenes appear intentionally over-exposed like the town montage sequences. The black shadows in some of the moodily-lit sex scenes are inky but those in the night-for-night scenes look flat, but this is as much due to the production as the condition of the print.

Released theatrically by short-lived Brian Distributing Corporation, My Pleasure is My Business sold worldwide although it only had a small video release stateside (presumably the R-rating put off those expecting something saucier from the title and its star). Dark Force's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC transfer is framed at 1.66:1 and it does not seem like it could be further matted based on the title card. The image is full of scratches and spots but the underlying photography was of a higher standard but it runs nine minutes shorter than the video release including the loss of a skinny dipping sequence. It is hard to imagine anyone giving the film a better treatment unless an uncut element is found in any quality.


Both films feature English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono tracks. All the Young Wives sounds reasonable clean but hiss is present along with some buzzing and other noise at points where print damage extends to the optical track. If My Pleasure is My Business sounds better, it is because it was more professionally-mixed in the first place, but the clarity comes with the deficit of making the lyrics and some of the performances more intelligible.


There are no film-specific extras, just a "Drive-in Mode" option that plays both films with vintage commercials and a selection of trailers in between the two films.


Dark Force Entertainment's double feature disc of All the Young Wives and My Pleasure is My Business offers one surprise and one unfortunate star vehicle that would be insufferable on its own.


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