Vinegar Syndrome pulls another pair of rarities from obscurity with their double feature DVD of the pretentious DEEP TANGO and the not-particularly-zany YOUNG SECRETARIES.
DEEP TANGO is a car wreck of a cross between DEEP THROAT and LAST TANGO IN PARIS (with a bit of THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY? and THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES), slavishly imitating the Bertolucci film – or at least scenes transcribed from memory of a screening – with the roles reversed. In place of Paris is San Francisco, Brando's widower is sex therapist Dr. Pauline Kaelus (Mona Watson, SCHOOL OF LOVE) – whose scream beneath a passing metro is a curse on a crapping pigeon – while Maria Schneider is replaced with John (Keith Henderson) whose fiancée ? (Annette Haven, THE GRAFENBERG SPOT) is an avant-garde filmmaker with a film crew following her to document their love, which inevitably leads to an orgy with the female cinematographer humping the camera and the sound man getting it on with the script supervisor (they're shooting MOS). Entire scenes from the Bertolucci film are lampooned in an entirely unfunny manner (including a role reversed version of the butter scene capped off with a nod to the Imperial Margarine commercials) intercut with scenes of Pauline's colleage and his nurse screwing as he summarizes her psychodrama work with "Rosebud" a girl obsessed with sex and death, as well as the days-long "Last Chance Dance Marathon" in which shaggy haired hippies dance to the title song by "Youngblood & Nimrod" ("performed by Nimrod").
In YOUNG SECRETARIES – which sounds like one of New World's or Independent International's occupational sexploitation flicks – Robert Cameron (John Barnum, FRANKIE AND JOHNNY WERE…) resents his rich father-in-law's insistence that he hire a male account executive to his one man ad agency Crystal Ball, the large staff of female secretaries of which his wife Caroline (Sharon Kelly, ALICE GOODBODY) describes as a "glorified harem" with accountant Prescott (Con Covert, FANTASM) as its "token male" (well, she calls him a "ball-less wonder"). Robert's second-in-charge Sally (Jan Mitchel) – still a secretary but eager to move up – suggests that Caroline may be behind the move to hire studly Marshall Adams (Gary Schneider) – who is already bedding one of Robert's secretaries (Vincene Wallace, VIXEN) with plans to put Robert himself out to pasture. Discovers that he is seemingly the last to know that his wife has indeed been seeing the golf caddy-turned-businessman for several months, Robert and Sally decide to let him handle the "Soft Touch" account, knowing that the female executives of that company will "eat him alive". Inviting Marshall, the executives, and his entire office to top-heavy secretaries (including DEEP JAWS' Roxanne Brewer, who seems to have eluded Russ Meyer, who Sally has nicknamed "Giganto") to a pool party-turned-orgy, Robert plans to obtain photographic evidence of Marshall's betrayal of Caroline but he's not the only one plotting a hostile takeover… YOUNG SECRETARIES isn't technically a hardcore film – although the sex scenes are enthusiastic, and the film finds plenty of opportunities for boffing among Cameron's staff – but it manages to be the more entertaining feature thanks to something resembling a plot and the reunion of A SCREAM IN THE STREETS' transvestite rapist Con Covert – who gets ravished by Brewer – and redhead Kelly (who gives the best performance). It's not as funny as it wants to be, but it's an entertaining enough slice of seventies west coast sexploitation
Scanned in 2K from predictably grainy 35mm blow-up internegatives, neither DEEP TANGO's nor YOUNG SECRETARIES' progressive, fullscreen transfers are as impressive transfers as some of Vinegar Syndrome's other restorations (they seemed to have been paired for their similar poor condition rather than any thematic or cast/crew commonalities). The disclaimer at the start of the presentation mentions that the materials were very faded, and DEEP TANGO's colors may have been boosted, but the solarization and mid-frame splices seem to be inherent in the cheap cinematography and poor editing. YOUNG SECRETARIES was more professionally (only just) photographed than DEEP TANGO, but it's also more faded. The Dolby Digital 1.0 mono tracks are in fair condition. Viewers familiar with the state of many of these sexploitation titles from this era will know what to expect. There are no trailers for either film, although it would have been interesting to see how they were advertised (perhaps the posters were the sole advertising expenses). (Eric Cotenas)
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