Pets (1974) Raphael Nussbaum

Pets (1974)
Genre: Sexploitation
Country: USA | Director: Raphael Nussbaum
Language: English | Subtitles: English (Optional, embedded in mkv file)
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 | Length: 102mn
Bdrip H264 Mkv - 1280x690 - 23.976fps - 3.58gb

Naive, but brash and sultry teenage runaway Bonnie (delectable 70's drive-in movie goddess Candice Rialson in peak sexy and charismatic form) finds herself lost and adrift in America. The lovely lass runs afoul of a colorful array of evil oddballs who all treat her like an object: violent criminal Pat (an impressively fierce portrayal by Teri Guzman) forces Bonnie to help her kidnap the middle-aged Dan Daubrey (solid Brett Parker), domineering lesbian painter Geraldine Mills (the excellent Joan Blackman) wants Bonnie to be her kept girl and uses her as a model, and, arguably the nastiest of the whole ghastly lot, severely wicked misogynistic rich wacko Vincent Stackman (a tour-de-force warped performance by Ed Bishop) desires poor Bonnie as the ultimate prized possession in his menagerie of caged distaff animals he keeps locked up in the basement of his swanky remote mansion.

Director/co-writer Rapheal Nussbaum and co-writer Richard Reich (the latter adapted his Off-Broadway play) craft an arrestingly seamy, deviant and provocative treat that's a good deal more than just your run-of-the-mill grimy skinflick. Granted, there's more than enough sizzling soft-core sex (Bonnie does just what you think with the bound Dan and forces a hunky prowler who breaks into Geraldine's house to make love to her) and tasty bare female flesh to appease the viewer's more prurient appetites, but underneath the trashy exploitative elements one can discern an oddly affecting melancholy meditation on the need to belong and latch onto something (the recurring folkie theme song "Searching" is especially sad and poignant). Every person Bonnie meets uses and/or abuses her in one way or another, thus making the unfortunate rootless and wandering gal feel more increasingly forlorn and alienated. The movie concludes on a hauntingly ambiguous note which suggests that Bonnie may have made the tragic transition from victim to victimizer. Popping up in nifty bit parts are character actors Roberto Conteras as a creepy gardener and Berry Kroeger as an art connoisseur. 
The polished cinematography by Richard McGarty and Mark Rasmussen gives the picture an attractive sunny look. Jorge Del Barrio's groovy score hits the right-on funky spot. Essential viewing for die-hard aficionados of 70's grindhouse cinema at its most gloriously bizarre and depraved.

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