CANNON MONTH 2: The Love Rebellion (1967)

The thing about so much of early erotic films — particularly the work of Joe Sarno, who directed and wrote this — is how so many of the stories end in sheer despair. Is that the square-up reel hanging like the Sword of Damocles hung by a thread over the lovemaking so that we feel morally superior by the end of our voyeurism?

Inside a New York apartment building lives divorced rich mother Fletcher (Melissa Ford, The Roommate) and her shy daughter Wendy (Gretchen Rudolph, My Body Hungers), who ends up at one of those swinging free love parties that I am certain only exist in Joe Sarno movies, one where Barbara introduces her to a sordid world of sin, all to somehow steal money from Pam’s mom, thanks to the schemes of Billy, who says that he’s an artist, but I think he’s some kind of asshole. Yet Billy falls for mom, while Hank, a sadist who Wendy keeps blowing off, starts to grow enraged.

Angelique Pettyjohn, The Mad Doctor of Blood Island) is also in this black and white film, a movie that seems where everyone wants something — love, sex, money — and everyone fails at finding it.

This is another example of films that Cannon would bring to America, get into art theaters and make a quick buck. More than a few years later, it would become the Cannon we know and love, but everyone starts somewhere.

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