Apr 16, 2017

Cindy and Donna (1970)

I thought I'd give this film a try since it's part of sexploitation history.  In 1973 a Kentucky drive-in was taken to court on obscenity charges and the owner thrown in jail.  Thankfully, the drive-in owner was acquitted, but it marked yet another try by the government to shut down the smut that was filling theaters and drive-ins across the country.

Cindy and Donna is by no means porn; but compared to what was showing just a few years prior, I'm sure it seemed quite sleazy to rural audiences.  Let's have a look and see what got the Kentucky law enforcement's panties in a wad back in '73, shall we?

And so it begins, with young Cindy Weeks frolicking on the beach with her beau to the tune of a Paul Revere & the Raiders sound-alike.

Meet the Weeks family: Mother Harriet Weeks (Sue Allen), a drunken shell-of-a-human being, Donna Weeks (Nancy Ison) the sexually "enlightened" oldest sister, and Cindy Weeks (Debbie Osborne) the younger "innocent" sibling.  And then there's dad...

Of course this lowdown sonuvabitch is having drinks at the titty-bar with his mates.  He's the chap in the middle having a smoke.  Ted Weeks is played by Max Manning.

Not only is Ted a lush, he's having an affair with a stripper named Alice - shown here having a phone chat by bags of tasty chips.  She's played by Alice Friedland who was in a TON of classic drive-in sexploitation films.

Poor Cindy.  Her mom's a drunk, her dad's a cheating loser, and her sister's a slut.  What's a girl to do except lay in bed and listen to the news of campus riots on her shitty radio.

With background music by a Tony Bennett sound-alike, Cindy listens to her parents fight.  "I know about your little whores" shouts her drunk mom.  The song is literally called "Cindy", with lyrics like "Put away your toys, Cindy".... it feels a little creepy, to be honest.

And speaking of creepy, dear ol' dad pays a visit to Alice for a little late-night hanky panky.  Meanwhile, Cindy spies her sister Donna sneak out to have sex with her boyfriend, Greg (Tom Benko).  It seems like everyone's having sex 'cept Cindy.

After some sweaty sex, Ted asks Alice how old she is.  Her answer: "Seventeen.  Same age as your daughter." (!)  Thankfully, the actresses aren't actually this young.. but still, holy shit.  I'm beginning to see where the Kentucky police were coming from!

Cindy has a heart-to-heart with her friend, Karen (Cheryl Powell).  Like Jennifer Jason Leigh and Phoebe Cates in Fast Times, the more experienced Karen gives Cindy sexual advice at the lunch table.

Cindy catches her father raping Donna (read that sentence again - yes, this happened).  I can't quite tell how this affects her - whether she's horrified or liberated.  Whatever the case, her and Karen head to a grimy beach to pick up guys.

The two end up at couple of beach-goer's pad (which literally has a mobile hanging from the ceiling made of spark plug boxes. WTF?). Karen happily has sex with a gent, while Cindy is just uncomfortable with whole situation and begs to leave.  They go home (Cindy and Donna's parents have left for a convention in Vegas) and smoke some weed.... and naturally, they end up having hot lesbian sex.

Donna's boyfriend, Greg, pays a visit. The new, sexually liberated Cindy seduces his sorry ass, and they end up having sex on the living room couch.

Donna arrives unexpectedly and catches them in the act. Rather than say he's sorry, douche-bag Greg bitch-slaps her out of the house.  Donna stumbles over a red wagon, then... get ready.... stumbles into oncoming traffic, gets hit by a car and dies.  Cindy sees this, screams, and the movie ends.  Damn!

Was this supposed to be a message?  Become sexually liberated, and your loved ones will die?

As you can see, there's nothing exceptional about this film - pretty standard fare for drive-in sexploitation.  The only thing that rises above the dull norm is the extreme creepiness factor.  We are supposed to believe Cindy, Donna and Karen are teenagers... then add the incest component, and things are just freaking uncomfortable.  Plus, the "Cindy" song which constantly plays in the background with lyrics like "Cindy, a woman you'll be" doesn't help matters.

I think it's an easy call to say that Alice Friedland is the hottest gal in the flick.  Unfortunately, she's barely in it.  She's just there to have sex with the gross dad a couple times... a total waste.

And speaking of barely being in it - how about Donna?  This movie was all about Cindy; the title is a tad misleading.

Far from being pornography as Kentucky lawmen claimed - this film is careful to not even show pubes.  The above Cindy shower scene is the closest you'll get, sadly enough.

The ending comes as a shock, but it's not enough to save an otherwise typical drive-in dirty movie.  Important only in being an early target in the Bible Belt's war on decency. It's a quick, uncomplicated ride; one that I'm sure you'll forget soon after viewing.