Dec 11, 2017

The Dirtiest Game (1970)

The Dirtiest Game is a hippie exploitation flick which has all the usual elements: LSD, bad acting, and orgies.  But I think you'll see that this film adds a little extra oomph which puts this near the high-water mark among hippysploitation films.  Let's check it out...

Meet candidate Titus Moore (Titus Moede) on the right, and his friend and campaign adviser, Frank (Frank Millen).  They've noticed that, in order to win this political race, Titus will have to earn the hippy vote, and that means legalize marijuana.

Meet Titus' lush wife, Felicia (Cheryl Powell - who sometimes reminds me of Tina Fey). She's drunk and tells Titus he's not man enough to win. [You may remember Cheryl Powell from Cindy and Donna.  She played Cindy's friend Karen.]

Felicia can't understand why Titus never gives her some lovin'.  "What's the matter? What's wrong with me? Aren't I pretty enough for you?" she asks.

Titus tells her that he's a politician so he needs a wife - that's the only reason she's around.  I should mention at this point, that Titus Moede is possibly the worst actor I've ever seen.

Titus meets with the hippie contingency, tries some dope and even bangs a chick.  He reports back to Frank and his other adviser, R.J., played by none other than Coleman Francis, director of The Beast from Yucca Flats.

Titus tells Felicia he's breaking up with her.  This drunk chick will have none of it, and goes for a gun.  If she can't have him, no one can.

Shit gets real dark here, folks.  Titus wraps a belt around her neck and rapes Felicia.

The scene ends with Titus leaving and a miserable Felicia, naked on the bed.  Actress Cheryl Powell clearly isn't shy.  I would be curious to see her other films.  She only acted a few years, with parts first in The Line is Busy (1969), then the aforementioned Cindy and Donna, then this film, then several films in 1970: Have You Ever Been on a Trip?, Lusty Neighbors, The Zodiac Couples, How to Succeed with Sex, and The Notorious Cleopatra.

Frank expresses his concerns to R.J.  Titus is his best friend, but he is worried about how terribly he treats Felicia.  R.J. could give two shits about their stormy relationship.  He just wants Titus to win this damn race.

While Titus is out earning the hippy vote (and shagging hippy chicks in the process), poor Felicia is just bored and horny around the house.

This is what it's come to.  Literally humping the refrigerator.

The phone rings, and Felicia leaves the Frigidaire blue balled as she frantically answers the call.  It's Frank - she tells him that he must come over right away.

When Frank arrives, he finds a very vulnerable (and horny) Felicia waiting for him.  She's crying and kissing him... Frank doesn't quite know what to do.

Felicia tells Frank it's either now or never.

I guess I don't need to tell you what happens next.

The next day, Felicia heads over to the hippie compound to confront Titus' new "constituents".  There, she meets Jean (Jean Stone), the alpha hippie who's been shagging Titus.

Surprisingly, Felicia hits it off with Jean; that evening, the two have sex.  Felicia feels like she may have finally found true love.

But it all goes to shit.  At Jean's place, there's a big nasty, sweaty, gross hippie orgy.  Jean and Titus are taking part, but Felicia doesn't understand.  Why are the two people in her life she's been attached to, suddenly wanting to just rut like animals in a big dirty pile?  Both Jean and Titus tell poor Felicia to get lost - she's cramping their style.

Frank pays a visit to Felicia, pledging himself to her.  But she's drunk off her ass, and tells him to fuck off.

Frank is horrified to find that she's brought one of the filthy hippies home with her.  "I'll show Jean.  And I'm gonna show Titus. Them and their DIRTY little games!"

This scene is hard to watch.  Felicia tries to put the kibosh on their orgy (dressed like a dominatrix for some reason - I guess she's drunk and losing her mind).  So these peace loving hippies decide to gang rape her  - and Titus and Jean are participants!

Felicia stumbles back to her apartment, destitute and suicidal.  I've got to say - Cheryl Powell is fucking amazing.  This scene is all too real; her existential misery is brilliantly conveyed.  Powell is "all in", and the result is a genuinely depressing and heartbreaking scene of true despair.

Frank finally gets the message from Felicia, but it's too late.  She's covered herself in her blood and then shot herself in the vagina.

Yep.  Don't really know what to say.

So, Frank strolls over to the orgy and starts wasting hippies.  Hell yeah!  Frank dies in the process, but at least takes out Titus.

The "shocking" ending: R.J. announces the new candidate... and it's Jean!  (insert dramatic music)

The final frame before the end credits is this oddball quote from Nixon.  Whatever.  THE END.

As far as hippie exploitation flicks go, The Dirtiest Game is one of the greats.  And I mean that.  It doesn't fuck around.  The film isn't afraid to go to extremes and so saves itself from being forgettable.  Take, for instance, another very similar film reviewed on VZI - The Tale of the Dean's Wife Wife from the same year.  It had the LSD, it had the orgies, it had the political statement, it had the violence... but it just didn't push the envelope enough.  If you're going to do exploitation films, you've got to go "all in" or don't bother.

Another plus is Cheryl Powell as Felicia.  Holy shit.  Not only was she completely unafraid of getting naked, she clearly poured her heart and soul into this part.  As mentioned, Cheryl played small roles in low budget exploitation films for a couple years then quit.  How sad - this chick blew my mind, and it's a damn shame she didn't keep going and become a cult movie queen.

Oh well.  At least we have this.  And that is plenty.