Jun 14, 2020

Love Toy (1971)

A Dorish Wishman film about a guy that gambles away his daughter for the night. With just four characters and a single set, the film feels like a stage production - a very seedy, and disturbing play.

In a posh apartment, two men are playing poker while a woman looks out upon the cityscape.

Alex (Bernard Marcel) is winning, but Marcus (Larry Hunter) plays on.

Marcus' daughter Chris (Pat Happel) comes home.

She gets changed in her bedroom and goes to sleep.

Alex sees her portrait, and gets an idea.  He'll forgive all of Marcus' losses, if he'll just grant him one night with his daughter.  Marcus agrees.

Marcus does put up a fight when the disturbing wager becomes a reality, but Alex beats the crap out of him.  Alex's wife, Mary (Uta Erickson), watches over him while he goes to Chris' bedroom to enjoy his winnings.

Alex wakes up Chris and informs her that her father has had a string of bad luck gambling, and now he's here to cash in.

Chris initially resists, but soon finds it's futile - and is a bit traumatized that her father would use her in his gambling.

Pat Happel basically spends the rest of the movie completely naked.  The actress didn't do much beyond this film - which is surprising because she's really good.

Alex degrades her, making her drink milk out of a saucer.

Alex has all manner of sick twisted "games" for Chris to play, including riding him like a horse and pretending she's his wife

Speaking of his wife, Mary is busy taunting Marcus, and burning him with a cigarette.

Enough games.  Alex has sex with Chris.

Mary watches and plays with herself.

Alex then has Mary take her clothes off and have sex with Chris.

 They have a threesome

Then shit gets even worse - Marcus is brought into the room.

Alex forces Marcus to watch him with his daughter.

The final straw.  Chris is thrown down next to her father and made to have sex with him.

Marcus calls his daughter a slut and smothers her to death!

Chris wakes up, thankful this was only a dream.  Then, Alex enters the room and informs her that her father has had a string of bad luck... etc.  So, we're to presume this will be the worst Groundhog's Day scenario ever? THE END

This could have been really bad, but it's saved by a couple factors. First, the actors are just really good in their roles - like completely suited for their part.  Pat Happel is convincing as the traumatized daughter, Bernard Marcel as the sadistic sociopath, etc.  Second, Wishman's direction turns this into something like a stage production.  It feels like Hitchcock's The Rope or Sugar Cookies (1973), but not nearly as well executed, of course.

It certainly delivers on its sleaze quotient, with Pat Happel spending almost the entire film's run time naked and abused; a rather dark and grimy film in tone.  All in all, much better than you'd expect from a grindhouse quickie.

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