Your Tour Guide Through Cinema Trash (and Treasures)

Sep 14, 2020

C'mon Baby Light My Fire (1969)

 


A religious zealot on a mission to keep marijuana illegal is abducted, tortured and raped.  A particularly grimy and mean spirited grindhouse sleaze-fest from Lou Campa.



The movie begins with an orgy that has precious little to do with anything to follow.  Supposedly this is a blackmail setup, where the girl is from the U.N.?

What's interesting is that the girl is Alice Haley.  She basically saved the movie We All Go Down (1968), which is her only other film credit.


Now we meet the main character, June Wilson (Tina Buckley).  She is a prudish right-wing radical, hell bent on ensuring marijuana laws are tightened.  

Tina Buckley is gorgeous and does an outstanding job in this film, enduring all manner of degradation. But, for whatever reason, this is her only film credit. You see this a lot in exploitation films - where you can imagine a young actress' first role being rather traumatic when it involves torture, rape, etc. So, hopefully, she moved on to a career less dehumanizing. 
  
June's boyfriend, John, is horny, but she always spurns his affection due to religious convictions. 

John is persistent and gets under her skirt.

The moment is too much for June, and she passes out.

John carries her to the bedroom.

The incident was literally so scarring that June has have a doctor's attention (back in the days of house calls).

Back to her crusade against marijuana, June gets into a cab with another passenger, Candy (Olivia Brandon).

Candy knocks out June.

Then she unbuttons her blouse and molests her a little bit.

The cab driver, Pancho (Larry Hunter), is also in on the abduction.

So, the abduction is all part of a plan orchestrated by these three guys: Brad  (Frank Spencer), Dr. Gerber (Vic Donte), and the mob boss Mr. Foreman (Gerard Damiano).  Foreman can't abide by any liberalization of marijuana laws as it would hurt his drug business.  So, why abduct an anti-drug crusader? He plans to have photographs and film taken of June having all manner of deviate sexual acts which will be be purportedly under the influence drugs.  In other words, the country's leading anti-marijuana advocate will be shown to be a sex-addict due to the influence of drugs, thus heightening the resolve of June's crusaders.

Pancho carries June into the remote hideout.


She's laid before them right there on the kitchen floor.


Gerber and Pancho carry her to the bedroom.


Then, with a crazed look in his eye, Pancho undresses the unconscious girl.

All the while, Candy watches and fondles herself.




Brad takes his turn.


June is awake for this rape.

Brad tells Candy something just isn't right about this whole thing.  

Gerard Damiano lookin' sharp.

Now it's Pancho's turn.  Larry Hunter does a convincing job of portraying this drooling, bestial character.


June is tied up, with her legs spread, wearing only see-through panties.


Pancho is joined by his assistant  (Jo Ellen), who gets off on the rape.



June is then dragged to the floor and the brutal rape intensifies. 


Another A-Frame to add to the list.

It's Candy's turn next.



Gerber goes next, and Foreman after.

Brad has a quickie with Candy.

Time has passed.  June is now basically brainwashed, and will strip and provide sex on command.

But Brad has fallen in love with her.  He takes her to his bedroom.

This is the first time June has been allowed out, and she is in awe of even his simple bedroom.  

Brad puts some clothes on her, and takes her to his car, and drives her to freedom.


An insanely mean-spirited, twisted shit-show, but that's precisely what it's going for.  If you're going to a midnight show in 1969, this is what you wanted - something shocking and sleazy.  The whole venture is elevated by Tina Buckley who endures endless abuse and degradation, delivering an incredible performance.

Double Feature: The film this most often will be compared to is Hot Summer in the City (1976).  It's title also relates to a popular song at the time, and involves an innocent blonde who's abducted and kept in a hideout to be repeatedly tortured and raped. Interestingly, the lead in this film, Lisa Baker, also made this her only film credit. 

★★★★★★☆


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