Dec 11, 2017

Pets (1973)

A girl runs away and finds herself in a variety of odd and dangerous situations, including an accomplice in an abduction, a sex toy for a lesbian painter, and a caged trophy for an eccentric millionaire.  Let's have a look...

Pets stars Candice Rialson as Bonnie.  She's a favorite of Quentin Tarantino who supposedly patterned Bridget Fonda's character in Jackie Brown (1997) after her. She starred in Moonshine County Express (1977), Mama's Dirty Girls (1974) and Summer School Teachers (1974). Also, VZ1 just recently looked at the 1974 film Candy Stripe Nurses.  She's probably best known for her role as aspiring starlet Candy Hope in  Hollywood Boulevard (1976).  Rialson also appeared on a few TV shows including Fantasy Island, Maude and the Shaft TV series.   She retired by the end of the decade.

Anyway, on with the story....

Bonnie is at an Orange Julius, so I'm already in love with this film.  Nothing takes me back like the inside of an Orange Julius.

But, Bonnie has no intention of eating here - she's actually trying to run away from home.  She makes a dash out the back door...

Her brother (Mike Cartel) manages to catch her, but not before a black gang steps in.  They beat the shit out of Bonnie's poor brother, while she makes her escape.  Insert title credits...

The first person Bonnie meets is a black girl named Pat (Teri Guzman).  They pass on the street, and Pat sees that she can use this hot blonde chick to her benefit.

Pat and Bonnie stroll the beach scene until they come upon a rich dude named Dan (Brett Parker) who, naturally, takes a liking to Bonnie.

An interesting promotional material featuring Pat and Bonnie

Pat and Bonnie lead him at gunpoint to a remote location in woods.  (And Bonnie apparently has no problem with this.)

While Pat is away robbing Dan's home, Bonnie is tasked with standing guard.  (Candace Rialson delivers some major league upskirts during this scene BTW)

Bonnie and Dan talk a good bit; Dan pleads for mercy, and Bonnie just works at stirring poor Dan's loins.

Bonnie even has sex with her captive.  When it looks like Pat isn't coming back, Bonnie says goodbye and moves on to her next adventure.

Before moving on to the second act, I'm going to stop and reflect... what was the point of the first quarter of this film?  It's almost entirely shots of Bonnie looking hot - and I must say the director makes full use of Candace Rialson's revealing wardrobe.  But besides that we're left with just lame conversations between Bonnie and Dan which go nowhere.  I guess we are just meant to learn that Bonnie has no moral compass?

Bonnie is busted for shoplifting an apple, but a stranger comes to her aid and pays for it.

The stranger that befriended her is Geraldine played by Joan Blackman, known for Blue Hawaii (1961), Jerry Lewis' Visit to a Small Planet (1960) and Kid Galahad (1962). That's Joan below in the yellow swimsuit.

Geraldine keeps Bonnie around to be her little love toy.  She keeps the runaway well fed and well dressed, and in return Bonnie gives her sex and poses as her model.

Geraldine's paintings of Bonnie attract the attention of an art connoisseur named Vincent - he'll become important later.  Vincent is played by Ed Bishop whom I know very well from UFO as Ed Straker.

One day a burglar (Matt Green) enters their happy home.  Geraldine calls the police and Bonnie holds the man at bay with a handgun. Once again, Bonnie is tasked with holding someone at gunpoint while the alpha lady does her thing.

Bonnie tells the guy to go to her room, and lies to Geraldine that the burglar got away.

Clearly, Bonnie has been in need of a man around the house.  She wastes no time getting busy with the criminal.

And just as before, Bonnie screws the guy she's been assigned to hold at gun point.

Geraldine catches them together and wastes his ass.  Her burglar lover is dead, and so a traumatized Bonnie hits the road once again.

Bonnie goes to stay with Vincent who wines and dines her, shows her the good life... and then locks her in a cage.  Geraldine, suspecting that Bonnie may have gone to Vincent's, pays him a visit and finds Bonnie in this unspeakable condition.

The sex slave aspect is played up in this ad

There is an overlong dialogue between Geraldine and Vincent that I simply couldn't sit through.  Have your remote ready to fast-forward. Some nonsense about Vincent's hatred of women.  Yada yada yada.

Geraldine tries to save Bonnie and gets embroiled in a major beat-down with Vincent.  As the the two clamor over each other, Bonnie shoves them both in a cage and says hasta la vista, baby.

It ends with Bonnie taking a car and picking up some random dude.  "The End...?"

Candace Rialson is a stone cold fox, and the first half of this flick with her in that micro-miniskirt and tied top is drool-worthy. However, the level of nudity is pretty weak. She shows her boobs just a handful of times (you see what I did there?) and no bush. Could've been better.

It was interesting to see such nihilism portrayed in film. Bonnie is like Raskolnikov or Camus' stranger - just a being without conscience.  But the direction is uninspired and the final conversation between Vincent and Geraldine is intolerably boring. Plus, I'm still wondering what the point of it all was.

But the star quotient is pretty damn good when you consider that you have the chick from Blue Hawaii and my hero, Striker from UFO.