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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Sins of Our Founding Fathers

8/10
Author: Dries Vermeulen (Nodriesrespect) from Brugge, Belgium
24 December 2006

As America was preparing to celebrate its Bicentennial in 1976, the ever helpful adult industry chipped in with two major films for the occasion. Most successful at the time was the wild 'n' wacky Jennifer Welles vehicle LITTLE ORPHAN SAMMY, but Godfrey Daniels' SPIRIT OF SEVENTY-SEX proved superior in almost every respect and has stood the test of time remarkably well. "Godfrey Daniels", posing here as both of the equally fictitious "Krelmn Sisters" ("Rikki" & "Michelle" for all you trivia fans out there), has since been revealed as TV producer Stu Segall, the man behind such popular shows as HUNTER and THE CHRONICLE. In another life, he was one of the most talented yet – ironically – unsung directors of dirty movies best known for his '80s Marilyn Chambers classics INSATIABLE and UP 'N' COMING. Prior to these show ponies, he had already perpetrated a number of cult favorites fondly remembered by true longtime genre fans like the ludicrously titled but highly entertaining TEENY BUNS with Nancy Hoffman and her little friends discovering the joys of play for pay or the equally effective SUMMER SCHOOL with the late lamented Laurien Dominique trading her maidenhead for passing grades at her new college. Mmm, am I detecting a pattern here ? He would also helm one of the first and best of the so-called crossover adult films, the industry's desperate bid to appeal to women and couples as well as the lonely rain-coater, with the underrated CHARLI starring Sam Weston's fave actress Jesie St. James and genre goddess Annette Haven. Which neatly brings us back to SEVENTY-SEX, made half a decade earlier, as top-billed Haven headed its cult cast of West Coast adult alumni. She may be the most instantly recognizable performer on display, playing devoted Martha Washington to dashingly handsome Tyler "Horne" Reynolds' George, so some identification may indeed be called for.

Decrepit old codger Ebenezer K. Bartholomew, who claims he was around at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, takes viewers on an expletive-filled whirlwind tour of the "real" history of our founding fathers, exposing their dirty little secrets for the world to see. His frequently uproariously funny narration leads us into the various, extremely well-done erotic episodes. The already mentioned Haven and Reynolds (who side-lined as a stand-up comedian outside of his copious adult work, including Rene Bond's farewell fling DO YOU WANNA BE LOVED ?) have bookend scenes. Jeff Lyle (a/k/a "Robert Stones", Linda Wong's co-star in Sam Weston's unfairly dismissed ORIENTAL BABYSITTER) is Paul Revere, doing a really hot number on the always scorching Kristine Heller, the insatiable rock star from Alex De Renzy's BABYFACE. Lyle and Heller were teamed again, proof positive that lightning does not strike twice in the same place, in Carlos Tobalina's characteristically dreary ULTIMATE PLEASURE. Stalwart John Seeman (the hunky chauffeur from Richard Kanter's DESIRES WITHIN YOUNG GIRLS) dons a silly skull cap for the part of Benjamin Franklin, discovering electricity and immediately putting it to good use by applying the world's first vibrator to lovely Angela Haze, who was one of the duplicitous streetwalkers separating sailor Richard Pacheco from his cash in Damian Lee's sweet sleeper BABY LOVE AND BEAU. No one should have any trouble identifying the King himself, John Holmes, as Captain John Smith making out with Pocahontas as essayed by the fabulous Desiree West, the single black female superstar of the '70s. Sandi Pinney (who made an impression as Caroline, the woman who unwittingly inspires Annette Haven's descent into depravity in Gary Graver's superlative V – THE HOT ONE) has an all time Sapphic bit with achingly pretty Gail Lawrence a/k/a "Abigail Clayton" in the barn before being ravished by the Minute Men, played by Jon Martin (star of Harold Perkins' HOT LUNCH and a solid supporting stud well into the '90s), Radio Ray Wells (John Leslie's hapless cab driver colleague in Svetlana's "F") and Clay Hyde (one of the "Magnificent Seven" in Antonio Shepherd's 7 INTO SNOWY, though he had already done some orgy stuff in the Mitchell Bros. early '70s classic RESURRECTION OF EVE).

Perhaps because it's such infectious, at times positively anarchistic fun, liberally sprinkled with anachronisms, and everyone appears to be enjoying themselves too much to be labeled "professional", it might seem easy to dismiss the finer points of film-making Segall so deftly exhibits. Evocative lighting (usually described as "too dark" by current carnal critics) and smooth camera-work combine with flawless editing rhythmically set to another superb, song-packed "Long John" soundtrack to assure one of the more visually appealing and perfectly paced porno picks of the era. For the record, "Long John" (or "John Long" or any possible permutation thereof) were actually two mainstream songwriters whose services Segall frequently called upon. If additional proof were needed that terrific music can greatly enhance an already solid sex scene, one need look no further than this immensely enjoyable gem of a movie.

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