In a posh community by the sea, Bay City's rich and famous indulge their lifestyles w/ forbidden love, taboo sex, malicious lies and never-ending scandal. A multiple Emmy® winning drama, produced, directed and created by Gregori J. Martin.
Mary Beth Evans,
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As the Something Weird box notes explain in detail, LOVE-IN 1972 is merely a revamp of a flop protest movie COWARDS, reissued in rejiggered form with plenty of softcore sex & nudity added.
Lame format has a Toronto commune, newly joined by Steve, who's charged $25 (half of his net worth) for the privilege. The beautiful blonde seen in the opening sex scene, Linda Southern, keeps asking him about his draft-dodging acquaintance Phil, so that we can watch presumably intact lengthy sequences from COWARDS, the 1970 film in which Phil is the central character.
Ultimately we get 20 minutes of new LOVE-IN footage, and an hour of dreadfully talky and tedious COWARDS footage. The indigestible combination is pretty difficult to suffer through.
All of the '60s clichés are dredged up in COWARDS, made worse by a completely artificial performance by John Ross as Phil. This whiny, selfish and unsympathetic character would have killed off a better film, let alone either of these.
Simon Nuchtern's uncredited script (he's not blamed for the revamped result, but his CHANGES contribution is terrible) is merely endless, trite discussions as 1-A draftee Phil is given various choices to avoid service, ultimately opting to take militant action, arrested in the act of trashing a draft office, destroying records under the tutelage of fighting padre played by Philip Baker Hall in one of his early roles.
I accidentally watched another soft porn opus from Something Weird right after this one, and there was an uncredited Hall stuck in a Sam Lake/Distribpix "Adult Film" titled GIRLS THAT DO, not getting down but hamming it up insufferably. Ironically his character in that one won't give a duped, innocent girl the negatives of her dirty pictures' photo shoot -too bad PBH couldn't get his hands on the negatives of these embarrassing early films he made.
There is a softcore sex scene in Nuchtern's original COWARDS, showcasing buxom heroine Susan Sparling as Phil's girl friend, but the added footage, credited to pornographers Sidney Knight and Karl Hansen, is typical soft porn, with full-frontal nudity and a boring orgy.
The fluidity and continuum in indie production between mainstream and porn projects is shown by porn vet Larry Hunter popping up not in the added footage but rather cast in a straight role as the police lieutenant who busts Phil in the COWARDS segment. Similarly, future monologist supreme Spalding Gray is featured (with handlebar mustache) in COWARDS ranting and raving about the need for a revolution -sounding almost like Charlie "Helter Skelter" Manson; his next film assignments in the late '70s were to be XXX porn.
Comparing the LOVE-IN 1972 ending (with Steve narrating Phil's ultimate fate) with the IMDb synopsis of presumably-lost film COWARDS, there's implied a fake happy ending.
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