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What's Behind the Groupies? (1975)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Frank Ochs
Alice Merman
Fran Lyman
Charles Fey
Bess Macon
Eddie Case
Karol Paul
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Mighty Quinn
(uncredited)
Written by Bob Dylan
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Linda Lovelace had some words for it
14 February 2011 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

Linda Lovelace maintains she was drugged and coerced (presumably by sleazeball manager Chuck Traynor) to do porn and make history in DEEP THROAT. At least one of the actresses in WHAT'S BEHIND THE GROUPIES? gives evidence of the credibility of this claim.

Considering the low pay scales for doing porn back in the day, when performers were earning perhaps $50 or $100 for going-all-the-way in a picture, I've always wondered what possessed them to get involved. Cheap thrills, maybe? It couldn't have been the money. Maybe the same lemmings-like impulse that in the past decade has made no-talents go crazy to appear embarrassingly in "American Idol" auditions on TV.

Two such no-talents portray teenage girls, introduced salivating over magazines spotlighting David Cassidy, Rick Springfield and Bobby Sherman. They answer a spurious newspaper ad placed by wannabe Mickey (evidently named after Mickey Rooney, whose legendary talent as actor/hoofer/singer/drummer- you name it- he doesn't share, but whose lack of stature is his birthright). Mickey's scheme to achieve stardom, in those pre-"American Idol" years, is to hire groupies to shill for him.

Surprisingly this scheme works, and many blow jobs later, executed by the gals on influential promoters and label magnates, Mickey is onstage in Las Vegas blowing his harmonica in front of a garage band to tumultuous applause (yeah, right). He humps blonde girl friend Karen on stage, cueing more applause (now that I can believe).

The main groupie is a Melanie Mayron-lookalike, plump with huge tits. However, it is the extreme displeasure on her face as she is humped and even treated to impromptu anal sex here, that makes it all look coerced. One might argue that "coercion" was merely the result of terrific acting skills to simulate that effect in order to satisfy the audience's need for rough sex, but that's a stretch -the performers here don't look capable of even rudimentary acting.

Pushing the film into the ranks of disgusting is an opening sex scene of Mickey's then ex-girl friend Karen, a lovely blonde, with some guy outdoors on a blanket that sets the gutter tone right away. AIDS was still half a decade away, but this guy's penis is covered in ugly warts that should have signalled an STD alert on the set, and are way unappetizing to watch on screen. It's just another example of the anonymous filmmakers (producer is credited simply as "Plunger") thumbing their noses at the audience, culminating in the satirical applause at Mickey's final on-stage money shot.

Music track pirates many pop hits, starting with "Celebrate" and also including the Beatles' "Hey Jude", instrumental hit of yore "Honky Tonk", The Stones' highly appropriate (in sexual context here) "Under My Thumb" and later on "Ride on, Baby", "The Mighty Quinn", Schifrin's "Mission Impossible" theme and inevitably the war horses "Green Onions" and "Grazin' in the Grass". As the fimmakers might say: "We don't need no stinkin' rights clearances!".


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