Monday, 27 August 2012

The Brick Dollhouse (1967)

1967 Brick DollhouseThe Brick Dollhouse is part of a David F. Friedman triple-feature from Something Weird, a set that also includes A Sweet Sickness and the classic A Smell of Honey, A Taste of Brine. The Brick Dollhouse had not been completed when Friedman’s production company picked it up and Friedman himself finished the picture.

The plot is threadbare even by the standards of 60s sexploitation movies. Three beautiful girls arrive home one day to find that their flatmate Min Lee has been murdered. The police are called and the plot (such as it is) is told in flashback as the three girls tell Min Lee’s story.

Most of the flashbacks consist of party scenes and scenes of the three girls undressing. The party scenes are typical of sexploitation movies - a bizarre mixture of depravity and innocence. The parties frequented by these young women consist of lots of drug-taking combined with such ever-popular party games as spin the bottle. Which is as good an excuse as any for the young ladies to disrobe.

The Brick Dollhouse (1967)

The men at these parties seem to be more interested in getting stoned and staring vacantly into space than fooling around with the girls but the girls demonstrate an impressive determination to get their interest. There’s lots of topless go-go dancing and that’s something that no movie can have too much of. One of the girls also demonstrates that pool tables can be put to much more interesting uses than paying pool.

The main suspect is Min Lee’s very butch girlfriend but she vociferously protests her innocence. It  transpires that Min Lee was pretty friendly with a certain Linda but that didn’t stop her from flirting with a series of men.

The Brick Dollhouse (1967)

Joyanna, the wonderful star of The Girl from S.I.N., is Min Lee. Her role in The Brick Dollhouse doesn’t give her as much opportunity to be wickedly seductive but she does her best. The other cast members were clearly chosen more for their willingness to shed their clothes than for their acting talent but luckily this movie doesn’t require much in the way of acting abilities.

The Brick Dollhouse was fairly ambitious for a 1967 sexploitation feature, being shot in colour and with synchronised sound.

The Brick Dollhouse (1967)

It has plenty of attractive women and vast amounts of nudity as well as the lesbianism that was de rigeur for exploitation movies and a classic 1960s feel (drugs, sex and bongo drums). Unfortunately it not only has no plot to speak of, it also lacks the edge of weirdness and general craziness that connoisseurs of sexploitation movies look for. On the other hand, despite the murder mystery plot, it’s basically good-natured. And it has go-go dancing.

Something Weird have excelled themselves with the transfer of this movie. It looks amazingly good and the colours are wonderfully vivid which enhances the vague psychedelic vibe.

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