Help Wanted: Female/Review

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Review of Help Wanted: Female

The viewer hears sweet Stripper Sleaze music over some pretty cool title cards, almost like looking at negatives - The viewers who are wondering if this is going to be Sexploitation or some kind of art film should not worry as this is going to be a trip down the West Coast Adult film scene, although it would make for a good Arthouse film opening. The show then looks like some kind of lesser AP Stephens film from 1967-8 as a traveling salesman, bumps into a bookish lady named Jo-Jo in a parking lot who takes him to her place, and it's easy to see why once she takes off the glasses and looks more at home. All nice and fun, but then things start to get a bit interesting.

After a Soft Erotica moment, thankfully featuring Jo-Jo, we see her going through the wallet and gets caught just before opening the door, but then once the back is turned, she offers some Sleaze-Fu on him...I guess those books she's reading must have been some "Do It Yourself Defense" books as she happens to be an instructor at a so-called Karate school (Must have been taught by the one featured in Lee Frost's Faux-Mondo The Forbidden). After riding back to "Work," she meets up with her friend Luana, who soon leaves to "meet up" with Gregory (Vorno), looking like a low-budget Hugh Hefner wanna be with a burned left hand which she licks before she move into her dance. Gregory sits in his chair, then proceeds eat some sugar cubes, meaning that the plot has an excuse to go wild as possible as everyone who knows their 60's films knows this means - LSD.

Of course, once the LSD kicks in, and Luana says the required words of concern, Gregory goes into detail about a crime he claimed he committed. After some nice sleaze, the music goes into a the infamous haunting music cue used in both Equinox, and more fittingly for this film, The Hard Road, telling everyone that things are about to go interesting once the flashback happens. He and girlfriend Barbara were a couple of manics with a S/M bent to their relationship who just wanted to do something by posing as photographers in order to capture any lady to kill, and then Greg decides to murder his wife. Luana does not believe him, until she finds out while looking in the bathtub, leading to a fight between Gregory, Luana, and Jo-Jo who was alerted.

The whole sordid story is finished when after the fight is broken up by the police, Jo-Jo leads Gregory on to watch her dance before she stabs him and then we realize was all a dream, the cheap but still working way out of any weird plot situation. Then the reality hits as the wife nags and nags about having to work while Greg plans out schemes that fail, until...of course one has to see the film, but rest assured that in the world of the Roughie, this is one manic ride all the way to the end.

Tony Vorno's Exploitation career as Sebastian Gregory is a small part of the Late 60's-Early 70's West Coast scene, but it is one to take note of as he was in films for both Clover Films and later David F. Friedman's Entertainment Ventures, Inc. who distributed his first full fledged work as Writer and Director, 1970's Come One Come All. After appearing in the Nudie epic The Erotic Adventures of Zorro, Vorno finished his Exploitation career as a Production Manager on 1974's Grave of the Vampire and acting in '74's Garden of the Dead and 1977's Jailbait Babysitter. Help Wanted Female is now a part of what I would call one of the best ever Something Weird Video DVDs, and should be checked out by Exploitation fans who like their films a bit on the twisted side.

Reviewed by Screen13 - 5/30/08

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