Sugar Cookies (1973) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna
Get this for a tagline: "Meet the beautiful people who live ... and die ... in a freaky, try-anything world".
You just know it's going to be some highbrow entertainment.
Is it a new adaptation of Murder in the Cathedral? No, it's Troma's "Sugar Cookies."
The star is Lynn Lowry, who plays both "Alta" and "Julie". Alta is the "star" of a series of adult movies made by a producer who is so jaded that simply watching and screwing his actresses no longer gets his rocks off. He must completely dominate them. He has Alta play out a "scene" in which she loads a gun and plays with it for a while. He asks her for the gun, and she gives it to him. Mind you now, she just personally loaded it with real bullets. Then, they talk. He is dressed, she naked. An excellent conversation starter. He strokes her with the gun and inserts it in her vagina. An even better conversation starter, although this one has also been known to stop conversations. Sometimes permanently.
Unfortunately, the camera is on the wrong lips during this conversation. Then he tells her to taste herself on it. She says it tastes just like chicken. Only fishy. He sticks the gun the rest of the way into her mouth and, sentimental fool that he is, blows the back of her head off. This reminds me of the scene that was cut from Casablanca, in which Henreid finds out about Bogart and blows Ingrid Bergman to Kingdom Come, after which he proposes to scatter her cheatin' remains in all the gin joints in all the cities in all the world.
Lean and leggy exploitation legend, Mary Woronov ("Eating Raoul"), plays Camilla, our producer's assistant, and another of his favorite lays. It turns out that she and Alta were also lovers, and that she likes to wear a hat in the bathtub. She bathes a lot, although chances are she does not get her hair clean, because her hat stays on. Then she begins her stretching exercises. Then a little more stretching. At this point, she's pretty well stretched out when she is interrupted by a visit from the producer who has two things on his mind. First he wants an alibi for the previous night. Second, well, for rumpy-pumpy.
Camilla now starts planning her revenge on her heterosexual lover for killing her lesbian lover. She interviews a whole procession of aspiring actresses and finds a woman named Julie who looks just like Alta (not too surprisingly, since she is played by the same actress, Lynn Lowry). Camilla has to do a great deal of coaxing and coaching to get Julie out of her clothes, but finally manages. Then, as she removes the last of Julie's clothing. Camilla finally gets Julie onto the bed and starts to rehearse her for a "movie scene" which is really a re-enactment of Alta's murder. Julie rebels, so Camilla slaps her around, throws her back down on the bed, flings her clothes at her and tells her to get out. Julie apologizes for rebelling, so Camilla forgives her and decides to take a bath with her, and they make up. For Camilla, a bath is just not the same without a big white hat so, to compensate, she fantasizes about sex with Leon Redbone. OK, maybe not, maybe they just indulge in a little lesbian foreplay. This goes on and on. One assumes they indulge in more than that eventually, but one doesn't see it.
Camilla now has Julie completely under her domination, and tells the movie maker she has a surprise for him: a new girl to take Alta's place. To show how co-operative Julie is, Camilla cuts a slit in her skin and inserts a flower stem in it.
Now it's time for the re-enactment of Alta's murder. Camilla undresses Julie, but gives her all kinds of mixed signals to make her edgy and confused. Poor Julie just doesn't know where she stands any more, so of course, she shoots the movie maker, just what any seasoned actor would do in a scene with mixed signals. Unfortunately for us, she was not on the set of "Prince of Tides". She is then horrified by her own action, and begs Camilla to tell her what to do. Camilla basically shrugs and says: "Not my problem. I just used you to get back at that jerk - do whatever you want." Julie is left distraught.
The director showed some talent, to tell you the truth, but I'm not sure the concept of "Hitchcock + porn" is one which stands to join the Combo Hall of Fame with chocolate and peanut butter. The Hitchcock elements gave the porn an ugly, dark tone. The (soft) porn scenes sometimes slowed down the plot to a crawl. It's an idea that probably worked better on paper.
Did you ever watch Sesame Street? Do you like to play "One of these things is not like the others"? Then enjoy that game with some credits which may or may not be from the career of the head Tromateer, Lloyd Kaufman:
It's a trick question. All four of those are in his filmography. I swear it.
Sugar Cookies (1973) was an attempt to create a soft-core sex film
around a reasonably complex plot somewhat similar to Hitchcock's
Vertigo. Lloyd Kaufman, in his pre-Troma days, produced the
film, and also shares writing credit. One of the associate producers
was none other than Kaufman's school chum from the Yale class of 1968,
Oliver Stone. (President Bush was also in the same class.) I suppose it was not a very successful idea, because
it was obviously made to make money, not to create great art, and it
did not do so. Kaufman claims that Sugar Cookies was the only X-rated
film ever to lose money.
In the special features, Woronov said she thought the film had faded into obscurity, and was not unhappy about that, since the film does not bring back happy memories for her. The script was written by her then-husband, Theodore Gershuny, supposedly for Mary, although she confesses her doubts about that motive, considering that Gershuny cast himself in a film-within-the-film, performing a sex scene with Lynn Lowry. If Ms Woronov has some regrets about her involvement, Oliver Stone seems to be in complete denial. He refused Kaufman's request to record an interview for this DVD. One may fairly conclude that he does not consider his involvement with Sugar Cookies to have been a proud moment in his career.
To be honest, the performances are not bad, and some effort was put into production design, but there is a big problem here with the uninvolving story.
Return to the Movie House home page