Below the Belt (1971) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Well, that's really a cool name for a softcore film about a boxer, but I can't find much else good to say about it.


see Tuna's section
Unlike some of the other Harry Novak films from the same period, this one has not been digitally remastered. Some parts look old, dark, and color-faded, while other parts look OK. Frankly, the film wasn't so good to begin with. The ratio of plot to sex was all wrong for a soft-core sex film. There isn't much sex, what there is fails, and not many women are exposed.

There is some good news:

  • The one good sex scene which also looks good technically is a poolside sex scene with none other than the giant-breasted Uschi Digard!
  • The film is not meant to carry a DVD. It is simply a bonus feature on a DVD which includes a fully-restored copy of The Godson and a ton of extra features. The Godson comes with a commentary as well, but Below the Belt does not.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Full neg versions The Godsonand Below the Belt. The Godson is perfectly restored. Below the Belt is not as good at all. The Godson also comes with a full length commentary from producer Harry Novak.

  • Several trailers

  • two Uschi Digart shorts (Uschi meeets Dracula, and I , Uschi)

  • Uschi is also topless in two of the trailers

  • plus some bonus stills of exploitation art, photos, and songs from Novak movies

The DVD, however, is an outstanding value, as is typical of products from Something Weird Video:

  • The Godson, another full-length feature on the DVD, has been lovingly remastered. It looks brand-new. The remaster is perfect.
  • The Godson also includes an alternate audio track which is a full-length reminiscence with Harry Novak.
  • There are also two shorts on the disk, also featuring Uschi Digard. I, Uschi is a masturbation video with genital close-ups.
  • There are galleries of arts, photos and songs from various Novak films.


Below the Belt (1971) is the second feature on what is one of the best Something Weird Video releases, which is saying something, as most of their releases are very well done. As is their usual format, they lovingly remastered The Godson, and included a feature length commentary, then included a second feature by the same producer, Harry Novak, with an arguably similar theme (women and gangsters, in this case). Then, they fill the DVD with related trailers, shorts, and galleries of art and promotional material. Below the Belt was directed by Bethel Buckalew, who was one of Novak's team. He directed most of the southern hick films, like Country Cuzzins, Sassy Sue, The Pigkeeper's Daughter and Southern Comforts. He also had a genius for scouting affordable locations, and getting permission to shoot. In general, he got closer to hard core than Bill Rotsler. His wife was used as script girl, and did a lot of the editing for his pictures.

While this is technically a women and mobsters movie, it is really a roughie. That is, the naked women are knocked around by the men at some point in the film. I am not sure why these were made, although I suspect that the violence made the exposure more acceptable to the censors. The story concerns a young fighter getting ready for his title shot, a ruthless manager who is trying to manipulate the odds, some underworld types who actually control the fight game, and the cliched punch drunk assistant trainer. All of this is really only a pretext to show naked women. The acting is abysmal, the plot is completely lame, and the transfer is obviously made from multiple work prints, some of which are in very bad shape. There is some good news, however.

Lets start with Uschi Digard in a pool side sex scene where she shows all three Bs. The scene is fairly hot, and the transfer in this segment is not that bad.

Next, we have Mirka Madnadraszky, who shows everything. She is the girlfriend of the mobster, and is sent to seduce the fighter. She is seen in a hot girl/girl, and having sex with the evil manager at the end of the film. She was the featured star of this film, but has no other credits at IMDB. Her last name couldn't have enhanced her career, and her accent was pretty think.

Then we have Rene Bond in a totally gratuitous sex scene with the ruthless manager. She shows all three Bs, comes as close as you possibly could to having intercourse without doing it, and we get several direct camera shots at her pussy. This was before her boob job. Harry is fond of saying that all of his actresses have natural tits. Rene is the exception. She came to Harry and asked him if she would get more and bigger roles if she had a boob job. He not only said yes, but loaned her the money for the surgery.

Terry Johnson is a lovely blonde with one other credit at IMDB. She is the other half of the girl/girl with Mirka Madnadraszky. The scene is very hot and rather lengthy, with lots of genital close-ups and a lovely 69. If Johnson wasn't picking public hair out of her teeth after the scene I would be amazed.

At least 5 unknowns also showed their all during a mob party/slave auction.

The film has a properly moral ending. Oddly enough, Digard and Bond, who have huge cult followings, were not mentioned in the credits, despite lengthy scenes. There are not enough votes at IMDB to score this, and if there ever are, it will be very low, and justifiably so. It is a terrible film. On the other hand, it is a good example of a genre (roughie) and features a lot of exposure including two cult icons. On a DVD by itself, it would not be worth the purchase price, except to fans of Uschi and Rene. The total package, as I said at the beginning, is well worth the modest purchase price.

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. Not enough votes for a score, but it will be low.


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, "Below the Belt" is an F. Not enough sex and nudity for a softcore. Just terrible if viewed as a regular movie. The footage is also unrestored and of poor quality. The total DVD package, however, is a C+ - top package of genre fare, of which Below the Belt is the only real disappointment, and even that has a fairly good sex scene with Uschi Digard. Tuna says: "this individual film is an F. It is possible that a good transfer would elevate it all the way to a D, on the strength of the well lit nudity. Still, as a real fan of 70's exploitation, the people who made them, and the women who starred, it is a welcome addition to my library."

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