Monday, 7 May 2012

Games Girls Play

It's a funny thing, but the Mounds & Circles contributors have never actually all been in a room together, not as you might expect for legal reasons but because, like many far less rewarding relationships, we met in the virtual world. Last week we all watched a film together, online, making smartarse comments and talking about fonts in real time. The film we chose for this historic link up? Bizarrely, it was 'Games Girls Play' -and here follows a three part, three man review of epic proportions. Sounds exciting and different, doesn't it? Well, don't expect much, we haven't done this before...
Cooper Black Font, apparently.

1. Unmann-Wittering (00:00 - 30:00)

'Games Girls Play' was released in 1974. It was directed by Jack Arnold, the man who had previously brought us such genuine b-classics as 'They Came From Outer Space', 'Creature From The Black Lagoon' and the brilliant 'Incredible Shrinking Man' (perhaps the most existential sc fi film of all). In the sixties he moved to the UK and made nice little comedies like 'The Mouse That Roared'. Sadly, 'Games Girls Play' is not a film worthy of his talent, and Arnold must have felt that he was on the slide, so he got his own back by making it as slow and dull and drawn out and disappointing as possible. 

The 'story' concerns Mary Margaret 'Bunny' O'Hara, the daughter of an American diplomat. Bunny is -how shall I put this? - a slut. Now that can be a very fine quality in a person but, for her bemused father, his daughter working her way through the United States Army is a little embarrassing for him, especially as she can be guaranteed to make a show of herself at official functions.   


'Ah-arse! Saviour of the Universe'

In order to stop her being a crazy nympho, the father accepts a job in England as the US Ambassador. After all, who ever got laid in London? Too busy smoking Rothmans, the snaggled toothed bastards.

'Makes yer proud - cough - to be - cough - British - cough - dunnit?'

It's a major miscalculation, of course, as Bunny demonstrates before even putting a foot on UK soil. She's improving though, she's got pants and tights on this time, although they will both be around her ankles before she gets to the Embassy.

Hello, England!
Exasperated, her immaculately dressed father decides to send her to a private girl's school. Brilliant! Nothing sexy about that. Nothing sexy at all.

Casual clothes for gentlemen aren't what they were.

Bunny is horrified, of course, but Dad is impressed by the moral tone of the school and the extensive set of rules, which include not being fucked from arsehole to breakfast by all comers. The Headmistress is one of those nutty, sexless, barking martinet types (a sort of evil Dame Margaret Rutherford) and the butch PE Teacher clearly has the girl's best interests at heart, the dirty whistle fondling cow (I have a maxim: never trust anyone who wears a tracksuit all the time, and it holds firm here).


Things pick up when Bunny meets her room mates, a lovely bunch of friendly, pretty girls who walk around in their underwear all the time. Despite all obviously being in their twenties they're a pretty naive, virginal lot but, don't worry, smut fans, Bunny'll Fix It.  

Class of '74.

The loveliest of the ladies is Jill Damas. Jill is beautiful, has a great body, and a lovely modulated RP accent. Jill always seems a bit too well brought up for this sort of thing (although she's a repeat offender), and I always hope nothing too seedy will befall her. No need to worry with this film, though, as hardly anything seedy befalls anybody, unless you include some naked ping pong (I have a concern that you do think naked ping pong is seedy and I've now outed myself as some jaded, amoral pervert although, to be fair, I'm not suggesting it features at the Olympics). Anyway, here she is, whipping off her clothes with wild and joyful abandon. 15-Love, Ping and, indeed, Pong.

Jill goes wild.

Nudes descending a staircase

Within minutes, the subversive Bunny has talked the girls into attending their swimming lesson in the nude, causing much whistle blowing from the lesbian PE teacher and a fair amount of 'well, I never'-ing from the Headmaster, sorry, Headmistress. The swimming pool sequence is rather nice, though, well choreographed and photographed and with a fantastic Moogy Nudey Swimmy soundtrack from the marvellous John Cameron.

It's probably the highlight of the film, which is great, but there's still over an hour to go, which is bad. Still, that's not my the next bit carefully, it has the plot in it.

2. Dolly Dolly (00:30 - 01:00)

Oo, Hello. Dolly here. I drew the short straw having to review the middle bit because I've got to explain a bit of the bloody plot. *Sigh* Right here goes:

The girls all decide to pick a bloke to shag for reasons I can't really remember because I wasn't paying much attention by this time. I just kept wondering when Jill was going to flash her mams again. I'll be honest if I'd just been watching this on me tod I'd have fast forwarded this bit. Too much talking. I think the lucky fellas have to be important or in the government or something. Anyway they get one each and a frumpy friend of theirs called Ducky has to take photos as evidence. I think.

This scene would be much more interesting
if they'd have all sat around topless.

Casual racism. A 70s staple.

Jill picks the short straw and has to bag a Chinese ping pong player. For reasons that are too boring to explain she decides to approach him just before they all have a post match shower. Then in one of those strange misjudged comedy moments you always seem to get at one point or another in these 70s skin flicks; they all have a gangbang. Jill screams a bit and I get the distinct impression that she is an unwilling participant. Ho ho ho. Racism and rape. Always funny. Not.

Still, Jill bounces back and doesn't seem too upset by the whole 'taken everywhichway by an Oriental ping pong team' ordeal.

If Jodie Foster had been in this film we'd have now cut to a courtroom and had to endure an hour of 'acting'.

Luckily for us she isn't eh?

Ahhh, vacuousness: easy on the brain.

Insert your own 'Bearskin' joke here.

Bunny then tries to get into Buck Palace (or somewhere or other) by getting off with one of Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards. As I'm sure you all know Coldstream Guards are well known for their stoic disposition and unflinching dedication to duty.

Not this one.

Oh no.

All it takes is a bit of a promise from some American bird and the guard box is rocking like Status Quo. During this so-called seduction there is some of the worse acting ever to be recorded onto celluloid. Bunny actually says this:

"OK I'm gunna lay it on ya straight. It's like - I gotta date to 'make' it in the castle, y'know? A little undercover bizness, dig?"

Jesus Christ. Quite why she starts speaking in Beatnik jive all of a sudden is beyond me.

What's this? Jackie's getting her kit off now. I had to pop off to have a wee at this point so I can't remember why? Oh, yes hang on - she's trying to cop off with some Russian important bloke. He's quite a big fella (maybe an ex-shotputter?) and he decides to take a run and jump onto the bed where Jackie's now waiting. Maybe it's what Russian men do? I dunno?

Needles to say the bed collapses, there's lots of screaming, Ducky bursts in and takes a photo in flagrante delicto.

While I'm on the subject of our Ducky, (apart from the magnificently boobed Jill Damas) she's by far and away the sexiest girl in the whole film. She hides her bush under a bushel of raincoats, glasses and hats. I can't help but feel disappointed that she's been resigned to the role of frump. Knows her way around a camera too. Phwoor! Luckily she unexpectedly gets her kit off later in the film, but I'm not reviewing that bit so I'm not going to say how brilliant it is apart from the fact that it's fucking brilliant. I'm in love with Ducky.

Imagine this woman completely nude. I have.

There's a bit of a talky bit again but I wasn't listening so it might've been important - but I doubt it and eventually Bunny gets to her man Meyer in his office.

I'll hand you over to Glimmung now as he's a lot cleverer than me and pays attention to plots and stuff...

3. Glimmung (01:00 - 01:28)

Bunny seduces Meyer, though unfortunately for the viewer this mostly occurs off camera and all we see is her knickers landing on the phone (see above) as Meyer spouts a string of lame double entendres to his superior. The leaden dialogue makes the Carry On films sound like early Woody Allen in terms of wit and invention.

Russia's second greatest love machine.
We switch back to Jackie’s adventures with the Russian diplomat. This time we get some dancing and music, but any erotic potential of her jiggling her bits is passed over in favour of drunken Russian singing and before any action can occur Jackie is bundled away by secret service men.

Nude Ping Pong...
...can get very boring.
Chris displays her ample charms to the Chinese chappie again, but all he wants to do is play ping pong. A simple fellow, it takes all of Chris’s endurance (and the viewer’s) to get the message through that she wants sex and, of course, just as they start to get it on, the coitus is interruptused.

Now it’s Sal’s turn with sleazy Meyer and Ducky is poised with her camera. She snaps them in the sack just as the delegates barge in and scarpers before anything happens (including any actual shagging), leaving Sal to be taken in for questioning.

It’s all been too much for Ducky and in a crazed dash down the street outside she accosts every bloke she meets for sex. These men are an oddly reticent bunch and none are interested in Ducky’s advances, despite her stripping to her nylon pants. Eventually a simple Bobby on his beat is forced to carry her off to the nick to preserve her decency and make quite certain that the film will fail to fulfill the expectations of the dirty mac brigade.

Further frustration follows as we are once again forced to return to the plot, as the Chinese recover Ducky’s camera and quickly develop the pictures of Meyer and Sal. Tedious blackmail schemes ensue, as does some confused Cold War mumblings about ‘world peace’ negotiations. Give me tits and ass over mutually assured destruction, any day.

'Honestly, an intergalactic war was easier to manage than this'
After the hasty conclusion of the world's longest ever game of table tennis, Chris is dragged away to face Ed Bishop (UFO) with all other girls. He reveals that the bimbos have apparently scuppered delicate diplomatic negotiations for World Peace (I wonder who was responsible for all the other failures to achieve this goal?)

However, in another belaboured “twist” Ducky reveals that she changed the camera film for each assignment (as no-one ever would), so Bishop is able to blackmail back and lets the girls go. Alll parties agree to destroy photos and Chinese leave. There is a mass exodus of all the diplomatic staff from London as negotiations for “world peace” appear to be over and Bunny’s dad receives a new assignment overseas.

Bunny and her dad are about to board a flight to his next engagement in Afghanistan and the girls say their goodbyes. The films ends as it began with Bunny showing off her pants, this time to the Afghan president who also happens to be getting onto the plane and poor old Randolph dashes after them, realizing that his daughter has screwed him over before he’s even left the ground. In time, Afghanistan will invent The Taliban to combat girls like Bunny and the Americans, of course, will blunder in and, just like Bunny, fuck everything that moves. To death.

'See you, wouldn't want to be you, you crazy neurotic nympho'

A final insult to our fine country.

'That gives me an idea for an oppressive regime!' 
'Games Girls Play' actually gives sexploitation films a bad name. It offers a distinct lack of nudity, fails utterly to stimulate the erotic and provides zero actual filth. Its story is uninspired and frankly boring. If a plot was a necessary ruse to get the film past the censors then this one worked but much to the detriment of the audience’s entertainment. Perhaps in this respect 'Games Girls Play' is an archetypal example of 1970s British cinema smut, promising much and delivering very little. We may have been finally permitted to see naked young women but, by Jove!, we were not going to be allowed to enjoy it.

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