Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Ginger is another film from that classic year, 1970 -- also the annus mirabulis of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Dinah East, The Party at Kitty and Stud's, Bloody Mama and no less than six vampire movies. It was the era of porno chic and pretty much everyone was working blue.
Ginger sounds totally reasonable on paper -- a "female James Bond," except where Cleopatra Jones crosses the genre with blaxploitation, Ginger crosses it with porn and sets it in New Jersey. The title role was played by Cheri Caffaro, born in Florida, raised in New York City.
Our heroine is even more likely than Bond to drop trou for a mission and she carries the nudity -- and the subsequent action -- far further than Her Majesty's Secret Service would ever dare. But, before anybody gets upset, let me point out that Ginger also has plenty of full frontal junk for those of you who prefer the pole to the hole.

Our heroine makes her big entrance in her bitchin yellow 'Vette ("cars courtesy Derio Oldsmobile Inc.") and goes to an office where she get her "mission." Which is to save the Jersey Shore -- there's some "rich kid" named "Rex" who's dealing drugs and blackmailing summer vacationers and the rich parents of Jersey are willing to throw down a hundred grand to keep the cops out of it. She also gets a cool super-spy briefcase with a gun and ammo and handcuffs and a camera and infrared film and some trail mix and one of  those little spray bottles of Evian and a matchbook that has most of the matches missing and...
Ginger heads off to the Shore, where we get a peep at our villain... Rex. Wearing eyeliner and a studded dog collar.
Really... this guy? What, was everyone else in jail or off fighting Tojo and this was the best villain they could find? Rex's gang consists of suburban whitebros bitching about their fathers' board of directors meetings. Except for the one black guy who is, of course, the drug hookup and is not rich. He's in it for one reason: As he explains, "You promised me all the ass I wanted. White ass." 

  Note pre-self tanner white lines, natural tits and old-school bush.

Ginger promptly infiltrates the gang by gyrating around a bar in hiphuggers and midriff top, thus arousing the prurient interest of one of the wealthy homosexuals in Rex's gang. (No, really, i mean the gang member played by an actor who was actually a gay porn star. Because back in the 70s you could get away with things like gay porn stars in "mainstream" films or a regular major network TV series about science.) This pisses off the ladies of the gang, who challenge Ginger to some kind of bikini catfight on the beach.

Whether it's fuckin' or kickin' ass, Ginger is gonna do whatever she has to do to get the job done. Ginger does not care how many times she must whip her top off or how many chicks she must hogtie with their own bikinis or how many guys she needs to strap down spread-eagle on a bed with piano wire around their balls, she is gonna clean up the Jersey Shore. If only she'd been around in the days of Pauly D.

Anyway, one of the gang girls bends Ginger's ear with an overly detailed account of her entry in the gang, precipitated by a run-in with the demon weed. "Then D.J. took out a joint, took a couple puffs on it and handed it to me... I don't know why in God's name I took it! I'll never know why, but I did!" Ginger comforts the girl by taking off her blouse and making out with her, basically because that's Ginger's modus operandi, regardless of the situation.
Who cares if she doesn't know how to button her shirt? She drinks with her pinkie out like a lady...

She manages to pump her new friend for info about the prostitution ring and of course friend winds up dead. Ginger flashes back to her friend and then to her brother begging her for help -- and totally flips out and strangles the gang member unlucky enough to be nearby. Flashback followed by violence is another Ginger modus operandi. Hey, it worked for Charles Bronson!
So, with the full fury of vengeance -- sure, she seems somewhat wooden and lethargic to the naked eye but, trust me, there is a roiling cauldron of emotions behind that deadpan stare -- Ginger decides to finish the gang off. One the way, there's plenty of breaks for tricks, blow jobs, dominance/humiliation scenarios, various ways of tying people up and the aforementioned flashbacks and castrations.
The adventures of Ginger actually continued into two more films, The Abductors and Girls Are for Loving. Cheri Caffaro went on to a guest spot on Barretta and wrote the script for sororitysploitation flick H.O.T.S. before eventually dropping out of showbusiness, but producer Don Strain is still working -- he produced all the High School Musical flicks. I think we can agree that Ginger and its sequels were the zenith of his career.

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