Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Damaged Goods / The Hard Road |
Actors: Michael Bell, Leon Danielle, Dolores Faith, Cliff Hall, Richard Hardin (II)
Director: H. Haile Chace
Jim and Judy can't wait to get married, but Jim and his pals take in the sleazy charms of a strip club where Jim loses his virginity to a hooker. Oops! Judy cancels the wedding plans when poor Jim thinks he#s "caught som... more »
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Save Your Life! Watch These Films!!
Jonathan Schaper | London, Ontario Canada | 10/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I give Damaged Goods 3 stars, merely for its value as a historical curiosity. It has a very silly soap opera plot, and is very weak as a warning film. A girl gets jealous of her boyfriend because his best friend's girlfriend wants to steal him from her. So she dumps him, allowing the hussy to make passes at him. However, they make up. So his friend gets him drunk, he gets VD, she dumps him again, he takes up with his friend's girlfriend, he makes up with his old girlfriend and dumps his new squeeze, the end. Not what you would expect from Sid Davis, the master of paranoid, alarmist warning films for kids (surprisingly, no little children get killed by nameless strangers, a problem that occurs in pretty well every other Sid Davis film).The Hard Road on the other hand is priceless. As Something Weird suggests, it is like every single warning film ever made has been combined into one alarming film. The lead female manages to go directly from one problem to another. Just when you think the script cannot come up with another tragedy for her to encounter, they do. It is fun just to try to guess what problem will arise next (you might want to make bets, its better than watching Banzai). But in addition you've got lots of bad acting and dialogue. A true exploitation masterpiece!"
Exploitation films designed to scare teeangers out of having
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 11/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let me begin with this specific warning: One of the things that "Damaged Goods" and "The Hard Road" have in common is that during the course of the narratives the young people in the movies and the viewing audience are exposed to what were called sex hygiene films. The point of these "educational" films was to scare kids straight and that means showing pictures of genitalia infected with venereal disease. So if you think that this Something Weird DVD has brought together a couple of choice examples from the sexploitation genre of the early 1960s, you are going to be in for a rude awakening, which, of course, was the whole point of these films.
The trailer for "Damaged Goods" makes it seem that the title character of this 1961 film is Kathy Durham (Dolores Faith), the bad brunette high school girl who wants to take Jim Radman (Mory Schoolhouse) away from perky blonde Judy Jackson (Charlotte Stewart). But Jim is really the central character here and the title fits him as well as anybody, even if the presumption is the only young girls deserve the appellation. Jim and Judy have been dating for a while and are planning on getting married before going off to college. But then Jim goes off to Seaview with Monk (Michael Bell) and the rest of the boys and ends up "letting off some steam" with a prostitute. Judy finds out and breaks up with Jim, who then takes up with Kathy. Then he decides that he should go see his doctor about that sore that will not heal and it is time for that graphic educational film. At least director H. Haile Chace is able to carve out a happy ending (penicillin is real wonder drug), but just imagine going on a date in high school within a weak of watching this one.
"The Hard Road" for teenage Pamela Banner (Connie Nelson) begins with a pregnancy. After giving birth and putting the baby up for adoption, Pam low self-esteem drives her to sleep around. After contracting gonorrhea and being slapped by her mom (Liz Renay), Pam moves in with her friend Gina and Jimmy (John Alderman) the heroin addict, who gets Pam hooked too. This is where the educational film gets run with even more graphic shots of venereal disease run wild before we get back to the story, which for the last part of the film is watching Jimmy and Pam crash and burn, to varying degrees, because of their drug addiction. Whereas "Damaged Goods" focuses just on the wages of sin in regards to sex, this 1970 film directed by Greg Corarito and Gary Graver shifts from sex to drugs at the end, as if there were almost two different films spliced together (with a sex hygiene film bridging the two).
The DVD extras stick pretty much to the educational theme with a couple of shorts, "The Innocent Party" and "VD!", the latter of which has a lot of the same things as "Damaged Goods" (which was originally released as "V.D."). Then there is a Gallery of Roadshow Pitch Books with the "Facts of Life" Intermission Lecture that SW fans will have heard before and a Gallery of Roadshow Exploitation Art with Radio Interview with "Slightly Damaged"/"Mondo" Traveling Roadshow Sex Hygienist Mr. E. J. Shaefer, which reaffirms that this is these films are all about educating the kids. It is only when you get to the trailers that you get away from this mantra. "The Hard Road" and "Damaged Goods" obviously fit, but with "Slightly Damaged," "Teenage Mother," "Teenage Sex Report," "The Runaway," and "Teenage Tramp" we are clearly veering back towards sexploitation (simple rule of thumb: if the actors are the ones naked you can forget about this being educational).
Actually rating these movies is an interesting proposition, because how many stars should you give to a film that threatens to make you physical ill, but in a good cause? "Damaged Goods" is the better of the two films, mainly because the actors actually get to do some acting and because the doctor does make a good case for why telling the truth about V.D. is important (it takes Jim a while to see the light, by which point every teenager in the audience should be way ahead of him on what would be the right thing to do). The value here is not as cinema, but rather as examples of one of the ways society was responding to, if not fighting back again, the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s. I just wonder what I would have been like if I had seen one of these films as a teenager (all I remember seeing where the Ohio State Highway Patrol films where you hear the screams of people being taken out of wrecked cars)."