"Surely you aren't suggesting there's something wrong with G
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 08/27/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Now its my understanding that back in the day if you wanted to make a movie with some female nekkidness in it, you could, but in order to get around certain local laws prohibiting such displays you did so under the guise of creating an edumacational or medical film (somehow I don't think either of these two films ever found their way to the high schools, which was odd, given their `edumacational' content and all...I'm be facetious...I know, I know, its hard to tell at times). You probably wouldn't have seen these somewhat sleazy movies in a respectable theater, as more often than not those peddling this often times lurid fare would set up their own, makeshift venues by erecting a tent on the outskirts of a town, to which the men would flock, knowing exactly what they were getting...as times changed and restrictions eased, the pretenses were dropped, and thus saw the fading away of films as these...
The first film on this DVD is titled Test Tube Babies (1948) aka Blessed Are They aka Sins of Love aka The Pill and relates to the notion of artificial insemination...sort of...as the film opens, we see the credits, and one in particular stands out stating `The medical and technical data approved by The National Research Foundation for Fertility, Incorporated'...wow, sounds official, doesn't it? Chances are it was probably a sham corporation, or perhaps a real one, with little idea the real intent behind the movie, but then that's just my opinion. Anyway, as the story begins we meet a young couple, their names George and Cathy. George proposes to Cathy, they get married, buy a little house along with some appliances, and go on a honeymoon, all within the first five minutes. Next time we see them it's a year later, and things seem to be all right, but tensions begin to develop, specifically because this union has yet to bear any fruit (its babies I'm speaking to, ya idjit), even though all of their married friends seem to be popping them out like Pez. Cathy's got the baby fever something fierce, so they decide to go to the doctor, and they learn there's nothing wrong with Cathy's plumbing. Turns out George is the one gumming up the works...his man juice has got no go go, he's shooting blanks, his boys are dead in the water, etc...the doc, after a lengthy information sequence, recommends artificial insemination. Hey, it works on livestock, right? Why not on humans? They go for it, and soon Cathy begins popping them out, and all the marital strife soon disappears replaced by domestic happiness...a third of this film actually deals with the subject of artificial insemination, which was incredibly boring, by the way, while the rest is the lurid sleaze the audience is actually paying to see...it's presented in the manner of George and Cathy's swinging friends, the ones without children, and wild parties that include copious amounts of alcohol, impromptu burlesque routines, inebriated women in their underwear, the occasional catfight (complete with hair pulling and clothes falling off), wife swapping, and just debauchery in general. There is some very brief glimpses of flesh, just enough to ensure titillation among the rubes...the funniest thing about this film, besides the completely rotten acting and moronic script is near the end, while George is waiting expectantly for Cathy to birth her test tube baby...he's nervous as hell, and the doctor comes out and recommends he sit and smoke a cigarette, to calm himself down...smoke `em if you got `em...as prescribed by a doctor...one odd aspect was in regards to George's sterility...it wasn't the result of questionable activities from his past (copulation with farm animals or such), but just how he was...the advertising seemed to indicate differently, but in actuality, George was pretty much a stick in the mud with all his uptightness...he's quite the buzz kill, if you ask me. This feature runs 53 minutes.
The bonus feature is titled Hell is a Place Called Hollywood (1950), and focuses on the exploitation that often occurs to the young women who flock west with dreams of becoming famous actresses and such. Apparently this was common enough for someone to produce a sort of edumacational/warning film about it, to which we have here the story of one such girl named Shelia Anderson. Sheila, after winning a local beauty contest, her prize being a bit part in a movie, relocates to Hollywood, hoping to develop a movie career. She moves in with a roommate (who's ugly as sin), but finds the going tough, so Sheila decides to try photographic modeling. She does find work modeling all kinds of things, but advertisers are always looking for fresh faces, so Shelia finds work harder and harder to come by...respectable work, that is... around this time her roommate decides to go back home, because she can't find any work (probably due to her ugly horse face), and Sheila is alone and penniless. She then hooks up with another photographer, and it turns out he only wants to take lurid pictures, and since all her money is gone, Shelia reluctantly acquiesces as beggars can't be choosy...nice granny bloomers there, Sheila...as the film ends we see a regretful, shamed, homeless Sheila eating crackers and using the discarded box in her shoe to cover a hole in her sole...hole in her soul...anyway, this short feature has a bit more nekkidness than the first, as we watch Sheila reviewing the movie footage of herself in her bit part which involved her skinny dipping (what kind of movie was that?), I thought it really odd that someone should make a film exposing the exploitive nature of the Hollywood system that actually featured a girl being exploited, but then again the expressed intent is a long cry from the actual intent, which was to show a little skin for the pleasures of a lecherous audience, all done under the guise of warning those young and impressionable girlies to think twice before hopping that bus to La La Land. This film runs about 20 minutes.
The picture quality on this Alpha Video DVD of Test Tube Babies is completely rotten. It's murky, fuzzy, missing frames, terribly damaged and appears to be a 4th or 5th generation copy. Surprisingly the audio isn't too bad. The picture quality on Hell is a Place Called Hollywood is a little bit better (but not much), appearing washed out at times, but relatively intact. The audio, however, suffers (dropouts, tone variation, etc.). As far as the quality aspects I speak to, it was about how I expected given this was an Alpha release, so there weren't any surprises. There are no extras, except for a video DVD case display of other Alpha cheapie releases. All in all, an inexpensive release, good for a few laughs and a meager amount of flesh...
TEST TUBE BABIES - Amazing Living, today!
Dion C. Ventress | Toronto, ONTARIO Canada | 07/12/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Cheapo laughs hit up "Test Tube Babies" as a couple who are tired of some "loose living" decide that having children will fix the problem (sounds like growing up in my home town of Oshawa!). The doctor finds out he's sterile (maybe he's wearing speedos) so then the dozey lady finds out about the miracle of artificial incemination! The other short on this DVD is fun, but it's funny that it's so low budget that they even throw in the out of focus footage, complete with looped sound. TEST TUBE BABIES is a little soft tranfer wise, but it's still a fun deal at this price."