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BORN INNOCENT (1974) ***

The year after Linda Blair turned heads (no pun intended) in The Exorcist she starred in this infamous TV Movie of the Week.  It’s infamous for a reason.  In one scene, Linda takes a shower and gets jumped by several lesbians and gets a broomstick shoved up her You Know What.  But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

 

Linda plays this teenage runaway who gets sent to a girl’s home.  One teacher tries to get through to her and make a Difference while the other house mother just tries to keep everybody in line.  Of course the place is crawling with teenage lesbian rapists who like to hold Linda down and give her the old Broomstick to the Bush routine.  After that, Linda just isn’t the same.  She becomes withdrawn, tries to escape, gets put into Solitary, and in the end she stages an all out riot when the dumb ass house mother doesn’t give her some shampoo.  After all the delinquent debutantes trash the place, the girls take Linda as her new leader and well… that’s about it. 

 

What I dug about this flick is that it wasn’t preachy.  The movie didn’t have a “message” and the ending was definitely downbeat.  It didn’t sugarcoat anything and I appreciated the film’s honesty.  The bottom line was that Linda was a product of the system and there was no escape for her no matter how hard she tried.  Not only did she get the short end of the stick but she also got the long end of the broomstick as well. 

 

As previously stated, Born Innocent was a made for TV flick and I’m sure it was really something when it first aired.  The rape scene although not explicit still packs quite a wallop nearly 35 years later.  While the film definitely pales in comparison next to other Linda sleaze fests like Chained Heat and Savage Streets, this one actually has “drama” and “character development”; if that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for in a Linda Blair movie. 

 

Me, well I enjoy a little drama WITH my sleaze, so it was all good.  The big problem I had with the movie was that the pacing drug on, especially during the middle act when Linda gets sent home temporarily to her uncaring folks.  I know that the filmmakers probably had to pad things out in order for the flick to fit a two hour timeslot, but c’mon.  They could have at least spiced things up with another broomstick scene or two. 

 

And why didn’t Linda get revenge on the scummy lesbos who violated her?  Seriously, if I was the one that got a broomstick shoved up my hoo-ha, I’d be kicking ass and taking names Chuck Bronson style.  Then again, it probably won’t matter to any die hard exploitation fan how many flaws Born Innocent has.  As long as a devoted fan of sleaze cinema hears the words “Linda Blair”, “raped”, and “broomstick”, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a must see. 

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