The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

THE STEPMOTHER (1972) *

 

Well, you got to hand it to director Howard Avedis and the good folks at Crown International Pictures because they sure do know how to do a bait and switch marketing campaign.  The ads all made you think this was gonna be all about a sexy stepmother who seduces her stepson into humping like hyenas in heat, but the truth of the matter is that this flick has got waaaay more plot than just that. 

 

What we got is Alejandro Rey murdering his wife’s (Katherine Justice) lover then disposing of the body.  Afterwards, he tries to play it cool, but that’s kinda tough to do when his wife is always inviting her flute playing hippie friends over for cocktails.  Alejandro starts having bizarre visions of his victims stalking him in slow-motion on the beach, which doesn’t exactly improve his disposition.  Since he’s still mad about that whole cheating thing, he refuses to have sex with Justice, so she starts seeing his business partner.  This makes Rey even crazier so he throws his buddy off the top of a five story roof.  When his son comes to visit, Rey gets too caught up getting involved with his late business partner’s wife to notice either his son OR his wife.  This leads to Justice (FINALLY!!!) seducing her stepson.

 

You have to wait ¾ of the movie before Justice hops in the sack with her stepson and by the time the filmmakers finally get around to showing it, it’s totally not worth it.  I mean all Justice does is get stoned, then she lays him down on a pool table and jumps on top of him.  Then there’s an abrupt jump cut.  That’s it!  What a tease!  Thankfully when Avedis made the similarly themed The Teacher the next year, he spent more time on the actual seduction and affair, but even that movie was hopelessly riddled with too many subplots. 

 

Not only do you have to sit through a lot of half assed soap opera theatrics and ill advised crimes of passion, but there’s also a lot of boring police procedural stuff that helps keep the flick’s gearshift firmly in the park position. 

 

As the sexy stepmother, Justice provides some nice T & A in the shower, but she isn’t much of an actress.  Rey isn’t very convincing as either a cuckolded husband, or a coldblooded killer and his over enunciated Mexican accent (“CHOO BEEN SEEING HAHR BEEHIND MY BAHCK!”) is pretty irritating.  Familiar faces such as Duncan (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) McCleod and Claudia (Gator Bait) Jennings co-star.  She plays a porn star and in one brief scene, gets completely naked.  For fans of the late Jennings, these brief moments of her in her birthday suit will be justification enough to sit through this crap, but everyone else will want to steer clear.

 

If you can believe it, the theme song “Strange are the Ways of Love” was actually nominated for an Oscar! 

 

AKA:  Impulsion.

Tags: drama, s
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