Color, 1970, 80m.
Directed by R. Charleton Wilson
Starring Cynthia Denny, John Alderman, Ed Kelly, Steve Vincent, Lynn Lyons, Lou Anne Roberts, L.L. Cuddles
Code Red (US R0 NTSC) / WS (1.66:1) (16:9)

DandyAnyone depressed by the long absence of seedy discoveries on DVD from Something Weird should find Dandysome comfort in Dandy, a deeply scuzzy, low rent Los Angeles number shot at the end of the 1960s. Loaded with skin, big hair, and eye-punishing production design, it's not even close to a good movie in any sort of traditional sense but a major treasure trove of cheapo sexploitation goodness all the same.

Accompanied by a shrieking jazz score, our title character (played by the charisma-challenged Denny) is first seen splashing around naked in the SoCal surf. Dandy is an 18-year-old runaway who's headed off to find her dreams, which apparently entail finding a guy to take care of her so she can stand around admiring herself in the mirror. "Don't worry, you'll earn your keep," says her latest boyfriend, Jocko (Roya, also seen in Billy Jack, The Love Statue, and The White Buffalo), who offers to let her stay with him. She still wants to go out and get a job, which lands her at a modeling agency where she has to "think sexy" and pose (yes, naked) for a prospective employer, Larry Lebot (Alderman, a drive-in vet from New Year's Evil, Cleopatra Jones, and The Stunt Man), who wants to see her "bedroom eyes." The first assignment has her doing a girl/girl nudie mag shoot with more experienced model Loreen (Lyons) where the photographer barks orders like "Just get near the panties" and "You've seen those things before, now push!"

Things don't turn out so well, but her day gets even worse when she comes home to find Jocko rolling in the sack with another woman. He invites her to join in, but Dandy bolts in horror and winds up sitting in Mr. Lebot's lap and grinding away on his powder green couch. Then she gets picked up by a photographer named Anson (The Psycho Lover's Vincent) who seems to be a nice guy, but their romance is upended when Lebot sends one of his goons, Leroy (the brilliantly named L.L. Cuddles, a name I'm totally stealing for my next pet), to mess everything up. Rationalizing that she might as well sell it since she's giving it away already, Dandy goes back to Lebot and takes an escort job where she ends up in a hotel room getting a phone call from a pervert telling her, Dandy"Cleanse yourself." Then the creep comes up to aggressively rub her all over in the bathtub with a washcloth and, uh, lie next to her in bed, which is enough to have her bolting for the door.

Lebot won't pay up, so she swipes a valuable contact book and runs off off to see Loreen, who strips Dandy down and takes advantage of her on the couch until her roomie shows up. Leroy chases her down and drags her back to DandyLebot, who forces her to get back to work as a party toy for a bunch of guys in white shirts and ties who throw her to the ground and tickle her on a hotel room floor. What's next in store for poor Dandy? Wouldja believe a swinging suburban couple, a body painting party, orgies in a swimming pool, and a happy ending you won't believe for a second?

While Denny is certainly game for getting thrown around in a variety of "degrading" situations (most of which pale in comparison to your average reality show contestant), she's not exactly a power keg of alluring cinematic sensuality. That said, this film is daffy enough to hold your interest for 80 minutes thanks to the weird supporting characters, with Alderman taking top acting honors as he veers from slightly creepy daddy figure to full-on monster. The whole project is marinated in that weird, hazy, off-kilter atmosphere you find in many quickie L.A. productions around the same time, and there are some nifty views of the Hollywood hills in their prime for good measure. As for the disc itself, this appears to be the home video debut for a film that probably hasn't been seen in decades; the print appears to be in good shape, and while colors are on the muted and slightly pinkish side, it all looks fine enough for an obscure film of this vintage. The standard mono track does what it can with the really obnoxious music score, and the only extra is a reel of bonus Code Red trailers like Class of '74, Just Before Dawn, Gold of the Amazon Women, The Girl Next Door, My Old Man's Place, The Folks at Red Wolf Inn, Splitz, and Devils Three.

Reviewed on June 22, 2013.