LOVE TOY (1973) – The Dungeon Review!
There are a lot of exploitation films from the seventies that don’t really live up to their exploitative promises; Doris Wishman’s Love Toy is not one of them.
Marcus loses his home, car and factory to Alex in a game of cards.
As his wife Mary looks on, Alex offers Marcus a deal. Alex will tear up Marcus’s I.O.U.s for one night with his daughter Chris.
Alex goes to Chris’s room. “There’s something I have to tell you; your father had a stroke of bad luck.” Alex informs the teenager that her father has agreed to allow him to have one night with her in exchange for tearing up his I.O.U.s. “It’s true; you should be flattered.”
“You remind me of Samuel; he had sad eyes too…like yours.” Apparently Samuel was Alex’s kitten as a child and he makes Chris perform as his little kitty cat.
Meanwhile, Mary amuses herself with Marcus who they have tied to a chair.
“Mary always laughs when she’s dancing.”
At Alex’s direction Chris becomes his mother, wife, mistress and child; and then they play a game of horsey.
“Mary my wife, who isn’t real. I wanted a child. A woman without a soul cannot have a child. You be my child!”
Mary has a lengthy flashback to her childhood where she watches her promiscuous mother having sex.
Mary watches excitedly as Alex has sex with Chris.
“I’ll be kind to you if you show me how much you like Chris.”
Alex brings Marcus in and forces him to watch.
“Father did you really make that deal with him?”
My first foray into Doris Wishman’s work were her black and white sexploitation films from the mid and late sixties. These are the sassy, sexy and stylish films that made me fall in love with the director’s work. After having plowed through that list I delved into her earlier nudie cutie films. Nudie cutie films are pretty much what they sound like. Films with a lot of nudity but with a light fluffiness about them. They are light on story and are really just an excuse to show a lot of nude broads. I have seen some nudie cuties I have enjoyed like Peter Perry’s My Tale is Hot but for the most part these films rank pretty low in my favourites in the Something Weird Video catalog. I was a little afraid to explore Ms. Wishman’s seventies flicks. I am a huge fan of films from the decade but after watching the impossibly dull Deadly Weapons I was not very enthused. Wishman’s 1974 duo Deadly Weapons and Double Agent 73 featuring Chesty Morgan brought the director some commercial success from what I understand. It is a shame those two titles are the better known on her resume. Wishman made some deliciously naughty and exploitative gems through the seventies and Love Toy is one of the best of the bunch. There are a few distinct details about Wishman’s films that never changed through the years. One of those details is the dubbing. No one speaks in a Wishman film. The voices are added afterwards or alternatively the story is narrated. It is a little detail you get accustomed to after watching a lot of her films. I loved the voice work in Love Toy. I have no idea if the main actor Bernard Marcel actually provided the voice for his character but it was the perfect choice. Bernard Marcel’s character Alex is a messed up guy. Marcel is superb as the creepy Alex with a list of issues a mile long. Over the course of his evening with Chris, Alex wants her to be his kitty cat, his mama, his wife, his mistress and his child. His wife Mary appears to have a grocery list of issues herself even though she does not speak a single word through the film. Uta Erickson is one of my favorite exploitation queens and as Mary she gives one of her best performances without uttering a word. Mary tortures Marcus, flirting with him, giving him a handjob and burning him with her cigarette. She has a lengthy childhood flashback scene where she sees her mother having sex. Apparently Mary’s mother was the promiscuous sort, or might have been a prostitute; I’m not really sure. Marcus will not be winning father of the year. Marcus does have second thoughts after agreeing to allow Alex to have a night with his daughter Chris. Marcus puts up a fight and Alex and Mary have to tie him up. Larry Hunter does not have a ton of screen time as Marcus but nonetheless leaves an impression. Poor Chris, she will never be the same after this evening of sadistic merriment. Pat Happel who plays Chris looks crazy young! She does a great job of emoting moving from disgusted, to afraid to ecstasy throughout the film. The quartet of players here were all perfectly cast for this serious bit of sleaze. There is nudity, sex, violence and a healthy helping of the bizarre and unsavory that make Love Toy a genuinely seedy, sordid and salacious piece of seventies exploitation. Love Toy disgusted me, shocked me, made me laugh, made me cringe and entertained me. Highly recommended!
For more images from Doris Wishman’s Love Toy click here.
Dungeon Rating: 4/5
Directed By: Doris Wishman
Starring: Bernard Marcel, Pat Happel, Uta Erickson, Larry Hunter