PASSION IN HOT HOLLOWS (1969) – The Dungeon Review!
IMDB has always been a flaky source for reviews but I do trust it for cast information. My co-host David recently told me that IMDB’s cast listing for a particular film he was looking up was a mess but I had never really run into that myself. Strangely, immediately following that conversation I did run into an IMDB error for today’s subject review; Passion in Hot Hollows. Linda Boyce is listed as playing a character named June Dealy. Boyce’s character, who is referred to by name several times is Linda Lu; Linda Lu Fenton actually. Don’t get me wrong, IMDB is an invaluable resource for cast information generally speaking but it is not 100% accurate. In fairness, these sixties exploitation flicks are full of actors and actresses that use pseudonyms. Keep in mind that many of these films included nudity, sex, erotica and violence that was considered to be particularly unsavoury in the time they were made. So many of these actors and especially actresses disappeared from the industry altogether after the decade was over. Time and time again I have run into actresses I have enjoyed in multiple films that have no listings after the 1960s; June Roberts, Sharon Kent, Gigi Darlene, Dawn Bennett, Darlene Bennett, just to name a few off the top of my head. In some cases the actresses lingered for a few years in the early seventies like two of very favourites; Uta Erickson and Linda Boyce, who both appear in Passion in Hot Hollows. I almost feel like I know Uta Erickson she has turned up in so many films I’ve watched; Linda Boyce would not be far behind Ms. Erickson. Both women have appeared in several films together and clearly have a comfort with one another that makes for great chemistry. A lot of what they have appeared in together has been erotica, or at least sexplotiation/roughies and the two have done several lesbian love scenes. Both of these lovely ladies are as sexy as they are charismatic and both give delicious performances in Joe Sarno’s tale of a small town with big passion.
“Hey there! Either of you fellas know which way the Overlook House is?” -Norma Sue
“Five miles.” -Luke
“More like four.” -Billy Joe
“Five or six.” -Luke
“Four miles.” -Billy Joe
Billy Joe and Luke’s inane argument does not even answer the question Norma Sue was asking.
“Here comes that Anna; Anna whatever her name is.” -Billy Joe
“Oh yeah, that bohunk from across the creek huh?” -Luke
“She was married to Anton. You know, he worked with us at the mill.” -Billy Joe
“Yeah. Crazy bohunk.” -Luke
Turns out Anna’s hubby Anton was “locked up in the booby hatch (mental hospital) over in Cloverdale” about three months previous.
“After three months she must be ripe for the plucking.” -Billy Joe
“Thank you. I don’t know your name.” -Anna
“Billy Joe; Billy Joe Fenton. I only know your name is Anna.” -Billy Joe
“Anna Cordach.” -Anna
Anna invited Billy Joe in for some tea.
“What are you doing here?” -Jean
“We’d like a room.” -Norma Sue
“I assume you’re married.” -Jean
“Of course we are. Do you think I’d come to my big sister with a man and ask for a room if I wasn’t?” -Norma Sue
“Seven dollars a night for a double. Sign here; and don’t forget to make it Mr. and Mrs.” -Jean
“Where’s Billy Joe?” -Linda Lu
“Oh, I don’t know. He went out for a spin on his bike.” -Luke
“Oh damn! Why he knew I was visiting Daisy Jones and her new baby. Now how am I supposed to get to the Overlook House? Sometimes Billy Joe just forgets that I’m the only one that’s working in this family.” -Linda Lu
“He’ll come along in twenty minutes.” -Luke
“You could take me over on your bike.” -Linda Lu
“Uh-uh. I best wait for Billy Joe.” -Luke
Meanwhile Billy Joe is having tea with Anna.
“I’d like to try something different. Like maybe watching you do it to another girl.” -Norma Sue
“Just watching me and her?” -Parker
“Might just be kicks.” -Norma Sue
“Sounds indecent.” -Parker
“Honey, that’s what I am; indecent. And that’s what I’ve always been.” -Norma Sue
“Indecent. That’s the way I like you.” – Parker
“Ever since I was a kid. That’s what I was. But her, she was always the good one. Yeah, always the good one.” -Norma Sue
Turns out that Jean was the good girl but was a chronic masturbator. Jean had a rag doll that she would take with her when she’d hideaway and touch herself. Norma Sue stole that rag doll but it didn’t stop Jean from playing with herself. Jean ended up getting married to a fifty year old man when she was just fifteen.
“Know what? I bet she still ain’t had nothing but playing with herself.” -Norma Sue
Jean is indeed in her room playing with herself; Jean is a chronic masturbator.
Norma Sue shows some bitterness and resentment towards her big sister:
“He kicked off and left her this joint. A goldmine.” -Norma Sue
“Aw hell, you didn’t do so bad. Dick Horn divorced you and gave you a bundle of money to get lost with, not to mention this car.” -Parker
“This is nothing compared to this. Nothing at all. Give me another cigarette.” -Norma Sue
“Parker?” -Norma Sue
“I’d love it. I’d truly love to watch you and Jean. I’d love it more than anything I could think of.” -Norma Sue
“I want another ride on your bike.” -Linda Lu
“You can have a ride on a bike any time you want; Billy Joe has a perfectly good one.” -Luke
“Yeah, but riding yours is different. You know, with my arms around you. Something about your bike; the way it bounces and all that. Gets my blood heated up. Makes me want you to take me out to the barn.” -Linda Lu
Norma Sue fools around with Parker in the barn where she knows Jean will be turning up any minute. Jean does turn up and watches the couple from the shadows until Norma Sue shouts out to ask Jean if she is playing with herself. Jean runs from the barn and into her bedroom where she continues to play with herself. The relentless Norma Sue chases after Jean and taunts and humiliates her from the other side of the locked door.
In Norma Sue’s pursuit of beating boredom and getting kicks she has Parker hit on Linda Lu who is watching over the bar that night. Linda Lu has sex with Parker as Norma Sue watches from the shadows and eventually joins in.
On the advice of Billy Joe, Anna turns to prostitution to earn some money. Her first customers are Norma Sue and Parker. Anna charges ten dollars per partner and Norma Sue and Parker pay for three telling Anna that the third will be along later. Anna is going to get quite the surprise.
“Norma Sue don’t go. Don’t leave me. Please. Don’t leave me.”
“It was nice. But I was getting bored with the whole thing. The whole damn thing.” -Norma Sue
“Where do we go now?” -Parker
“We’ll just head west; anywhere.” -Norma Sue
Did Norma Sue come to her hometown of Hot Hollows specifically to corrupt the local population; or more specifically to corrupt her sister? I think that answer is a resounding yes. Norma Sue is proudly indecent; she wears it like a crown. She doesn’t try to be any other way, and she does not want to be any other way. In her own words Norma Sue is easily bored. Even a “stud bull” like her subservient boyfriend Parker rarely keeps her satisfied. But good old obedient Parker is willing to be her whipping boy and do her bidding. Norma Sue is abundantly confident and comfortable in her own skin although She does slip into a resentful, child-like pout when it comes to her sister Jean. She looks at Jean as almost a nemesis; her polar opposite who was favored by her parents when they were growing up. Norma Sue turns the entire tiny town of Hot Hollows upside-down without batting an eyelash. She leaves the town guilt free with little more than a shrug of her shoulders. Cherie Winters (credited as Lola Valentine) who played Norma Sue has appeared in several Joe Sarno films (Skin Deep in Love, Scarf of Mist Thigh of Satin, The Sex Cycle, All the Sins of Sodom and The Wall of Flesh). Winters plays Norma Sue with brashness and tenacity and really sells it. I thought this character was fabulous; one of my favourite Sarno characters yet. Oh how Norma Sue so enthusiastically taunts, teases and shames her sister Jean. Poor Jean. Jean isn’t much of a talker and tends to keep to herself. Married to a fifty year old man at the terribly young age of fifteen, she has never left Hot Hollows and her naivety reflects it. Jean runs the bar and inn known as The Overlook House left to her by her late husband. It is the spot for all the locals and the only place one can stay in Hot Hollows. Lovely Uta Erickson gives an electric performance as the sexually repressed; chronic masturbator Jean. Jean employs Linda Lu Fenton; a reliable and spirited gal whose husband Billy Joe has been out of work. The spunky Linda Lu likes to sneak up on people and always speaks her mind. I’ve never seen Linda Boyce play such a fun quirky character! She is an absolute ray of sunshine; blindingly bright and too hot to handle! Anna, the sweet foreigner has been left to fend for herself after her hubby was committed to a mental hospital. Anna is befriended by Linda Lu’s husband Billy Joe and the two become engaged in an affair. Irene DeBari is another Sarno regular and she is perfect as the amiable Anna. The men in the film are not without their charms but are not exactly the sharpest lot. Parker is the wishy-washiest of the bunch. The mellow fellow questions the things Norma Sue asks of him but does them anyway. The frustratingly agreeable Parker is basically no more than a lap dog; or a “bull stud” as Norma Sue refers to him. Alex Mann (credited as Luther Braun) is another Sarno regular (not to mention an appearance in two Doris Wishman films) and he plays the lovable dope parker to a “T”. It is no wonder that Billy Joe and Luke are chums; they are two peas in a pod. The goofy duo have managed to get themselves in to all sorts of trouble over the years in the sparsely populated town. Both ride motorcycles and work at the mill which has recently laid off most (or all) of its employees. This leaves the two with far too much time on their hands. Aaron Green who plays Luke and Charlie Dodson who plays Billy Joe have some pretty amusing dialog and both are well-suited in their good ol’ boy roles. Passion in Hot Hollows is a spectacular visual delight. The cinematography in the film is amazing and the use of shadows and light throughout is stunning. It has a sexy Tennessee Williams vibe about it, but sleazier; it is also funny as hell at times. The characters and their activities are engaging and titillating; their turmoil, spirit and passion was magic. At this rate, I may never watch another horror film again! Just joshing! But Damn, that Joe Sarno is one talented sonofabitch! Passion in Hot Hollows gets my highest of recommendations; a perfect score!
For more images from Passion in Hot Hollows click here.
Dungeon Rating: 5/5
Directed By: Joe Sarno
Starring: Cherie Winters, Linda Boyce, Irene DeBari, Charlie Dobson, Uta Erickson, Aaron Green, Alex Mann