• Invitation To Ruin



    Released by: Alpha Blue Archives
    Released on: December, 2014.
    Director: Kurt Richter
    Cast:Roger Gentry, Moe Weise, Bobby Ross, Kathy Williams
    Year: 1968/1975

    The Movie:

    Directed by Kurt Richter (some claim this is an alias for Bob Cresse), 1968’s Invitation To Ruin tells the sordid, and we do mean sordid, tale of a man named Jerry Sloane (Roger Gentry) who works for a mobster named Ernie Pulaski (Moe Weise). His job? To find beautiful women and coerce them, unwittingly, into white slavery! To do this he takes them out, shows them a good time and then winds up shuffling them off to a torture dungeon run by a mute woman named Mama Lupo (played by one Bertha Bigg!). She then ‘breaks’ them with various methods of torture and by plying them with drugs. Why is she mute? Why not! The movie mentions something about her having her tongue removed for squealing. Snitches get stiches!

    Jerry’s pretty good at his job, he shows a knack for this kind of work, but things get complicated for the guy when he starts to get a serious case of the hots for Alison (Kathy Williams), Ernie’s fox of a daughter. To get rid his fiancé, Elaine (Bobby Ross), really the only thing standing in his way here, he offers her to Mama Lupo to do what she does best. Lupo happily obliges leaving Jerry to get it on with Alison but wait… what’s going to happen when her dad/Jerry’s boss shows up? Oh man, that’s not going to end well for Jerry at all…

    Shot in 1968 by Cresse and then reedited and rereleased in 1975 by Gentry with a bunch of hardcore inserts put into it (under the alternate title of The Invitation), this one is a nasty little movie with all the torture and degradation that you could hope for on full display. Lots of whipping, some hot poker action, all manner of verbal abuse and plenty of poor gals just tied up in Lupo’s dungeon sort of hanging around waiting for what’s to come. It would all be horribly unpleasant if it weren’t so goofy. Gentry (who was amazing in The Ramrodder, also available from SWV), a familiar face in exploitation and sexploitation films of the day, is watchable enough as the male lead and the women are all quite attractive and wonderfully curvy in that retro-hot-chick sort of way. It’s not particularly well shot or well-acted and most of the sets/locations that aren’t the dungeon have a lot of wood paneling and shag carpeting. This is most definitely a product of its time and it screams late sixties when it’s not focusing on penetration insert shots.

    Of course, the hardcore inserts stick out like a sore thumb and you can clearly see that the performers differ when these scenes kick in. You can also tell which scenes were shot in ’68 versus those shot in ’75 by the differences in Gentry’s appearance (he appears as Sloan in the newer footage as well). Something Weird (who claim on the box copy for their disc that Richter was NOT Bob Cresse but in fact ‘a bar owner who wanted to make a film’ – though it certainly fits in alongside some of the nastier entries in Cresse’s filmography) released the hardcore version with the hardcore taken out on DVD-R, Alpha Blue previously released the hardcore version in their Brutal Underground Volume One boxed set and are now reissuing it on this disc. The original 1968 cut of the movie appears to be lost to the sands of time.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Initiation To Ruin arrives on DVD in its original 1.33.1 fullframe aspect ratio. It does look to have been sourced from a film print, albeit on that has seen better days. Expect plenty of print damage and scratches and some wonky fluctuations in color timing and black levels throughout the duration of the film. Having said that, this is watchable enough if you don’t mind the condition of the elements used for the transfer.

    The only audio option for the feature attraction is an English language Dolby Digital Mono track. There’s some hiss here and there and some jumps and spikes in the balance of the levels but for the most part the stilted dialogue and oddly familiar music used throughout the film come through okay.

    As far as the extras go, ABA has included two similarly themed bonus feature length attractions, making this a trashy triple feature of sorts. The first bonus film is Bob Chinn’s 1976 feature, Love Slaves. In this film, John Leslie plays a special agent named Steve Blake who is out trying to solve the case of some missing women snatched off of the streets of San Francisco. It seems there’s been a rash of disappearances lately. When he’s not pounding the beat trying to make the world a better place, he’s chilling at home with his sister, Karen (Tanya Shae).

    What Blake doesn’t know, at least not at first, is that the women aren’t dead as many suspect. They’re actually being held hostage in a remote warehouse where a doctor named Paul Severin (Alain Patrick under the alias Pierre Delon) is hypnotizing them and conditioning them to become not only sex slaves, but mindless killers as well! When Karen winds up abducted, Steve finds himself in a race against time to save his sister and what remains of the other abductees as well.

    Like a lot of Chinn’s work, Love Slaves has a decent story to it and casting Leslie in the lead proved a solid choice as the guy can actually act. He’s good here and surprisingly enough he only performs in the one opening sex scene. The rest of the time he plays it straight and he makes for a convincing enough cop. That leaves the bumping and grinding up to the rest of the cast, made up not only of Ms. Shae but also Desiree West, Laura Bourbon, Sharon Thorpe and Turk Lyon to name only a few. There are some good names here and they perform well. The previous ABA release of this film (again in their Brutal Underground Volume One collection) was cut but this newly released version is the full strength edit of the picture and it’s in fairly good shape here too.

    The second extra feature on the disc is Slaves Of Love, directed by the late Charles Nizet in 1969 for, if the title card is to be believed, the illustrious Green Dolphin Productions. The movie doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but there’s a kinda-sorta plot going on here about two guys, Joe (Peter Owen) and Troy (Lloyd Davish), who are trying to figure out how and why planes keep disappearing over a stretch of uncharted waters somewhere in the South Pacific Sea. Of course, they decide to fly there to check it out and wouldn’t you know, their plane goes down.

    As luck would have it, this and the other disappearances have everything to do with an island full of heavily armed and well-endowed Amazonian women who take our heroes back to their base of operations, stopping along the way for a ridiculously long and completely unnecessary ten minute skinny dipping session. The guys are imprisoned in the ladies’ lair and forced to get it on at the drop of a hat, particularly when it comes to satiate their leader (Tina Brown)! What the guys don’t know is that the other pilots who have been captured, the ones that they’re supposedly out to find, were killed off when they were no longer of use to these women. Will Joe and Troy make it off of this island of perpetually horny and genuinely attractive women before it’s too late?

    This one is pretty funny. The guys who play the male leads look like they’d be more comfortable in an East Village café playing experimental jazz than trying to play studly action heroes but they give it their all. The ladies are all surprisingly good looking and they fill out their remarkably short skirts quite nicely and in all the right ways. They also benefit from having a nice retro sci-fi styled lair in which to plan all of their nefarious deeds. Much of the film takes place outside, and it’s fairly well shot for what was obviously a low budget sexploitation quickie. This is sexy, stupid, brainless fun and actually quite worth seeing if you’re a fan of this type of thing.

    The Final Word:

    It would have been nice to get both cuts of Invitation To Ruin, but that didn’t happen (and it would seem likely that at this point it never will) but otherwise, this is a fun release. Invitation is as rough and sleazy as you’d expect, Love Slaves is a well-made XXX crime film with some a seriously seedy side to it and Slaves Of Love is just a ludicrous film that’s hard not to get a kick out of.