• Little Blue Box



    Released by: Impulse Pictures
    Released on: July 12th, 2016.
    Director: Arlo Schiffin
    Cast: Jennifer Welles, Jamie Gillis, Leslie Bovee, Gloria Leonard, Sharon Mitchell, Ming Toy, John Leslie
    Year: 1979
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    The Movie:

    Directed by Don Walters (using the nomme de porn of Arlo Schiffin!) in 1979, Little Blue Box takes a pretty fun premise and….doesn’t do much of interest with it. When the movie begins, we meet John (John Leslie). He’s a writer who mostly works from home while his wife, Jen (Jennifer Welles made up to look rather spinstery here), is away at work. Upstairs lives their foxy tenant, Leslie (Leslie Bovee), who doesn’t mind teasing John a little bit now and then. He fantasizes about her, which we see in plenty of explicit detail, but despite his temptations stays kinda-sorta faithful to Jen, even if she fails to satisfy his manly wants and needs.

    Late one night, while John is home alone, there’s a knock on the door from Ms. Azure (Welles again, looking much more like her delightfully curvy blonde self). He lets her in, even though he knows there’s a sales pitch coming, simply because she’s a fox. She introduces him to the titular Little Blue Box – a device that connects to his television that will show him pretty much anything he can think of in terms of carnality. During the demonstration things get hot and heavy between John and Azure, until Jen comes home and ruins their fun. But John’s into what the box can offer and he gets to check out a few steamy encounters – a biker couple going at it in a barn, a security guard boffing a shoplifter in a dressing room and even an adult film audition (featuring Jamie Gillis and Ming Toy).

    What Azure, who returns the next night for more quality time with John, doesn’t tell him is just what the button on the box marked “69” will do…

    The movie has a good premise – it’s sort of like a dirty Amazon Women On The Moon, just not as funny. Putting Welles in a dual role was a good idea in theory, but it’s never exploited all that well. Her bitchy wife persona is unlikeable, we never really feel much for her so when John starts playing around with her hot blonde doppelganger, you can’t really blame the guy. There is some mildly effective humor here and there but not enough of it to make this as entertaining as it should have been. Once the Little Blue Box is hooked up and John starts channel surfing, most of the focus shifts to the scenes that play out on his TV. It doesn’t take a porn scholar to notice pretty quickly that most of this material was inserted from different sources – the scene in the barn feels European and the scene in the dressing room features French language signs and hairy armpits! These scenes don’t jive with the rest of the movie very well, the clash with the attempts at humor and stand out, they really just don’t feel right for the film.

    The scene with Gillis and Ming Toy is pretty decent. She’s auditioning for a modeling gig and the man on the other side of the desk (Jack Teague) wants to be sure she’s got what it takes. He calls in a guy named Stacy (Gillis) to make sure she does and then he joins in on the action himself. Ming’s an unusual looking but attractive Asian gal whose stint in the adult film business doesn’t seem to have yielded more than a handful of titles but she’s fun to watch here. The finale (we won’t spoil it but it is very predictable and one giant cliché) is well shot and features Gloria Leonard and Sharon Mitchell alongside Welles, Bovee (who steals every scene she’s in) as well as Leslie himself.

    The movie isn’t a complete waste of time – it actually has some decent moments – but it’s probably not something you’ll go back to time and time again and it unfortunately fails the make the most of a pretty damn solid cast.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Impulse Pictures presents Little Blue Box “newly remastered in anamorphic widescreen from original 35mm vault materials” in 1.85.1 and the framing looks just fine. The print used for the transfer isn’t in perfect shape and it doesn’t look like a whole lot of cleanup work was done here. Expect minor to moderate print damage to appear throughout and some shifts in the consistency of color reproduction (some of this is due to the fact that some of the scenes have clearly been inserted from other sources). The image is perfectly watchable and plenty stable, just don’t expect perfection.

    The English language Dolby Digital Mono track is also fine, despite some minor hiss here and there. The dialogue is usually easy enough to understand but there are a few lines here and there that are a bit muffled. The score also sounds decent enough. No alternate language options or subtitles are provided.

    There are no extras on the disc, just a static menu offering chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Little Blue Box is essentially a loop carrier and like a lot of loop carriers, it’s inconsistent. The film does benefit from a good cast and a few steamy scenes but the humor is decidedly underplayed here and not the film’s betterment. The more devoted seventies smut enthusiasts will enjoy this more than casual fans, but this isn’t top tier material, not by a long shot.