• She Mob & The Girl From Pussycat (AGFA/Something Weird Video) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: AGFA/Something Weird Video
    Released on: November 24th, 2020.
    Director: Maurice Levy / Smythe David
    Cast: Marni Castle, Adam Clyde, Monique Duval
    Year: 1968/1969
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    She Mob & The Girl From Pussycat – Movie Review:

    AGFA and Something Weird Video team up to offer up two scintillating vintage sexploitation pictures sure to

    She Mob:

    The first film co-directed by uncredited auteurs Maurice Levy in 1968 in and around Dallas and Waco, Texas is She Mob! Likely inspired by Russ Meyer’s Faster Pussycat… Kill! Kill!, this one tells the sordid story of Big Shim (Marni Castle), a leather-clad bull dyke lesbian fresh out of the slammer! She hooks up with her four female cohorts - Twig, Harriet, Lorenz and Baby - and splits for a remote farmhouse where she and Baby play a little game of mistress and slave. The other girls, however, have got a serious craving for man-meat, which they decide to satiate when a guy named Tony (Adam Clyde) enters the scene. See, Tony is a man-whore in the employ of a woman named Brenda who takes very good care of him.

    Big Shim coerces Tony into leaving Brenda for her crew but then pulls the rug out from under him when she decides to hold him for ransom, knowing that Brenda will pay nicely to get her boy toy bag in one piece. Brenda enlists the aid of a female private detective named Sweetie East (Monique Duval) to help her get Tony back where she feels he belongs, but known one expects he and Baby to hit it off and make a break for it, least of all Big Shim!

    A trashtastic slice of sixties sex and sleaze, She Mob (which according to the box copy used actresses in the employ of Jack Ruby’s Dallas nightclub!) has a uniquely Texan feel to it from start to finish, which sets it apart from other pictures of a similar vein shot in New York City and Los Angeles around the same time. The other factor that this one has working in its favor to make it stand out? Big Shim! Marni Castle absolutely owns this picture, chewing up the scenery as willingly as she chews through her play things, bringing an inimitable screen presence to the picture and really making it her own. She doesn’t appear to have acted in anything else, and that’s a damn shame, because she just dominates every scene that she’s in, and thankfully for us, that’s most of them.

    The rest of the cast are pretty solid as well, though their characters are basically stereotypes. No one really gets much in the way of character development here, but they don’t specifically need to, the fact that they are stereotypes is part of the draw rather than a strike against the movie. Shot mostly inside a seriously swanky apartment, the movie is pretty limited in terms of the amount of locations and backdrops but at least said apartment is cool enough to make up for that. The fashions in display in the film are frequently amazing, Big Shim’s leather outfit in particular, as it comes complete with a freakishly pointy bra that looks like it could do serious harm to someone should they get too close to it!

    The Girl From Pussycat:

    After some killer opening credits in which a naked lady shakes her ass and gyrates against a wall on which pieces of paper have been taped to display who did what (the simplicity of the very idea behind this is what makes it so beautiful!), we're introduced to a girl gang of sorts. Who are these girls? That's not really important, what we need to know is the fact that they're lesbians, or at least bisexuals, and that they're pretty hot. They spend most of their time hanging out in their seedy inner city apartment making out with each other, day in, day out. To say they're into orgies would be an understatement.

    What we soon learn about these chicks is that they're not just the cute little nymphos they appear to be - they're actually pretty psychotic - which of course, makes them all the more appealing. They make up sort of a make-shift anarchist organization and decide that to further their cause and pony up some scratch they should probably rob a bank at gun point. The heist is pulled off and the girls high tail it back to their pad where they, of course, take off most of their clothes and roll around in piles of money. One of the guys who hangs around them is there, and he's rewarded with another orgy as the girls climb all over him and make out with him and each other. Ahhhh..... The sixties.

    Once the celebratory group sex session is over and done with, there are a few other sex scenes, guy girl and girl on girl, they sort of break from the group and go do their own thing. It doesn't add a whole lot to what little story there is here, but it definitely pads out the running time to feature length and adds some very welcome naked female flesh to the movie. Did I mention the girls in this one are hot? Because they are.

    From there, it's back to yet another orgy. One guy, four girls, two working on him and the other two tongue kissing each other on the couch in what is honestly a pretty erotic and all too brief shot that captures the sensuality of the two female participants quite adeptly. The money from the bank robbery is still scattered all over the floor, which shows us that these chicks pulled it off as much for the kick and the thrill than for the financial rewards.

    Things turn ugly shortly after the orgy, however. For reasons that shan't be explained here for fear of spoiling the overly simple plot, the girls decide to tie up one of their boyfriends. Once he's strapped down to the bed they poor beer over him and beat on him. That sounds okay, right? But then they throw him to the floor and tear at his back, then take off his leather belt and whip him with it. This all takes place with a newspaper in plain view, the headline of which reads 'girl gang heists 250gs, escape baffles cops!' Is everything starting to close in on the girls or is this just one more way that they're giving 'the man' the middle finger?

    There's not a lot to this one story wise, and in fact, the vast majority of the running time is made up by orgies and sex, sometimes with a guy involved but just as often without one. Despite all the sex, however, this is a pretty grim film. It's shot with a lot of shadows in the frame, and most of the movie takes place almost entirely inside the grubby little claustrophobic apartment. A scene in which the girls all brandish their firearms and talk amongst themselves about their plans almost conjures up images of The Manson Family with the way they waved their guns at the cameras and proudly proclaimed their agenda. Performance wise, everyone plays it pretty cool, which just adds to the nihilism on screen and which, also, makes for a strange contrast to the sex. You sometimes get the impression these girls only partake in it just to simply kill some time.

    She Mob & The Girl From Pussycat – Blu-ray Review:

    Both films are taken from ‘2K preservations from the only known 35mm theatrical prints in existence’ and offered up on a 50GB disc in AVC encoded 1080p high definition, framed in their original 1.37.1 aspect ratio. She Mob gets 17.9GBs of space and The Girl From Pussycat gets 13.7Gbs of space. She Mob looks really good, all things considered, the print was in pretty nice shape and we get good contrast with the black and white image and pretty solid detail as well. Print damage is minimal, it’s there but never distracting. The Girl From Pussycat doesn’t look quite as good due to the fact that there’s some noticeable scratching at the top of the frame for much of the movie that you can see in the screen caps below. And hey, if this is all there is to work from – and it is – then we suck it up and appreciate the fact that this picture has been given a Blu-ray release in the first place! Even with the damage, it’s very watchable, again, showing pretty nice contrast and decent detail and depth. Both pictures look nice and film-like, showing no evidence of any noise reduction or edge enhancement related issues and keeping compression issues in check.

    Audio chores for both features are handled by way of 24-bit DTS-HD Mono tracks, with optional subtitles provided in English only. These sound decent enough, with properly balanced levels and clean, clear dialogue. There’s a bit of hiss in some spots but nothing that’ll take you out of the movie. The tracks are, understandably, limited by the source material but for older low budget sexploitation pictures shot for peanuts decades ago, it’s tough to find much to complain about here.

    The main extra on the disc is a She Mob Fantastic Fest Q&A with Something Weird Video’s Lisa Petrucci and AGFA’s Alicia Coombs. Shot on September 22, 2019, this twenty-six-minute featurette that talks about how the only print of the film wound up with SWV and then AGFA, the restoration work that was done, details on the people behind the film including Texan Maurice Levy, how the film fails to delivery much in the way of titillation, the girl gang movie trend that this picture was a part of, the lack of documentation regarding this picture and the mysteries behind its origins and distribution, the fashion on display in the film, the depiction of lesbianism in the movie, the themes of female domination evident in the picture, the Texas flavor noticeable in the movie and more.

    Additionally, the disc includes 'Crime-spree Shorts And Trailers From Big Shim’s Stash!' Here we find an eighteen-minute experimental short called Penelope that juxtaposes advertising with office work before venturing out into the streets of NYC where we our titular subject talks to an unseen man about her father, buys some cat food, talks about how her mother hid from the devil, watches TV with a cat, buys some flowers and, well... it gets weird towards the end and we don't want to spoil it but it's an interesting short that feels like maybe it was influenced by some of what Warhol was doing at the time, but then, maybe not. It gets pretty dark.

    Also found here is a twelve-minute short entitled Girls Beware (3rd edition!), an educational film of sorts that alerts girls to the dangers that await them as they become women. As the piece plays out, we learn of the real dangers of sexual abuse by adults. Julie, a babysitter, winds up getting harassed by an older man in a movie house only to get hired by the culprit to watch his kids - it's a ruse and it doesn't end well. After that, Maria, whose dad 'split a long time ago,' gets molested by someone she thought was a friend, an older guy named Larry who buys her some Taco Bell and then takes her home and shows her 'one of those dirty magazines.' We then learn how a young woman was molested by her stepfather only to confess to her teacher who winds up getting the cops involved. Before it's all over, we learn about the perils of hitchhiking, letting strangers into the house and walking alone in the dark as well as the dangers of trusting someone you don't know well.

    We also get trailers for Freudus Sexualis, The House Of Cats, Hell's Belles, The Jezebels (aka Switchblade Sisters) and Naked Under Leather (better known as The Girl On A Motorcycle).

    AGFA packages this with some nice reversible cover art and the first 1,500 copies purchased from Vinegar Syndrome will include a limited edition embossed slipcover.

    She Mob & The Girl From Pussycat – The Final Word:

    AGFA and Something Weird Video’s double feature Blu-ray release of She Mob and The Girl From Pussycat is a good one, a great one even, offering up two very different but thematically linked sixties sexploitation pictures in nicely restored editions and with some choice extra features as well. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in sex films from the sixties and all the earnest weirdness that comes along for the ride!

    Click on the images below for full sized She Mob & The Girl From Pussycat Blu-ray screen caps!