Cry Uncle (1971):

The credits roll over satin sheets, though things get appreciatively more lowdown as private dick Allen Garfield, fedora hat always on, mounts some naked broad on a bedspread; the shamus gets called away for the plot about to unravel, and the chick reaches for her red-white-and-blue platted dildo. Made before his Rocky and Karate Kid underdog sagas, John G. Avildsen's grubby, casually X-rated film noir spoof sports practically the same (non)narrative as any mid-'80s porno, though, as befits a production with the touch of future Troma head honcho Lloyd Kaufman, there's considerably less idealization to the performers' bodies -- Garfield's hairy back and hedgehog physique, continuously undraped, make perennial slob Ron Jeremy look like an Adonis, while endearingly scabby leading lady Madeleine Le Roux, ostensibly the alluring Euro-babe, lies somewhere between grindhouse squeeze and Natasha from Rocky & Bullwinkle. If the film's crudeness is freewheeling enough to include both the ol' checking-the-time-while-holding-a-drink gag and inserts of hardcore romping (with a young Debbi Morgan among the group gropers), it falls short of Robert Downey vaudeville, or even the delirious vulgarity of the devirginization joke from Kaufman's own raunchfest The First Turn-On! ("That's my bellybutton!"). Still, a snapshot of the times when a movie could take advantage of censorship in flux to cram a single motel with acidheads, gangbangs, cross-dressers, and assorted pervs without getting tied to the stake of morality. With Devin Goldenberg, David Kirk, and Paul Sorvino (as "Coughing Cop").

--- Fernando F. Croce

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