Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Cinema Monolith: 3/10
TV Guide: * out of 4
Released on August 28, 1970
Directed by Don Henderson
Written by James E. McLarty
Cast: George E. Carey, Susan Romen, James Almanzar, Luanne Roberts, Tony Mumolo, Bob Bernard, Guy Edwards, Steve Vinovich, Gloria Hill, Annik Borel, Patrick Whyte, Wes Bishop
What do you do if you’re a middle-aged actor who’s producing and co-writing a movie whose themes include infidelity and blackmail, and whose storyline features a motorcycle gang, lesbians…wait, didn’t I already write this review? Yes actually, I did, and it was for a movie called The Babysitter. Well, George E. Carey is back for more sexual hijinks with a girl centuries younger than he is, this time in Weekend with the Babysitter, yet another take on the ever-popular May-December romance scenario.
The question here, however, is what exactly is this film supposed to be…a sequel, a remake, or something else entirely? I’ll let you be the judge, and kudos if you can make sense out of this, because I sure as hell can’t: besides the obviously similar subject matter and nearly-identical poster tag line, this film had the same writer and director, a babysitter character named Candy that was played by a different actress, the same lead actor who is now playing a different character, and the same lustful premise and framework, which now included an entirely different dangerous subplot. And yes, once again there were motorcycles and lesbians.
From my vantage point, this really looked like a remake…but who would remake their own film just one year after its release? Well, these horny guys, apparently. And if it’s true that The Babysitter was filmed in a television aspect ratio and in black-and-white, then technically speaking, Weekend with the Babysitter was by far an improvement over its predecessor: it was shot in color, in widescreen, and utilized a noticeably bigger budget.
As I mentioned, the story was basically the same (a young girl gets the blood pumping of an older man and teaches him how to hang with the hep cats before their short but sweet romance leads to trouble), but where the former film’s blackmail subplot at least added a moderate level of tension, this offering’s laughably out-of-place B-story did nothing of the sort, and had Carey’s high-strung, pill-popping wife involved with drug dealers, who borrow Carey’s pleasure boat and head to a rendezvous in the heroin capital of the world, Oceanside, California.
Unfortunately, this drug trafficking angle was more of a nuisance than anything, and in the end robbed the film of its two drawing cards, which of course were nudity and sex. And as lethargic as events played out, a more appropriate title for this Crown International offering might’ve been Coma with the Babysitter. Actress Susan Romen, who played Candy, seemed bored by it all (a reflection of how she truly felt about the concept, I’m sure), and though I never once believed she had the hots for Carey, I’ll give her this: she possessed quite possibly the most succulent lips I’ve ever seen in drive-in cinema history.
Along with that, I found myself drawn to Candy’s pot-smoking, motocross-loving hippy friends, who I thought were pretty cool, and not at all the anti-establishment jerks I expected to find in a film such as this. And having already seen The Babysitter, I had the opportunity to make quite a few comparisons; even with its technical deficiencies, I still found the original to be the more entertaining of the two, simply because it flowed better, it seemed to be having a little more fun, and the romance between Carey and Patricia Wymer’s babysitter character was not only more convincing, but more heartfelt, if you can believe it.
Sadly, after Weekend with the Babysitter ran its course, the filmmakers decided enough was enough, and put the shackles to any hopes of possible follow-up films in the series, such as Thursday with the Babysitter, Mid-Morning with the Babysitter, and the British-themed Fortnight with the Nursemaid, which all fell to the wayside and left drive-in patrons everywhere a little misty-eyed with loss. And finally, take a look above at this film’s poster artwork and tell me that’s not former sportscaster Howard Cosell putting the moves on a star-struck Candy! (3/10)
A good read, Todd. Very funny. Just one minor correction: I think you’ll find that Fortnight With The Nursemaid was released in 1974, although due to the success that year of I’m Sorry, I’ve Lost My Trousers, Even More Confessions Of A Randy Vicar and the timeless Carry On Up The Chimney it sadly disappeared quickly from the public consciousness.
On a side note, I’ve only just noticed the monolith in the corner – I think I will enjoy guessing whether you own the DVD in question before clicking on the actual review page in the future.
Thanks Stu! I think we may have discussed this before, but I find it a lot easier (and a lot more fun) to write reviews for bad movies than I do for good. And speaking of bad, those three films you listed are all part of a DVD set I own called Blimey! The Best of David Lean…quite hilarious and quite naughty.
And your game of ‘Guess If Todd Owns This Film, And Why’ will be quite interesting…can’t wait to hear what your right guess/wrong guess numbers are! My collection is still in storage while I look for work, a place to live, and a life here in San Diego, so it may a short while before I start reviewing my own movies again; luckily, I watched a handful before I moved, so I’ll try to add those to the mix when I post.
Up The Chimney, indeed. I think I’ll pass on reading that synopsis!