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  Linda Lovelace for President Hard To SwallowBuy this film here.
Year: 1975
Director: Claudio Guzmán
Stars: Linda Lovelace, Fuddle Bagley, Val Bisoglio, Jack DeLeon, Micky Dolenz, Joey Forman, Danny Goldman, Garry Goodrow, Roberta Kent, Monte Landis, Morgan Upton, Fetchuttini Alfredo, Rod Arrants, Kent Browne, Robert Burton, Jack Collins, Scatman Crothers
Genre: Comedy, Sex, Trash
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: The search to find a third party candidate in the upcoming United States Presidential elections is on, and a wide selection of groups who do not feel as if their interests are represented in the current political arena are trying to agree on one person who will unite them. As they gather in a field, the meeting quickly descends into a rabble with people fighting, throwing pies, having sex, and grandstanding at every available space, though the real business is happening in the tent where a sheik is leading a discussion: if they settle on a candidate, the smoke from the tent will be white. But they are going nowhere fast until someone pipes up with a name which sounds just right.

That name is Linda Lovelace who at the time was seeking to continue her notoriety outside of the hardcore porn she had become famous for, though only in one movie, Deep Throat. Perhaps she thought softcore would be a more desirable career after the less than savoury antics she had gotten up to in one of the most successful films of all time, but as it was Linda Lovelace for President went down about as well as an actual Presidential campaign to promote her would have. Much of that was down to its idea of political satire set out in the opening title card which told us they were trying to offend everyone, and you could not criticise them for endeavouring to stay true to that purpose.

What they didn't do was be in any way funny, as this plotless ramble through various sketchlike scenes possessed barely a giggle between them, grinding on oblivious to its failings. The enthusiasm was certainly there, though Lovelace herself was, if anything, worse at acting herself as she was in her hit, contributing to the air of crushing embarrassment that the viewer would find in themselves if they sought entertainment by watching this. It was more than cringing for yourself, it was cringing for the cast as well that they should find themselves propping up careers by hitching a wagon to the dwindling Lovelace fame, though she would find a second wind later in the decade with revelations which made her very uncomfortable to watch thereafter.

When this movie was released, she was funloving, carefree Linda, and that was the image they were putting across, but soon the brand was tainted by her claims that she had been horrendously abused when filming the pornography, the fact that there was footage of her having sex with a dog apparently backing up her story that she had been forced to perform on pain of death. It's true enough her husband Chuck Trainor was far from an upstanding citizen, but many had reservations about quite how much she had suffered, and that she was being exploited yet again, this time by anti-porn crusaders; see her here and you don't see anyone looking particularly under duress, though she may have been happier in goofy comedy than what had made her notorious.

Certainly she had split up with Trainor by this point, leaving her bid for comedienne status a healthier proposition, but the material was almost as depressing as her former work, mainly thanks to showing up her limitations. She took her clothes off for the camera again, as the filmmakers grudgingly acknowledged people would expect, but whether the tired routines such as yet another Tarzan spoof or a near endless stream of racial humour which would not have been out of place as lines spoken by the comic in a burlesque hall between the strippers was going to satisfy was a different matter. Most of the cast would be forgotten today - the list of "guest stars" at the end might have elicited shrugs of non-recognition even back then, never mind now - though ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz was as distinctive as ever, appearing running a toy bus over the body of a naked woman (not Lovelace), and a pimped-up Scatman Crothers had a scene entirely in rhyme. In spite of their aims, this wasn't insulting, it was just too stupid to be countenanced. Music by Big Mac & The Truckers.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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