EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|SUBURBAN ROULETTE (director/writer: Hershell Gordon Lewis; screenwriter: James Thomas; cinematographer: Roy Collodi; editor: Robert Flaxman; cast: Elizabeth Wilkinson (Ilene Fisher), Ben Moore (Bert Fisher), Tony McCabe (Ron Elston), Ione Rolnick (Fran Conley), Thomas Wood (Marty Conley), Vicki Miles (Margo Elston), Debby Grant (Cindy Fisher), Ray Woods (Police Chief); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hershell Gordon Lewis; Sinister Cinema; 1967)|
|"This exploitation film stinks to high
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Cult low-budget filmmaker Hershell Gordon Lewis ("Blast
Off!"/"The Pill"/"Something Weird"), a mediocre filmmaker, directs this
exploitation film of no redeeming social value and almost no worth as
entertainment, involving wife-swapping in the 'burbs. It comes with a
prudish moralistic message (fooling around always leads to bad
consequences), stilted dialogue, awful acting and a lousy story If one
can handle the theme song with the same title as the pic and risible
lyrics such as "Let's
game/Suburban roulette," then one should be able to handle this
third-rate lurid tale without puking.
The Fishers, promiscuous wife Ilene (Elizabeth
Wilkinson), alcoholic hubby Bert (Ben
Moore) and sullen adolescent daughter Cindy (Debby
Grant), move from the city to the suburbs hoping
to straighten out their loveless marriage. Invited by their neighbors,
the Conleys, Marty (Thomas
and Fran (Ione
Rolnick), for dinner, Ilene gets hit upon by the
hubby of a third couple present, the oily rich manufacturer Ron Elston (Tony McCabe), and they screw. Meanwhile
Ron's cynical wife Margo (Vicki
Miles) gets it on with the
frustrated Marty, while pathetic Bert gets drunk with the self-hating
lush Fran. We follow the Fisher's adjustment to the swinging suburban
scene for a year, which becomes a regular Saturday evening scene. It
climaxes with Ilene taking an overdose of
sleeping pills when Ron doesn't want a divorce but just wants to
continue having fun wife-swapping. Ilene recovers from her broken heart
and the Fishers drop
out of the "suburban roulette" game in order to try and save their
marriage, while the other two couples hope to recruit another couple
into their scene.
This exploitation film stinks to high heaven.
REVIEWED ON 7/26/2010 GRADE: D
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ