When it came to 1960s schlocky drive-in exploitation fare, there was no more prolific purveyor than producer David F. Friedman. This new Something Weird disc marries two of his seminal ‘roughies’ on DVD, together with some very amusing extras. The roughie was intended as the next step beyond the “nudie cutie”, which was shot in color and might, if you were lucky, show some female breast. The activity was decidedly nonsexual most of the time. The roughie not only went to a grittier black and white presentation, but because of relaxing standards, was able to present more frank nudity and sexual contact than was possible in the nudie cutie, as well as presenting a more violent and exploitative read on sexuality. Done on an ultra-cheap basis, the results are often highly unpleasant to today’s viewer. Yet they do have some appeal as historical artifacts and examples of exploitation at its nastiest.
The Defilers is probably the height of the roughie genre. With plenty of nudity and gratuitous bubble baths, it tends to be a much more professional piece of work than its disappointing companion feature. The title characters are a pair of well-to-do Hollywood youngsters, Carl Walker Jr. (Byron Mabe) and Jameison Marsh (Jerome Eden) who live just for kicks. Even though they have a regular entourage of willing, busty young women, this doesn’t suffice. When they meet a young girl from Minnesota, Jane Collins (Mai Jansson, who I believe had been a Playboy playmate), Carl hits on the Leopold and Loeb idea of the perfect crime: the kidnapping of a stranger without motive or desire for ransom. They intend to just make her their sexual plaything in the basement of an old warehouse owned by Carl’s family.
In this picture, sexuality is closely wedded to extreme violence. Indeed, Carl seems unable to be sexually aroused without being abusive (biting one girlfriend, forcibly raping and spanking another and beating Jane into unconsciousness). Jameison is more along for the ride, but is still a willing participant in the atrocities that Carl cooks up in the name of “kicks.” Director Frost does manage to create a little suspense, although there are a number of setups that never pay off, such as the rat that darts under Jane’s mattress but is never seen again.