Thursday, November 12, 2015

Game Show Models aka The Seventh Dwarf

Director: David N. Gottlieb

Cast: John Vickery, Gilbert DeRush, Diane Thomas, Nick Pellegrino, Rae Sperling

Vinegar Syndrome / All Region / Unrated / 1.85:1 widescreen / Mono / 89 minutes

Extras: Commentary with David Gottlieb / Two versions of the film / Outtakes / Promotion and publicity stills


One of the standard practices of the film companies and promoters of films played in the Times Square theater grindhouses was to embellish or outright lie on the posters and tag lines about the film's content. They would sell it by making the promotional materials as salacious as they could to catch the eyes and attention of the public. Movie company execs and producers would also re-cut movies for different audiences. Inserting, editing out and rearranging whole scenes that completely change the tone and even plots of their films. One such example is exploitation producer Sam Sherman's (Brain of Blood, Raiders of the Living Dead) dissection of The Seventh Dwarf, aka Game Show Models.

Game Show Models stars John Vickery (his only acting role, ever) as Stuart, a man who breaks it off with his bohemian girlfriend to go be an adult and get a mainstream job working at a PR firm. When he gets there, he meets the guys (there are no females other than secretaries) and gets to know his role a bit. He finds out his title is R&D (research and development) when a meeting with an important client and her little sister, CiCi, who is an up-and-coming singer turns into a game of "Who is the seventh dwarf?" CiCi and Stuart catch a little jungle fever and get freaky at her "safe house".

Imma toucha booba
While all of this is going on, Stuart's boss Roger (a real sleaze-ball) has concocted a way to get some good press; by taking selected members to his game show set and playing sex games with them. CiCi gets pregnant and the shit hits the fan but the wheels turns in the firm's favor and everyone wants to keep it on the down low since they don't want to ruin EVERYone's career. Now it's time to put Roger's plan into play; they select their favorite members of the press and take them to the game show set, basically to get laid and give the firm good press. At this point, Stuart begins to see how sexist, racist and downright cutthroat "mainstream" business can be and he returns to his girlfriend.

Game Show Models is a strange animal due to Sam Shepherd's instance on making it a sexploitation flick. It's really a pretty serious drama tackling issues like race relations, sexism in the workplace, homosexuality and of course, love. I watched GSM and then skimmed the original cut entitled The Seventh Dwarf referring to the conversation had when Stuart first meets CiCi and it completely cuts out all of the sex. Roger banging the big-titted beauty "Chick" (Rae Sperling whose only other role was in 1976's Hollywood High), Stuart and CiCi' sex and the entire sexy game show scene. All of that was replaced with a whole other storyline of Stuart's hippie girlfriend and what she did after he left her. I think it's so interesting why and how this re-editing and repackaging stuff was done.

Vinegar Syndrome, the savior of all-things obscure and odd, have dug up another weird, wild wonder from the depths of the mid-'70s. The picture quality on Game Show Models is a bit better than that of The Seventh Dwarf but really, that's the most important one if you're into the sleaze as I am anyway. It pretty damn awesome to have both versions in this 2-disc DVD set along with some outtakes and deleted scenes, some of which feature some pretty great sex between Stuart and CiCi that, in my perverted opinion, should have been left in the final cut! This is the first authorized versions of both versions of the film ever available and, for those so inclined, it's worth picking up.

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