10th Aug2015

‘The Flying Acquaintances’ Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

by Mondo Squallido

(1973, dir: Robert Steiner)

“How do the flying acquaintances find fun? We’ll show you how!”



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After being treated to the wonderful sights of 42nd Street, we meet Max (Jamie Gillis, Waterpower), a suave bank teller and his nubile friend Sylvie (Susan Curtis, Airplane) have a little of simulated fun, until some pesky aviation related stock footage interrupts. We find out that Max also moonlights as a taxi driver. After picking up a stewardess (Darby Lloyd Rains, The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann) and working out a sweaty form of repayment once arrived at her apartment, turns out there’s a small group of stewardesses who offer fun under the sheets (or on the couch in this case) to avoid paying for their fare (it’s a win for everyone involved if you ask me!). Aside from this small corruption ring, we have the wonderfully chested Barbara (Nicole Vadim, Room 11) who seduces a French filmmaker (ooh-la-la!) to kick start her career in the wonderful world of film. Not only that, but we find out that Max’s wife Patricia (Joy Campbell, Sweet Savior) may be just as unfaithful as her husband. There’s a whole load of weird and wonderful antics in this erotic comedy. Or is there?

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The Flying Acquaintances unashamedly considers itself as “The Comedy of the Year!”. I was going to say it was a slow year for comedy, but let’s not forget we got gems like Heavy Traffic, Sleeper and The Sting in 1973! Yeah, the comedy isn’t really there, maybe in a lowbrow Carry On sort of sense, but even that’s an insult to the Carry On films. Yes, even the god awful Carry On Emmannuelle! The only redeeming factor comedy wise is some of the lines (most probably improvised) from Jamie Gillis. He is on fine form in this film, especially with his wit. Comedy aside, this an average, sometimes plodding soft-core film. Speaking of soft-core, you’re going to get a giggle from some of the simulated sex, it’s always entertaining to see genitalia slapping together! There’s quite a lot of simulated soft-core throughout and even though the film is only around 78 minutes, it feels longer because of that. That being said, everyone puts in a good job and some of the female talent on show more than make up for the shortcomings! The real charm and selling point of this film is the fact that it’s essentially a lost film finally released for the home market.

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Vinegar Syndrome have once again done a great job on the presentation. Considering this is the first time the film has been released on the home market, the picture and sound is nothing short of fantastic.  Included on the disc is the original theatrical trailer, a selection of outtakes and a bunch of promotional stills. That’s all topped up with nice and simple artwork. All in all, it’s a great little package for a film that wouldn’t have ever got a release of this kind if it weren’t for Vinegar Syndrome. The film isn’t for anyone, but those looking for once lost oddities should give it a try. Plus it has Jamie Gillis stealing every scene he is in!

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