“There ought to be a law against her.”
How on earth do you rate a cheesy double feature of glorified sex education films? This is the dilemma that faced me after watching the 2-for-1 DVD from Something Weird Video–Damaged Goods/The Hard Road. Do I rate these films on artistic merit? Educational potential? Campiness? I finally decided to land on the entertainment value of these two films, and for me, the entertainment value wasn’t much….
I love Something Weird Video, and their intro trailer alone is worth the price of a DVD, but Damaged Goods and The Hard Road are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Of the two features, Damaged Goods (AKA V.D.), from director H. Haile Chace has the better plot and a more traditional story line (which isn’t saying much). The story focuses on Jim (Mory Schoolhouse) and Judy (Charlotte Stewart)–two 17-year-old high school students who can’t wait to graduate and “grow up.” A new girl at the school, Kathy (Dolores Faith) acts as a sort of femme fatale, and this all combines to drive Jim off the deep end. A stripper named Bubbles, a prostitute and a weenie roast are elements of this cheese-fest–and it’s all, apparently, a marvelous opportunity to drag in a doctor who delivers a lecture about sexually transmitted diseases–complete with handy-dandy diagrams (courtesy of U.S. Public Educational Health Services Film).
The Hard Road, from director Gary Graver, is an even worse film than Damaged Goods, and that means I liked it more. This tawdry tale is the story of 17-year-old Pam, and the film begins with her pregnant, in the back seat of her parents’ car. After giving the baby up for adoption, Pam (Connie Nelson) begins her deep descent on the iniquitous road to Hades, and it’s a bumpy ride involving swinging parties, bead curtains, various illegal substances and an extensive wardrobe of caftans. With cameras zooming in and out of bedroom scenes, Pam soon has more men than I’ve had hot dinners. Well these were the swinging 60s, after all.
Ultimately, these two forgettable titles are artifacts, and it’s obvious that Damaged Goods and The Hard Road are both “fluff” content built around the educational venereal disease lectures spliced into each film in a stop-the-madness sort of way. The most hilarious aspect of these films is imagining the reactions of a high school class being forced to watch them. As for DVD quality, there were some neon green vertical lines and splotches on the film. The double feature DVD comes with a load of special features: Teen Trash Trailers, Classroom Scare Short #1: The Innocent Party, Scare Short #2: VD!, a Gallery of Roadshow Pitch Books with “Facts of Life” intermission lecture, and a Gallery of Exploitation Art with radio interview from Slightly Damaged sex hygienist EJ. Schaefer.