Sinful Cinema Series: The Abductors
by Doug Brunell
Available in ebook and paperback
There’s tons of B-movie expoitation gems out there just waiting to be discovered and it seems, like me, author Doug Brunell enjoys reading about these. Having read a price guide of obscure VHS tapes, Doug decided to track down these movies that have received little more than a short review and dedicate a book series to them, starting off with softcore exploitation sequel The Abductors, also known as Ginger 2.
Nubile young cheerleaders! Sex slavers! Nudity! Bondage! Guns! Kidnapping! Torture! Sexual assault! Disney! Plus: Anti-abortion terrorism, prostitutes, an infamous porn star, and an exclusive interview with Jeramie Rain (The Last House on the Left)! This is a critical look at the 1972 grindhouse movie The Abductors, which helped set the standard for the strong female “secret agent” film while at the same time being described as “sexist” and “anti-PC.” Prepare yourself for a sleazy descent into the world of sexploitation, real-life terrorism and, yes, Disney. You may think you know the movie, but after reading this you’ll never view it the same way
Doug Brunell is a lover of cinema. It’s plain to see that. He’s approached this project like he did with marvellous, if nightmarish, fiction novel Nothing Men – with detail. Brunell’s gift with the written word allows you to appreciate his opinion and vision without it feeling like a chore. In The Abductors, it’s evident that he’s someone who appreciates effort even if the final product isn’t the best out there.
Opening with an extended plot synopsis of the movie, Brunell breaks down the film, discussing its place in cinema during the 1970’s and its contemporaries. Often likened to a female James Bond, though the only thing they probably share is a penchant for sex and the odd use of hi-tech gadgets, Ginger is a woman in charge – a female detective-cum-spy who uses her sexuality to get the answers she desires and to also get herself out of sticky situations, something which her less experienced counterpart is unable to do. Knowing her good looks and sex appeal will make any man quiver, especially as she bigs them up, playing to their ego, means Ginger can fully take control of a situation she finds herself in. Carnal desires are all well and good but when they take over your brain, that’s when you’ll find yourself in trouble as so many henchmen discover. I suppose there was nothing really like it at the time nor since. Can you name a Bond-esque female protagonist who purposely uses her sexuality in such a way?
Brunell continues with his breakdown of the film and explores the film’s stars, particularly lead actress Cheri Caffaro, as well as director Don Schain who’s Ginger trilogy led him onto the path of a very surprising franchise many years down the line. Brunell explores many of the film’s stars, even the minor ones, and delves into their career and lives outside of the film. He even manages to bag an interview with one of the abductees, Jeramie Rain, who went on to star in The Last House on the Left. I love interviews with actors and actresses, especially on lower budget movies like this where next to nothing is known about the production except by those who played a part in it. It gives the film fans something to really discover and digest, much like we do with bonus features on DVDs and Blu-Rays.
Having read this book and the intelligent analysis from Brunell, I have a deeper appreciation for The Abductors than I first did having watched the movie. It’s so easy to brush these films aside but when you start digging deeper, you begin to explore all the working parts that make this film a whole regardless of whether it’s any good or bad. I appreciate what Brunell has decided to do with his Sinful Cinema series. These bite-size books – this one consisting of 80 pages of which I managed to read in just over an hour – are an excellent way to explore these obscure movies that were never properly given their due. I sincerely hope author Doug Brunell continues his dedicated quest to give these B-movies their rightful place in cinematic history with plenty more interviews to boot.