Monday, December 21, 2015
Damon Christian - Bubble Gum (1983)
Kirdy Stevens's TABOO stands as the movie that made incest a popular (and lucrative) topic in Erotica, and THE SIBLINGS (aka BUBBLE GUM) is a worthy successor. The vagaries of film and now video distribution have left it unsung at the moment.
Alternate title, which refers to the single word "Bubblegum" nickname of character Ginger Walters, signals the jail-bait genre, which overlaps with incest. What makes THE SIBLINGS fun is that the incest subject matter is like that of TOM JONES, mistaken identity where the issue of "what's really true?" looms large, and the actuality of sex between relatives is secondary to what the characters know about their relationships (the proper subject matter of "incest").
A couple of ironies: the two beautiful and unfamiliar young leading ladies both had brief careers: Candy Cummings in the title role was also in Kirdy Stevens's PLAYING WITH FIRE the same year as this film but other roles didn't result. Tina Ross AKA Lauren Wilde died in a car accident the year after this film was made, per IMDb.
Well-lensed with quality production values, story concerns the family of Honey Wilder and Eric Edwards, a stuffy, aristocratic couple with live-in maid servant Kelly Grant, an actress who looks as young as the two girls but is pointedly stressed as older (all of 30) in the script, and who also had a non-starter of a career. With sensual sex scenes it is immediately established that Honey has a long-term extramarital relationship with Sid (the ubiquitous Radio Ray Wells), which Edwards has just discovered via private dick Blair Harris.
Played very straight, it is the comedy of errors relationships between the characters that drives this brief (barely an hour long) film along. To summarize: Harris is Kelly's lover; Kelly is also long-time lesbian lover of Honey's; Honey & Eric's beautiful daughter Paula (Tina Ross) is in love with Wells's son Sammy (Marc Wallice, nearly unrecognizable until his johnson makes its appearance), planning to marry against Honey's objections; and Edwards keeps fantasizing about his own daughter Paula, eventually having sex with her best friend Ginger (Cummings).
Director Damon Christian juggles this material with skill, and the ingenious script credited to Bob Augustus and Louise Christian is a marvel compared to most porn of this period. Fortunately it was shot on film at the tail-end of that porno chic era.
Best scene perhaps is Edwards in his daughter's bedroom jerking off, when Cummings comes out of the shower and catches him. She mocks him but soon they are humping with her role-playing "f*ck me daddy, please daddy" as he continues to dream of his real daughter.
Plot soon unfolds that daughter Paula is actually Wells' daughter by Honey, but in a terrific siblings in the bathtub together finale, Paula and Wallice discuss the parentage issue, with Marc announcing that Wells is not his dad: "my mom has the blood test to prove it". However, Paula notes that Edwards dated Marc's mom before meeting Honey so he could be Marc's dad. "Who cares?" is their joint reaction as they end the movie with a wet soft-core hump.
So carefully crafted and delivered are these plot twists that I was completely fooled, enjoying the resolution. Writing this review after reflecting on the movie, I realize now that even if Marc's parents are unnamed Mom and Edwards (rather than just anyone but Wells), while Paula's are indeed Honey and Wells, then even the final revelation lets them off the hook.
A jaunty musical score, at times reminiscent of the great Francis Lai's 1970s soundtracks completes a very successful little movie.