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Game Show Models (1977)

Studio: Vinegar Syndrome

Theatrical Release: November 1977

DVD Release: November 12, 2013

Director: David N. Gottlieb


Review by James Klein

What's the old saying? "Never Judge a Book By It's Cover"? Now take a look at the DVD cover for Game Show Models. This looks like a 70's sex comedy with plenty of beautiful girls. The back of the DVD shows a guy pointing a gun at someone in his underwear, a woman with face paint, and several women making weird faces. Oh what's this...Dick Miller has a cameo as well???? I couldn't wait to sink my teeth in some insane 70's boobie movie. And dear viewers, I haven't been this disappointed in a long time.

The movie begins rather oddly as a man waits for a woman while in bed, demanding her to get over to him. As she crawls in bed, he makes her wear this demon mask and forces her to choke him. As he climaxes, he gets up and leaves her as she lays there disappointed. Then the credits begin as this dreary, depressing song begins to play. Ok, not what I expected but at least it had an odd opening and a nude woman. Can't complain...yet.

We are then introduced to Stuart (John Vickery in his only film role) as a hippie who leaves his girlfriend Josie (Diane Thomas, who later in life went on to write Romancing the Stone and was killed in a car accident shortly after) because he feels he needs to grow up and try something new in life. He gets work at a Hollywood PR agency and becomes friends with Arnold, a closeted homosexual who will eventually come on to Stuart. Their boss is Roger Feinstein, the producer of a game show and also the guy in the opening who likes to get choked while having sex. Roger is just a sleazebag and is mean to his employees and constantly takes advantage of the "casting couch". In one small sequence, we see the woman he had sex with in the opening act as a game show beauty who can't remember her lines, much to the dismay of Roger and the game show host whose played perfectly by Dick Miller. Still not what I was expecting...
Game Show Models

Stuart eventually meets up with an up and coming African American rock singer who he gets pregnant. This odd storyline builds up their romance but when Stuart finds out she is pregnant, it is quickly brushed off as she tells him she is going away to have the baby. I never quite understood the point of this storyline and why it was even necessary to the film. As Stuart one day is out and about, he runs into Josie who is now a street performer. When he asks her if she is "happy" and she says "yes", Stuart begins to have second thoughts on his decision of growing up which has lead to one unhappy moment after another. When Stuart quits his job and goes back to Josie, he begs her to take him back in which she doesn't do but allows him to stay with her in the meantime. As the two dance, the film ends. What the fuck???
Game Show

Where was the comedy? What is this pointless coming of age drama? The two best moments of the film are with Dick Miller as the game show host which was added in at the last minute by the director (The original cut, The Seventh Dwarf is included on the disc as well with most of the nudity cut out and a long sequence of Josie telling Stuart what she did with her life once he left her, re-inserted back in the film). The film tries to be an arty, coming of age drama about a man's journey in finding himself but doesn't have one ounce of drama or passion with bad acting and cheap looking sets getting in the way of the story. And what was the point of Arnold expressing his love to Stuart? It's never brought up again and served no purpose to the story.

Of course Vinegar's DVD looks pretty good. Sure there is some print damage but for the most part the picture looks fine. The 2.0 mono sound does have some hissing issues but even that is forgivable. Aside from two versions of the film, there is also an audio commentary with the film's editor, producer, writer and director, David N. Gottlieb. I would have liked to have seen a trailer for this mess of a movie and how it was promoted but alas, there is none. However, I did enjoy the outtakes that are included and shocked to see some more explicit sex between Stuart and the woman he gets pregnant.

Don't expect a good old fashioned 70's sex comedy if and when you see Game Show Models. Expect a dry and boring art film that tries to be meaningful but yet doesn't have anything to say. Maybe that's suppose to be funny?

Movie [Rating: 1.5]

DVD [Rating: 3]

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