Thursday, March 12, 2015

Career Bed (Joel M. Reed, 1969)

Is Mrs. Potter the worst mother in cinematic history? Or is she the best? I know, those of you who have seen Career Bed are probably wondering why I posed my question regarding Mrs. Potter's parenting skills in an either/or fashion, when it's obvious she's the worst. Is she, though? I mean, all she wants is for her daughter to succeed. Nonetheless, there's one thing I have no doubt about, and that is that Mrs. Potter's legs are as shapely, if not shapelier, than her daughters. Don't believe me, just ask Mrs. Potter herself, as she'll be the first to extol the well-proportioned nature of her shapely legs. Forget about asking, telling people that her legs are just as shapely, if not shapelier, than her daughters is how Mrs. Potter introduces herself. "Hello, my name is Mrs. Potter. Crazy weather we're having, eh? My legs are more shapely than my daughters." Oh, if you're wondering how Mrs. Potter is able to prove the validity of her boastful leg-based declaration, look no further than the ratty robes she likes to slink around in for most of the day. If, say, someone is foolhardy enough to doubt her claim, she simply hikes up her robe to reveal the clean-limbed complexion of her legs for all to see.

However, it's not her sexy stems that are going to transform her daughter Susan into a movie star. Sure, they will be employed to seduce Susan's colossal square of a boyfriend and to placate the inflamed genitals attached to a sleazy photographer. But make no mistake, her daughter's screwable cunt is the key to achieving fame as an actress.

Does it matter that Susan (Jennifer Welles) isn't that talented? Of course not. Just like Mrs. Potter (Honey Hunter) says: The only talent you need is the festering box located between you legs. Okay, she's doesn't actually refer to her daughter's vagina as a "festering box," but it's not that far off.

In case we were having any doubts whether or not Career Bed was taking place in 1969, we're subjected to the trippy rock music of Vic Spina and The Lost Children, who perform the film's theme song over the opening credits.

If that wasn't enough evidence, we're shown a copy of Life magazine sitting on a table with Jane Fonda circa Barbarella on the cover. You need more, you say? If the ad copy for Blake's Hand Lotion we hear blaring on the television doesn't convince you that this film takes place in 1969, then I don't know what will, as it practically screams 1969.

The shot of a lingerie-clad Susan sitting on the floor while brushing her hair is a great way to open a movie. It's too bad this film doesn't open that way, as we get instead some shots of Bob (John David), Susan's boyfriend, wandering around Manhattan.

Despite this flagrant misstep on the part of director Joel Reed, we do eventually get to see Susan brushing her hair. Watching her favourite soap opera, The Daily Storm, with her mother, Mrs. Potter, Susan is being put under a lot of stress. You see, her mother wants her to become a star. But Susan has other ideas. This horrifies Susan's mother, who shudders at the prospect of her daughter being stuck raising kids and cooking dinner for that Bob fucker.

In her mother's mind, Susan's shapeliness shouldn't be wasted on some guy, especially one named Bob. In order to get Bob out of the picture, Mrs. Potter hatches a plan so devious, so brilliant, so... Oh, who am I kidding? She flashes Bob some thigh and voilà! Bob is history; Susan comes home to find her boyfriend in bed with her mother, and, as you might expect, isn't too pleased by this unexpected turn of events and sends Bob packing.

The best non-thigh flash related part of the seduction scene, is when Bob says, "I came here to marry Susan!" Yeah, right, Bob. If that's the case, you shouldn't be trying to mount her mother from behind. The look on Mrs. Potter's face as Bob plowed into her exhausted pussy practically screamed tedium.

Now that Bob won't be coming around anymore, Susan can focus more on her career, which her mother is determined to get off the ground.

Acting more like her pimp than her mother, Mrs. Potter arranges for Susan to meet with Miss Reynolds (Georgina Spelvin), an important agent. Or, I should say, an important... lesbian agent. After inspecting the goods (checking out Susan's blemish-free body), Miss Reynolds makes a deal with Mrs. Potter. Of course, the deal doesn't involve money, it involves sex... lesbian sex.

When Mrs. Potter notices that Susan has started thinking for herself, she quickly puts a stop to it. I won't say how exactly she puts a stop to it, but let's say it's quite over the top.

While Miss Reynolds calls Mrs. Potter a stage mother, I would compare her more to Kris Kardashian. Sure, she's technically a stage mother, too. But what separates your average stage mothers from the Kris Kardashian's of this world is talent. It's true, lot's of stage mothers manage untalented children, but Kris Kardashian seems like she is more willing to exploit them for monetary gain. Or maybe she's just a shrewd businesswoman, what do I know?

Either way, Mrs. Potter pretty much sells Susan to a bunch of sleazy scumbags, including my personal favourite,  Gerry, a.k.a. "The King" (Stioge Glyspayne), a deluded photographer.

Fast-paced and boasting a simple plot, Career Bed is a cautionary tale that is strangely still relevant, as parents nowadays have even more avenues to take when it comes to exploiting their putrid offspring. Oh, and while Jennifer Welles and Georgina Spelvin appeared is numerous exploitation and x-rated movies after this (the latter in the original The Devil in Miss Jones), this would turn out to be Honey Hunter's lone movie appearance; which is on the cusp of being a shame.

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