Dandy (1970)


Dandy Damon (Cynthia Denny in her first credited and final role…) needs a lot of help trying to make it in California.  After all, she’s just 18 years old and inexperienced in all of the manners of the world.  Dandy finds plenty of people willing to help her but all of them want something in exchange…  is she willing to pay the price or will she find someone that truly cares about her?
Dandy hated living at home.  Her mother was constantly bitching about the phone bill and her mom’s new boyfriend moved in and acted like he owned the place.  Dandy talks her reluctant “friend” Jocko (BILLY JACK’s David Roya) into letting her move in with him.  She offers to get a job but he assures her that she will earn her keep.  She has limited skills.  She hasn’t done anything at all.  She can’t type and refuses to be a waitress but Jocko knows someone who can get her started in modeling.
Larry (exploitation staple John Alderman) is the agent and he keeps a couple of skeevy dudes at hand to keep his talent in line.   He bills Dandy as a new girl, young, fresh and never been used before.  After her first painfully uncomfortable modeling gig she finds Jocko banging another girl at home.  He explains that he never really felt anything special for her other than the fact she’s just another ball.  While modeling she meets an older man, Anson (Steve Vincent from THE SUCKERS), who sweeps her off of her feet.  He is a photographer, but he does not take the nude pictures in which her agency seems to specialize.  As a result, she ditches Larry until he sends one of his goons to interrupt her and Anson’s dinner to bring her back in line.  An outraged Anson ends their relationship after learning what she did for a living. 
As the movie progresses along its slimy path, everyone keeps telling Dandy to take her clothes off and what to do as they try to exploit her naïvetè and her body more and more.  Having no one who will genuinely help her, she returns to her agent who then forces her to turn tricks.  She resignedly begins hooking as she reasons, “I give it away, I might as well sell it.”  She finally finds kindness with an older married couple.  Arlen (John Vincent) and Ruth (Luanne Roberts from GABRIELLA, GABRIELLA) are “a couple of tired swinging, jet setters,” whom she finds herself working for as an assistant.   Though they are a kind couple, Dandy’s grooming for the swinger lifestyle is still uncomfortable.  Arlen coaxes her into the pool by telling her it’s too hot and she should take a break.  To sweeten the deal he tells her. “I want to show you a trick a Japanese pearl diver taught me.”  The couple are quite supportive of her and actually encourage her to rekindle her relationship with Anson. 
Though there isn’t much in the way of sexuality that wouldn’t be considered tame by everything on Cinemax today, either the film garnered an X rating in 1970 or the producers just put that on the film poster just to garner interest. It would be rated ‘R’ by today’s standards.  Much of this movie is uncomfortable and I’m not sure, but I believe it is to serve as a cautionary tale to aspiring starlets who want to move out to California and try their luck there.  Untrained and unwilling to wait tables Dandy had little in the way of prospects.  

This flick drips with sleaze.  Oddly enough it reminds me of a scuzzy, Los Angeles themed Dante’s Inferno.  The protagonist is even named Dandy… though she is surely a Virgil-less Dante.  Anyway, Dandy finds herself descending deeper and deeper into the circles of the abyss as she faces all indignities imaginable.  She has no skill set whatsoever and finds herself working L.A.’s underbelly as a nude model and later narrowly avoids being gangbanged as a prostitute after she is forced to start turning tricks. A lesbian model wants to help her but the heroin use scares Dandy off. Her first john is scarier than most horror antagonists that I’ve seen.  Finally she finds herself ascendant as the married swingers help set her on the right path. 
Another release from the Films Around The World catalog, The Code Red DVD looks pretty clean overall.  The aspect is 1.78:1 presented in widescreen.  There is some damage and dirt but nothing that detracts from the viewing.  If anything, a little grime in the presentation helps with a flick this sleazy.  There are no special features but there is the usual slate of Code Red trailers.  FAMILY HONOR is forced at the beginning with the others available at the menu.  They are CLASS OF ’74, JUST BEFORE DAWN, GOLD OF THE AMAZON WOMEN, TEEN LUST: THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, MY OLD MAN’S PLACE, THE FOLKS AT RED WOLF INN, SPLITZ, and DEVILS THREE. Slow and somewhat plodding. it’s not a good flick but it should appeal to fans of late 60’s early 70’s exploitation sleaze.  DANDY is available directly from Code Red’s webshop.

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