Game Show Models (1977)

Roger Feinstein has a pretty sweet gig that gets him laid from time to time…okay, probably all the time.  He works for a shitty little PR firm of uncertain repute in Hollywood.  He is able to get young ladies of certain talents parts on game shows.  He is a nasty man who treats the girls like whores when he refuses to smile at them or even touch them.  They are simply to climb on and climb off when he’s done.  He did get them the part after all.  Stuart Guber (John Vickery) is tired of his bohemian lifestyle.  He feels he’s spent four years “in Southern Catatonia living on re-fried beans.”  He wants to get ahead in life and the first step is ditching his performance artist girlfriend Josie (ROMANCING THE STONE screenwriter Diane Thomas).  He has a five year plan and she no longer figures into it so he gets a haircut and buys a suit a Goodwill shop and becomes a working stiff at Roger’s firm.  Before long he is banging one of the clients named Cici (Diane Sommerfield) as Roger is looking for a bevy of beauties to spice up a cheesy game show hosted by Dick Miller. 

Stuart is a troubled man.  He has left behind his creative spirit and his writing to join the work-a-day world.  Most people try to work it the other way around.  Instead of the earnest man he was he is now the callous and shallow man who walks away from Josie as she weeps.  He steps into the office ready to live in their world.  He has crushed his creativity and he has left his lover who he thinks held him  back.  There is an ember burning within him however because he does not like the irritable and desensitized person he is becoming.  The final straw comes when he is offered a promotion for getting a client pregnant and ruining her career while the firm maintains control over the rest of the musical family.  He quits on the spot and returns to Josie and her new beau asking for her to take him back.  The end is bittersweet as it holds to the adage “you can’t go home again” but he is granted the kindness of a place to live and practice his art and she had saved his writings and typewriter for him thus saving him as well.

Sadly GAME SHOW MODELS is light on the game shows and the models but it is closer akin to an embellished version of THE LOVE GARDEN as a dramatic slice of life feature with some bawdy inserts-especially truer when viewed in THE SEVENTH DWARF cut.  The comedy falls woefully flat and oddly enough the name Stuart Guber was not added to increase the humor factor… The film tackles some dicey issues especially with an unexpected pregnancy as the result of an interracial relationship in which Cici’s parents do not agree with her involvement with a white man.  Other issues touched upon is homosexuality when a closeted gay friend comes onto the straight Stuart.  Stuart is greatly offended and the relationship is never healed.  Another highlight includes an uncredited appearance by the lovely Rainbeaux Smith as one of the characters in the game show. The game show sequences that come in the third act are amazingly sleazy acting as a commentary on the whorish nature of Hollywood PR at the time.  Roger has invited the most agreeable media to a special event to reveal his new game show.  The “magic hole board” pretty much becomes a glory hole where the media men can reach in and fondle the nude models behind the wall and if they answer Dick Miller’s question right they go into the mystery box to see what is waiting for them there. 

The 2 DVD set from Vinegar Syndrome is the first authorized home video release of GAME SHOW MODELS.  It also includes a shorter dramatic cut of the film entitled THE SEVENTH DWARF referring to the exchange between the agents and Cici.  GAME SHOW MODELS is the product of distributor Sam Sherman so some soft inserts featuring Roger taking advantage of women and Stuart and Cici were shot to help pad the film out to its 89 minute run time. Stuart’s lunch time visit with Josie is also much longer and even has a Communist meeting.  GAME SHOW MODELS tries to be more humorous where THE SEVENTH DWARF is much more of a dramatic film.  The second disc includes THE SEVENTH DWARF, outtakes and a still gallery.  The feature disc includes an audio commentary by director David Gottlieb.  The film streets on November 12th and will be available from Amazon and direct from Vinegar Syndrome.  Check out the trailer below.

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