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There was a short period when sexploitation guru Joe Sarno apparently just wanted to try something different. Having made (literally) a dozen or more suburban sex dramas in the 60's and then a handful of more straight forward but arty Euro sex films, Sarno then started to throw some curveballs. His bizarre YOUNG PLAYTHINGS, and the sexy horror VEIL OF BLOOD were examples of his brief break away from typical territory. With THE SWITCH Sarno did one last oddball pic, a goofy sex comedy based on the classic Jekyll & Hyde theme.
Rebecca Brooke plays geeky scientist Shirley Jekyll who wears coke bottle glasses and is a man repellent. She discovers a formula that, she thinks, will alter living cells to perfection. Of course after trying it on herself it turns her into Sherry Hyde, a nympho who gives off an irresistible scent (described as "a hint of amino acids") that makes everyone horny. Well you know where this is going..., however what one does not expect is the near slapstick comedy which is totally off character for Sarno. Jekylls roommate Louise (Chris Jordan, Clamdigger's Daughter) is a whiney white trash slut who uses words like "prevert" and spells out "o.t.e.". Louise's boyfriend Ralph is a total slob but is a riot with every third word out of his mouth being a mumbled "muther f***kin". Eric Edwards has a small role as Dr Jenkins and a miscast Sonny Landham (48 hrs) plays suave Huntingdon Van Huff the guy who falls in love with Sherry Hyde, not to be left out Jennifer Welles has a funny role as a lab assistant. The actors all seemed to be having a ball playing the goofy characters and there are a few genuinely funny moments.
As usual Rebecca Brooke really throws herself into her dual roles as both the geek and the nympho. The climactic sex scene has to be a career highpoint for Rebecca. Toward the end Sherry Hyde is so horny she propositions five of the "toughest, no goodest deck hands" to a gang bang. With full gusto she does them all screaming "screw, screw you son of a bitch" until one by one there all dead. What takes this down a notch is the fact its intercut with Sonny Landham looking for her.
The print I saw had three main sex scenes one of which was clearly heavily trimmed (it seemed to have involved a large sausage!!) where as the others seemed complete. Sarno movies are known for their trashy dialog during sex scenes but in this one it ascends to all out screaming. The first orgy had 2-3-4 participants screaming at once, rather amusing or annoying depending on your viewpoint.
As for recommendations, Its no where near perfect, the budget is non existent and really only fans of Sarno and/or Rebecca Brooke will find this enjoyable. Others looking for erotic 70's softcore would probably just be annoyed at the whole thing. My rating is 7/10 but is mostly based against Sarno's other work. Hopefully someday proper film elements can be found for an uncut DVD release rather than this old incomplete poor quality transfer.
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