Tag Archive: Ginger (1971)


400px-SS-CC-M1911-01I’ll just come out and say it: I keep a candle lit for Ms. Caffaro. If you do too–and you know who you are–why don’t you spend the next eight hours watching all the Cheri Caffaro films I was able to find on YouTube. You’ll know where to find me:

Let’s start with 1971’s Ginger. I’ve written about this one before, but may find the need to revisit this later this year.

79425-up-your-alley-0-230-0-341-cropHer next outing was with the late Haji in Up Your Alley also from 1971, but sadly this gem is not uploaded just yet. If you can find it, look for Uschi Digard (scroll down to #8, yes this is a side project of mine) and Luanne Roberts of Trader Hornee fame.

In 1972, Cheri returns to her roots with the second installment of the Ginger trilogy, The Abductors. Raunchier, and down-n-dirtier than Ginger:

download (2)Girls Are For Loving, from 1973, the last Ginger flick is also not (yet) available online. Sounding like porn in both title and dialogue–and acted to about the same quality–we get these choice bits of dialogue:

I want that dame spread – not dead.

and:

I don’t mind giving my bod to him, in the name of the flag of course . . . Let’s just say I like to fuck a lot.

It does not get better than this, folks!

This brings us to the last of Cheri’s (available online) on camera roles, in Savage Sisters from 1974, co-starring blaxploitation actress (and Bond Girl from the year before in Live and Let Die) Gloria Hendry, and the ubiquitous Sid Haig:

download (3)Cheri’s last on-camera film was a reprise–in all but name–of her earlier Ginger films, Too Hot to Handle from 1977. This was one of a plethora of exploitation films shot on location in the Philippines, and if you weren’t already crushing on Cheri, she did her own stunts!

From here, Cheri moved behind the camera and helped produce a couple silly flicks: H.O.T.S. in 1979 and The Demons of Ludlow  from 1983.

H.O.T.S. starred no less than three Playboy centerfolds, a Miss USA, and a couple veteran B-movie/sexploitation actresses . . . and Danny Bonaduce.  Sign me the fuck up.

Sadly, Cheri does not bow out of her film career on a high note. Demons of Ludow  is a boring mess of a horror film–a bit of a departure from her earlier oeuvre, featuring a haunted upright piano. Maybe it would have been better if the haunted piano was a grand piano.

Nowadays, and for most of the past twenty years or so, Cheri has been out of the public eye. She reportedly didn’t care for being type-cast as an exploitation babe, and the producing gig didn’t come to much, and apparently she removed herself from the film industry.  This coming April, she’ll turn 70. Would love to see her give some interviews on the occasion . . .

My Top Five First-Time Watches of 2014

ep114_5A bit ago over at the Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts podcast, the inestimable hosts Mike and Iris asked listeners to submit their top and bottom five first-time watches from 2014. I jumped on that action quickly, and got my email read on the podcast–mine was first up in fact.  Here it is again, slightly edited:

These Are Tops

1. Ginger (1971)–classic sleaze. Whenever I post on this movie here, these posts are always among the most popular ones of the year. Notable for starring gay porn star Casey Donovan and for having an early full frontal male nude scene.

2. Films of Fury (2011)–great intro documentary to the world of Kung Fu cinema. This is not a genre I am very familiar with, but I’ve been Kung Fu-curious for a long time. This doc is the perfect intro–I counted clips from at least 107 different films shown at some point in this.

In this trailer you’ll see some footage from Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976), though I do not recall seeing discussion or footage of this popular film in the documentary itself.

3. Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013)–nothing to add to what’s already been said to this great film doc, except that it’s being snubbed for a Best Documentary Oscar was highway-fucking-robbery. A great intro to Jodorowsky’s filmography for folks unfamiliar with the master film surrealist.

4. Bong of the Dead (2011)–And now for something completely different: I actually discovered this film from Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts, and watching this earnest little film especially knowing something of its backstory from the interview just cemented my love for ultra-low budget horror. This film and the faire discussed over at the No-Budget Nightmares podcast have been my gateway drugs to other shlocky films like Antfarm Dickhole, Rock n’ Roll Space Patrol Action is Go!, Treevenge, and one of my all time faves from this end of the pool, Thankskilling.

Extra credit for a film subtitled into Arabic!

5. The Day After (1983)–I finally got around to watching this some 30 years after my parents wouldn’t let me watch it in prime time (I was in the 6th grade in ’83). Impressed that this imperfect but unflinching film, considering its vintage and medium, got on the air at all. Remembering the class discussion that followed the original broadcast–this was the most-watched made-for-TV movies in US history–all I can say is that we were freaked the fuck out.

All for now–next time, my bottom five from 2014.

Ginger (Full Movie, 1971)

The high-water mark of Cheri Caffaro’s career–the movie is all the sleazier due to the minimal soundtrack.

ginger_posterThis month (March) is the 43rd anniversary of the premier of the first of Cheri Caffaro‘s three Ginger movies.  (The others being The Abductors (1972) and Girls Are For Loving (1973). Caffaro’s Ginger is known as one of the more amoral and cynical sexploitation heroines of that decade, according to author Randall Clark’s At a Theater or Drive-In Near You: The History, Culture, and Politics of the American Exploitation Film, which is why we still love these films. Being shot in Jersey and the subpar interior set design up the sleaze factor in this flick, making it an annual watch for me.

Ginger was the brainchild of director Don Schain, who started as director of the softcore flick The Love Object, starring future pornstar Kim Pope. His idea for Ginger, according to Bill Landis and Michelle Clifford in The Sleazoid Express, was “taking a female character and putting her in a role that was traditionally reserved for a man.”  In this case, that character was a cross between a female James Bond and a contract killer. Ginger is also known for having one the first male full frontal nude scenes, and for having gay pornstar Casey Donovan in a supporting role. 

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Caffaro, the “legendary cult movie star” has left the building

Cheri Caffaro had a too brief career in which the Ginger films appeared to be her high water mark.  On her own–apparently abandoned–website she calls herself a “legendary cult movie star” which seems several orders of magnitude more than what she was. She and Schain ended up married for ten years, divorcing at some point in the early 1980s. That the film was promoted in the manner of porno chic–big bold ads with lots of innuendo–was cause for a bit of nervousness for Caffaro, but that was apparently wiped away when it did so well.  Ginger was a top-50 film for 1971.

Today, Caffaro’s pretty much disappeared back into private life away from show business.  Schain is still active as a producer for Disney Channel saccharine sweet TV movies–he brought us all three High School Musical dreck.  I think I speak for everyone when I say that I prefer the older stuff.