Wednesday, September 1, 2021

RACQUET (1979)

Beverly Hills tennis instructor/cocksmith Bert Convy is unhappy with his easy life of non-stop sex and occasionally playing tennis.  He wants to open his own tennis school so he can then have an easy life of non-stop sex and occasionally playing tennis.  Trouble is, in order to open his own school, Bert calculates that it's going to cost him $500,000 and he will need a $200,000 down payment!  I'm already lost.  This is 1979 we're talking about.  That's a lot of money just to teach tennis!  Jesus Christ.  Anyway, it's not important.  The guy needs a boatload of money for [blank] reason to [move the story forward], so kinda like in the 1975 hit film SHAMPOO (which had pretty much the same story), Bert asks one of his sexual partners to trick her husband into giving Bert the money for his own hair salon, I mean...tennis school!

The story in RACQUET might not be original and the comedy might be so horrible that I'm not even sure the film can properly be classified as a comedy, but it still has a certain morbid curiosity to it.  Mainly thanks to the passage of time.  I was fascinated by the beautiful late 1970's Southern California locations, the dated fashions and completely misguided attempts at humor.  I mean, these jokes are really bad.  The only time I genuinely smiled was at Phil Silvers, but sadly he was only in the film for a few minutes.

Good pace, pointless story, a bizarre disco club that I wanted to see more of, cringeworthy homophobic, ageism, racist and weight discrimination humor, awesome Los Angeles scenery, mediocre acting, a few scenes where I'm curious if there was even a script or maybe the actors were just winging it, vintage cars, some super fast nudity, a floating swimming pool lounger with a telephone and radio on it, Phil Silver acting like an animal while wearing an animal costume for sexual gratification (would that be a crude early example of a "furry" in a movie?  Seriously, when was the first onscreen appearance of a furry in a movie?), disappointing/stupid ending, various attractive people, at least two really bad songs that my cat loved listening to me singing along with, an interesting cast, a love montage complete with a waterfall and feeding birds together, bionic man roleplay sex.

RACQUET is a strange movie and not worth mainstream consumption, but if you enjoy goofy 1970's bad Cinema then it's worth checking out.  I am curious if this thing made any money at the box office?

[Update 09/02/2021: The film opens at the country club where Bert works and in the opening scene, his boss introduces Bert to a new tennis instructor who then publicly beats Bert in a game. It seemed like the film was setting up a rivalry between the two characters, but we never see the other dude ever again! That story would have been more interesting than Bert wanting to open up his own club. Especially if the other dude was a gigolo also and they had a competition about who could sling the most ding-a-ling in a month.  Maybe who could make the most money in two weeks to save the club from going out of business or something simple like that.  Make the film into a legit sex comedy and not some bizarre, unfunny SHAMPOO ripoff.]