AFED #29: Linda Lovelace for President (US, 1975); Dir. Claudio Guzman

However you may feel about it Linda Lovelace and the film that catapulted her to stardom, Deep Throat, were a huge phenomena. When it opened in 1972 thousands flocked to see the film in Times Square and for a brief time it looked like hardcore porn was about to go mainstream.

After the film was distributed across America the ticket receipts were estimated at up to $600 million, which would have made it one of the highest grossing films of all time. This for a film that was shot for just $25,000.

So much has been written and said about Lovelace and Deep Throat that there's really no point in repeating it. Her own later accounts of the violence and humiliation she was subjected to transformed her into a feminist icon, although the veracity of some of those claims is disputed. At the very least it's reasonable to say she was an impressionable woman who was drawn into the company of some very unsavory people.

Before that, in the years immediately after Deep Throat's release, Lovelace (and her management) sought to capitalise on her newfound infamy. Of course, the trouble with announcing yourself on the public stage so egregiously is doesn't leave you with anywhere to go. She appeared in the softcore Deep Throat 2 and published two autobiographical books which sought to make her an icon of a new libertarianism.

Described as an 'erotic comedy', the self-explanatory premise of Linda Lovelace for President isn't actually a bad one, if anybody with an iota of talent had been brought in to produce it. The idea of using sex to satirise American values wasn't anything new; Russ Meyer had been doing it for much of the previous decade and would surely have been the ideal director for such a vehicle, particularly in the post-Watergate climate of cynicism.

Instead we have a film of such singular incompetence I'm not even sure I can be bothered to describe it. Oh, alright then. Basically a coalition of political cranks; misfits and extremists decide to name Linda Lovelace as their candidate for the White House, since apparently she's the only person they can agree on.

After she gets the approval of her Uncle Sam, we follow Miss Lovelace and her campaign bus - driven by ex-Monkee Mickey Dolenz - as it travels across America having a series of side-splitting misadventures. At the end she gets elected ("The first President to go down in history" - lol), ushering in a new era of peace, love and presumably a lot of sex.

That's more or less it. Naturally the star takes her clothes off with some regularity, but notwithstanding that proves a likable screen presence and not nearly so terrible an actress as you might expect. The trouble is the humour, where it exists, is a tired blend of burlesque and slapstick that possesses all the satirical incision of a sledgehammer.

It's a puerile, pointless load of crap, produced by idiots for idiots. I can't think of anything else worth saying.


  1. Excellent review, and it's interesting to note that whilst Lovelace, star of Deep Throat never really followed it with anything interesting, Director Gerard Damiano followed it up with The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) which is absolutely terrific - one of the very (very) few hardcore films which transend the form and is genuinely transgressive in its treatment of the form.


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