Grindhouse Sunday: Cindy and Donna

Cindy and Donna. Where do I begin?

This 1970 smut-fest from Crown International Pictures concerns two step siblings – the virginal, innocent, yet curious Cindy and the promiscuous, worldly pot-head, Donna. The two high-schoolers live with their alcoholic parents, and casually swill down scotch and beer during the day while their parents are at work. Cindy spends most of her day contemplating the meaning of sex, and wonders why her sister seems to enjoy it so much. Cindy is baffled by sex, and more than a bit frightened of it. However, curiosity gets the best of her, and in two scenes, Cindy silently watches from afar as her sister makes love to her pot dealing boyfriend in his car. Soon after, Cindy strolls into her room, locks the door, strips down to her panties, and crawls under the sheets. She proceeds to explore her body.

Whenever Cindy is internally conflicted, she attempts to remedy the situation by stripping off her clothes. Donna also walks around the house in various states of undress. It’s a strange habit that no one ever questions. cindy1

Meanwhile, Cindy and Donna’s father – the repulsive construction worker, Ted – carries on an affair with a seventeen year old stripper named Alice, who spends the majority of her screen time in the nude. Ted’s wife, Harriet, stays at home watching old westerns and sipping vodka. She knows that Ted is cheating on her, and in a pathetic display of drunken desperation, she visits a bar and attempts to initiate a threesome with two of Ted’s redneck buddies. Needless to say, they decline the offer.

When Ted calls Alice for a second booty call only to be ignored, he goes home and – in one of the truly jaw-dropping scenes in this film – sleeps with his daughter, Donna, who doesn’t put up much of a fight. A truly disgusting scene. Of course, Cindy is right around the corner, watching it all. On a scale of one to ten on the creep factor scale, this one scores an eleven.

Like I said. A smut-fest. And it only gets worse.

As Cindy’s best friend, Karen, encourages her sexual awakening, the two girls hit the beach in search for guys. They find two ready and willing teenagers – the only two on the beach, it seems – and casually find a room to make out in a prolonged scene. Karen owns her slutty nature. Cindy is still afraid to “make it”. The two girls leave and go back to Cindy’s house, and a few minutes later, they spark up a joint and Karen makes out with Cindy in an attempt to teach her a few things about the act of love.

While all of this is going on, Donna finds herself in a bit of a bind with her pot-dealing boy toy. She owes him money. Money that she does not have. So he invites a few photographers over. The photographers are going to take pictures of her. Naughty ones. She complies. And, before you know it, there is a threesome going on in the living room. Almost four minutes worth of sweaty, nasty, seventies threesome – groovy music and all.

In case you were wondering, everyone in this film is a whore. Every single one. No one is spared. This is a true sexploitation film.

When Ted and Harriet go on a business trip together, leaving the girls to their own devices, all hell breaks loose. This leads to one of the most anti-climactic endings that I have seen in quite some time. cindy-and-donna

This film is labeled as a “drama”, but “soft-core porn” would be more accurate. Cindy and Donna is nothing more than a series of set-ups for extended sex scenes and moments of gratuitous nudity. Director Robert Anderson relishes every frame of bare skin on screen, and his camera lingers over the actresses for minutes at a time. This is the kind of voyeuristic film that Larry Clark would have made in the seventies. Cindy and Donna explores several taboos in its short running time. It is unapologetic trash, and yes, this is part of its appeal. It’s so damn dirty that you may feel like you need a shower afterwards.

If you are a fan of the exploitation genre, by all means, see this piece of trash. You’ll never forget it – and you’ll be lucky if you can get that annoying theme song out of your head.

This film is available on Mill Creek Entertainment’s “Drive-In Cult Classics” DVD set, available on Amazon.com for under $10. I highly recommend this collection.

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