Two Girls for a Madman (1968)

One thing can be said for TWO GIRLS FOR A MADMAN: it is technically well-made. Shot with live sound and with a script focusing on character development, there are instances of inventive camerawork and a frantic electronic musical score which adds tension to otherwise pedestrian suspense sequences, all in crisp black-and-white. However, with such a threadbare plot and few exploitation elements to keep the audience awake during the 80-minute running time, the film ends up being a vast disappointment, especially considering writer-director Brasloff would go on to make one of the most amazing films Harry Novak ever distributed, TOYS ARE NOT FOR CHILDREN! (Something Weird offers this on DVD paired with THE TOY BOX, a recommended purchase). Lead actress “Toni France” should look familiar to regular followers of Jerry Gross productions; it’s Gross’ wife, Arlene Farber, aka Arlene Tiger, star of TEENAGE MOTHER, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD and THE FEMALE ANIMAL! She’s given a juicy role here, as a vivacious fame-hungry ballerina willing to throw her friends to the side to make herself a household name. Fans of this big-haired go-go boots-clad vixen will not be disappointed.

Sequenced like a book of short stories from pulp magazines, MISTER MARI’S GIRLS has a title that provokes ideas of a pimp ruling over his prostitutes with an iron fist. Actually, this is a very slow-moving almost-roughie which has been praised to high heaven in Something Weird’s catalog, but fails to live up to expectations. The titular Mari is a reclusive millionaire, who is introduced while gawking at a nude cutie writhing on his couch. He has a number of female visitors, all with their own individual problems: one broke housewife is in debt due to her addiction to gambling on horse races; a twitchy heroin addict needs a fix and doesn’t feel like the usual posing nude or being raped by a dealer to get it; a super-butch lesbian who wants to marry her blind artist girlfriend; and a college student who gets pregnant by her goofy piano-playing professor. Thrown into the mix is a strange subplot about a young criminal whose moll has second thoughts about being involved with a jewel heist.

Actors: Arlene Farber