Her Last Fling (1976)

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*. I saw this movie as the second half of a DVD double feature where it was included along with Carnal Haven. I guess they went together because this is another Carlos Tobalina production, with the man of a 1,000 aliases both directing (as “Bruce Van Buren”) and producing (as “Troy Benny”).
*. Of the two, Carnal Haven is much the better movie. This one is a real stinker.
*. In their Golden Turkey Awards, the Medved brothers have a category for “The Most Unerotic Concept in Pornography.” Her Last Fling doesn’t get a mention, though two of the nominees were also from 1976. I really think it should have been considered. The concept here isn’t as laughably bizarre as the movies on the Golden Turkey short list, but it’s a real buzz kill.
*. What is the concept? Our heroine, Sandy (played by a somnolent Sandy Pinney), is diagnosed with some unnamed but terminal disease. She only has a couple of weeks left, so she’s going to give up her “square” life, reckoning that she “may as well have some fun.” What this means is buying a Bicentennial Cadillac (that’s what they called them!) and driving to Vegas and then San Francisco to participate in some orgies.
*. She is, of course, a big hit among the men and the ladies on the orgy circuit. The guys are particularly impressed that she “moves her pussy like an accordion.” No further comment necessary.
*. I’ve heard it said that the plot was lifted from the 1950 Alec Guinness film Last Holiday, but the concept is actually pretty generic.
*. Anyway, that’s the idea, and you have to admit it’s a bit of a downer. However — spoiler alert! — Sandy doesn’t die. Her two weeks of group sex work a remarkable cure, leaving her with no trace of the disease. It’s like a carnal version of Faust, with the heroine being redeemed through the power of cock rather than the love of a good woman (though she gets some of that too).
*. You may think from this that Her Last Fling actually has a bit of a story, with a real character. But it doesn’t. Sandy is just another body in a room full of writhing bodies. There’s nothing wrong with that, but while porn doesn’t need a story or characters it does help if the sucking and thrusting is given a bit more context than it has here.
*. If you’re a fan of porn’s golden age, however, some of the writhing bodies will be familiar. Among the talent here are Paul Thomas, Candida Royalle, Annette Haven and Desiree West. It also is said to have an appearance by the legendary John Holmes (playing “John C. Holmes”). But I don’t remember seeing any actor named John Holmes (or any actor in the cast aside from “Sandy” having a name at all), nor do I recall seeing Mr. Holmes’s monstrous unit anywhere on screen (and reports are that it was rather hard to miss). Perhaps he got lost among all the limbs and foliage in one of the orgy scenes. Or perhaps 12″ (or 14″, or whatever its actual dimensions) doesn’t seem that big any more, in our supersized day and age. If so . . . ouch.
*. You can tell you’re in the golden age because of the hair (pubic, chest, facial), the slow tempo of the sex, the lack of facials (money shots are all deposited on the woman’s belly), and the way a single tattoo on a girl’s wrist stands out like an extra head.
*. The soundtrack for the Vegas scenes is truly bizarre. The music is at times overridden by what sounds like a chorus of dogs growling over a bone. At first I found this oddly apposite and interesting, but after a while it started to disgust me.
*. At the end of the film the words “FUCKING MAKES LIFE” appear on the screen before the credits roll. This is a claim that’s impossible to deny, but I’m not sure it’s meant to be understood in the obvious sense. Instead, I think the point is that fucking is what gives life meaning, which is pretty close to the sex-positive message of Carnal Haven as well. It may be a bit reductive, but as far as life philosophies go I’ve heard worse. How sentimental it all seems now.

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