One of the lesser known “Lewis Brothers” flicks also proves to be one of their best. Producer Elliot started the whole myth, engaging various friends to pose as “brother” Louie and “sister” Joann, making their way across the US of A to shoot cheap ‘n’ cheerful carnal quickies that made good many times on their initial investment. The fact that they always managed to get hold of some of the biggest names in the business certainly didn’t hurt matters either. What people often seem to forget about the Golden Age is that both the talent pool and number of films produced was but a minuscule fraction of what we have today. To put it bluntly, if performers wanted to put bread on the table, they couldn’t afford being picky about the projects they appeared in. Not that the Lewis Brothers represented some kind of industry nadir, far from it. Their frugally produced features frequently looked as though they’d spent a budget several times bigger than they actually had thanks to their photography and editing skills.
Their mainstream knockoff “8 To 4″ (take a wild guess !) may have been their most financially rewarding title but was somewhat overrated by both fans and critics alike at the time. Being a huge Veronica Hart fan, I would personally place “Touch Me In The Mourning” (taking its title from a syrupy Diana Ross ballad) at the top of my list. “Please Mr. Postman” and “Memphis Cathouse Blues” would share a close second place, well ahead of “Trashi”, “Brief Affair” and “Her Wicked Ways”. I’m not even going to mention “11″ or “Ladies Night” ! The premise is simplicity itself. Overworked postal delivery person Barbara Cohen (Loni Sanders) barely has time for a quickie with fellow postie Jesse Adams, the guy on the boat with Sharon Kane in “Small Town Girls”, before both have to rush out for their daily delivery rounds. The letters and parcels they deposit provide the set-up for the various erotic episodes.
When a freshly developed home movie turns out to be a porno loop (featuring, for the record, Phaery I. Burd, Anna Turner and an uncredited Shaun Costello), the action on screen is mirrored by Tigr and Lynx Canon (a/k/a “Jean Damage” from Fred Lincoln’s “Same Time Every Year”) in a tremendous Sapphic number. I particularly like Tigr acting all flabbergasted by the movie, effectively leading into Lynx’s masterful seduction of her inexperienced girlfriend. Luscious Loni actively takes part next in the Nina Franks shrine sequence with Richard Pacheco as a doting fan mistakes her for a famous actress and requests her to model a lacy bit of lingerie she wore in “her last film with Al Pacino”. Charming interaction and superb chemistry highlight this sparkling encounter that rightfully plays to the performers’ strengths. While he’s being all funny and nervous, tripping over his pants in excitement, she’s adorable and giggly.
Sorority sisters Misty Regan (star of John Christopher’s “Velvet High”) and rarely seen Sonya Sommers (who has thankfully discarded her braces since Gerard Damiano’s “Never So Deep”) find a package full of sex toys delivered to their doorstep, courtesy of horny frat brothers Mike Horner, Blair Harris and Perry Mann (also in Juliet Anderson’s pioneering video “All The King’s Ladies”) who naturally proceed to join in the fun. A lonely pervert – Milton Ingley (a/k/a “Michael Morrison”) who seems to go for a heavy breathing Peter Lorre impersonation – makes a few phone calls from the ads in his dirty magazine and winds up with demure, white-wearing Erica Boyer (this Hall of Famer should need no introduction) and domineering, black-wearing Nicole Noir (Mata Hari in Edwin Brown’s “Irresistible“), the lucky sod ! By far the most outrageous scene has frustrated housewife Holly McCall, who won a Best Supporting Actress award for Sam Weston’s “Nothing To Hide” and does despair really well, trying to lure TV addicted husband Paul Thomas away from his favorite game show by impaling herself on a male blow-up doll ! Most unusual for a movie made in the early ’80s, there’s a preponderance of sex toys permeating almost every scene. Remember this was when they were still being referred to as “marital aids” and invariably credited to Doc Johnson. I’ve often deplored their use as a staple ingredient in girl/girl scenes, decrying the actresses’ laziness when fingers and tongues would’ve done the job just as well, but here they’re employed with an infectious curiosity by people still feeling their way who don’t always seem to know exactly what to do with them. Call it the shock of the new or the joy of discovery but either way it works a treat.
At one hour and 15 minutes, this snappily paced movie never wears out its welcome, juggling sex scenes with deftly executed bits of physical comedy as Loni and Jesse struggle to make their deliveries, scored with a brass band rendition of “Oh, Suzanna”. It should also have great crossover appeal. The sex, which I would categorize as good-natured raunch, will satisfy the most hard-up of rain-coaters while the breezy and often surprisingly sophisticated humor could quite easily win over the couples crowd. In fact, if there’s one drawback to this flick it’s the sparing use made of its shining star, the elusive Loni Sanders, the Jane Seymour of porn and perhaps most memorable as Shaun Costello’s “Beauty”. A mere two sex scenes in the first half hour represent but a meager harvest for stargazing fan boys. The Lewis Brothers tried to make up for this oversight with another vehicle for her talents, the supremely silly “Every Which Way She Can”, forcing her to portray a Stetson-wearing wrestler named “Clit Westwood” !