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Weekly Alibi "Gargoyles" (1972) and "Sex Rink" (1976)

By Scott Phillips

FEBRUARY 23, 1998: 

Gargoyles (1972)

Man, I've been waitin' a long time for someone to put this classic TV movie out on video, and now the fine folks at VCI Home Video have made me one very happy fella. This flick scared the bejeezus outta me when I was a pup and still manages to creep me out every time I see it. Shot in Carlsbad (and the caverns themselves), Gargoyles tells the tale of anthropologist Mercer Boley (Cornel Wilde) and his daughter (played by the surprisingly scantily-clad Jennifer Salt), who visit an old desert rat to hear an Indian legend about strange, winged creatures. While they're tossing back cold ones and looking at a monstrous horned skeleton, the gargoyles attack and the desert rat is killed. Boley and his half-naked daughter escape with the monster skull and stop at a seedy motel for the night. The next evening, they're attacked once again by the scaly critters and Jennifer is taken captive by the lead gargoyle (Bernie Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde Casey), who wants her to read to him so he'll better know his enemy. Y'see, the big gargoyle is plotting to destroy the human race, but he finds himself fascinated by the miles o' flesh Jennifer is flashing--much to the chagrin of his gargoyle girlfriend (who sports long blonde locks). The gargoyle chick tracks down Boley, who is searching for his daughter with the help of some dirt-bikers (led by a young Scott Silence of the Lambs Glenn, who looks like a gay porn actor making a bid for crossover stardom). The monster babe wants Boley to come fetch his damn booty-twitchin' kid so she can have her man-lizard back, and she doesn't care what becomes of big daddy reptile's plans for conquest. Man fights beast in the depths of Carlsbad Caverns, with the fate of humanity and Jennifer Salt's heaving halter top hanging in the balance. Cool monster suits (courtesy of Stan Winston), a great cast, some genuinely creepy scenes and Jennifer "Freedom's just another word for nothin' on the boobs" Salt make Gargoyles one of my all-time favorite movies and a definite must-see. (VCI Home Video; 800-331-4077)

Sex Rink (1976)

OK, just for the record, lemme say right now that I would never, under any circumstances, watch a porno movie. Except, maybe, y'know, if it looked cool or something or had, like, some girl in it I wanted to see naked. So, that said, there were two big reasons I had to check this one out: 1) It was made in the '70s when porno actresses tended to look like the girls from Friday the 13th movies instead of the super-high quality babes who do the underpants polka in today's pork peliculas; and 2) it was directed by Cindy Lou Sutters, who is, in actuality, Ray Dennis Steckler, the man responsible for The Incredibly Strange Creatures who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies! I mean, how could I resist? Unfortunately, the thing turned out to be a big disappointment--I was hoping for Steckler's trademark low-budget cheese with a heapin' helpin' of filthy smut tossed in, but Sex Rink is so damn low-budget that, by the time the Steck had waved enough green around to coerce the neighborhood dolls to make the beast with two backs on camera (I'm betting it was at least 40 dollars), there was no cash left for sync sound, which means even less plot than usual for a Steckler flick. What story we do get is courtesy of a talentless narrator, telling the tale of a bunch of high-school seniors (all of whom look to be about 35) who get together at the local roller disco (which seems to be in Steckler's basement) for a little chaperoned, fun. However, a couple wild gals quickly subdue the chaperone and the wall-to-wall sex begins! It's all pretty dull, for the most part--except for the bizarre "performance" of a high schooler named "Rodney," who has the tiniest lower jaw I've ever seen but packs a gi-normous ween. He looks like he's in a trance for most of his screen time, and his shirt mysteriously disappears, then reappears, only to vanish again later. I swear, I'll never watch a smut flick again! (Alpha Blue Archives, PO Box 16072, Oakland, CA 94610; 510- 268-0811)

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