The Abductors (1972)

abductorsGinger: All play and no work makes Ginger a swinging chick.

Painted like a television show “The Abductors” is probably one of the dumbest attempts at a franchise I’ve ever seen. Beginning on a very dark note involving sexual slavery and kidnap, director Don Schain then suddenly drops into light comedy with Ginger and her boss acting as a James Bond and M partnership with subtle flirting, and some goofy dialogue that’s written in short hand and makes for some awfully laughable preamble to Ginger’s next adventure. Ginger this time is on the track of a sexual slavery crime ring, a group of vicious men who steal women off the streets, destroy their property and force them into acting as sexual escorts for millionaires at the threat of torture. Ginger in all her swinging metropolitan allure is called in to investigate and penetrate this syndicate with hopes of rescuing a girl. After all, it’s women’s lib, and Ginger is about to kick some manimal ass.

“The Abductors” simply can’t decide on a tone, from the outset. One minute it’s a vicious and dark sexploitation ditty with women being ravaged, raped, torture, and everything else almost fooling you into believe this is a Jess Franco film. And then it switches over to the lighter more airy central plot with Ginger investigating the kidnapping scenes, trading barbs with her associates, and even engaging in an awful dance at a local Spanish night club with a few gentlemen. Schain is in love with his wife Cheri (Ginger), so much so that he focuses heavily on her legs, her lips, gives her unusual and unnecessary sex scenes, and even provides a prolonged ridiculous wide shot on Ginger wowing men at the club dancing idiotically and rattling maracas. While it’s understandable, so much of the focus on Ginger leaves the plot about the slavery ring in the back seat for a great portion. While women are being tortured, and punished for simply being, Ginger canoodles with friends, rides horses, relaxes on a patio, and declares how nice it is to relax.

You figure this “professional” spy would be more concerned with finding and helping these young women than garnering a tan, but so be it. Cheri Caffaro’s performance is one note with a heavy emphasis on her being flirtatious and very blond. Her “undercover” work is based around looking the same but with different clothing, and nothing else. Even more surprising for a spy. And when she interviews people through violent methods, it’s even more illogical. You’re telling me a small woman would actually be able to convince a large man that she could hurt him? Come on. The only highlight is the performance from Jennifer Brooks who plays Ginger’s spunky sidekick Carter, persuaded to go undercover (why not Ginger?), and steals the show by fighting back when she’s man handled by three kidnappers, and refuses to back down even when she’s tortured. Schain’s inept storytelling is exemplified by these bits, since you’re basically sitting there wondering why the movie isn’t about her.

“The Abductors” is a tedious bit of genre confused sexploitation with a director who has no idea what to do with his story, and it reflects greatly on the lagging plot, the tedious pacing, and the performances that range from cartoonish, to outright over the top. Schain wants to build his own female James Bond, pay homage to his lovely wife, and keep true to her softcore porn roots, thus the final product is a mess. Cult classic or not, this is a terrible movie. Maybe I’d had to have seen the first movie to get it, but I doubt there’s much to get beyond the initial premise of a female James Bond. Don Schain is a lot like many other directors. He’s so concerned with paying homage to his wife and trying to build a career for her that he can’t focus on the damn movie. Classic or not, “The Abductors” is a crummy attempt at building a Spy series.