Booby Trap (1973)

Genres - Action, Adult  |   Sub-Genres - Sexploitation  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This Harry Novak production follows a fairly conventional action/suspense formula, playing it straighter than the average Boxoffice International release but still taking plenty of breaks for the softcore sex antics that his drive-in audience had come to expect. Carl Monson is out of control as Jack Brannan, the crazed ex-Marine who plants 40 land mines on the site of a big outdoor rock festival. He vacillates wildly between hysterical outbursts of maniacal laughter and obsessive, maudlin devotion to his ex-wife, somehow managing moments of sympathy and realism between the explosions and shotgun blasts. Director/screenwriter Dwayne Avery draws credible performances out of most of his cast (though not the bewigged, disco-suited military police investigator), and guides the film with a steady hand. Unfortunately, the unique MacGuffin of the stolen Claymore Mines isn't exploited to its full potential, and Brannan's motive for his crimes aren't clear. (Is he seeking revenge against his ex-wife's guitar-playing fiancé or is he just a right-wing terrorist with a special hatred for hippies?) Still, Monson is fun to watch, cult vet Buck Kartalian appears as a brutal strip-club henchman, and there's a character named Taffy, so the film delivers on a lower-brow level, as well. Side trips into voyeurism and sexual harassment, not to mention a vigorous homophobic streak, help to jack up the sleaze factor considerably. For those more interested in the adults-only portion of the show, the simulated sex acts are frequent and frequently irrelevant, as if fulfilling a quota (which is a reasonable suspicion). Debuting in 1973 as Booby Trap (and released on DVD under this moniker), it was later retitled Young and Wild and sent out with a trailer that promised far more graphic sex action than its original incarnation. Even the tamer version is suggestive enough to embarrass anyone expecting mainstream action/adventure fare, so approach with caution.