Starting off, here’s a synopsis: Porno queen Alta Lee (Lynn Lowry) is murdered by her pornographer lover Max (George Shannon) in a game of sexual Russian roulette. Alta’s other lover, icy lesbian casting agent Camila Stone (Mary Woronov), provides an alibi for Max. But Camila has an agenda of her own, and a plan involving the seduction of innocent actress Julie (Lynn again) in a web of sexual mind games. When the lookalikes’ identities are sufficiently blurred, the stage is set for vengeance as passionate as the most heated carnal encounter.
Though this movie is quite obscure and never got much attention, I find it to be a sexy, suspenseful gem. Cult goddess Woronov has one of her best-ever roles, and she and sexy-innocent Lowry play off each other well. The unsettling music provided by Gershon Kingsley, plus two original songs (“All-American Boy,” “You Say You’ve Never Let Me Down”) and the Jaynetts’ “Sally, Go ‘Round the Roses” compose a memorable soundtrack. Theodore Gershuny’s direction is sharp, with everything photographed in muted earth tones that perfectly suggest unsavory business bubbling under society’s upper crust. With tons of great New York atmosphere, Ondine (Woronov’s friend and fellow Warholite) giving a great performance in a small role, and exotic Monique Van Vooren as Max’s ex-wife in a comic sub-plot. This sub-plot, though amusing, looks like it belongs in another movie altogether. However, I’m not complaining, as the film is smooth even as it changes gears and is a hell of a lot more interesting that the erotic-thriller garbage currently being cranked out.
Trivia: Sugar Cookies was originally rated X (soft-core) and released by General Film Corporation in 1973. I am the proud owner of an original one-sheet poster–lucky me! In 1977, the movie was cut for an R and re-released by Troma Team, which now offers it uncut on videotape. Mary Woronov was the wife of Theodore Gershuny at the time, and was reportedly uncomfortable performing the graphic lesbian simulated sex scenes