The Girl Getters
With the goofy title and theme song by The Searchers, it would be easy to mistake 1966's The Girl Getters (a.k.a. The System) for the British equivalent of an American beach-party movie. In fact, the film once received an American release from AIP, the same company responsible for Frankie and Annette's tame beachside adventures. But anyone who wandered in looking for more of the same probably emerged disappointed. Aside from the fact that the desolate, windswept shores of England don't seem nearly as hospitable to summertime fun as, say, Ft. Lauderdale, The Girl Getters has other concerns. Oliver Reed stars as a resort-town souvenir photographer and the de facto head of a group of young men who spend their summers working tourist locations by day and seducing young women by night. Reed feels the urge to change his life, however, after falling in love, only to find the odds laid out against him. Directed by Michael Winner, who would later explore a different sort of alienation in the Death Wish films, The Girl Getters is a subtly observed portrait of a particular pocket of existence. Without overstating things, it presents Reed's world of casual violence, even more casual sex, hollow japery, class prejudice, and overwhelming ennui in a matter-of-fact manner that at times resembles a working-class La Dolce Vita with a Mod twist. Practically unseen in America for over 30 years, it's a real find.