The Sin Syndicate/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Sin Syndicate

Cue dramatic music - The scene: A stripper about to go to "The Racket Cops" is caught and put through a torture - The stripper is tied up as her torturers make her into "A rotten witness," and then after the credits we never see her again in this film, although the torture gang will be back later. To those who are into the films of Michael Findlay in all of their sordid madness, the torture squad in that opening scene comes from the infamous Satan's Bed doing yet another bit part to flesh out a film that was originally just aimed to fill the Adults Only screens that's now a good example of Grindhouse madness thanks to the skills of Findlay's gritty and sleazy style that made the films of The Michael and Roberta Findlay legends of the scene. In lesser hands, this could have been a mess, but here, the "Throw it all into a blender" approach works great with plenty of stripping, a "White Slave" story, and even some found footage thrown in for some amusing moments.

First, the set-up through a scene from a scene from a film that obviously did not get released thrown in just to get the show started, with plenty of bad lip sync action. A leading Vice boss about to go to a hearing tells his desk lady all Early Grindhouse hot in bra, panties, and shoes that she could not come to this one. "This is Syndicate business, the heat's on...NO DAMES!!!" he tells her, and offers her something to make her feel better anyways. Cutting to a "flashback" which is really just another moment from our unidentified film, the Vice boss tells us about his plight that led him to the hearings through a lady who he hired and that "There's no room for smart girls in this racket."

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Then, out of nowhere, he are introduced to the tale of four women who wound themselves in life as Zero Girls caught in the White Slave stripping racket. First in this tale, the viewer will meet Dolores (Moreno), who came from Cuba and the one chosen to keep her Zero Girls in line whole she does some 50's-60's style Striptease; Here, Findlay accompanies her tale with newsreel footage of the Cuban Revolution. Next, Lorna (Adler) tells her tale of how she got caught up in the racket complete with a very sexy stripping style and the trouble she meets as she tried to escape, leading to another sight of the gang from Satan's Bed, in the Roughie torture scene highlighted in the trailer. Meeting up with Candy (Roberts, a very familiar and tall presence in many New York films of the era), we see her story complete with more newsreel footage this time from WW2 era England as she's supposed to be from The UK, and topped with the lesbian shower scene between Lorna and Candy, and Monica (Bennett) tells her tale after that.

This really is an early example of what Michael Findlay (with help from friend Lem Amero) could do in moments where all he needed to do is just fill up the screen and winding up with something that at least is cool to catch because through The 60's, he and Roberta made some of the stand out Roughies of that era, each one with a sharp and unique kind of sleaze. This brings up images of looking through Tell All publications and other low budget Sleaze publications complete with some very good sights and a couple of Roughie highlights, but also this could have played well in a Roadshow double bill warning the viewer about the troubles of going into a life of sin with its warning to the audience while some pretty stripping scene provide the necessary Exploitation value. This may not be definitive, but for those who are looking for a film from the world of Michael Findlay will wind up with a good way to kill some time with some historical Sleaze.

Reviewed by Screen13

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