All in all, the premise for 1972 sexploitationer The Suckers seems reasonable enough — just do a softcore take on the proverbial “Most Dangerous Game” premise and we’re good to go. Pad the meager 80-minute runtime with a couple of protracted sex scenes, a semi-vicious (and even more protracted) rape scene (which is not a type of sex scene in and of itself, regardless of what some asshole may think), leave it in all in the semi-capable hands of veteran skin flick director Stu Segall (here credited as Arthur Byrd, although some sites out there state the reason for the pseudonym is that it’s an amalgamation — this film , they claim, being co-directed by Segall and one Mark Haggard — how true that is or not I couldn’t really tell you and don’t much care), rush some prints of the admittedly rough finished product out to a handful of drive-ins and downtown grindhouse theaters, and sit back and make a few bucks.
So, fuck it, now that I’ve given away the “plot” (and I use that term loosely), here’s all you really need to know by way of more semi-specific details — a rich dickhead big-game hunter named Vandermeer (played by Vincent Stevens, the only actor in this flick — male or female — that I recognized from any other work) invites the rich dickead owners of a modeling agency and some of their girls to his middle-of-nowhere palatial mansion, which is situated on the grounds of his private hunting retreat, promising them all adventure and animal heads to mount on their living room walls. Everybody has (extremely tedious) sex the night they get there. Then the next day they all find that the real targets in Vandermeer’s sights are, well, them. Everybody struggles to stay alive. One of the women gets raped. Everything is boring and everyone is there for no other reason than the quite-likely-meager paycheck.
Things pick up a bit (just a bit, mind you) towards the end, and there’s an admittedly nice little final payoff awaiting those who are still awake at this point, but that’s a pretty tall order for even the horniest viewer. All in all, dullness reigns supreme here and you can safely skip ahead to final ten minutes or so secure in the knowledge that you won’t have missed anything interesting.
Actually, that last sentence should read “you can safely skip ahead to the final ten minutes or so secure in the knowledge that you won’t have missed anything interesting if you’ve got the Vinegar Syndrome DVD, ” since The Suckers has been released as part of their “Drive-In Collection” of double bills, paired with slightly-more-interesting softcore relic The Love Garden. Segall’s decidedly un-erotic take on humans hunting other humans is presented here in a scratchy, obviously-worse-for-wear 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen print with passable-at-best mono sound, and while that probably establishes the proper “vibe” for the proceedings, it’s still kind of a chore to sit through — much like the film itself.Given the age and obscurity of the source material, though, this admittedly flawed release is probably the best one could — uhmmmm — hope(?) for when it comes to this flick, which is presented sans any real extras apart from a few Vinegar Syndrome trailers and will (or at least should) be of interest only to the most hardened sexploitation genre enthusiasts. The rest of you can (and, again, probably should) just as well avoid this interminable yawner.