Street Love/Scarred (1984)

“My mother thinks I’m the devil and that God is a UFO.”

Synopsis:
An abandoned teenage mother (Jennifer Mayo) turns to the streets, where she befriends an experienced hooker (Jackie Berryman) and resists advances made by an insistent pimp named Easy (David Dean).

Genres:

Review:
In her debut film, writer-director Rosemarie Turko (who co-directed just one more movie after this, then disappeared from sight) was clearly hoping to shed some light on the harsh reality of teen motherhood and prostitution in L.A.; the result, however, is a trashy exploitation film which will only appeal to hebephilic males eager to see young Jennifer Mayo simulating sex and tarting herself up in tight clothing. At first, Street Love appears to be a slightly more serious variation on the same year’s Angel — another film in which a teenage girl fends for herself by turning to prostitution. Unfortunately, however, not a single scene thereafter rings true, as the amateur actors struggle to breathe life into their cliched roles, and the clunky script quickly reveals itself to be more of a didactic exercise than an authentic narrative.

Early on, for instance, we see poor “Ruby” (Mayo) being told that she’ll have to pay $55 for the privilege of interviewing for a job; to emphasize the point that there’s no way Ruby can afford this exorbitant and inexplicable fee, Turko offers a close-up of a few pennies (!) in Ruby’s hand. Later, Ruby agrees to participate in a cheesy porn film (a satire of Star Wars called, naturally, Sex Wars) to earn some quick money — but when things go comically haywire through no fault of her own, she’s assigned all the blame and thrown off the set. Most frustrating of all is the way Ruby’s half-black baby (his mixed race is merely exploited as one more strike against Ruby) disappears from the majority of the film altogether; as a result, we never believe that she’s really desperate to create a life with him. A truly authentic film about the perils of solitary teen motherhood clearly has yet to be made.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
Not much at all.

Must See?
No. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.

Links:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.