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By Christopher Curry | May 23, 2005

Director John G. Avildsen kick-started his feature film-making career with one of the most powerful movies of 1970, “Joe,” starring a then fairly unknown Peter Boyle. Later, in 1976, Avildsen would score big time and take an Oscar home for his direction of Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky.” But in between these two he churned out an amusing if not forgettable comedy called “Cry Uncle.”

Avildsen’s 1971 feature was a paint-by-numbers “who-dun-it” that follows an obese and overtly hairy private detective who sucks and fucks his way through porno houses, prostitutes, drug addicts and brothels to uncover pertinent evidence that supposedly applies to his case. For ‘71 it was pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable on the big screen and even today the movie might have a difficult time finding a home on anything other than HBO Afterhours.

“Cry Uncle” is a soft-core porn film that is well-made (all things considered) with some relatively amusing dialogue and adequate acting. For good measure some necrophilia was thrown in as well as gobs of full-frontal male and female nudity, though I wonder how many will want to see it as the guys are overweight and the gals are underfed. Furthermore, not all the gags work, and a few of the actors’ deliveries leave something to be desired. Anyhow, given its time frame and budget it was an amicable effort that offended the fuddy-duddy of yesteryear while entertaining the less prudish. There’s very little doubt that the same would happen during this woefully “conservative” era.

Troma did a really good job on serving up the extras here as we get tons of interviews with the cast and crew in addition to the normal barrage of trailers and audio commentaries.

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