Director – Edward D. Wood Jr. (Night of the Ghouls, Plan 9 From Outer Space)
Starring – Edward D. Wood Jr., Michael Donovan O’Donnell (Dick Tracy, Cheers), Nona Carver (Revenge of the Virgins, Terrified)
Release Date – 1970
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
Tagline – “Down and dirty!”
My tastes in films is very eclectic. My passion lies with horror but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that a huge portion of my life revolved around exploitation. My taste in horror was shaped by many filmmakers ranging from George A. Romero, Joe Dante, Lloyd Kaufman, and many more but one that gave me the appreciation for the bad side of cinema is iconic filmmaker Ed Wood. His eye for exploitation mixed with his quick filming style always made for a fun experience.
One film I had never seen of his was the 1970 erotic comedy Take It Out in Trade. When American Genre Film Archive announced their partnership with Something Weird to release the film on blu I knew I had to have it. Sadly, I forgot about it until the release of Blood Lake recently. While getting a copy of that I went ahead and snagged this one.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a half-asses private detective with an eye for young women who is tasked with finding his new client’s daughter. His investigation takes him to the seedy side of town where he encounters several nude women and a woman in drag (Ed Wood) before he carelessly continues on to find the girl.**Spoiler Alert**
I love the films from the beginning of Wood’s directing career. They are rushed with completely disregard for their surroundings. The sets are always just tossed together and most of the time the cast was unaware of what was going on. His later films definitely fit in the exploitation category for various reason with Take It Out in Trade being the perfect example of what it meant to be an exploitation film of the time. Honestly, the humor in this one made the film enjoyable. Without it the film would be completely unwatchable.
The acting in this one is funny. The cast seems to really enjoy themselves on set and they work very well together. With that being said, Michael Donovan O’Donnell carried the film on his sleazy shoulders. His character was extremely fun and he looked like he was born to play Mac.
The story for this one works in a exploitation sense but would have been a boring watch if it wasn’t for the humor. The nudie film was a huge hit in the cinematic world in the late 60s so Ed Wood took part of the craze by writing several screenplays for other directors, as well as, making his own. He cashed in on the craze in 1970 with this film which uses the nude aspect to carry the story without actually having a story. It doesn’t work because it is extremely bland. The addition of the humor made it the movie very tolerable.
Finally, if you want blood and gore you are obviously an idiot because this is not that kind of film. If you want awkward nudity and some fun characters then you are in the right spot. Overall, Take It Out in Trade is far from Wood’s best but it was still enjoyable. Fans of sleaze and trash will want to grab this release from AGFA.
New 2K preservation from the only 16mm theatrical print in existence!
Commentary track with filmmaker Frank Henenlotter (BASKET CASE), Ed Wood biographer Rudolph Grey, and AGFA’s Joseph A. Ziemba!
TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE: THE OUTTAKES, 70 minutes of unseen footage scanned in 2K!
Exclusive liner notes by Ed Wood biographer Rudolph Grey
Bonus movie: THE LOVE FEAST (1969) starring Ed Wood, scanned in 2K from an original 35mm theatrical print!
Reversible cover art!