Plot: Mac McGregor (Michael Donovan O’Donnell) is not the best private investigator, nor the most honest, but he has landed a new case that involves serious cash. The daughter of an affluent couple has left home and refuses to return, so McGregor is hired to bring her back. But he has little interest in the actual case, instead he burns through the couple’s funds seeking out carnal pleasures of all kinds. Once he has racked up a hell of a tab, McGregor puts in some actual detective work and learns the girl has taken refuge in an upscale brothel. This is music to McGregor’s ears, because while she has no interest in going home, it allows even more naked women to be taken in by our sleazy private eye. Will McGregor be able to resist his urges long enough to finish the case and return the girl to her parents?
Entertainment Value: An oddball blend of detective yarn, sexploitation, aviation fetish, and tutorial on how to walk down a staircase, Take It Out in Trade was lost for decades and just some outtakes were known to exist. The narrative here is minimal, as the movie focuses on awkward, softcore sex scenes, but there is the skeletal presence of a hokey detective tale. I think the movie’s main entertainment comes from that narrative, as when the story is the central element, we see the kind of strange performances and dialogue you’d expect from Ed Wood. Wood even shows himself, in easily the film’s most outlandish and memorable sequence, as he is roughed up by McGregor and even has his wig snatched. The sex is not erotic in the least, which adds some humor to those scenes, but I would have loved more dialogue here. But you have to respect the filler content in Take It Out in Trade, as the movie is unashamed about showing women walk down the same staircase more times than I could count. I found this to be a sleazy, campy picture that might not rank up with Wood’s most outlandish efforts, but it is a lot of fun and earns a high recommendation.
This one has a lot of naked women in it, with a good portion of the duration dedicated to showing off exposed flesh. The sex is softcore, but you still see the cast in vivid detail, including their most intimate of body parts. This is bound to happen when the sex is just people rolling around on each other and such, which adds some humor to the awkward, strange sexual situations. In addition, there are a wealth of topless scenes, bare asses, and full frontal nudity, so buckle up for a lot of bush here. So if the naked female form offends you, prepare to be offended…a lot. No blood. Some light roughing up happens, but it is tame and hokey. The dialogue is corny and hilarious, both in how it is written and performed. The cast is mostly wooden or really awkward, which makes the cheesy lines all the more fun. Ed Wood’s performance takes his scene to the moon and back, while the detective also dials up his presence. McGregor is over the top, but somehow still totally wooden, it is a wild performance. I only wish there was more dialogue to soak in here. The craziness scale tilts for the dialogue, performances, nearly constant nudity, and of course, the usual Ed Wood brand of b movie magic. Not one of the wildest he made, but some wackiness, to be sure.
Overall Insanity: 6/10