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Pets (1974) – Raphael Nussbaum


Bonnie runs away from her dominant brother and into a series of diverse relationships and adventures.

This is a great trash sleaze epic, and the first feature film role for Candice Rialson. Her acting is very natural, and she’s believable as the object of desire for everyone in the film (and the audience). She spends lots of time topless and looks great throughout. It’s easy to see why she was soon picked up by major indie New World Pictures (Candy Stripe Nurses).

Based on a play, this aspect carries through with the carefully scripted dialog that is thought provoking on multiple levels. The underlying theme is dominance and submission, both physical and psychological. The UK title Submission is more representative of the film as a whole than the Pets moniker.

Producer, director, and screenwriter Raphael Nussbaum was able to bring his vision to the screen as a project rather than a product. This control shows in the care given props, sets, and locations, even down to small details. The cinematography is excellent and greatly contributes to the flow of the film. Candice gets lots of support from veteran television actors Ed Bishop and Joan Blackman, and novice Teri Guzman (Women Unchained) convincingly plays an opportunistic and streetwise predator in contrast to Candice’s naive ‘babe in the woods’.

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