An entertaining half hour padded out to ninety minutes
"Mantis In Lace" is an extremely entertaining thirty minutes stretched out to ninety. That half hour is psychotronic gold. It has strippers, LSD, and some violent murder sequences. The "trippy" effects are pretty goofy, and considering how high profile Lazslo Kovacs later became, his cinematography is pretty primitive. Susan Stewart is campy and has a good deal of screen presence (not to be confused with actual acting ability though). The two cops on the case are some of the most inept police investigators ever in a film. Plus, the producer's knowledge of the psychedelic movement is the most wrongheaded this side of "Skidoo". As far as I know, the hippies didn't hang around strip joints. The producers also made the mistake of believing hippies looked like beatniks. This aspect of the film is very enjoyable.
Unfortunately, this film is loaded with padding of striptease sequences. The ladies are actually quite good looking (by nudie standards at least), but these parts become dull and monotonous. Plus, there's ten minute interlude subplot that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the film and was obviously added after completion. Its very, very tough going so keep the fast-forward button in handy. Is this worth watching? Yes, but its certainly not consistent. By the way, I think I'm gonna have the theme song stuck in my head for a week or two. (6/10)
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