Our Rating: ★★★☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content
Short Take: Dykesploitation classic. Femme lovers Marsha and Terry live happily together in southern California until the younger Terry runs off to live with Ken.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1969
Duration: 79 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Russel Vincent
Writer: Russel Vincent
Starring: Sue Bernard, Bee Tompkins, Rick Cooper, Phae Dera, Dolly Read, Victoria Hale, Richard St. John, Tanya Lemani, Roger Heldfond, Joe Castagna

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That Tender TouchThe 1960’s and ’70s brought us Blaxploitation (e.g. Black Mama, White Mama and Cleopatra Jones), but it also was the source of many a Dykesploitation film. Thanks to lgbt film historian Jenni Olson, low budget lesbian exploitation movies from this period are now being rediscovered like the lesbian pulp novels of the ’50s and ’60s.

That Tender Touch is one of the first releases in the Wolfe Vintage Collection. Big time melodrama ensues as femme lovers Marsha (Bee Tompkins) and Terry (Sue Bernard, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) live happily together in southern California until the younger Terry runs off to live with Ken (Rick Cooper). It’s campy 1960’s fun with big hair, big eyelashes and pointy bras.

‘Marsha, I need you. I want you,’ is what Terry really feels, but she thinks she must lead a ‘normal’ life with a man. Marsha can’t let go, and even though she is also propositioned by two of Terry’s female neighbors and the maid, she can’t stand the thought of Terry with a man.

Like most productions from this time, the lesbian must die in the end to a dramatic score. As long as you know about this upfront, enjoy the film for the trashy historical piece that it is. (Some will have great fun watching, while others will probably find it a bit torturous.) The dvd has been mastered from a 35mm archival print and definitely shows its age, but in some ways that adds to a feeling of authenticity. (AB)