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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Another chapter in the career of the incredible Kenneth F. Rowles, he of ‘Take an Easy Ride' infamy. Rowles devised and produced this 13 part TV series back in 1970, if the title doesn't immediately ring any bells it is hardly surprising given that for reasons unknown Go Girl was never broadcast. Go Girl uses much of the same crew as Rowles' Venom, an offbeat horror film about a forest dwelling nymphet with a spider fixation. While Venom took its British crew to Bavaria, Go Girl was shot in Spain where Rowles once ran into a spot of bother with customs after a copy of Cinema X magazine-featuring a Venom pictorial-was found in his luggage, confiscated and later enthusiastically flicked-through by customs officers. Tickled by this the magazine itself later reported the incident in a news item headed ‘Hey!-Give me back my Cinema X'. Quite how Rowles managed to convince the same authorities to allow him to shoot a TV series about a crime fighting Go-Go dancer remains to be seen. Left gathering dust for well over a decade the 28 minute pilot episode eventually resurfaced on a value for money video double-bill with the aforementioned Take an Easy Ride in the early Eighties erroneously billed as ‘Give Me a Ring Sometime' which is actually just the pilot episode title.
After some mysterious goings-on onboard a boat, things begin properly at a discothèque. Taking a break from swinging her hips to Slade's ‘Coz I Luv You', Go-Go dancer Carol (actress/singer Luan Peters, ex-Paul Raymond discovery and star of innumerable ‘blonde in low cut top' roles) is literally sent flying when she is accidentally tripped up by medallion man Juan (Walter Randall). As an apology he offers to buy her drink. Much more than a dumb blonde Carol has heard his smoothie routine a hundred times before, but accepts the drink anyway even though ‘I'd settle for a piece of plaster and a walking stick'. As the night goes on Juan grows jumpy and nervous particularly by the arrival of a mysterious man at the bar who is identified only by a tattoo on his hand. Juan pleads with Carol to go to his hotel room and collect an envelope (her response: ‘You must think I've just fallen off a Christmas tree'), before rushing out of the discothèque and falling victim to the mystery man who has been hiding in the back of his car. Out of curiosity Carol decides to go to the room and pick up the envelope, only to suddenly hear someone else entering the room. Thus leading to that old thriller scenario of the heroine hiding in a cupboard while someone tears up the room eventually reaching around in the cupboard only centimetres away from her. Carol's DJ boyfriend Adam (Venom star Simon Brent who also co-produced the series), a gormless but easy to like prototype of the kind of character Christopher Neil would later play in careerist sex comedies, searches for her in the dancers dressing room where we get a glimpse of a very young looking Françoise Pascal and there is even time for some comic relief involving a monkey stealing the Go-Go dancers' lipstick as well. Obviously going undetected by the mystery man Carol arrives back at the discothèque just in time for some more headlining go-go dancing and for the end of Part One.
In Part Two amidst some touristy travelogue shots of a Spanish holiday resort Carol relates the story to Adam. In the absence of Juan the pair opt to open the envelope which contains a map of where to find treasure on a deserted island, the mystery deepens…. Using as Adam puts it ‘your big blue eyes and my brain', the pair manage to blag a boat ride to the island from Rick (George Mango), a chubby American sailor with a 50's style quiff. Rick is a little too interested as to why Adam and Carol want to go to a deserted island and their map, but gets distracted when Adam turns on the radio and feeling inspired by a blast of funky music Carol begins some impromptu go-go dancing at the front of the boat. Moments later the good time is shattered when Carol discovers a deceased Juan in the ship's cupboard (audiences get clued up to this revelation much earlier, via some accusery close-ups of Rick's tattooed hand). The radio drowns out Carol's attempts to alert Adam, who chooses the worse possible moment to turn the radio down i.e. just as Carol shouts ‘….HE'S DEAD'. By complete accident Carol causes the rampaging Rick to go overboard, leaving her and Adam free to do some treasure hunting on the island before they have to start dodging the bullets when a gun toting Rick makes a surprise re-appearance.
With a title song that goes ‘when she moves, she is out of this world, she has got to be a go girl' this is a screamingly 1970's concoction. To the degree that when viewed today it feels more like someone's campy send-up of a 70's action series rather than a genuine product of that era. Not short of a few clever innovations, most notably having the live action change into animation for several linking sections, Go Girl again displays Rowles' talent for compacting much into a deceptively short running time, no doubt due to his editor's background. Luan Peters had the right mix of good looks and charisma to carry the show and the opening and closing credit sequences must surely rate as a classic in their own right. A pity then that the series never got off the ground and that the other 12 episodes are no longer in existence. On the basis of the pilot Go Girl clearly had a lot going for it with lively, action packed plots taking place in picturesque locations alongside a finger on the pulse approach to such teenage concerns as pop music and Luan Peters go-go dancing in hot pants.