Trader Hornee (1970) / Comedy-Adventure
MPAA Rated: X for nudity and sexuality (edited to an R)
Running Time: 84 min
Cast: Buddy Panstari, Elisabeth Monica, John Alderman, Christine Murray, Deek Sills
Director: Jonathan Lucas
Screenplay: David F. Friedman
Back in the late 60s and early 70s, smaller adult theaters sprang up all over the United States after the fall of the Hollywood code, showing what came to be known as "nudie movies". Most of these were low budget campy romps, not meant to be taken seriously, merely a means to provide cheap thrills and modest titillation.
Trader Hornee (pronounced "Horn", because the E's are silent) is a typical example of one of these so-called "nudie" movies. The plot is relatively threadbare, involving the search for the daughter of two zoologists killed in Africa. She is the heiress to the estate but no one knows for sure whether she is still alive in the deepest part of the continent. A couple of novice private detectives, along with a few others, are hired and sent to Africa to find out what happened to the girl. Rumors arise about a White Goddess in her early twenties named Algona, and putting two and two together, they surmise that Algona may be the one they are looking for.
Trader Hornee never really tries to be anything more than typical campy fare, with loads of bad humor and occasional flashes of skin. To be honest, there is part of me that found this knowing schlock entertaining, as there is an appealing goofiness to it all, but too much padding where not much goes on except shots of people hiking and stock footage of African wildlife persist on bogging the film's already tenuous momentum.
The nudity is very tame by today's standards, while the cast isn't filled with anyone you might care to see naked (well, maybe Deek Sills as Algona). Anyone watching this for smut value will most likely be disappointed. Without this, Trader Hornee's reason to exist is only as a curiosity of a minor film genre that was all but wiped out when pornography began to be available on home video. Strictly for nostalgia buffs.
©2001 Vince Leo