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SUE LYON & JENNIFER ASHLEY IN 'TOWING' WITH JOE MANTENGA

Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon verses J.J. Johnston in TOWING Year: 1978 Rating: ***

Before calling it quits after ALLIGATOR, Sue Lyon starred alongside Jennifer Ashley in what was once the Holy Grail of the former Lolita's low-budget 1970's flicks, finally coexisting with EVEL KNIEVEL, TAROT, MURDER IN A BLUE WORLD, CRASH!, THE ASTRAL FACTOR, SMASH-UP ON INTERSTATE  5 and END OF THE WORLD...

Her penultimate feature TOWING is a low-budget street-set sex-comedy influenced by CAR WASH, with a similar funky theme playing from beginning to end, starring Ashley and Lyon as barmaid besties... 

Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING

Ashley's a flirtatiously fun, disco-dancing/would-be singer and Lyon a hopeful hopeless-romantic, both pitted against the titular TOWING company that illegally tows cars for cash payment... 

An operation targeting all the same people including "irate couple" Steven Kampmann and Audrie Neenan along with lowbrow male leads Joe Mantegna as a bearded lawyer and fast-talking punk Bobby Di Cicco, who wind-up hooked-up with Lyon and Ashley respectively...

Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING

But with such a potentially nefarious villain in towing company owner J.J. Johnson (who'd later appear in FATAL ATTRACTION with good guy bartender Mike Nussbaum), he's hardly seen or really even effectively targeted...

That's until... not counting random sequences of Ashley day-lighting at a gas station across the tow-yard (using a road cone to scream insults)... practically the last minute...

Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING with Joe Mantegna

At which point, through the grungy one-street downtown Chicago location, after the girls turn tables during much too darkly-lit night shots, the plot is an afterthought along with the characters... 

Portrayed by otherwise good actors turning in such affably laidback performances, the entire movie feels like the cast jovially hanging-out before the inevitable script's thrown their way — which was obviously ignored anyway.  

Opeing Credits for in TOWING
Opeing Credits for in TOWING
Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING with Steven Kampmann and Audrie Nennan
Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING
Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING
Jennifer Ashley in TOWING
Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING
Mike Nussbaum and Jennifer Ashley with Sue Lyon and Bobby Di Cici in TOWING
Jennifer Ashley and Bobby Di Cici in TOWING
Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING
Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING
Sue Lyon in TOWING
Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING
Sue Lyon in TOWING
Jennifer Ashley and Sue Lyon in TOWING
Sue Lyon in TOWING
J.J. Johnston in TOWING
Steven Kampmann and Audrie Neenan in TOWING
Credits for TOWING
Sue Lyon in TOWING
Sue Lyon in TOWING with Jennifer Ashley
Sue Lyon in TOWING with Jennifer Ashley
Sue Lyon in TOWING with Jennifer Ashley

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