Do you remember when I announced the closure of the Secondhand Smut column? Well, here I am again. With nothing secondhand but certainly Smut. I’ll explain.
I had plans for the fourth installment to cover my findings from August, September, October and November 2014, but this simply wasn’t meant to be. So, here I am, reviewing some Smut that I recently got my dirty hands on.
The male lead is a photographer (of mainly pornographic stills) and he just found his muse off the streets who is a musician. Together they will experience sexual acts that are moving this film in a very conventional way; that is, until the violent outburst of the ending which makes the whole journey worthy.
There’s no telling how much of a Lloyd Kaufman fan I am. He’s mostly known for his independent ‘70s and ‘80s flicks, but I’m more in love with his ‘90s and ‘00s masterpieces. Sweet & Sour (1974) is an early pornographic film of his. The copy I have is in terrible condition and I pray that someday Vinegar Syndrome will release a good restoration on disc.
Maria [Dianne Galke from Teenage Runaway (1975)] is a nymphomaniac with masochistic tendencies as we learn, and so she is locked in a nuthouse. She should suspect that this institution for mental patients has something to hide though because the nurse who’s showing her into her room is teasing her and soon the two of them get to have some hot lesbian action. Later Maria will find a couple of dildos in her room too; professional help, right?
A nurse will have her throat slashed and this is the movie’s turning point. From then on everything seems to be lit in a horror movie way. Just when you thought you’d get scared though you see a dildo attached to a medical machine providing pleasure to the female lead, and just when you thought you’d get horny you see a dick chopped off.
The female lead is kidnapped by some people who force her into ceremonial group sex (there are several black magic symbols here on display, or maybe they are Satanic, or both, or I don’t really know). There is a man in a Devil mask that is conducting most of these orgies. And there are a few flying penises that are shooting insane amount of semen, resulting in a bukkake scene. You can’t call it bukkake per se because the term was first used for post-1980 Japanese films, but I don’t know what else to call that scene.
There are some more bloody scenes here, in the form of murders, or ‘forced accidents’, and the whole thing reminded me a lot of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ best moments even though it works mostly as a Slasher film. It didn’t seem to be very popular back then, but this combination of hardcore pornography with hardcore splatter seem to be attracting many new fans nowadays as this film has finally its cult following and is mentioned way too often online.
Mona: The Virgin Nymph (1970)
The oxymoron of the title is explained pretty early on when we learn that the star Mona [Fifi Watson from Pinocchio (1971)] is indeed a virgin (vaginally at least, because she’s waiting for her marriage) but she is addicted to oral sex (she is sucking both men and women). Luckily for her cuckold husband he’s getting some extra pussy from her mother [Judy Angel from Southern Comforts (1971)].
This three-day wonder is regarded to be the first fiction pornographic feature length film to be widely distributed theatrically in the U.S. and that in itself is a huge achievement. It is surely important enough to make you forgive all the awful tight close-ups of hairy bums and the noisy vibrator scene with the Eastern music in the background.
The Fireworks Woman (1975)
The titular character [Jennifer Jordan from Abigail Lesley Is Back in Town (1975)] has a romantic and sexual incestuous relationship with her brother [Eric Edwards from Great Sexpectations (1984)]. The performers in this film are gorgeous, but you will focus to the extraordinary scenes that include some S&M, a threesome, and a gruesome rape. This rape scene and the film as a whole are the ‘missing link’ between director Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left (1972) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977). Please Vinegar Syndrome release this on BD!
Wet Rainbow (1974)
The titular character [Valerie Marron from The Image (1975)] is a liberal art student and she becomes the “third person” when her tutor Jonathan [Harry Reems] and his wife Valerie [Georgina Spelvin] will use her first as a fantasy and then as the object of desire. This film is undoubtedly one of the most serious from porn’s golden era come to think of the storyline and the character development, but it also happens to be one of my least favourites.
“You got my prick all full of shit!”
This film kicks-off with a newspaper clipping and a psychiatrist quotation, both about the post-Vietnam syndrome that many of that war’s soldiers faced after its end. We are then introduced to a gas station attendant (Harry Reems) who is picking up the addresses of young girls. The female customers provided these either because they were looking for directions or to confirm a credit card’s ownership. Then the male lead is wandering in the seedy back then streets of New York and he gets visions from the battlefield in Vietnam. The parallel and the editing are astonishing. He does some Peeping Tom business and then he rapes and kills the innocent victims.
This is one of the greatest porn films of all time, but not because it is enjoyable, but rather due to how disturbing it is. Shaun Costello directed this so well that it often seems like a ‘regular’ movie in which there happens to be some (necessary to the screenplay) sex scenes. There are only the credits here to remind you that this was indeed made by the golden era of adult films’ usual suspects. In the first sex scene the sound of the film camera grabs you by the throat and makes the result so realistic that you’ll feel guilt for watching this movie. They really don’t make them like this anymore.
Baby Rosemary (1976)
Okay, I didn’t understand much about his film’s plot (written by Ruth Price and Virgil Rome), but I liked it a lot. The whole thing is very disturbing. Does it work? Hell yes it does. Mainly thanks to John Hayes excellent work at directing it. There are even some references to Universal Horror classics (in the manner of, their posters hanging from a wall).
The most interesting things about it are the scene in which the female lead is forced to sex at a knifepoint by a couple, the magic ceremonies that come along with religious chants and sex, and the horror-like ending [which reminded me of Rosemary’s Baby (1968)]. It is occasionally very rough, especially considering how convincing it is, and for this we have to thank the great performers that were in front of the camera (they even made a bitch-slap seem so realistic).
Sexual Freedom in Denmark (1970)
The ‘Shockumentaries’ are one of my favourite genres and I am on a mission to collect all of them. The reason this particular one is part of this list is that it is featuring scenes of penetration in close-up (and that makes it qualify as an ‘adult’ film). In fact, it was one of the first films to show such shots to be released widely in U.S. theatres.
Oh it starts innocently enough with Adam and Eve (although since they have been always naked I’m not sure how they managed to have tan-lines). It even goes on to show us innocent ‘nudie-cutie’ material in which people play volleyball in the nude (although we get to see them in full-frontal manner here). There is even hippie music! And nude photo-shoots! But once you see the birth of two babies in close-up you will be for sure turned off.
The commentary on this sounds more liberal than exploiting in comparison to the other documentaries of its kind, and is in fact one of the best ‘Mondo’ (for lack of a better term) films ever. It does so much to convince us of the Sexual Freedom in Denmark that it makes me wonder how many Americans were convinced of going to Scandinavia permanently. This was the era of Free Love, so why would people pay for it?