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October 1, 2018

Secondhand Smut #7: Living Dead Format

 Your favorite dirty column, Secondhand Smut, is back and will be reviewed random old porn with no particular order or reason; just for your eyes only. The column’s return was inspired after the author read Pete Chiarella’s A Whole Bag of Crazy: Sordid Tales of Hookers, Weed, and Grindhouse Movies. And another noteworthy book that recently came to my attention was flesh trade: tales from the uk sexual underground, in which writer Bruce Barnard goes on a mission to explore as much of the British-based sex work as possible; I liked the journey, but not its conclusion. But anyway, without further ado, let’s dive deep into the film reviews.

Butterflies (1975)

Denise (Swedish starlet Marie Forsa) is terminally bored by her unexciting life in the country where she lives with her equally unexciting boyfriend and decides to leave all that behind, go to the big city and make it to the luxurious and exciting world of fashion modeling. It is there that she meets club owner Frank (Harry Reems, no introduction needed) and the two fall in love, until the lady is disappointed when she finds out that her rich man is a womanizer.

Written and directed by Joseph W. Sarno (again, no introduction needed), this comes (quite expectedly, to be honest) with stunning camerawork and impressive visuals, but its soap opera-like plot is tiresome and the end result is ultimately boring. Watch out for a hilarious sex scene in which Reems pounds in fast forward!

Score (1974)

Set in Leisure, Europe, Jack (Gerald Grant) and Elvira (Claire Wilbur) decide to go on a swinging rampage which is supposed to start when they meet Eddie [Casey Donovan from Boys in the Sand (1971) and Boys in the Sand II (1984)] and Betsy [Lynn Lowry from The Crazies (1973)].

Directed by Radley Metzger (no introduction needed), this is featuring the expected impressive camerawork of Frano Vodopivec and stunning performers. However, the sex is vanilla and the screenplay by Jerry Douglas (based upon his off-Broadway play, which was featuring Sylvester Stallone, albeit the man does not make an appearance here) is so soap opera-like that it will bore you to tears. At its best (when it becomes comedic) it resembles the works of Russ Meyer (albeit with smaller breasts) and it is daring enough to have been refused a U.K. certificate upon its original submission to BBFC, but still that doesn’t say much.

Madam Satan (1970)

This U.S. production by Tom Gordon (who also directed) finds a bunch of Americas (mostly middle-aged men and young ladies) gathering in some sort of Satanic cult while none of them looks like the type that would join one. Nevertheless they do some black magic mumbo-jumbo (one of the guys insists on doing the devil’s horns often whilst watching other performers bang each other) amidst supposed torture (featuring slave training etc.) and lame sex, all of that within the space of empty-looking apartments.

For a film that is supposed to give you a boner this is pretty melancholic, but most of the performers look well attractive, especially considering the apparent minimal budget (evidently, this should have been a one-day wonder). The dialogues are unintentionally hilarious, and this cheapie does not outstay its welcome as it runs for less than an hour.

I Told you not to Call the Police (2010)

The synopsis on the DVD’s back cover reads ‘This experimental movie depicts a serial rapist in a new way. Instead of showing the man behind the mask, he is almost never seen. There is no attempt to humanize him in your eyes. Instead, the bold camerawork puts YOU in his place. You see the crimes through his eyes. It’s the opposite of what is done in horror movies – those movies put you in the victim’s place – there is no such point of view here. Another experimental aspect is that the crimes are not fast-forwarded, as is usually the case with taboo material. No. You must suffer in long, demented, detail, what it is like to witness such a fiend play with his prey.’

Well, if ‘experimental’ is the new word for shit handheld camerawork then the synopsis is right, and if using a rapist’s P.O.V. is somehow dehumanizing him, instead of fetishizing his actions then I think I’m getting paranoid.

Writer/producer/director Bill Zebub’s [better known for Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist (2004), but he has made dozens of zero-budgeted videos] film is not unlike the custom-made rape-fantasy videos that litter the dark corners of the internet, the only difference being that it is long and tedious (at approximately 90 minutes, it’s a torture), an ultimately boring exercise in following an unseen man raping a variety of gothic-looking girls.

Speaking of these women, I wonder what convinced them to subject themselves to this, but the acting is amateur throughout, so I don’t think they passed on the next Hollywood production in order to be in this.

On an interesting note, the serial rapist is at some point wearing a t-shirt of Dario Argento’s Opera (1987). On a disgusting note, at some other point he says that there are worse things in life than rape. Yeah? Like what? The film goes as far as showing forced incent and forced impregnation.

Although I envy the determination of some people to go that far, these videos are not for me.

Assmonster: The Making of a Horror Movie (2006)

As(s) it is thoroughly explained in the film by Bill Zebub (who plays himself) an assmonster, is a human monster (as in predator) that craves ass. Cameraman/editor/writer/producer/director Zebub’s comedy is about a bunch of filmmakers that try to put together the eponymous movie despite their lack of budget and talent.

It was inevitable with an experience of many years and several films that the team behind them would at some point make a parody of themselves, but the joke is that this amateurishly-acted long exercise in bad humor (the best gag in the film is a fart joke that involves a mobile phone) is actually better than the films it pokes fun at.

Sure, it gets boring watching metal fans with long hair, mustaches, and beards, talking to each other in high-end houses in expensive New Jersey neighborhoods, but the girls are hot, which I am sure is enough reason for many to purchase the DVD. Hell, I could be watching those girls’ stills for as long and never regret the time spent!

The death metal music featured therein is annoying (you even get a cameo from Cannibal Corpse), and the t-shirts the guys are parading with are obvious choices [and range from mainstream metal bands such as Amon Amarth to cult classic movies such as Nekromantik (1987), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996), The Return of the Living Dead (1985), and House on Haunted Hill (1959)], but these people that make those films have their hearts in the right place, and therefore they deserve our respect.

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