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November 1, 2018

Secondhand Smut #8: Analog Repulsion

The present installment of your favorite dirty column was inspired by The Films of Jess Franco, a collective book edited by Antonio Lazaro-Reboll and Ian Olney, which although it adds no new information or trivia, it does analyze the shit out what we already know; a great academic work that should be purchased by all connoisseurs of erotic cinema. But without further ado, on with the reviews!

The Image (1975)

Jean [Carl Parker from The Score (1974), which was reviewed in this column’s previous installment] and Claire (Marilyn Roberts) seduce Anne [Rebecca Brooke from Confessions of a Young American Housewife (1974)] into the world of BDSM and indulge into a series of erotic games that include everything, from whipping to chaining, and from feet licking to pissing.

Also known as The Punishment of Anne and The Mistress and the Slave this was directed by adult film auteur Radley Metzger (who also penned the screenplay, based upon the same-titled novel by Catherine Robbe-Grillet) and it aims high. Featuring the gorgeous cinematography of Robert Lefebvre (this was his last credit) and an impressive soundtrack, it rarely disappoints.

Sure, it may not be as good as, say, the similar The Story of O (1975) and the neo-noir approach of the voiceover is quite heavy-handed, but this is still a masterpiece and it must be seen by all connoisseurs of classic adult cinema.

Dr. Sexual and Mr. Hyde (1971)

The titular pervert runs an experiments clinic (which looks like a cheap apartment) that is also used for his several sexual escapades. His new project has him giving a magic potion to his assistant Prudence (the ever-hot Suzanne Fields, no introduction needed) who is immediately turned into a sex crazed maniac!

Directed by one Anthony Brzezinski, this quickie (its running time is barely over an hour, and it looks a one day wonder) is featuring the standard pimply performers of such cheapies and an array of (possibly penniless at the time) hippie girls (including one with an earring with the peace symbol) but it also comes with the occasional standout prop, including a candle that is used for sexual satisfaction and a few skulls that decorate the good doctor’s supposed clinic. It all ends predictably with an orgy and a murder, but aside from the regular clumsiness, this actually contains some challenging dialogue.

Foxtrot (1982)

Director Cecil Howard’s [Fantasex (1976)] film is ultimately boring, mainly because it is essentially a collage of sex vignettes with virtually no plot (apparently the screenplay was written by Anne Randall, who went on to work with the director in many more films), and somehow all of it leads to a finale which is a New Year’s Eve (the movie’s most interesting aspect).

It is dark; not in tone (the film is essentially a comedy, even if a little bit of a dark one at that), but in terms of cinematography (you can rarely see what’s going on), and the occasional unconventional sex act (including a foot-job) rarely managed to induce any excitement.

However, the film is not without its merits as it is featuring an amazing neo-noir jazz soundtrack and an array of favorite performers, including Veronica Hart, Samantha Fox, Vanessa del Rio, Sharon Mitchell, Tiffany Clark, Robert Kerman, Ron Jeremy, and Fred J. Lincoln. You should also stay tuned for a post-credits sequence, which I doubt it inspired Marvel in any possible way.

Afternoon Delights (1980)

A bunch of middle-aged friends gather (as they do every Tuesday, we are told) to play cards. But this time there will be a twist, meaning that instead of relying solely to poker for their entertainment, they will anonymously share stories of how naughty their ex-wives were. As each one of them narrates his story we are seeing the relevant vignette, none of which is very interesting (or original, for that matter) aside from one that is featuring a mistress bitch (played by Samantha Fox) dressed in a Nazi uniform.

Featuring the standard for the era driller obsession (that is supposedly a phallic symbol) along with an awesome soundtrack (the original theme song in particular is outstanding), this is one of the tamest films by writer/director Shaun Costello [Forced Entry (1973)]. Be sure to watch out for a copy of the legendary Screw magazine and a brief appearance of the equally legendary Capri porn theater.

Made on a $45,000 budget, this is also featuring an extraordinary cast that includes Serena, Vanessa del Rio, Bobby Astyr, Veronica Hart, Eric Edwards, and George Payne.

Dracula Exotica (1980)

Count Dracula (the always excellent Jamie Gillis) on his way (via ship, of course) to the U.S. is quick to find a secretary in the face of Vita Valdes (Vanessa del Rio, no introduction needed), and together they will indulge into some vampire business.

This epic (100 minutes of running time) was written by Kenneth Schwarz (who also produced) and directed by legendary smut-maker Shaun Costello, and it has some of the most impressive production values you are every likely to see in an adult film (both the real locations – including a castle and a ship – and the made-up sets look amazing; William Ivey Long is credited with the costume design).

It was shot by cinematographer Bill Markle [cinematographer of my all-time favorite adult film, Water Power (1977)] on 35mm, but unfortunately the copy I had to deal with was so scratchy that it looks like the thing was shot on 16mm instead.

It is misogynist at times as the words ‘whore’ and ‘bitch’ are uttered casually by members of the cast, and the imagery of rape is uncomfortable too, but I can’t name too many adult films from the era that weren’t that na├»ve.

On the plus side, Dracula’s narration throughout the entire thing is very charming, and other ‘what the fuck’ moments that include necrophilia and a gun shoved up a guy’s anus and fired at, make this an exceptionally important addition to the list of the classics from the Golden Age.

The cast is stellar too, and aside from the performers mentioned above you will also see Samantha Fox, Eric Edwards, Bobby Astyr, Herschel Savage, and an un-credited Ron Jeremy. Not to be missed.

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