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October 30, 2012

Movie Review: Butterflies (1974)

by Greg Goodsell

Directed By Joe Sarno

Denise (Marie Forsa) is tired of her farm girl life in rural Germany and pines for the bright lights, big city. Climbing aboard her country-hick boyfriend (American porn star Eric Edwards) one last time, she packs a tube of lipstick in an exceedingly tiny suitcase and thumbs a ride to Munich. Meeting a pig-face lingerie salesman along the way, Denise hooks up with suave and de-boner nightclub owner Frank (porno icon Harry Reems – in his hottest role). Whisking her away to his penthouse apartment in Munich, Denise is wined, dined and sixty-nined under the proviso that she is aware that she is only one of a countless string of women who is lining up for Frank's precious bodily fluids. Reems fornicates with several women in many intense scenes, until Denise gets sick and tired of his fuckin' shit, hits the road and presumably thumbs a ride back to the farm.

 One of soft-core auteur Joe Sarno's few forays into hardcore porn (the retro Seduction double disc DVD features the softer director's cut alongside the up close and personal grindhouse version), Butterflies is unique in that focuses on the male lead, Reems, as he ruthlessly penetrates the German disco vixen population. Forsa, already seen in Sarno's Veil of Blood drops out of the narrative entirely at various points. The minimal plot is sex, sex, sex, most of it on Reems' pneumatic abilities. Both Sarno and Christopher Nebe in the commentaries included with this disc all vouch for Reem's studly abilities, and concur all the actresses benefited from his jack-rabbit technique.

However – eagle-eyed porno connoisseurs will immediately recognize a telling piece of wardrobe that Reems wears in the film: a god-awful, blue and white striped sweater with little blue lions on it. Reems would wear this very same atrocious sweater in Zebedy Colt’s Sex Wish two years later in 1976. Sex Wish, literally and figuratively worlds away from the sunshine and light world of Butterflies, is a grimy, relentless meditation on sexual violence with murder and rape. Reems wears this sweater throughout Sex Wish, where it has positively gone through the wash many times – as had Reems, the porno world and life in general.

The Retro-Seduction Cinema Collector’s Edition DVD of Butterflies, as Reems would earlier do with Linda Lovelace, is choked with extras. The package includes two discs, one featuring the director’s cut (no hardcore), a “Grind House” cut with all the greasy pound cake action, An interview with the late Joe Sarno and producer Christopher Nebe (who says the majority of Butterflies was filmed at his penthouse apartment), commentary with Nebe, trailers to upcoming Joe Sarno DVD releases and a full-color booklet with liner notes. The booklet, authored by exploitation film authority Michael J. Bowen reiterates the same old boring story on how soft-core went the way of the dodo bird with hardcore, and how much Sarno and Nebe were reluctant to go down this rabbit hole. I don’t know about you, but I think these dirty old geezers secretly relished the prospect of watching all this raunchy action, hoping for possible spillover. In either case, I – and expect a lot of youse readers out there, are tired of hearing this whiny old cliché. Be proud, gang – Butterflies, as I mentioned earlier is not the inglorious Sex Wish

Out for spice? Put Butterflies in your player for some old fashioned goodtime flesh and frolic. 

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