The first full-length feature by LA-based artist and filmmaker Anna Biller (The Hypnotist; A Visit From The Incubus), VIVA is "a spot-on spoof of low-grade late 60s/early 70s sexploitation flicks" (Variety) that joyously and faithfully pays homage to the classics of the genre.
With a plot stripped from a 1969 letter to Penthouse Magazine, Viva tells the story of Barbi, a naïve housewife who sets out to discover the seedy underbelly of the sexual revolution. With her best friend Sheila in tow, she encounters everything from prowling cougars, grandmotherly brothel madams and lesbian supermodels to full-blown orgies. Toss in a gay hairdresser, a funk-gasmic soundtrack and some surreal animated and musical sequences and you’ve got one smoking hot slice of nouveau cult cinema.
Viva is available on DVD in the US now from Cult Epics. Nouveaux Pictures will show Viva at selected UK cinemas on 15th May and will release a DVD in June.
Gustav Deutsch is a maestro of found footage filmmaking. In this enterprise, he travels to film archives worldwide, researches, and excavates clips from obscure films, and reassembles them into montage sequences that create compelling visual narratives organized around larger thematic concerns.
In FILM IST. a girl & a gun, the director weaves together a stunning array of color-tinted images from a variety of genres, including scientific, erotic, fiction, and actuality films. Deutsch also obtained privileged access to the film archives of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, enabling him to incorporate sequences from especially rare erotic and sex films into his latest oeuvre. Deutsch adroitly assembles a precisely constructed, mesmerizing ebb and flow of images into extraordinary montage sequences divided into five acts: Genesis, Paradeisos, Eros, Thanatos, and Symposion.
Young College student James (Sean Andrews) decides to spend summer break on his fathers Homestead. His father Hezekiah’s (Darrell Sandeen) has been living out in the desert since the death of James mother and this will be the first time James see's the ranch. Once their he finds that his father is now living with a busty vixen named Cheryl (Mary Carey), James finds himself instantly attracted to her and her various "Charms".
Pervert is an unashamed homage to the skin flicks of the 60's and 70's particular the genres godfather Russ Meyer. Sure it’s the kind of thing that is politically incorrect, but it's not "mean spirited" at all, which I think some of the modern movement to "react" against "political correctness" is. Pervert! Is really just good ole fashion soft-core fun and titillation with large slice of humour.
Writer and director team Mike Davis and Jonathan Yudis have proved that you can create a "homage" film while keeping it feeling fresh and original. They have achieved a huge amount on a limited budget. I think the reason Pervert! Works so well is that they set out first and foremost to deliver a movie that was fun. They have certainly achieved the fun factor, pervert is a really enjoyable ride and genuinely very funny in places. Yes its tongue in cheek, but it never derides the films it homage’s there’s a genuine love for those movies that shines through. Russ Myers films are not the only homage’s the movie also made me think of Frank Henenlotter's films in particular the under seen and underrated Brain Damage (for reasons that will be obvious when you watch Pervert!). The soundtrack itself provides constant references to films and genres of years gone by as well as being a great collection of music.
The film itself looks really good, helped a lot by the fact that the desert always makes a great location. That’s not to detract from the fact that this really looks like a labour of love. The acting is a bit cheesy from some of the stars, intentional to a point I guess. Mary Cary won't win any acting awards in the near future but she makes a great onscreen cheeky Vixen. Sean Andrews nails the classic sexually inept type young male lead character well and Darrell Sandeen as his father is easily the films standout performer.
While this is not the stuff of classics, I do believe the filmmakers have achieved what they set out to do and that in itself is a real achievement. They have captured the vibe of the films they homage well (something that is harder than people think). The constant double entendres are excellent and the comedy writing is often spot on. They have managed to avoid pushing the film into the realms of childish humour while keeping a silly edge.
Big breasted vixens, crazy rednecks, a voodoo master, oodles of female flesh and some of the best comic lines I have heard in some time mean this is should be a must for fans of irreverent independent cinema. Russ Meyer fans should really check this out Mike Davis and Jonathan Yudis have done a great job of drawing on the spirit of his work.
Maybe not for the easly offended or those that are not keen on bare breasts, but highly recommended cheeky fun for the rest of us! 8/10
1835 on the island of San Cristobel. Lady Susan uses her whip to enforce the law on the Blackmoor plantation. No man, black or white can escape her island or her lash. The dashing hero is trapped in a volcano of terror in his search for his brother. See the cruel hand of hypocrisy twist and turn through lives. Boisterous action from opening scene to mind bending climax.
Directed by legendary Auteur and Breastman Extrodinaire Russ Meyer who wrote, produced and directed such cult classics as Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill, Vixens and Up!
Starring hotelier and socialite Anouska Hempel.
Three young male Japanese friends live a life at the bottom of the food chain, working dirty jobs, living in lower class squalor and raping women as a hobby. The three disenfranchised friends form a micro biker gang of three, although they only have two bikes between them. In this film we follow these three different, yet equally despicable young men as they burn rubber around an unnamed Japanese city, causing chaos and assaulting anyone they come across at will.
So you may have heard us talking about our adventures into the world of Takashi Ishii's Mange to screen adaptations know as the Angel Guts series. The thread which links these movies as a series is in fact very thin, All based on Adult orientated manga comics from the pen of Takashi Ishii, all produced as "Roman Porno", by the Nikkatsu studio in Japan and finally all link by there theme of sexual assault on the female gender, in the main part a central character who is always called Nami. If vivid depictions of rape on screen are a blanket no in your opinion, then what ever I say next these movies are probably not for you (Leave the review now.) Ok for those of you still here, I am going to avoid talking to much about the set as a whole other than to say this movie is very different from the others in the series which follow more the route of visually stylized artistic expression. High School Co-ed although it certainly has visual merits of it's own it goes for a much rougher realistic feel. This is a down and dirty experience ruff and raw right from the get go.
Let me say from the start, no matter how controversial this film, no matter how misguided it may be at times in its presentation of despicable and brutally inhuman acts, I like this film. I have seen other reviews where they pussyfoot around the subject matter, talk about the arty ness and almost apologise for the movie. Well I didn't make it, I don't neccesarilally condone it and so I won't be apologizing for it. For a piece of nasty, raw, low budget cinema, this movie blew me away. Chusei Sone a director I previously knew nothing about and who directed this and the very visually different second movie in the series Red Classroom is a genius. Anyone that can achieve this kind of movie in a 6 week turn around (Including all post production) and within the seemingly limited confines of Nikkatsu's Roman Porno genre (Pinku films) is a powerful talent.
Great as I think this movie is let me make one thing very clear, women get raped in this movie, in extended scenes that run the gauntlet of being tastelessly designed to be erotic (Don't forget Roman Porno is an erotic genre). Pretty much the second scene of the movie is a brutal rape, and before you start thinking about all the western rape revenge movies you have seen, the women in this movie get rapped, they get beaten and that's it, there is no fantasy nonsense in which the character gets all tooled up and comes back to pick off her assailants one by one. She gets used, then she gets thrown away, end of story (Nearly). The three protagonists in this describe women as being just "A bag of guts" and that’s just how they treat them!
The interplay between three of the most despicable leads ever put on film is fantastic as they fight for position in their micro biker gang, basically all three are alpha male types,Kawashimi the fighter, Kajima the sexual master (I can't call him a lover, he is a nasty piece of work) and Sada the Psycho. Unlike the other films in the series which centre on the female character Nami and her coming to terms with sexual assault and its after effect in this film she is more just a catalyst, a schoolgirl whose planned rape, causes strains in the micro gang which are irreparable.
Most problematic for me, other than the obvious rape and its depiction within the confines of erotica, was the very young look of the schoolgirls who are assaulted partially the character Megu who could easily have been 14 years old (And may well have been as her rape scene appears not to be as vivid)
The rape of Nami in the middle of the film is one of the single most brutal and shocking scenes I have come across, ok it may not have lashings of gore, but that's what this is about, this is the total degradation and use of the female character, which she is powerless to do anything about. As her assailant tells her "You're going to get raped and there is not a dam thing you can do about it", he goes on to point out it's all her own fault anyway.
Chusei Sone gritty sty-lings, fantastic high contrast black and white inserts and use of the thumping punky title track make this a movie that for all its unpleasaness deserves to be seen.
27 years ago this must have been one of the most shocking films ever to grace a screen and 27 years later, this is still one them. Raw, noisy, dirty, artistic, offensive, amoral and beautiful all at the same time, a must see for those who like to walk out on the thinnest branches of acceptability and taste.
Buy It: amazon.com (Only available as part of the 5 disc box set which is now OOP and rare)
In the final film in the Nikkatsu Angel Guts series (there was a sixth movie produced after the studio closed) the central character Nami is now a nurse. Nami is having a very bad day; her patients attempt to rape her, she finds her photographer boyfriend in bed with a glamour model and then she is hit by a car, the driver of which instead of taking her to hospital decides help would be best administered through a quick attempted raping (This is Angel Guts remember).
In this film the central character Nami is both naïve and yet streetwise at the same time. Her main naive is that caused by love, she comments on how much the model in the photo seems to trust her boyfriend and he tells her it's just part of his work. However, she is very trusting (naïve) as his studio doubles as the bedroom in the flat they share.
This film opens in classic Angel Guts style with a rape scene; some patients in the hospital ring the bell and when Nami goes to attend to them, they pounce on her in an attempt to rape her. However, their unhealthy state means they fail to totally subdue the feisty Nami and the main perpetrator becomes too excited and prematurely ejaculates before managing to penetrate her. After this harrowing event Nami flees the hospital and heads her to get some much needed comfort from her boyfriend. Unfortunately for Nami when she gets back so early from her shift she catches her man inflagranto with the model from the photo. Nami flees the house and runs blindly into the road were she is struck by the car of Muraki, a stock trader who has blown his clients money and whose life has gone into freefall. Murika believes he has killed Nami and instead of checking to make sure he drives around with her in the car finally stopping in a remote area and attempting to have sex with the unconscious passenger, Nami then wakes again and avoids being raped but for the second time that day is the victim of an attempted sexual assault. The now conscious Nami flees into an abandoned warehouse, pursued by Murika who again attempts to assault her, this time Nami is overpowered and it looks like she now has no way of escaping a full rape however, Murika can’t get it up and for the third time Nami escapes being raped. At this point Murika tells Nami he just wanted to have sex because he felt that would bring him luck, which seems to be TAKASHI ISHII's (finally directing one of his own Angel Guts stories) attempt at showing the audience that rape is more than about sex, it is Murika's attempt at regaining his masculinity by exercising power over another human being through sexual dominance. However, after this somewhat worthy look at rape Ishii's film takes what is maybe the dodgiest turn of all the Angel Guts films. Nami forms an emotional and sexual relationship with her would-be assailant Murika and quickly appears to fall in love with the failed stock broker. Murika is reinvirgured and can now “get hard” and Nami is happy to drift with him as they spend the remaining money on his credit card and drive aimlessly around towards the films tragic finale.
The Nikkatsu studio which was in financial freefall itself at this time appears to have let Ishii make this movie as a favor/thank you. Knowing he had always dreamed of directing they seem to have let him take what limited finances there were to realise his dream of getting behind the camera. Its low budget shows even compared with the limited budgets of the other movies in the series. For me this is the least interesting movie in the series. It does have some great ideas about the roles of masculinity and femininity within sex and sexual assault, but for the most part it drags a little too much and lacks the stylistic flair of some of the earlier movies. Towards the end of the movie there are some stand out moments both stylistically and plot related, but I can help but feel these are too little too late. The twisted relationship of the main characters is an difficult thing to stomach, not because of any visual extremes like the earlier movies, but just the message it conveys of the rapist being an “all right guy really”, it's not the most healthy. That’s not to say two people in the mind state of these beleaguered characters could not form a relationship, just that it’s certainly a questionable thing to present on screen, but then part of the strength of this series is that it makes you think about issues beyond that of normal exploitation movies.
To sum up this is certainly a movie that's worth seeing and its finale is a worthy goodbye to the Nikkatsu series, however it can’t match the power of its predecessors.
Prim department store worker Nami (Jun Uzumi) gets dragged into a seedy underworld of dodgy sexual shenanigans after her 'friend' sets her up to do a porn magazine shoot. After an ill-timed affair with a married man, our heroine with a high sex drive finds her path has inextricably crossed with the local 'pervert', but is he the one stealing girls' knickers? All will be revealed (including some things you perhaps didn’t want to see) in Toshiharu Ikeda’s saucy and sad Red Porno.
The penultimate in the Angel Guts box set is the shortest and certainly the sauciest as our lady of lovin' proves that DIY is not just for men. Delving considerably deeper than its predecessor's crotch shots, this edition in the series serves up hefty slices of masturbation for titillation, making it the most sexually charged of the powerful collection. Though it isn't all self appreciation; weaved into this short tale of lust and love, masturbation, infatuation, furtive glances and missed chances is a darker and more serious side in keeping with the Angel Guts rape theme, as we take a different view once more of this personally and socially destructive crime.
As is typical of all the Angel Guts films Red Porno isn't big on complex plotlines. As we follow Nami's descent into sexual depravity (if you are easily upset by furniture abuse this may not be the film for you) the ideas brought out are more subtly merging than in the former Nami. Like Red Classroom, this film leaves it up to the viewer to pick up and interpret the nuances that are undoubtedly there. It actually turns out in one respect to be quite a sweet film by the end taking, as does Red Classroom and Nami before it and Red Vertigo after, the idea of near-miss love amongst the sickness. And, like Red Classroom and Nami, the media plays an important role though from a different angle this time. Whilst clearly playing with the idea of sexualised women in the industry there is also a more complex concept at work with a good pervert/bad pervert trajectory making this film a little more thought out then you might initially give it credit for.
Despite all its masturbatory titillation and genuinely explored media issues, this is still a film concerning rape, though following on from Nami the frequency feels thankfully less. The two rape scenes which are depicted are, however, troubling in very different ways, with the former bringing out some dangerous ideas about women and rape much in the same way as Nami before it and Red Vertigo after. Whereas the initial rape is, though obviously uncomfortable to watch, more difficult to comprehend through the ideas it presents, the second rape is troubling purely as an act itself. It is a very violent and utterly disrespectful crime committed on a school girl which has a traumatic effect on a small community.
The short running time for this film (coming in at little over an hour) gives it a perfectly compact feel which seems to strangely suit Ikeda's relaxed direction. The dreamy, bluesy score adds to the sometimes stifling sexual atmosphere and voyeuristic feel, with which Uzumi copes with natural repose as the lady with a voracious sexual awakening. Though if Ikeda lulls you into a false sense of security with his easy direction and sultry, mellow score, his dark denouement will certainly shock you back into harsh reality.
Short but certainly not sweet, Red Porno lives up to its name as a hotbed of sexual feeling but with serious undertones festering beneath. Not for the easily shocked, Ikeda's take on the Angel Guts theme lingers more darkly than its surface portrays 7/10
Hot-shot reporter Nami (Eri Kanuma) employs some underhand tactics in order to get her scoop, which just so happens to be on rape and its consequences. Cold and ruthless, Nami will stop at nothing to badger her damaged victims into confessing all the gory details of their assaults so that she may turn them into exploitative media fodder and maintain her status as top office reporting lady. That is until the tables turn in quite spectacularly horrific style ...
Nami, the third edition to the Angel Guts box set, continues the exploration of rape and its personal, social and cultural implications this time through the film's namesake, Nami. This plucky young journalist has no qualms whatsoever about physically tackling her victims, literally wrestling their sad stories from them. This, of course, provides a wealth of engineered situations in which to depict the act of rape and director Noboro Tanaka certainly doesn't miss any opportunity to make this a most bizarre addition to the shocking series.
Though unconnected to the former Angel Guts entry, Red Classroom, but for the common theme of rape that links them all, Nami is, like its predecessor, hot-footing it down the media avenue. Whereas the former made a more subtle comment on the media's perpetration of ideas of sexualised women, the latter clearly sees the media as a predatory force in its own right. There are, however, still very fluid ideas about the media's role and certainly some interesting questions thrown up here, all of which you my like to ask yourselves if it weren't for the bizarre, convoluted and slightly comedic fashion in which they were petitioned which, it must be said, is quite distracting.
Nami is the first of the series to take the female as protagonist, which makes it all the more hard to stomach her merciless approach to her work. However, Nami gets a super-sized helping of just desserts when the film takes a decidedly horror-based turn with a fantastically nasty section which has a feel part Gothic and part Italian horror. From this point forwards the film starts to make less and less sense, feeling a little like it lost its way. It isn’t all bad, however, as it gives Tanaka a chance to turn his hand to further varied styles, and all to great effect. Nami's situation becomes more nightmarish as her comeuppance brings some great scenes of office surrealism, tinged ever so slightly with humour, or maybe that's just uncomfortable disbelief. Amongst this weird and wonderful final third, however, is a deadly serious montage of discarded rape victims which is certainly thought-provoking to say the least. It puts back into context the harsh reality of rape minus the fictional fluff and stylised direction.
Though interesting to watch from a directorial point of view, Nami isn't without genuinely horrific rape scenes. Though Muraki (Takeo Chii), Nami's partner in crime and almost-love interest throws up some pretty dubious and dangerous ideas about rape, Tanaka tips the balance with some difficult scenes of sexual violence. Nami's most hounded subject in particular, following a very violent rape, is left tied and bloodied amongst a grim horizon of rubbish on a disused wasteland howling like her very soul is bleeding. And so it is that the complexity of ideas surrounding rape come back to us, the viewer, as we have been as intrusive and probing as Nami’s lens, haven't we? Unless, of course, Tanaka's weird and wonderful style has convinced us we were only there for artistic merit.
Strange and horrific in its delivery but complex and manifold in its content, Nami is as questionable as it is questioning. A surprisingly testing film, Nami is probably the most stylistically and moralistically challenging of the series 8/10
When a pornographic magazine worker becomes obsessed with the star of a rape film, he discovers the implications of the sex industry are wider reaching and much darker than he ever could have imagined.
The second edition in the Angel Guts box set sees director Chusei Sone, who also directed our initiation into this disturbing Pandora's Box, High School Co-ed, once more at the helm for the next, and equally uncompromising, glance down the dirty alley-way of sexual assault. Made a year later than its predecessor, Red Classroom is just as powerful in its portrayal of what is a notoriously problematic area for film. Taking the common Angel Guts theme of rape, Sone turns Takashi Ishii's manga to life once more with startlingly different effect to his previous work. Where High School Co-ed focused on the brutality of the act itself, Red Classroom looks at the horrific aftermath with frighteningly forceful results.
Red Classroom is not only, for me, the most stylistically competent of the series, but also the most compelling from its point of view. The only rape that actually takes place in this film is in its opening, where a group of middle-aged men gather for a seedy, smoky session around a 'blue' projection of a school girl rape. When one of these men, our pitiful protagonist Muraki (Keizo Kanie), becomes almost fetishistically obsessed with the female ‘star’ of this grainy and voyeuristic show, believing her to have a rare quality about her for a porn actress, he has no idea what a dangerous eye-opener this infatuation will become. You see Muraki works for amusingly titled porn magazine company Pornoc, where Carry On style joviality is all in a days work when your willing subject submits to gynecologically based titillation. Jaded with the sex industry, Muraki seeks out the object of his strange affections and finds her, Nami, not to be the lady he had imagined. You see Nami (Yuuki Mizuhara), far from the image of shattered innocence that once flickered on the screen before him, is now a prostitute with a voracious sexual appetite. In a hotel room rendezvous she tells him "Fuck me right now ... you'll see me vanish to some other place." But if Muraki isn't picking up the clues, he certainly latches on when he traces her after a missed encounter puts a three year separation between them. What he discovers in the distressing finale, as the film completes its full circle, is not only the devastating knock-on effect of sexual assault but of the dangerous blurring fluidity between the presentation of sex in the media and the actuality of its effect.
Intelligently and expertly directed, Sone presents a different view point of rape from a fittingly different style. Where High School Co-ed was rough and fast-paced as its biker gang subjects, Red Classroom is a slower, more deliberate study into a horrendous aftermath. Where the former took the voracity of the immediate situation, the latter is spiked with the elongated and bitter reality of mental and emotional turmoil. Replacing gritty realism with a sometimes surreal, sometimes Noir-ish tinge and an always ominous bass line, Sone shows the hulled shell of a former person is a very dark and disturbing thing indeed.
A striking, clever and stylish film, Red Classroom reaches far into the shadowy recesses of sexual assault and plucks out its dark, diseased heart 9/10
Lovely Laura Gemser stars as a saucy undercover journalist of questionable ethics whose investigations take her on a perilous journey deep in the heart of cannibal country.
It’s safe to say it's not only a good scoop Emanuelle was after when she undertook the brave task of going beyond the call of duty following a nasty breast munching incident involving a girl in a metal hospital. Our intrepid reporter is soon whisked away to the Amazon in search of the cannibals who apparently raised the breast chomping loon in this sex and horror combo from Aristide Massaccesi, better known to most as Joe D'Amato, champion of the Black Emanuelle series.
As you may expect there's less gore and more phwoar in this flesh filled film from the seventies where the libidos are as wild and unchecked as the pubic regions. In keeping with the soft-core genre the story acts as a pretty flimsy means by which to screen copious amounts of copulation so expect a case of story fitting around content rather the other way around. If you're expecting a horror in the excessive tradition of the Italian cannibal genre therefore, you’ll be disappointed. The gore is extremely few and far between but when Massaccesi gives it he gives it pretty raw i.e. much intestinal carnage and a bit more booby snacks. This is down to the focus not being on the horror element and the fact that it was so low budget, you're often left to fill in the bloody blanks for yourself as much of it takes place away from the camera.
What we do have though is the staple of the Italian Cannibal film; the juxtaposition of the urban/rural with the opening city shots and the obligatory move to the Amazon where time has left the barbaric natives untouched. This kind of genre and setting does enable Massaccesi to place his saucy heroine in a situation steeped in animalistic behaviour with humans driven by the most basic needs of survival, and that folk’s means fornication. Emanuelle and co. are certainly feeling the animal magnetism, and Massaccesi brings this to the fore with the horny white woman lusting after the black guide, the sight of him cleaning his gun being a scene of such stereotyping and phallic suggestiveness that it just proves too irresistible. Well, after all her husband is impotent.
Emanuelle owes more to the Russ Meyer school of smut than just the economical camerawork. This group of lusty ladies know what they want and know how to get it. These women volley between pure feminine desire and sexual voracity, the territory of the predatory female has never looked so natural. Emanuelle herself can be lost in erotic fantasy or prone to what can only be described as abuse. Massaccessi's camera makes neat work of presenting the women without objectifying them. Whilst he does seem to fetishise the vagina, because these women are so sexually aware and commanding, it never feels like a perversion of the male gaze, rather an emblem of female sexuality. This isn't a film which could be taken as female objectification; these women are in control, with men at their service by command, any man found trying to cop a feel uninvited is reprimanded by a punch and those words which cannot fail to put you in your shameful place - "Have you gone mad? Dirty bastard!"
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (Emanuelle e gli ultimi cannibali | Emanuelle's Amazon Adventure | Trap Them and Kill Them ) could certainly not be described as a good film, but it's perfectly inoffensive. Massaccesi wisely steers clear of placing the sex and horror together coupled with a refusal to fetishise the rape scene, making this an all round harmless piece of eroticism, a little more than innocence but less than perversion.
Harmlessly exploitative, if rather boring, with some strong leading ladies and a good old Italian horror/porn soundtrack. A perfectly silly piece of soft-core nonsense 3/10
DVD label Cult Epics continue their quest to bring rare erotic films to DVD. Having collected together many European short erotic films in their Vintage Erotica Collection (such as those from the 1920's), they now turn their attention to the US.
America is probably the most culturally schizophrenic nation when it comes to sex and sexual expression. On the one hand You have the Christian right and its "traditional family values" allies that form a puritanical Juggernaut. On the other you have a nation that floods itself and the rest of the world with sexualized advertising, products, film, music and of course its enormous porn industry. Young girls cheer-leading flash their knickers before the game, but god forbid one of Janet Jackson's tits falls out?!
In this collection Cult Epics Nico B puts together, what I assume are some of his favourite short erotic films. Selected from the 1940's, 50's and 60's, Up until around 1970 where the hardcore explosion pretty much put an end to more innocent seeming forms of erotic expression. There are a few hardcore films on the third disk, but the first two are pretty much soft-core all the way. While I don't know that I would sit around watching 215 minutes of retro erotic action in one go normally (I did before I wrote this and it gets a bit much), I always find this kind of thing interesting. The way our idea's of about that which constitutes attractiveness and the aesthetics of the erotic change, gives us an insight into ourselves. It certainly forms an interesting comparison to today's American produced porn with its plastic bodies, high definition gynecology and super misogynistic Bang Bus adventures.
All the discs are set to music which is sympathetic to the time periods and some amongst the earlier films have classic narration.
Take a journey back in time and watch repressed fascination with the female slowly evolve into our modern day obsession with the mechanics of sex. Fans of Irving Klaw, Bettie page, Nudist movies, burlesque and rockabilly will all probably be in their element, for the rest of you I guess it will be a case of whether retro floats your boat or not.
The Key is the tale of a Husband and wife in living in Venice during the run up to the declaration of the Second World War. After twenty years of marriage their sexual relationship has become stale. The husband Nino longs for his wife Teresa to set aside her modesty and inhibitions. Nina herself remains unsatisfied by their sexual encounters but is bound by her own modesty. After getting a little to drunk one night while out with their daughter Lisa and her Fiancé Laszlo, Nino stumbles upon a way to re-ignite the flames of their sexual encounters. How ever has he really thought through the consequences of such a scheme?
Nino Rolfe is a British born art professor living and teaching in Venice, his wife Teresa runs the guest house in which they live. Frustrated by his wife’s modesty which restricts his own sexual excitement, he devises a way in which he can explain his frustrations without actually confronting her. To this end he begins to write a dairy describing his fantasies and feelings. He locks it in a drawer in his study and then leaves the keys conveniently on the floor knowing his wife will find it when she cleans. Its not long before she too is writing her own diary and as such they are able to communicate their desires covertly without having to directly mention them, this in itself becomes part of the sexual interplay between them. How ever things don't stop here, Nino recognises that he is excited by jealousy and so through his writing and a number of schemes pushes his wife slowly into an affair with his daughter’s young Fiancé Laszlo. In the arms of Lazlo Teresa finds even greater sexual liberation and this she brings home to the marital bed.
The Key is adapted from the classic Japanese novel Kagi by Junichirô Tanizaki. The novel had been previously brought to the screen by Japanese director Kon Ichikawa under the title of Kagi which was released in 1959. Cult erotica director and some say European master of the genre Tinto Brass, had long been a fan of the novel and after several attempts was finally able to acquire the film rights from the then deceased Junichirô Tanizaki's wife. Brass moved the setting to Venice a city he describes as smelling like a female sex organ (See the interview on this DVD). On the surface The Key plays like classic soft-core erotica with an air of decadence and soft focus artistry, how every beneath the obvious Brass has in fact created a very subversive film. Brass is a pretty skilled director the film has a very European art house look and certainly does not look cheap and sleazy. Limited locations are used, but then they are all that's needed after all this is all about character interplay. The acting for the most part is of the serviceable variety, nothing outstanding but certainly not poor enough to bother the viewer. The film is dual language with the majority in English. The four main characters converse in English but if they speak to anyone outside of this circle they use Italian and are subtitled. The Italian seems more comfortable to all except Frank Finlay who plays Nino, but then he is English.
Tinto Brass clearly finds censorship especially around something as natural as sex an undesirable part of culture. His film is as much about that as the story we see on the screen. Nino in particular being an art professor constantly makes references to classic art and art history which featured nudity and erotic images, he also mentions Items that where censored in the past by church and state and the fate of some of those involved. In away it is this external censorship and the attitudes towards sexually prevalent in society that have spoiled the couples sexual relationship. The need for a woman to be modest, and overt displays of sexuality being frowned upon have shaped the way Teresa is. Brass illustrates this at several times in the movie, in particular the reaction of guests at the dance when a drunken Nino puts his hand on his wife’s bottom during a dance. As with many Italian films there are also some veiled swipes at the Catholic Church and its dominating moralising presence in Italian society. Maybe the most interesting thing is the change in the balance of power with Teresa and Nino's relationship once she begins to become sexually liberated. Anecdotal evidence often supports the idea that faced with the sexually liberated woman they wish for men feel a loss of power. Often a man who pushes his wife or partner into the likes of swinging comes to regret it once she begins to enjoy it and really want to do it in her own right.
The Key is first and foremost soft-core erotica, if nudity, overt sexuality and scenes of simulated sex offend your sensibilities; this is not a film for you. Those comfortable with such things will find much to like here as its an attractive and interesting film with the kind of protagonists who would maybe not feature in more modern takes on sexuality. Depending on what pushes your buttons you may even find some of it quite stimulating, I certainly am a fan of hosiery and I am sure I am not alone in that.
A small van pulls up outside a recently vacated Château. The occupants carry barrels of industrial waste down into the catacombs beneath to dump. While down there, two of the men decide to rob the coffins of the houses former occupants, the recently deceased Catherine Valmont and her mother. While they pry jewels from the bodies a barrel of the waste tips over and the contents run towards the body of Catherine, releasing gas as it does so. The waste it seems has the unexpected effect of resurrecting the dead, now Catherine is back and she is terribly hungry!
Jean Rollin’s (Les Demoniaques, Requiem pour un Vampire), 1982 cult classic La Morte Vivante (The Living Dead Girl) finds him firmly in territory he loves, with yet another tale of lesbian vampires. This film how ever lacks some of the visual style and inventive locations of some of his other work. How ever the story itself is slightly tighter and more controlled, so while it loses in some area’s it gains in others.
Perhaps Rollins most visceral film, as it’s more definable as straight horror than his other more expressionistic, surreal, dark erotica. With simple yet fairly effective gory effects from Benoît Lestang who would go on to work on films such as Christophe Gans Brotherhood of the Wolf and Lars von Trier's Manderlay. The gore effect here are actually quite nasty as Catherine’s vampiric tendencies are surprisingly for a Rollin film anything but erotic (Unless you’re the kind of person that likes fried penis in garlic butter). No discrete puncture wounds in the neck here, Catherine’s blood lust has her desperately chewing and ripping you to bits to get at your blood.
The tale is a simple one taking place for the most part in and around the Châteaux which was Catherine’s former home. On awakening from the dead disorientated Catherine instantly falls upon the men dumping the waste chewing out there blood. She then wanders upstairs driven partly by memories of her former life and partly in need of a snack. Finding a young female estate agent and her lover sexually compromised Catherine one again indulges her new found taste for blood. It’s not long before Barbara, Catherine’s childhood friend, turns up and after getting over the mild surprise of finding freshly chomped bodies in the house she quickly renews their friendship. Barbara quickly decides to help Catherine live on by luring victims for her to poke to death with her very long fingernails and them munch on. Meanwhile a couple of meddling Americans (mainly the wife) decide in true 80’s cheesy style to investigate the strange girl they catch a glimpse of.
The Château itself is an imposing building, although Rollin refers to it as a castle, its more akin to what we in England would call a stately home or large manor house. The interior decor which is forms the majority of the films backdrop, looks like the kind of place where many and 80’s pornographic magazine shoot would have taken place. The acting is pretty reasonable for a Rollin outing with the lovely Francoise Blanchard adding and outstanding performance in the films final scenes. The one jarring downside in the way the special effects are edited in, with a drastic cut to special effect each time, but the effects themselves while very low tech practical make-up stuff are really fun.
While I did miss some of Rollins more stylish touches from some of his other work, the film itself is one of, if not his most enjoyable and you have to love those fingernails of death.
Buy It: hkflix.com
A car flees from pursuers through the narrow roads of the French countryside. Close on it's tail are unknown occupants in a second vehicle. Shots are fired from both cars, the fleeing car escapes down a hidden track and the pursuers are lost, but the male driver is fatally wounded. The cars remaining occupants step out of the vehicle, set it on fire and the leave the scene dressed as clowns.
Welcome to the world of cult French exploitation director Jean Rollin (Les Demoniaques, Levres de Sang, La Morte Vivante). A world seemingly populated by an endless supply of lesbians, piano players, cannibals, vampires, clowns, twins and very pretty young woman who feel restricted by having to wear clothing.
Marie-Pierre Castel stars as Marie and with twin sister Catherine not available; Mireille Dargent co-stars as her friend Michelle. The two girls who flee the car dressed as clowns at the start of the movie. So with his two young nubile female leads in place Rollin sets off on making a surreal Gothic sexploitation movie with an artistic edge.
With a run time of two hours the plot is surprisingly thin (or not when you consider it’s a Rollin film). The story sees the girls wander the country side, stealing food, a motorbike and being accidentally buried in a fresh grave. Finally after about 25 minutes (but seems like an eternity) of dialogue free "action" the girls stumble upon a seemingly deserted castle and the fun begins ...
Unfortunately for the girls the castle is not as deserted as it seems, in fact it is the home of an ancient vampire and his acolytes. After slipping out of their clown suits for some naked action the girls are disturbed by a noise and go to investigate. Its not long before they cross paths with the vampire's minions who naturally decide the best course of action is to strip the girls naked and abuse them (Well this is a sexploitation film, it’s not like they where going to offer them a cup of tea). After witnessing the drawn out abuse of two other unfortunate girls Marie and Michelle decide to flee. The problem is Marie has been bitten by a female ghoul and which ever way they run it takes them back to the castle. It appears there is no escape, at least not until more firm bosoms have been squeezed to bruising point anyway.
The plot is far too threadbare to sustain the running time, even with the sweet flesh on display (Weird to think those cute young actresses are in their 50’s now), the film drags. Normally that would be a nail in the coffin for an exploitation film, they can be crap yes, but boring is a step too far. How ever Rollin has a fantastic knack for finding brilliant locations to shoot, a great eye for the artistic and a wonderful ear for music to fit his films. Requiem Pour Un Vampire is undoubtedly a film atheistic pleasing way beyond it limited budget should allow. Rollin's surrealist and expressionist cinematic touches lift it above the dross it could have been. With great touches like moving from the outside of a castle on a beautiful French summer day to the contrastingly dark and gloomy interior where Michelle is forced to whip her friend Marie into submission. For many fans one of the most memorable scenes features Louise Dhour (Les Demoniaques) playing a grand piano in the middle of a remote graveyard.
Requiem Pour Un Vampire is both artistic and exploitative in equal measure, but there’s just not enough going on to justify its length.
Warning: This review will contain both descriptions and images of sexual acts. This DVD is aimed at a mature audience so there is no reason for anyone under the age of 18 to be reading it. Also there is a good chance that the policies that guide Internet use in your work place, may well mean that this is something you should view when in the comfort of your own home. While we would not put this on the front page of this site, as a courtesy to readers who may come across it unaware. We reserve the right to post such content within the rest of the site as we feel there is something exceedingly hypocritical about posting images of violence and gore, but then deeming nudity offensive. We completely respect that some people find nudity and sex distasteful or offensive, but hope this warning is sufficient to give you a chance to decide to view this content or wander off and read something more in-line with your taste.
Specialist DVD label Cult Epics have in the past released collections of on DVD from the 1930’s, 40’s and 60’s. Each is available separately of part of The Vintage Erotica Collection 1930-1950. In 1960 the political and social climate in the USA and other western nations changed significantly and so Erotica and from that period onward is far easier to come across, although it might still make an interesting collection. With that seemingly in mind Cult Epics have taken a step not forward but further back in time to the 1920’s. I remember some time ago Channel 4 here in the UK ran a series about pornography and erotica through history, I don’t recall the series title now. How ever I do remember that filmed erotica has pretty much been around as long as the moving image itself. Just as the technology to take still photographs, was quickly turned on mans favourite subject. In fact nudity and sex seem to be right there when ever mankind makes advancement in viewing and entertainment technology, just take a look at the Internet today. Vintage Erotica Anno 1920 brings together 19 short erotic films, produced between 1920 and 1930 and gives those of a curious nature a chance to view the body shapes, activities and imagery that were enjoyed nearly 8 decades ago.
The first thing that struck me about the vintage "erotica" from the 1920's included on this DVD, was it seemed to me to be very much vintage porn. I guess it's up to the individual to decide where they draw the line between erotica and porn and how much of a grey area there is where the two merge. For me erotica would tend to be more soft-core in nature and often more suggestive. The short films here don't really fall into what I would describe as suggestive, it’s pretty much a case of some people getting together somewhere and enjoying full hardcore sex. In fact the erotica (porn) of the 1920's would not seem to be that dissimilar to the erotica of any other decade, which I guess is partly due to the fact that the basic mechanics of sex are the same now as they have been for thousands of years, pretty much ever since mammals evolved (Or where created depending on your viewpoint). I guess one thing that’s absent from the films that would tend to be present now is the highly cruel streak and intentional extreme degradation. Nobody is slapped, spat on or made to take several insanely large cocks into the anus. Though cocks do enter anus' both male and female, which I am pretty sure was highly illegal at the time, but I guess so was making the films in the first place ("in for a penny, in for a pound" as they say here in the UK). I guess another thing that’s strikingly different and often can be used to identify the era erotica or porn was produced is the body shapes, in particular those of the female performers. It seems the discerning connoisseur of gentleman’s entertainment back in the 1920's enjoyed a more Rubenesque figure and mammary glands of more modest proportions. It would also seem that scenes of group sex where just as popular as they are now as where scenes of bisexual orgies, lesbianism and man on man loving. One thing which did surprise me was the existence of "clown porn" as early as 1920 for some reason I had figured that to be a more modern fetish / perversion. The all mighty "money shot", does not seem to be a prerequisite as it is in modern porn of the last few decades, though there are a couple, they are not close ups and the faded images of these very old films makes them easy to miss.
Amongst the 19 shorts is the crude (Both in nature and content) animation Les Misadventures de monsieur gross' Bitt. My French is pretty poor, but I assume that it translates as The Misadventures of Mr big dick and what misadventures he has trying to control his runaway member. Even the relatively new (at the time) animated film was used for sex fuelled antics. After taking us through Satyr porn, lesbian porn, menage-a-tois, bisexual shenanigans, animated sauciness, gay sex, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intrusion and more we end up at the final short. Titled Après La Confession, we find ourselves with an earlier nunsploitation bondage movie. After some decidedly immoral (from a church standpoint) shenanigans, a man (The priest I think), pulls out and cums on a nuns ass. Ending the 19 features in a way that lets us fully know the people around in 1920, just like those today were a bunch of dirty smut loving bastards ... YAY.
DVD: The DVD also features a bonus short film from 1930 Le Verro which is available on the Vintage Erotica Anno 1930 DVD. The film itself is maybe more in-line with my original thoughts on erotica as it' rather tame compared to the full on filth from the 1920's. There's also a stills gallery which includes the kind of images that where traded between gentlemen in Europe in the 1920's. These were the kind of images I had in mind when I first picked up this DVD, how ever the classic retro feel of the stills is very quaint compared to the moving pictures we see in the short films from the same period.
While for some people the shorts will still no doubt be able perform their primary function as masturbatory aids, for most this will be a curiosity piece. While I do enjoy the look of more natural women, than the anorexic and plastic looking types that are often used to represent the modern day female ideal. I have to say my interest in small breasted, chubby women is not that strong (Sorry). How ever as a look back at a time when the small breasted chubby woman reigned supreme, this is certainly an interesting DVD.
Italian senator Gianni Puppis is on the verge of being elected President, but he has a problem. The senator has just found out "He likes women". After years of steadfastly dedication himself to his political career and abstaining from the pleasures of the flesh, senator Puppis's carnal urges are erupting uncontrollably. After being caught on film squeezing the bottom of a visiting female dignitary Puppis finds himself the victim of blackmail. The problem is until now Puppis had no idea he was doing these things, but once his obsession with the female posterior is revealed to him the bouts of ass squeezing come at more regular intervals. Senator Puppies has no choice but to get help for his affliction and with the election coming up he needs it fast. Luckily a Dominican monk who runs a nunnery in the countryside believes he can help, but is it really such a good idea to put the rear end obsessed Senator in a nunnery with 21 beautiful young nuns?
Once at the nunnery Puppis finds his "Sickness" in full swing and it's not long before he sleepwalks his way into the bedrooms of all 21 nuns. Returning home he believes himself cured and he better be because he is the puppet of a power mad Catholic bishop he will stop at nothing to see his man win the election. Unfortunately for Puppis and the Bishop there are a lot of beautiful asses to be squeezed in Italy and Puppis is far from cured.
"He’s not cured! He's worse than ever!"
"This means Giacinto doesn’t just touch clothed asses anymore!"
"Now he wants more!"
"He wants naked asses!"
The Senator Likes Women (All'onorevole piacciono le donne) is directed and co-written by "nun" other than Italian cult favorite director Lucio Fulci (The House by the Cemetery, The Beyond, Warriors of the Year 2072, Contraband, Conquest). Fulci is generally thought of as a pulp director, even a hack by some and is certainly most famous for his horror and gore than any of his other works. How ever with a directorial career spanning over 30 years and having worked in the industry Fulci turned his hand to quite a few genres and The senator likes women finds him directing a farcical political satire come sex comedy. While much of Fulci's back catalogue has long been plundered by "for the fans, by the fans" DVD labels, their constant pledge to bring weird and interesting films to the DVD market rarely see's them get past the predictable sex and violence. So props must be given to Dagored films for taking the step to release this little gem. Here we have a film the likes of which most cult and film fans in general will not have seen before.
The music is very, very cool in places with the track that plays every time Puppis looses it and starts needing to grab an ass being a must own for me. Fulci's direction is pretty good here and the weird shots and old school special effects are just brilliant. The softly exploitative dream sequence with Senator Puppis grabbing the naked asses of a line of nuns is just fantastic and need to be seen.
"Last night, you dishonoured my entire convent!
You used my nuns to quench your beastly instincts!
You dared to defile twenty-one immaculate bodies!"
The Senator Likes Women takes several elements and blends them together. It can be seen as and works very well as a Rush Myer esque / Carry on films, type sex comedy with a happy dose of female full frontal nudity. How ever there is more to it than that, it also takes aim at the Italian establishment of the early seventies with the government, the Catholic Church and organised crime in the firing line. Not happy with blending both these elements Fulci then throws in a dash of Nunsploitation, a large dose of weird and just a touch of his patented horror.
Italian funny man Lando Buzzanca (For a Few Dollars Less, Monte Carlo or Bust, Dracula in the Provinces), gives a wonderful comic performance as Senator Puppis, reminding me at times of British comedy legend Peter Sellers for some reason. The rest of the cast is suitably fun all giving slightly hammed up performances.
Maybe not a film for Fulci horror fans, but for those who like comedy exploitation this is great fun and genuinely funny in places.
... The kind of movie that makes you want to go out and grab a nun yourself!
NB. This review concentrates on the film itself, the Dagored DVD sadly features a very poor transfer from a weak source and has not be re-mastered in any way. I am not sure there is currently any other release for the movie so Fulci fans and sexploitation lovers may want to pick this one up anyway, but be warned it offers the picture quality of a heavily watched VHS tape at best and that’s probably being too favourable.
On the coasts of Northern Europe at the end of the 1800's a small group of wreckers make their living by enticing ships to their destruction on the rocky coastline. After a successful wrecking two beautiful young women are washed ashore and encounter the four deadly wreckers. The girls find themselves raped and beaten to death, how ever they return from the beyond to seek out their revenge.
Les Demaoniaques carries the sub title "Un film expressioniste de Jean Rollin" and it certainly does tip it hats towards expressionist era cinema as much as it does the adventure serials shown at the cinema in times before television proliferated the homes of the majority. As with allot of low budget cinema from the late 60's and 70's the backers put the money forward under the proviso that the film contained a certain amount of nude and sex scenes so it could be sold to an "International" audience, something which Rollins cinema is famous for. Rollins actually was accused of then selling on his young female starlets into "White slavery" for the North African market. As with many of the director’s films the plot plays second fiddle to the visuals, both sexual and surreal, Rollin is one of those directors who is maybe more about hamaging and experimenting with cinema as he is about producing cohesive well told stories. That said there is an interesting if simplistic ghost story at the heart of Les Démoniaques.
The actors are of as you would expect in exploitation cinema of varying competence, but all make interesting visual impact even if their acting skills are questionable to say the least. The four wreckers in particular do manage to camp up the serial inspired pirate roles to wonderful levels. John Rico (A gay Mexican actor I think), plays the character known as captain in his only starring role and he does a great job as the open shirted macho leader of the wreckers. Rollins long time friends Willy Braque (Le Jouisseur, Lèvres de sang ) and Paul Bisciglia (Les Raisins de la mort) play Bosco and Paul respectively and both make great characters. The stand out character in their deadly crew though has to be Tina played by the very attractive Joëlle Coeur (Jeunes filles impudiques), who manages to camp up the stereotypical pirate body movements while in various states of dress and undress to the point of genius. Lieva Lone and Patricia Hermenier who play the wronged girls (the Demoniac’s from the title) both do a competent job in their only film appearances, not that they have to do much more than wander about getting in and out of their clothes without speaking.
When Encore Filmed Entertainment sent me out this DVD to review I let it sit for a week or two, knowing that Rollin films tend to be the kind of cinema I need to be in the mood to watch, this is a world away from the popcorn munching brainlessness of modern cinema. Les Démoniaques contains some great imagery, locations and surrealism and these are things you really need to be able to appreciate to enjoy this film. if you where to come at this looking for a linier story with tight editing and high production values that makes quickly digestible entertainment you will be left no doubt feeling like some of the negative commentors on the IMDB.
For me the film is certainly one of the better Rollin films I have seen, the high camp mixed with the stark gothic imagery works well, certainly you have to accept things which are down right silly like the Magus and clown who live together in an old ruin. Well the magus maybe you can accept to be keeping an eye on the imprisoned devil there, but the clown you just have to write off as being one of the directors screen fetishes.
Les Démoniaques is certainly a movie worth seeking out for fans of the cult director Jean Rollin, sexploitation, French cinema and of course those who just want to experience something a bit different.
Buy It: hkflix.com
The most popular soft porn film of all time, and a breakout box-office hit around the world, Emmanuelle stars Sylvia Kristel as the eponymous heroine who is sexually awakened through a series of erotic adventures. For the first time in it's history, the film has been passed uncut by the BBFC and will be released as such.
Newly married, young, beautiful and naïve, Emmanuelle travels to Bangkok to join her older diplomat husband. On the plane, which takes off from Paris, she gets a taste of the erotic joys waiting for her in Asia. In Bangkok, the capital of the senses, with the encouragement of her husband, Emmanuelle abandons sentimental love to find fulfilment in her pleasures, first with young girl Marie-Ange, then with new lover Mario. Emmanuelle revels in this new-found pleasure so much so that excess becomes the word of the hour, especially when Jean goes away on a business trip and leaves Emmanuelle alone in the hands of Mario.
Directed by Just Jaeckin (The Story of O, Gwendoline)
Extras: Interviews with producer and director, trailer
Tech Specs: Cert 18 / Feature Running Time: 90 mins approx / Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic / Colour / Pal / Region 2 / English dub / Mono /
Buy It: amazon.co.uk
Still as controversial today as it was when it was initially released, the all-time classic of Asian erotica Sex and Zen comes to you on DVD like never before, this time presented in a new eye-popping Ultra-Bit transfer and featuring extended extra footage that further pushes the limits of what is permissible in an 18 certificate movie.
Based on China's most notorious erotic saga, Li Yu's "The Carnal Prayer Mat" - written during the Ming Dynasty era and subsequently banned for 400 years - director Michael Mak's exquisitely shot film adaptation Sex and Zen more than lives up to the reputation of its source material. Li Yu's novel sought to amuse and titillate, while at the same time mixing scholarly discourse with moral dilemmas. Shrewdly choosing to focus much more on the carnal and humorous aspects of the tale, Mak delivers a deliciously entertaining and sumptuously presented sex romp that is both funny and arousing and, most importantly, packed from start to finish with extremely graphic, elaborate and highly creative sexual encounters involving some of Asian cinema's most beautiful actresses, including Amy Yip, Japanese porn star Mari Ayukawa and softcore starlet Rena Murakami.
The story concerns the libidinous exploits of Mei Yeung-sheng (Lawrence Ng), a scholar who, despite being recently married to the beautiful and sexually adventurous Huk-yeung (Amy Yip), decides he needs to debauch as many women as he possibly can. However, after embarking on his sexual odyssey he very quickly discovers his prowess in the boudoir is somewhat lacking and, believing size is everything, undergoes a remarkably advanced transplant operation that quite literally leaves him hung like a horse! Meanwhile, in his absence, after experimenting with and perfecting a unique calligraphic technique his bride has been forced to enter a brothel to work as a prostitute. It is here, after each has experienced a lengthy list of lewd liaisons, that Mei and Huk-yeung are reunited just in time for Mei to learn a valuable lesson.
Credited with showcasing unexpected dimensions in Hong Kong filmmaking and doing for eroticism what kung fu movies had done for the action genre, Sex and Zen unashamedly put the fun back into porn in a way that appealed to both male and female audiences. Renowned as much for its open and lighthearted approach to explicit sex scenes as for its hilarious "Donkey Dong" transplant sequence, the film is also notable for graphically (and controversially) introducing filmgoers to a rather unconventional use of a flute long before American Pie revived the practice in a far less vivid way.
Sex and Zen (cert. 18) will be released on DVD by Hong Kong Legends on 16th April 2007. Special Features include: "A Lot Of Sex, A Little Zen" – notes by Stefan Hammond (co-author of "Sex and Zen and a Bullet in the Head – the Essential Guide to Hong Kong's Mind-bending Films"); Cantonese 5.1, English 5.1 and original Cantonese mono audio options; optional English subtitles; scene selection; further attractions.
Buy it: amazon.co.uk
Un Chant d 'amour (song Of Love) is the only film by homosexual French writer Jean Genet. The film which was made in 1950 is just 26 minutes long, shot in black and white and completely silent. Originally made for Parisian gay porn collectors the film only had one public showing in Paris when it was first completed. In the 60's Jonas Mekas smuggled the print into US with a little bit of help from playright Harold Pinter. Mekas showed the film in New York which resulted in his arrest and one of the big censorship cases of the 1960's. Cult Epics have now released this film with a new transfer and in it's complete form for the first time on widley available DVD in North America.
Un chant d 'amour is set in a prison and revolves around three characters, two of whom are incarcerated prisoners and the third a prison warder. Trapped, repressed and lonely the prisoners long for each other with their desires becoming very auto erotic. As they relive themselves in the only way they can, the ever watchful warder becomes drawn to their pent up passions. It's soon clear that his routine peeps are much less about security checks, than they are about sexual voyeurism. The film has no real narrative as such and has been likened to a visual representation of a poem, which I think is about an accurate description as you can get.
Genet himself had spent some time in prison during his youth and combined with his own sexual persuasion it's obviously subject matter he could relate to. Being straight myself the erotic elements are lost on me, but I can appreciate it as pure filmmaking. the film was filmed to be silent and is presented here without any form of audio track, not even the period cinema organ track that normally accompany modern presentations of silent film. I must admit that I found the complete lack of audio oddly stressful, as a modern viewer (in my case at least) your brain is so used to audio accompanying visuals that you feel stressed waiting for sounds that never come. Visually the films blend of confined sexual reality and flights of sexual fantasy play off each other like poetic chorus and verse. The black and white lends itself naturally to a noir look Genet uses the contrast and shadows well. The film is semi pornographic in that it does featuring snippets of male masturbation, but the majority of the films eroticism is subjective both director and through symbolism. In fact because of its silence and lack of narrative it would be fair to argue that it is symbolism that drives the piece.
Those involved were not actors by profession, but they do a brilliant job of conveying sexual frustration and love from behind a wall. There are moments in this which will probably have all but the most liberal straight male feeling slightly uncomfortable as a hairy man runs his hands over sweaty chest and feels his genitals. Or the handsome almost archetypal attractive gay man prisoner next door fondles his penis while covered in glistening oil. There's also fantasies of muscley fellows stroking each others bodies which took things just a little too camp for me, but that's a minor concern and at the end of the day the target audience was gay men all be it that the film was so well made it's appeal spread to fans of artist film gay and straight alike. If you can handle watching homoerotic imagery and let's face it political correctness aside it's not something everyone is comfortable with then this is arguably a striking and important bit of film making.
The DVD includes and optional introduction by Jonas Mekas which is interesting and well worth listening to. As is the commentary by filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Both give insight into the films place in history, its production and some of its meaning. The second disc features a 52 minute documentary on Genet and a 46 minute interview with him.
The transfer is maybe not as impressive as I would have liked. There is still visible print damage and it does suffer with artifacing (pixilation) at times. It’s a bit of a shame because I'm sure there is a certain amount of contrast lost which would add to the films beauty. How ever I imagine this is a pretty specialist item and there seems to have only ever been one print certainly not many more than a couple anyway, so Cult Epics have done a pretty good job with the available materials.
This is maybe not a film for the fan boys out there, but those with an interest in Gay and Lesbian cinema, particularly from a more restricted time like the 1950's will want to put this in their collection. Certainly fans of Jean Genet will be pleased with the extras here and as someone who knew very little about him going into this they really did make the DVD worthwhile. I can't say for sure because of my own orientation, but I get the feeling this film may well still work as erotica for those who don't require out and out porn. Those who are interested in the pure aesthetics of filmmaking will also have good reason to own this as it’s a master class visual symbolism on film and though the lack of sound stressed me in a way it does mean you really take time to ingest and dissect the visual experience in your mind.
Buy it: amazon.com
The breathtakingly beautiful Laura Gemser stars as the infamous sexual adventuress in these three erotic epics now on DVD for the first time ever in America:
Emanuelle in Bangkok: Emanuelle prowls the steamy underbelly of the Thai city on an odyssey of opium orgies, depraved Republicans and flying ping-pong balls.
Sister Emanuelle: Emanuelle renounces her wanton ways and joins a convent for wayward schoolgirls, only to face temptation from some very unholy sins of the flexh.
Emanuelle Around the World: In director Joe D'Amato's notorious jaw-dropper, Emanuelle uncovers a global conspiracy of enslaved women, kinky senators and inappropriate uses for exotic pets. A.K.A. The Degradation of Emanuelle, this DVD is newly transferred from the original negative featuring never-before-seen footage! This is the first time this DVD has ever been available in America.
BONUS CD: Getting Down with Black Emanuelle an all-new compilation of remastered soundtrack music long out of print by composer Nico Fidenco.
This Collector's Edition four-disc set will be limited to only 4000 units and will never be offered in this format ever again. Set extras include the featurette of Joe D'Amato at Eurofest, the Groove Featurette with composer Nico Fidenco, deleted scenes and theatrical trailers. The collection will also boast six collectible color postcards of poster art from around the world.
The collection hits the streets on March 27
Buy It: amazon.com
Cult Epics released 6 films from cult erotica director Tinto Brass in two box sets on September 26, 2006. The director is maybe best known to a wider audience for 1979's outrageous Caligula (Caligola), which though shot primarily by him with a cast of top flight British and Italian actors was later mutilated by producer Bob Guccione. The producer took it upon himself to "spice up" the already boundary pushing film by bringing porn stars onto the set at night and shooting hardcore footage to insert into the film. After that Brass returned to doing what he does best making erotic drama's like The Key from 1983.
The Tinto Brass Collection Volume I: (The Key, All Ladies Do It, Miranda)
Nino (Frank Finlay) is finding it harder each and every day to keep up with his much younger wife Teresa (Stefania Sandrelli). It's soon discovered that jealousy and desire is the viagra that Nino needs, and Teresa is more than happy to comply. She begins a torrid and most sexually charged affair with her son-in-law Laszlo (Franco Branciaroli), much to the chagrin of their daughter Lisa (Barbara Cupisti of Stage Fright). Such a host of goodies follows including bizarre sexual encounters, photo sessions like you've never seen before, senior citizen cross-dressing (nope, that's not a typo), and more ass-slapping than you can shake a stick at (or would want to for that matter) Hope you like yourself some ass, Tinto sure does!
The Key, in my opinion is one of Tinto's more accomplished and watchable films, which makes sense considering The Key pretty much set the standard for Brass and many of his future cinematic endeavors. Full of great sets, mostly impressive performances (amidst all the ass-slapping) and an awesome score from composer Ennio Morricone, The Key is a fine example of early 80's erotica done right (this ain't no "skinemax" jerk-off fest that's for sure). One thing that I really admire about Brass is that despite the obviously low budgets his films have, they manage to never look or feel cheap. He seems to stretch his film dollar pretty far, which I'm sure makes his investors quite happy. He may not make the best films, but I still feel that his unique style has plenty to offer for fans of this type of cinema. It's most certainly not for everybody, but if your idea of heaven is ass, well then let the angels sing!
The buxom Serena Grandi (The Grim Reaper, Bava's Delirium) stars as the title character Miranda (a sort of soft-core AMELIE if you will), a tavern owner and all around pleasure givin' love machine. Among her repeated conquests are a local boy (Andrea Occhipinti of New York Ripper), an elderly politician (Andy J. Forrest) and a visiting soldier with many a bizarre fetish. All the while, poor Miranda teases those less fortunate (meaning those unable to bed her) and searches for the perfect mate. From the looks of things, Miranda would be much happier with the sampler platter. Of course there is plenty of skin on display (of the male and female variety) along with some "close call" sexual situations (I'll be damned if it didn't slip in once or maybe twice even). Brass succeeds with Miranda in that he produces a much more interesting story (and characters) and some truly witty dialogue than some of his other efforts. As usual Brass exhibits his expertise with the camera and winds up producing a nicely composed film that outclasses many erotica films in comparison.
All Ladies Do It
Even though it was made 10-years after The Key, All Ladies Do It sees Brass returning to a similar theme in what ultimately becomes my favorite of the three flicks in the set. Diana (Claudia Koll) is married to Paolo (Paolo Lanza), a giving husband who ultimately allows his wife to take in some sextra curricular activities with some more than willing male counterparts. Of course when Paolo gets off on the stories, so does Diana. However, as with all good things, infidelity must come to an end (get it, end?) and who'd of thunk that Brass could turn the act of anal into an artistic endeavor? Not I!
Slickly produced, All Ladies Do It is a visual feast with great sets and locations. Of course let's not forget the trademarked Brass ass-play, as there is aplenty. Brass skillfully takes us from one sexcapade to the next and in the process manages to fill his frame with beautiful photography along with likeable and sympathetic characters (and ass, did I mention the ass?). The score provided by longtime DePalma collaborator Pino Donaggio also manages to add a certain level of class to the proceedings. Not to mention the fact that this film features one of the oddest post-apocalyptic type raves/orgies that really does need to be seen to be believed complete with a truly bizarre rendition of the dance hall classic EVERYBODY DANCE NOW that I have ever heard; easily worth the price of admission on its own. Oh, and did I mention this bit of inspired dialogue "It's 8:00! You'll have to rape me later!" Brilliant! This movie rocks!
Director versions, fully uncut and unrated
Tinto Brass Trailers
Widescreen Versions (16*9 Enhanced)
Interviews with Tinto Brass
The Tinto Brass Collection Volume II: (Frivolous Lola, Cheeky!, Private)
Join the Joie de Vivre club with the maddeningly charming Lola, as she plots to loosen up her fiance in this exuberant comedy. Everyone is wild about Lola - even, some suspect, her own stepfather…
Originally titled Monella (Rascal), FRIVOLOUS LOLA has generally been available in censored versions. Here, for the first time outside of Italy, and with Subtitles, is the uncut masterwork of erotica at its most humorous.
Long renowned for his work in documentaries and the avant-garde, director Tinto Brass is now famous as the world's premier erotic filmmaker, turning out movies that have bridged the gender gap, earning at least as many ardent female admirers as male fans. Frivolous Lola is perhaps his most likeable film yet.
Cheeky! (Director's Cut)
Will you be able to endure the sexy hilarity as Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk) visits London? She’s a big hit with everyone — except for boyfriend Matteo, who seethes with jealousy. With her skimpy skirt conveniently blowing in the wind, Carla attracts the attention of one and all. As she is having adventures with her lesbian real-estate agent Moira and Moira’s ex-husband Marion, Matteo jets over to put her in line. But finding himself surrounded by freelovers in Hyde Park who remind him of his own dalliances, he soon mends his ways.
Beautifully shot and featuring a head-banging soundtrack, Cheeky! is sure to have you glued to the screen. Cheeky! is Tinto Brass’s manifesto for a new world order — a most erotic and joyful one. Cult Epics is proud to present the Uncut Italian Director’s Cut.
The maestro of Italian erotica is back! Lies, subterfuge, betrayal and mischief - FALLO! is a collection of six stories based on the joys of sexuality and the eroticism of a new generation of women.
Director versions, fully uncut and unrated
Tinto Brass Trailers
Widescreen Versions (16*9 Enhanced)
Interviews with Tinto Brass
Making Of Featurette
From the shocking to the sensual the best from the European king of erotica
Tinto Brass is undoubtedly one of the most genuinely erotic filmmakers working in cinema. A household name in his native Italy, where he is known simply as 'Il Maestro', Brass is the acknowledged king of European erotica. Now, Nouveaux Pictures brings together three of Brass' finest works on DVD in The 'Maestro' Presents...Three Classic Films From Tinto Brass, a three-disc boxed set including Salon Kitty, P.O. Box Tinto Brass and The Voyeur
The most shocking and controversial of Brass' films, Salon Kitty presents a serious, unflinching depiction of moral decay within the Nazi Party at the time of World War II, and of how power ultimately leads to corruption. The film is presented here in its fully restored Director's Cut version, completely uncensored and featuring 21 minutes of never-seen-before footage. Boasting superb performances by Helmut Berger (The Godfather Part III; The Damned) and Ingrid Thulin (Cries And Whispers; The Damned; Wild Strawberries), Salon Kitty also features beautiful cinematography and sumptuous sets that provide a stunning showcase for the work of twice Oscar winning production designer Ken Adam (The Madness Of King George; Barry Lyndon), the man responsible for designing the incredible sets for the majority of the James Bond films.
P.O. Box Tinto Brass is a sensational collection of real-life sexual fantasies. A huge theatrical and video hit throughout Europe, it's a sumptuous feast for the eyes and the senses and a breathtaking celebration of female sexuality. Over the years, Tinto Brass has received thousands of unsolicited letters, photos and videos from female fans, all recounting their most intimate sexual fantasies. Here he presents many of these exciting, explicit and uninhibited fantasies on screen, giving the viewer more stunning girls, more thrills, more shocks and more eroticism than ever before in one movie.
Acknowledged as Brass' most explicitly erotic film to date, The Voyeur follows Dodo, a young university professor, as he relives various telling moments of his sex life through a series of erotic flashbacks, trying to understand his wife's absences and bizarre sexual needs. He also observes the nighttime habits of his father and his maid which, although finding them shocking, he cannot resist any more than he can help witnessing the totally liberated dalliances of his dusky student Pascasie.
The three disc box set The 'Maestro' Presents...Three Classic Films From Tinto Brass (cert. 18) will be released on DVD by Nouveaux Pictures on 16th October 2006. Special Features include an exclusive 24-minute interview (in English) with director Tinto Brass and trailers.
Buy It: amazon.co.uk
The original, and to many "Eurotica" afficionados the best, "nunsploitation" movie of all time, The Nun And The Devil comes to DVD for the first time in its most complete and uncut English language version, fully restored and boasting all the quintessential trappings of the genre it created – sadism, masochism, lesbianism, torture, unfeasibly attractive nuns and plenty of gratuitous nudity.
Starring former Miss Great Britain and Golden Globe nominee, Anne Heywood (The Fox), alongside Ornella Muti (The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; Flash Gordon; Tales Of Ordinary Madness), Tinto Brass regular Martine Brochard (The Voyeur; Paprika) and Maria Cumani Quasimodo (Behind Convent Walls), The Nun And The Devil is a gothic-style tale of lust, greed, jealousy and corruption.
The untimely death of their Mother Superior sparks a villainous power struggle amongst the nuns of the Covent of Sant Arcangelo, all of whom are uncommonly eager to replace their departed sister – but for good reason. The position comes with untold wealth and power in the form of control over a charter for the exploitation of gold mines in the New World. As rival aristocrats pull the strings behind the scenes, the ruthless Mother Julia (Anne Heywood) sets about eliminating the competition from inside the convent. Complicating matters is the arrival of Mother Julia's beautiful and headstrong niece, Isabella (Ornella Muti), who despite her induction into the convent secretly continues her affair with her boyfriend. As the nuns' fight for supremacy escalates, degenerating into wanton depravity and murder, it attracts the attention of the local Cardinal, triggering a Holy Inquisition. With so much at stake, the nuns are reluctant to co-operate with any investigation into their actions, leaving the inquisitors no option but to resort to torture to resolve the issue.
Director Paolo Dominici skillfully blends stylish eroticism, wry humour and wince-inducing torture sequences to produce a sexually charged and utterly compelling study of immorality and religious hypocrisy.
"The best of the sex-and-violence-in-a-convent movies" Aurum Horror Encyclopaedia
The Nun And The Devil (cert. 18) will be released on DVD by Argent Films on 16th October 2006.
Buy It: amazon.co.uk
*This is a review of a hardcore film it will contain some bad language, graphic images and I have used some spoilers (its a porno though so I shouldn't worry) ... YAY*
Mike is a wanker (He masturbates), he enjoys nothing better than sitting down with some hardcore porn action in the DVD player and wanking himself into oblivion. A hobby I am sure he shares with many of you out there. Mikes “hobby” has become more of an addiction and he scours the sex shops in search of more and more hardcore action to get the lead in his pencil sharpened. One faithful day while checking out a copy of some circus clown related porn, he comes across a XXX magazine advertising the ultimate hardcore experience featuring a porno vixen named Andromeda Strange, he orders the DVD and when it arrives events take a nasty turn.
Once the DVD arrives Mikes thows it in the player, gets his member lubed up with hand lotion and settles back for some quality wanking time. Andromeda appears on screen and asks him to make his selection if he dares. Mike of course does dare as his sack needs draining ASAP and he needs that hit only hardcore filth can give to sate his addiction. Andromeda gets down to business quickly and before no time she is on screen pusing a dildo deep into her pierced crevice while having a period all over it (Mmm high class girl). Soon she is rubbing the blood all over herself and for a finally slits her own throat with a cutthroat razor. Not deterd Mike goes on to make another three selections each one bringing him more filth as Andromeda engages in some hardcore with a couple of male porn stars and a dash of soft-core with Mikes estranged girlfriend(She dumped him for being a wanker … isn’t that always the way?) And all ending with increasing degree’s of nasty gore as the black widow Andromeda finishes her prey.
Slaughter Disc from steel web studios / Carnal Morgue is a horror porn hybrid, although really it’s far more like regular porn than it portrays. When they contacted us to ask for a review I was pretty interested the premise of a horror movie with hardcore sounded interesting hoping of a horror done similarly to French rape revenge movie “Braise Moi”. Unfortunately Slaughter disc does not stray far enough from formulaic porn for that. What we get is basically a series of sex scenes, very much like those you can download from the net which are interspersed by comedic sketch show inserts which follow the adventures of Mike as he try’s to hold his life together at the same time as fitting in his constant need to punish the pole. The character of Mike is amusing with his layback “rock dude” style and ever increasing need for porn to help him get the white rabbit out of its borrow.
The gore in this movie although not plentiful (coming only at the end of a long hardcore porn insert) is very effective and very nasty, on this I have to give this independent production props this matched with the semi effective story comedic elements shows some real potential, but their going to have to make a choice Indie film or Porn and I say they should loose the naff hardcore scenes and make a film with some hardcore sex elements it would be far more interesting and far more effective, they defiantly have the potential and hopefully if enough wankers buy Slaughter disc they will have the funds.
My main problem with this is no matter how good the horror elements and added comedy wanker dude sketch scenes this is still just a porno and one with very limited appeal if you find Caroline Piece in her Andromeda strange guise attractive and want to see her perform gratuitous acts this is probably for you, if you don’t find her attractive and really are not turned on by gore in your porn (I don’t and I am not) the majority of this is just a waste of good wanking time. Still if alt girls in porn with a touch of nasty gore is your thing, this one may be for you.
Get this movie for the hammer scene it is nastiness supreme …
Like Caroline Pierce and want to see her bleed all over her dildo and perform other acts of gory filth 8/10
No interest in her or her filthy way’s 2/10 (I’m in this camp)
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