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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.