Review from DVDTalk:
My first introduction to the oddball cinema of Spanish filmmaker Jesus ‘Jess’ Franco came one night about 3am while channel surfing in my parent’s basement. I’d just gotten back from college, it was time for the summer break, and I’d only minutes beforehand returned from an evening at the pub. I came across what appeared to be a pair of lesbian vampires doing their thing set to a be-bopping score and some whacked out colors and it instantly caught my attention. I didn’t really know what I was watching and didn’t find out until the film was finished that it was one of Franco’s most popular films, Vampyros Lesbos. That semi-intoxicated late night initiation led me to seek out more of the man’s work, and since that night over ten years ago I’ve become a casual fan of his wildly uneven catalogue of work. His films may not always be good in the traditional sense of the word, but they’re always interesting and there’s always a little piece of himself put into his work. Continue reading
Dennis, a collega dropout, arrives to stay with his unemployed Coors drinking stepbrother Charlie. Charlie has athleitc sex all over a house with his mistress (top billed redhead Sharon Kelly) and later with a blonde. Dennis has sex with his neglected sister in law, then with Kelly. A detective hired by Charlie does it with another blonde on a couch. The music includes sappy soft rock songs. The scenes are within typical 70s decors.
Summers and Kelly wents on to become 80s hard X stars. Continue reading
Lucio Fulci and Edwige Fenech? Yep, that’s right. Like so many other Italian directors of the time Fulci did a lot of sex comedies so perhaps it was inevitable that at some point he would have crossed paths with one of the leading actresses. In La Pretora (the French release title translates as The Judge and the Whore) Fenech plays twin sisters, one a judge and the other a porn star. Enemies of the judge devise a plan to confuse the two and create problems. Or at least that’s what seems to be happening since there’s no subtitles and they would be helpful in parts. It’s a bit slow going at first but there’s a good bit of Fenech later in the film (the screenshot of Fenech combing her pubic hair kept being deleted by the image host so I left it out). For Fulci fans this is only for completists because it’s not very Fulci-ean and has zero horror elements. It could have been done by numerous directors. Fenech fans, though, will consider it a must. Continue reading
Before the art duo Pierre et Gilles, before fashion photographer David LaChapelle, before the artist Jeff Koons, and before the neo-Pop movement broke, there was director James Bidgood and his film PINK NARCISSUS. A cult classic, it is so considered more for its highly artistic production values than for its narrative.
The film is essentially a piece of gay erotica (more erotic than explicit) about an impossibly handsome young man (played by Bobby Kendall), obsessed with his own beauty and youth, who escapes the realities of street life through intricately choreographed fantasies in which he portrays a Roman slave, a matador, a wood nymph, and a harem boy. Characterized by searingly bright colors and highly stylized visual elements (sets, props, and costumes), Bidgood’s design for the film has been endlessly emulated by commercials and photographers to this day. PINK NARCISSUS is a “must see” for anyone interested in contemporary art, the pre-Stonewall sensibility, or the history of underground film.
The fascination of watching Damage is similar to the fascination of watching a car crash in progress–you know something unpleasant is going to happen, but your attention is riveted to the scene of destruction. In the case of this acclaimed drama, adapted by playwright David Hare from the novel by Josephine Hart, the destruction results from a collision of sexual attraction between a British governmental official (Jeremy Irons) and his son’s fiancée (Juliette Binoche). Blind to the damage they’ll cause to others and themselves, they begin an obsessive affair based purely on impulsive attraction and the hidden emotions that feed into their immediate physical desires. As you could expect, this leads to emotional fallout for everyone concerned, lending multiple interpretations to the film’s title and allowing Miranda Richardson (as Irons’s wife) to give a brilliant performance drawn from raw anger and betrayal. Under the direction of Louis Malle, this forceful drama never resorts to sordid detail or gratuitous titillation. Rather, Malle and his esteemed cast have explored the ways in which the power of sexuality supercedes the rationality of logic, when mutual attraction is stronger than one’s ability to resist temptation. Damage makes it clear that such an indulgence will always come at considerable cost. The DVD of this fine film includes a behind-the-scenes featurette and the original theatrical trailer. Continue reading
The taxidriver Paul and his girlfriend, the journalist Marianne (Solveig Andersson) starts to argue when Paul drags home his father, who is an alcoholic. At a party the bored Paul seduces a willing blonde in the room next to all the other guests. The next morning he wakes up between Marianne and her sister Beryl. The next couple of days are very hectic for Paul, with striptease, women and a meeting with the sadistic Mr X. Beryl escapes Mr X dressed only in a minkfur filled with drugs. Very dangerous…! Continue reading
Expatriate Henry Miller indulges in a variety of sexual escapades while struggling to establish himself as a serious writer in Paris.