History of Sex in Cinema:
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Barry Lyndon (1975, UK)
Stanley Kubrick's over 3-hour costume drama adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's 1844 novel was one of the director's most underrated films.
It told a tale of the profligate life-style of impetuous, opportunistic, and jealous young Irish rogue Redmond Barry/Barry Lyndon (Ryan O'Neal) and his flirtatious meetings with adulterous Countess/Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson). The gorgeously-filmed period piece featured astonishing, gorgeous candlelit cinematography by John Alcott and oil painting-like tableaus.
Among the nude scenes were her bathtime as a despondent newly-wed wife, and his own infidelities with his wife's maids, as he kissed two topless ladies.
One love-making scene between them was deleted from the final release.
(above scene deleted)
Lacking historical accuracy, this crude and violent crime biopic was a Roger Corman-produced exploitation film, taking advantage of The Godfather mobster film craze at its time. Its poster tagline promised: "Now, After 45 Years the True Story Can Be Told! Capone - The Man Who Made the Twenties Roar."
The film purported to tell about the rise and fall of infamous and ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone (Ben Gazzara), and his relationship with pretty flapper Iris Crawford (Susan Blakely), other gangsters (Hymie Weiss (John Davis Chandler) and George "Bugs" Moran (Robert Phillips)) and various underlings, including pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone as his right-hand man Frank Nitti.
First seen on the streets of Brooklyn, Capone was transferred to Chicago where he worked his way up the ranks, while dealing in rackets, bootlegging, gambling, and prostitution. He mentored and then competed with local crime boss Johnny Torrio (Harry Guardino). Some of the footage was reused from Roger Corman's own The St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
The first full frontal female nudity (an open crotch shot) in a major-studio (or mainstream) American film was found in this film. In the most notorious scene, Iris opened her legs in full view as she left Capone's bed.
The Happy Hooker Trilogy:
This series of R-rated films in the sexually-revolutionary 1970s was loosely based on the novelized true accounts or raunchy memoirs of former call-girl and madam Xavier Hollander, published in 1972 as The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. She was originally "Secretary of the Year" in her native Holland before moving to New York City and becoming notorious as a 'high-class' madam who was arrested for running a bordello.
The films were produced by the Cannon Group - the last film in the trilogy was overseen by its notorious new owners Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Various actresses portrayed the title character in the trilogy:
The only nudity in the first slow-paced, tame and unappealing adult film The Happy Hooker (1975), although it was all about sex-for-hire, came from one of Xavier's prostitutes named May Smith (Anita Morris) during two scenes when she was dressed in food (as an ice cream sundae and in a whipped cream wedding dress).
The second ribald film, The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977) had the tagline: "She Served Her Country - The Only Way She Knew How." It was a smarmy and campy comedy awash with naked breasts from many actresses (although not from the sassy Joey Heatherton), including Cisse Cameron, Dawn Clark, Bonnie Large, Marilyn Joi, Pamela Zinszer, and Dana Baker. Xavier had moved to Hollywood, where she was writing an advice column. However, the celebrated madam and writer was called to Washington to testify at a Senate hearing on sex excesses. Her irreverent testimony and crusade for sexual enlightenment highlighted the hypocritical attitudes of some of the perverted and scandalous congressmen, discovered to be involved in white slavery.
The third film, The Happy Hooker Goes (to) Hollywood (1980) was a prequel, with copious amounts of nudity exhibited by its title star Martine Beswick, and co-stars Tanya Boyd, Susan Lynn Kiger and K.C. Winkler. The film starred TV's Sgt. Bilko (Phil Silvers) as William Warkoff - a Hollywood movie mogul who demanded to make a movie of Hollander's popular book. One of her producer-seducers Lionel Lamely (Batman's Adam West) shared extended sex scenes with Beswick by the swimming pool and in the bedroom. By film's end, Xavier decided to make the movie herself.
Carolyn - Model
Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975)
This 1975 Canadian production (from David F. Friedman) was the original film in a series of infamous, violent and shocking B-films, all with the title of Ilsa. There were three low-budget, exploitation sequels that followed in 1976 and 1977:
They were part of the era's trend to exhibit women-in-prison (WIP) films and add Nazi-exploitation to the mix, after the tremendous success of Love Camp 7 (1969).
Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS - sick and semi-pornographic with abundant gratuitous full-frontal female nudity and gruesome incidents, was shot on the set used for the Hogan's Heroes TV show after it was cancelled. It was reportedly based on the real life atrocities of merciless Nazi murderess Ilse Koch who was christened the "Bitch of Butchenwald." Ilsa (big-breasted Las Vegas showgirl Dyanne Thorne) was featured as the camp's nymphomaniacal, over-the-top, sadistic commandant, who personally inspected stripped female prisoners, and decided which would be 'retrained' to serve the soldiers of the Third Reich, or be subject to torturous medical experiments.
Ilsa conducted research to prove that females could take more pain than males (including the use of electrified dildos and electrodes attached to sensitive areas) - one hapless female experimental subject was Anna (Maria Marx). One torture victim (Uschi Digard) was strung up in a pressurized chamber, while another prisoner (Peggy Sipots) was gagged, hung by her neck with a noose and standing on a melting ice block (at the end of a dinner table during a party held for other German commandants). Another prisoner (Sharon Kelly) was hung upside down outdoors.
Ilsa also forced herself upon male prisoners and then castrated them if they couldn't hold out long enough to satisfy her. One of the American prisoners, Wolfe (Gregory Knoph), satisfied her appetite for sex - and ultimately led a prisoner uprising.
Adapted from Kyle Onstott's bestseller (first published in 1957) about Falconhurst, a southern slave-breeding plantation, director Richard Fleischer's inflammatory sex- or blaxploitation drama (with inter-racial sex, racist attitudes, full-frontal nudity of both sexes and various debased atrocities of slavery and bloody violence) was extremely controversial and banned by the Catholic Church. This infamous film was followed by an equally disturbing and more reviled sequel - Steve Carver's almost X-rated Drum (1976).
In one of the film's earlier scenes set in a slave market, an older German lady examined the studly goods of one of the "black buck" slaves (Mede) up for auction by reaching behind his shorts.
The trashy, 'revisionist' melodrama from Paramount Pictures (and producer Dino De Laurentiis) told about an 1840s slave-breeding Louisiana plantation run by the Maxwell family, composed of:
Hammond, who was bedding many different black slaves, was finally compelled by his father Warren to properly marry and produce offspring. Although Hammond agreed to an arranged marriage with his cousin Blanche, he continued to cheat by having an affair with beautiful black 'bed wench' Ellen (Brenda Sykes) - a slave mistress who shortly afterwards became pregnant with a "sucker" (the name for a slave baby). He tenderly vowed his devotion to her ("I ain't never gonna sell you. You're mine...No one, black or white, [is] gonna take your place"), although it was short-lived.
The neglected, frustrated and sex-starved Blanche vengefully sought sexual attention, through miscegenation, with her husband's prize-fighting trained slave Ganymede or "Mede" (future WBC heavyweight boxing champ Ken Norton), a potent and strong male from the Mandingo tribe in Sierra Leone in Africa. There was a paralleling of inter-racial sex -- a white male with a black female, and a black male with a white female. When Hammond found out about Blanche's infidelity with Mede, he cruelly cast aside Ellen while stressing his white dominance: "Don't think because you get in my bed you're anything but a nigger."
Two babies that resulted from mixed parentage were both destroyed. Blanche's half-black child (born from her affair with Mede) died at birth from bleeding, and Blanche whipped Ellen mercilessly ("I'm gonna whip that sucker out of you") when she discovered her pregnancy, and ultimately induced Ellen's miscarriage when she fell down stairs as she ran away. The film also concluded with other tragic and violent ends: Hammond's wine poisoning of Blanche, and the gruesome killing of Mede in a boiling cauldron of brine after being pitchforked.
Laura Misch Owens)
Mede (Ken Norton) and Blanche (Susan George)
Maverick director/producer Robert Altman's classic film Nashville (1975) was a multi-level, original, two and a half-hour epic study of American culture, show-business, leadership and politics.
Typical of many films of the 70s, it contained a requisite scene of nudity regarding a determined Sueleen Gay (Gwen Welles), a dim-witted, red-haired, tone-deaf, lower-class waitress who aspired to be a singer.
She embarrassingly performed "about a girl who never gets enough" and a second song titled "When I Love You" before an all-male political, fund-raising smoker. She was encouraged to strip by the misogynistic crowd. Her bump-and-grind striptease, a clumsy, inept, asexual un-dressing in front of the crowd, included removing the padding from her bra and tossing it into the hooting group of spectators before going topless.
Thoroughly humiliated by the show's end, she had stripped off her dress, bra, and yellow panties (also tossed to a cheering male) before running off.
Night Moves (1975)
Arthur Penn's noirish psychological detective thriller, a moody, post-Watergate noir, told about middle-aged, world-weary LA private eye Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman), an ex-football player.
A missing persons crime case brought Moseby to the Florida Keys, where he encountered free-spirited, promiscuous runaway teenager Delly Grastner (up-and-coming star 18 year-old Melanie Griffith in her film debut) - the step-daughter of wasted ex-actress and sexually-liberated studio boss divorcee Arlene Iverson (Janet Ward).
Delly lived there with her ex-stepfather Tom Iverson (John Crawford) and his sexy mistress Paula (singer Jennifer Warren).
Griffith's notable breakthrough role called for her to appear naked twice, including a mid-night swim scene. During her dive from a glass-bottom boat, she discovered a crashed plane with the remains of stunt pilot Marv Ellman (Anthony Costello) - later revealed to have been killed by suspicious mechanic Quentin (James Woods).
The film also featured sexual scenes between Moseby and Paula, and with his estranged wife Ellen Moseby (Susan Clark).
The downbeat film concluded with Delly's orchestrated death in LA during a failed film location stunt with Joey Ziegler (Edward Binns), the revelation of smuggling of pre-Colombian art by Delly's ex-stepfather Tom, and the shocking ending of the deaths of four key individuals (including Iverson's mistress Paula when she was hit by a seaplane's propeller).
The Pigkeeper's Daughter (1975)
T & A sleaze merchant and producer Harry Novak delivered this X-rated, sex-filled, soft-core romp with a Southern hillbilly-farm theme and a farmer's daughter. The Ma and Pa Kettle films of earlier decades, and the popularity of TV's "Hee Haw" helped to spur films of this sort for various 'grindhouse' audiences, before the widespread advent of mainstream pornography, heralded by Deep Throat (1972) and watch-at-home videotapes. Many other backwoods films of its ilk had been produced earlier, such as: Country Cuzzins (1970), Country Hooker (1970), Tobacco Roody (1970), Midnight Plowboy (1971), and Southern Comforts (1971).
The 'dirty' movie's tagline expressed a lot about its sexploitational plot:
In this adult comedy, the main title character was 19 year-old unmarried, red-headed Moonbeam Swiner (Terry Gibson), the precocious pigkeeper's daughter with her favorite pig Lord Hamilton. Moonbeam's parents -- buxom Ma Molly Swiner (Gina Paluzzi) and Pa Swiner (Bruce Kimball). Her parents wanted her to marry a con-artist traveling Salesman (Peter James) who appeared in town.
The film included many sex scenes, including a traditional romp-in-the-hay scene, an outdoor quickie with a 15 year-old hitchhiker, and a horse-trough bathtub sex scene. There was also a sideplot about local stud Jasper (John Keith) and virginal girl-next-door Pretty Patty Smith (Peggy Church). In one scene, big-breasted Ma Swiner exchanged herself (opening her zippered panties) for free beauty products from the Salesman.
Ma Molly Swiner
Pretty Patty Smith
The Private Lesson (1975, It.) (aka Lezioni Private)
After her success in Baby Doll (1956), blonde Hollywood temptress Carroll Baker starred in this sordid Italian comedy. The advertisements claimed: "Alessandro has a thing or two to learn. Carroll Baker is the perfect teacher!"
This foreign film was a coming-of-age tale for a young virginal piano student Alessandro Corsini (Rosalino Cellamare) who was instructed in the ways of love-making by his piano teacher Laura Formenti (Carroll Baker) in a small provincial Italian town.
His self-assured latent homosexual friend Gabrielle spied upon Laura while she pleasured herself, and took pictures which he used for blackmail purposes. Next to her naked body as he lit three matches, one after the other, he held each match close to her left breast, then her "ass" and then her pubic area, while Gabrielle told Alessandro about the illuminated areas:
In the second-to-last scene, now that Gabrielle's blackmail scheme had been thwarted, Laura encouraged Alessandro to get undressed with her and have sex. He confessed his love to her, and she assured him:
Alessandro's experience was instructive and fruitful, since he was romping in the next scene in a field of sunflowers with his classmate/girlfriend, Gabrielle's sister Emanuela Finzi (Leanora Fani). They laid together naked after having sex in a small clearing, and she mentioned how he was now confident - no longer awkward and unsure of himself like a little boy, as the film ended.
Piano Teacher Laura
Alessandro With His Uncle Giulio's Maid Rosina
Alessandro With Laura
Alessandro With Emanuela
A Real Young Girl (1975, Fr.) (aka Une Vraie Jeune Fille)
Director Catherine Breillat's feature debut was this erotic drama with strong and shocking sexual content.
This crude French film was made in 1975, but not released until 25 years later due to financial problems with Breillat's production company and sensational controversy surrounding the film. Breillat would later become famous for the similarly-explicit Romance (1999, Fr.) and Fat Girl (2001, Fr.) which were also preoccupied with the representation of female sexuality.
This original and bold film charted the budding sexuality, self-exploration and awakening of sexually-curious, teenaged Alice Bonnard (Charlotte Alexandra), a French boarding student during a summer holiday.
It showed various closeups of her genitalia, urination and her fascination with bodily fluids (even her own ear-wax and vomit) and smells, and sexual fantasies by herself or with others (including frequent compulsive masturbatory scenes, once with a spoon and a bottle-top, and once spread-eagled between railroad tracks).
In one shocking fantasy scene, 14 year-old Alice was lying naked on her back (with her hands tied back with barbed wire), as factory worker Jim (Hiram Keller) in her father's sawmill dangled a live and wiggling earthworm over her genitals, then tried to insert it into her vagina, and when unsuccessful, finally segmented the worm into pieces and left the remains in her pubic hair.
The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975)
This R-rated film by director J. Lee Thompson has always been heavily edited for its mid-70s style nudity and controversial content.
The contrived story was about inquisitive young California college professor Peter Proud (Michael Sarrazin) who had disturbing visions during dream-sleep - flashbacks to a previous life 30 years earlier as Jeff Curtis (Tony Stephano).
On a self-discovery journey - part-way accompanied by his sexy girlfriend Nora Hayes (Cornelia Sharpe), Jeff returned to where he used to live in the small Massachusetts town of Springfield. There, he fell in love with his 'daughter' Ann Curtis (Jennifer O'Neill, from Summer of '42 (1971)) (an 'incest' thematic element) and met his alcoholic widowed 'wife' Marcia Curtis (Margot Kidder, pre-Superman).
In the film's most talked-about and censored scene, Marcia fantasized about being violently raped by her now-murdered adulterous husband as she masturbated in the bathtub. She called him a "rotten, stinking bastard" as he forced himself upon her.
At the same time, Jeff was experiencing prophetic nightmares - his pretty bedmate Nora described his voice: "There was this crazy voice coming out of your mouth....weird, deeper than yours, coarser." He then told her what he had envisioned - he was being clobbered with a rowboat oar while swimming: "She was hitting me in the balls with a paddle" - and then Nora joked after glancing at his genitals: "Well, obviously, she didn't do you any harm."
When Marcia suspected that Peter Proud had many similarities to her deceased husband (a "reincarnation") and had come back to haunt her, she killed him again with a boat oar during his nightly swim.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975, UK)
Director Jim Sharman's cult film was an adaptation of the 1973 British musical. Upon its initial test showings, it bombed and was shelved. It didn't really take off as a phenomenon until it was featured as a 'midnight movie' at Greenwich Village's Waverly Theater on April 1, 1976.
It was a mixed genre film (science-fiction, comedy, musical, and horror), but mostly a parody of B-horror movies of the 1960s. It was a groundbreaking film for its themes of transvestism, homosexuality, bisexuality, cannibalism, voyeurism, adultery, and incest.
The film also popularized and promoted alternative sexuality, cross-dressing, promiscuity, and rebellious behavior.
Its main character was the sexually-obsessed, outlandish and openly-bisexual transvestite Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) ("I'm just a sweet transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania"). The other two main characters were a strait-laced, All-American newlywed couple who stumbled upon his castle:
Dr. Frank N. Furter's androgynous sexuality was exemplified by the outrageous and suggestive dual seduction scenes of the two separated honeymooners. In a lighted tent, there were two seductions: first - a heterosexual coupling with Janet filmed in reddish light, and then a second homosexual pairing with Brad in bluish light.
Frank also re-animated a Frankenstein-esque human - an attractive new muscle-bound, blonde beefcake playmate sex toy named Rocky (Peter Hinwood).
After witnessing the advances of Frank on Brad, Janet accepted Rocky's seduction (witnessed from a bedroom monitor) while singing "Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me" in her bra and panties - "...I've got an itch to scratch. I need assistance. Touch-a touch-a touch-a touch me. I wanna be dirty. Thrill me, chill me, fulfill me, creature of the night."
By film's end after using his alien technology (a Medusa Transducer), the mad Frank-N-Furter had transformed a number of the characters, including Brad, Janet, Columbia (Nell Campbell) and Rocky, into living stone statues - and singing and dancing versions of himself. All of the characters were now decadent - costumed in stiletto high-heels, fishnet stockings, boas and tight black corsets on stage, performing in a cabaret show. Then, all of them dove into a swimming pool, a la Busby Berkeley style, singing and making love to each other:
Salo (1975, It./Fr.) (aka 120 Days of Sodom)
Pier Paolo Pasolini's work, an art house film based on Marquis de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom, depicted atrocities, cruel sexual perversions, and carnal debaucheries. These perverted acts were committed upon a group of about 30 young peasant teenagers (both male and female) by four ruling WW2 Fascists in the short-lived, lakeside republic of Salo in Northern Italy over a few days.
Salo began with degradation -- the male and female youths who were seized in the town were stripped and inspected ("A delicious little ass. Never seen one firmer. A pair of little breasts, to revive a dying man") and then driven to a secluded chateau near Marzabotto, where they were instructed that every day would include these acts: "intermingling, entwining and copulating incestuously, committing adultery and sodomy."
The film's many contested scenes immediately ran into censorship problems and utter disgust. Its four chapters clearly delineated the reason for the aroused outrage:
Pasolini's film connected fascist rulership to extremes of sexual deviation inflicted upon the imprisoned youth ("Weak, chained creatures, destined for our pleasure"). The young people were told that they were "beyond the reach of any legality." One girl committed suicide early on by slitting her own throat to escape the brutalities.
Breakfast in the dining hall was served by naked girls - one of whom was tripped and raped from behind, after which another male was penetrated anally. Soon after, the entire group engaged in a mock "wedding feast." A couple (hapless blonde Renata and Sergio), accompanied by dozens of naked flower-bearing bridesmaids and bridesmen, participated in a ring ceremony, often interrupted by unprovoked gropings of the nudes. The two were first encouraged to fondle each other and show their affection, but denied consummation, and then were anally raped by the libertines (and in addition, there was an instance of three-way intercourse from behind).
One hapless blonde girl, Renata was forced to eat fresh human excrement with a spoon in the chapter titled "Circle of Shit" (a segment obsessed with anal bodily functions) when she was urged on by a man after he had freshly defecated on the floor:
A second mock "wedding feast" served platters of cooked excrement for the guests as an "intoxicating dish." Another young girl was commanded to stand above a man and urinate into his open mouth.
In another notorious scene, the youths were stripped, collared, leashed, and forced to act like dogs begging for pieces of meat (one girl bit into a piece of food laced with nails).
A contest was held to judge the "loveliest ass in the villa. " The naked youths were arranged in a circle on the floor in the dark, bent over with their behinds facing upwards and inspected by flashlight during the judging, as the men seriously commented:
The final chapter, "Circle of Blood," began with a group wedding ceremony in which three cross-dressed older men were coupled with a male youth and then engaged in homosexual kissing and sodomy in the bedroom on their 'wedding night,' in a master/slave relationship.
As punishment for breaking the rules, male youth Ezio was executed, along with his black maid partner, for illegally making normal love together. Bound by their wrists and sitting in a tub of excrement, one girl cried out: "God, why did you abandon us?"
Further tortures conducted in the outdoor courtyard (and seen through binoculars) included penis and breast nipple-burning, tongue cutting, strangulation by hanging, eye-gouging, scalping, and male nipple branding.
Torture in the Courtyard, Voyeuristically Viewed Through Binoculars (below)
The Sensuous Nurse (1975, It.) (aka (L'Infermiera)
It told of a wealthy, aging widower named Count Leonida Bottacin (Mario Pisu) who had suffered a near-fatal heart attack while having sex with a younger female, the wife of a grave-digger. The lecher was making three visits a week to the cemetery for sex after the death of his wife.
His lusty weakness for sex, as a way to have him die off with a second heart attack, was encouraged by his scheming nephew Benito Varotto (Duilio Del Prete), one of the greedy heirs, who arranged for the hire of a sensuous full-time nurse named Anna (Ursula Andress), his Swiss ex-girlfriend. The group of heirs wanted to speed Leonida's death in order to take over his winery and sell it to American investor Mr. Kitch (Jack Palance). The malevolent group included:
Anna was commissioned to seduce Leonida to death, although the plan backfired when she fell in love with the dying Count.
Tosca Floria Zanin
Director Hal Ashby's romantic comedy sex farce was set during a 24-hour time period surrounding November 4th, 1968 when Richard Nixon was elected the President. It was a satirical look at the social and sexual mores of the late 1960s, as exemplified by the main characters.
It told about studly, playboyish LA (Beverly Hills) hair-dresser George Roundy (Warren Beatty) who feared commitment and was suspected to be gay, but engaged in simultaneous, round-robin heterosexual affairs with three women (Beatty's role reportedly mirrored his own Tinseltown exploits):
In one scene while George tended to Jackie's hair in her steamy bathroom, they fell to the floor to be intimate although were interrupted by Lester and had to fake innocence.
In the film's centerpiece scene, Jackie told executive Sid Roth (William Castle), who had offered to get her anything she liked, boldly confessed her true sexual intentions: "Most of all, I'd like to suck his c--k" - pointing to George sitting next to her. Her blurted out desire caused George to choke while eating a piece of chicken.
Also, Felicia's resentful teenaged Lolita-esque daughter Lorna Karpf (Carrie Fisher) propositioned George to avenge her cheating mother with the invitation:
By film's end, George's world had fallen apart when all the various liaisons were revealed.
Caught With Jackie
Lorna (Carrie Fisher)
Shivers (1975) (aka They Came From Within, The Parasite Murders)
Canadian writer/director David Cronenberg's scandalous R-rated film was his feature film debut and first commercial success. However, the film shocked audiences and the Canadian government (which looked upon it as hideous, pornographic, and nasty). It was criticized for lurid depictions of gore and sex, delving into multiple taboos such as pedophilia, incest, rape, infanticide, cannibalism and homosexuality. Cronenberg definitely equated sex with disease in the film.
The erotic horror film was about a group of Montreal high-rise apartment occupants on a sex and violence spree after being infected by parasites. The film's parasites stood as a critical metaphor railing against the swinging sexual lifestyles of the 70s, concluding with the threat of infection for the entire city of Montreal.
In an early scene, promiscuous teenaged mistress Annabelle Brown (Cathy Graham) was in the apartment of deviant pedophile and research scientist Professor Emil Hobbes (Fred Doederlein), who was conducting unorthodox experiments on her (as his guinea pig) - to create a special breed of parasites to replace diseased organs. He had implanted a combination VD and aphrodisiacal organism within her ("a combination of aphrodisiac and venereal disease that will hopefully turn the world into one beautiful, mindless orgy").
However, the virus went out of control among residents of their apartment building. To rid her of the sexually-voracious implant, he chased her around his living room, subdued, and then strangled her. She was laid out on a table where her clothes were stripped off, her mouth was taped, and her entire torso was slit open with a scalpel. After prying open the cut line, he poured steaming acid into the cavity. Then with remorse, Hobbes committed suicide by slashing his own throat with the scalpel and falling to the floor.
The film continued with the major problem for a sterile, state-of-the-art, high-rise apartment building named Starliner Towers - red-colored, bloody, invasive worm-like (or phallic-like, similar to grotesque male genitalia) parasites that were rapidly spreading. The parasites incubated in one's stomach, emerged from one's mouth, attached to one's face, and would ultimately turn infected victims into flesh-devouring, crazed sex maniacs and zombie-like fetishists.
The most infamous scene was of repressed lesbian tenant Betts (Barbara Steele) taking a bath with one of the red wormy parasites coming up out of the drain and crawling between her legs into her vagina, violating her, and bloodying the water as it infected her and she splashed around. Afterwards, the infected Betts seductively whispered repeatedly to her female victim neighbor Janine Tudor (Susan Petrie) seated on the couch: "Make love to me" and "Let's kiss" and passed the parasite onto her when they kissed.
Miss Forsythe (Lynn Lowry), the nurse of the Starliner's resident physician Roger St. Luc (Paul Hampton), relayed her "disturbing" and creepy dream about how she had made love with an elderly, strange dying man, and how everything in life was sexual and erotic:
She then opened her mouth to reveal her own parasitic infection. Other inhabitants of the Starliner were making love in the hallways, and the entire complex was overtaken with copulation.
In the final scene, the protagonist Roger St. Luc, finally succumbed to being overpowered and surrounded by the parasitic forces in the apartment's indoor swimming pool complex. He was pushed clothed into the pool to engage in the orgy, where he was kissed by his infected nurse Miss Forsythe while surrounded by a group of infected inhabitants.
The Bathtub Scene
Infected Betts and Janine
Infected Miss Forsythe
The Story of O (1975, Fr.) (aka Histoire d'O)
Soft-core erotic film director Just Jaeckin's ("Emmanuelle") classic but disturbing sex-art tale of erotica was based on the 1954 novel by pen-named Pauline Reage (the source of the film's voice-overs), actually French author Anne Desclos.
The notorious NC-17 soft-focus film about female submission was banned for many years for its stylistic depiction of depersonalizing female sexual humiliation, defiling abuse and objectification.
A French Parisian fashion photographer only named O (Corinne Clery) was pampered and trained in bondage, discipline and sado-masochism at a bizarre, isolated country retreat, Chateau de Roissy. She was brought there by her jaded boyfriend Rene (Udo Kier) to be subjected to the sexual power games and fantasies of others, and to consent and submit to domination. She was also instructed: "You mustn't keep your legs together, it's forbidden."
She was required to always be sexually available and submissive, to please her boyfriend. In the film's most noted scenes as she advanced in her 'training', she was groped, sodomized, forced to perform oral sex, blindfolded and whipped (with visible lacerations), gang-banged by multiple partners, bound and collared, chained and branded. When she returned to Paris, she was traded from Rene along to domineering and graying Sir Stephen (Anthony Steel), and her second round of training was more severe.
Exploitation film-maker Russ Meyer needed a comeback film after the failures of two studio releases (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) and the too-serious The Seven Minutes (1971)) and Blacksnake (1973). [Meyer had returned to a tried-and-true formula after Vixen (1968). His next film with Vixen in the title was Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979).]
This exceptionally violent and soft-core action thriller was taglined: "TOO MUCH...for one movie!...feast on it!"
It opened with the unappealing murder of young stud Clint Ramsey's (Charles Pitts) straying, super-buxom wife SuperAngel (Shari Eubanks) by deranged, sadistic and mean cop Harry Sledge (Charles Napier). She had mocked his impotence when he couldn't have sex with her: "You're not ready with my beautiful body? You got a lot of nerve, buster, telling me you're not ready. All of those muscles except the one that really counts." She grabbed his floppy, oversized genitals and angrily shouted: "Get out of my bed, you phony," as she slapped his butt. After he dressed, he replied: "Oh well, that's the way it goes, baby. Some day you up, some day you down." She doused him with her drink when he calmly suggested the next day for sex. When she called him a "limp faggot" and threatened "beat it, jackoff, before I call the cops. That's a funny one, isn't it? Me calling the pigs on the pig," he punched her in the abdomen for being a "sassy...foul-mouthed bitch." After a short squabble, he slapped her across the face and ordered her back into the bedroom.
She locked herself in his bathroom and behind the door continued to mock his manhood, calling him "old shriveled up Harry. Old prune prick Harry." Incensed, he repeatedly stabbed the door with a long kitchen knife, then broke it down - and the impaled knife struck SuperAngel. He dragged her to the half-filled bathtub, where he brutally assaulted her by stomping on her, and then electrocuted her with an electric radio ("Quite a turn-on yourself!").
Clint had to flee from his gas station job when the murder was pinned on him. As he crossed the country, he was sexually-harassed by many voluptuous nymphomaniacs. This is where all the trademark Meyer themes and images came into play - six sexually-voracious, giant-busted women named Super... - "SIX of the world's most BOUNTIFUL women!"
SuperAngel and SuperVixen
aka Sharon Kelly)
Women Behind Bars (1975, W. Germ.) (aka (Frauengefängnis 3, or Des Diamants Pour L'enfer)
Spanish independent film director Jess Franco's notorious, low-budget W-I-P ("Women in Prison") exploitation film was controversially banned in many locales for its full frontal nudity, two torture scenes, and lesbian sex (it was missing the requisite shower-room scene usually seen in these kinds of films, however). [It was made the same year as Franco's sleazy Barbed Wire Dolls (1975), and came a few years before his Ilsa: The Wicked Warden (1977).]
The film opened in an unnamed Central American country with the heist of a millionaire's insured, uncut diamonds from a Chinese junk. Afterwards, gang-leader Perry Mendoza shot his two white-masked accomplices on a beach, and then he was shot dead at the Flamingo nightclub-bar by his double-crossing, brunette partner-girlfriend Shirley Fields (Lina Romay, the director's wife). She turned herself into authorities - jealously claiming he was cheating with a "mulatto slut" and it was a "crime of passion" - she was sent to prison for six years.
The S. France jail was an unusual place - basically without bars, and the female inmates wore short black trenchcoats and at night slept on cots in the nude because of the hot humidity. The sleazy, predatory warden Colonel Carlo de Bries (Ronald Weiss), who had a palatial villa close to the warehouse-like prison, suspected the new inmate knew of the missing diamonds' whereabouts. Insurance investigator Milton Warren (Roger Darton) and accomplice-hitman Bill (director Jesus Franco) were also trying to have Shirley lead them to the diamonds.
The warden offered up his blonde stoolie inmate-lover ("the boss' bunny-rabbit") Martine (Martine Stedil) as Shirley's cellmate to become her lesbian lover in exchange for information. The sadistic warden (who had already ordered a naked whipping of another disciplined cellmate for cat-fighting, with her bloody breasts seen in close-up) tortured Shirley with three powerful jolts of electricity delivered Gestapo-style to her genitals through wires, and then isolated her for disobedience and insubordination. When she was returned to the common sleeping quarters, she strangled Martine to death in the middle of the night.
And then at the start of the film's bizarre plot twists, she was shown to be the new mistress of the warden (Colonel Carlo) in his villa, telling him: "The trouble is that men only want me as a cute little thing that they can go to bed with" before kissing him, and then double-crossing him by pulling a gun on him (in front of her naked breasts) as part of her escape plan. Outside the gate, her accomplice Bill shot and killed the warden, and then the two met up with Milton in his hotel room. She claimed she had never seen the diamonds, much less hidden them, although Bill didn't believe her and repeatedly slapped her face to confess - they told her:
Bill offered her a deal: "Either tell us where the rocks are and get 10%, or keep on lying and I'll really work you over." After she agreed to lead Bill to the Flamingo to retrieve the 'rocks,' the box with the diamonds was still revealed to be empty. She admitted that partner-in-crime Warren had the box with the diamonds:
She shot Jim dead, and then received a phone call from her partner Warren. She assured him: "He won't be bothering you." They were planning on taking a plane flight together that afternoon to Vera Cruz, and she added: "Don't worry about me, darling. See you soon." In voice-over, Warren expressed how surprised he was with the success of their heist, and the prospects of their future together:
Shirley (Lina Romay)
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- History of Sex in CinemaA year-by-year look at the films, scandals and changing laws.
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- Movies That Challenged RatingsA ranked movie list of 10 milestone sexy films that challenged the ratings.
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- Top 100 Controversial MoviesMany of these included controversial sex and violence.
- Sexiest Films of All-TimeOver 75 of the hottest films in movie history.