History of Sex in Cinema:
1996, Part 1
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Bordello of Blood (1996)
This satirical, gory horror-comedy film by director Gilbert Adler was the second of three films - spin-offs based upon the HBO TV horror anthology series Tales From the Crypt. The three films were:
The vampire spoof plot revealed a mortuary/funeral parlor that was a front for a whorehouse. When the funeral parlor was first entered by delinquent, heavy-metal rocker Caleb Verdoux (Corey Feldman) and his friend, Caleb exclaimed: "Oh my God, it's a necrophiliac's wet dream." They entered the lower brothel area by riding down inside a coffin, where a gigantic pair of breasts greeted them - they asked themselves: "Are we dead yet? I think we died and went to heaven." It was infested by mostly-naked/topless dominatrix vampires, including:
Tallulah invited Caleb's friend upstairs for sex: "Hi, boys...How would you like to take the Skin Express to Tuna Town?" Caleb surveyed Patrice's chest with a third pierced nipple: "Well, I guess I finally found a girl with a little something extra." Patrice propositioned Caleb: "I want it fast and I want it dirty."
Tallulah came on strong to Caleb's friend with oral sex: "I want to taste every last bit of you" - when dark red-haired, fanged Queen Lillith (Angie Everhart), the immortal mother of all vampires, entered the room to cut in and explain: "She gets you ready, then I finish you off." With her elongated tongue during a kiss, Lillith extracted his heart and consumed it.
Blood-thirsty Lillith used the bordello filled with bare-breasted dancing girls as a means to lure men to her so that she could suck their hearts out and eat them. She also came upon Caleb with Patrice and asked: "Care for a little deep throat?"
It was revealed that World Ministries tele-evangelist Rev. J.C. Current (Chris Sarandon) was responsible for bringing back Lilith to slaughter all the sinners and fornicators of the world. The vampire spoof continued as disreputable, wise-cracking private investigator Rafe Guttman (stand-up comedian Dennis Miller) was hired to track down Caleb. Caleb was the brother of prudish born-again, TV producer Katherine Verdoux (ex-Baywatch and Playboy model Erika Eleniak), who worked as an assistant for Reverend Current. Rafe noted that young men went to the mortuary "to get stiff with the stiffs."
Rafe met up with S&M-loving Tamara who wanted to suck his blood. He tricked her by handcuffing her arms to a steel grating, then tipped the gate over to hold her captive. She screamed "You Bastard!" at him, as he complimented her and left: "You've been a super little host."
The blood-soaked film ended with a squirt-gun-and-holy-water shootout finale in which the naked vampire hookers were burned up and exploded when hit with super-soakers, wielded by Rafe and Rev. Current. Lillith survived after stabbing Rev. Current to death in the chest. In the TV studio, she angrily threatened Rafe after handcuffing him: "As far as I'm concerned, you and I are through...I want you to know I'm not happy...I'm through talking now, baby. First, I'll rip your dick off, then I'm gonna grind your balls into guacamole." He was saved when Katherine stabbed her heart out of her body with a trident (and called her a "heartless bitch") - Lillith was extinguished by flames that burnt her body to charred bones.
In the twist surprise ending, Katherine was revealed as a vampire (she had been bitten in the thigh by Lillith), and she lurched into Rafe's neck with her fangs - a repeat of the ending of Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967).
(Leslie Ann Phillips)
The Bite Ending
The Wachowski brothers' debut film was this clever thriller and stylishly sexy neo-noir film.
It starred Gina Gershon as a butch lesbian and ex-con plumber named Corky who experienced a titillating, Sapphic sexual liaison with a breathy Chicago mobster's bisexual girlfriend named Violet (Jennifer Tilly), while renovating the next-door apartment. They both plotted to abscond $2 million from Violet's boyfriend Caesar (Joe Pantoliano) while engaging in steamy girl-on-girl scenes.
In a sofa seduction scene with her bulging cleavage showing, black lingerie-wearing Violet asked: "Do I make you nervous, Corky?" and then admitted boldly: "I'm trying to seduce you" as she had Corky touch the tattoo on her breast. She then moistened Corky's finger with her mouth and placed it tantalizingly between her legs, as she confessed and proved her true feelings: "You can't believe what you'd see, but you can believe what you feel. I've been thinking about you all day" - and then begged for a kiss ("Please, kiss me") - with their mouths close to each other in full-closeup.
Their first fully-nude, explicit consummation of love-making scene in Corky's dimly-lit apartment room was intimately filmed for a mainstream film with two female leads playing lesbians. The camera slowly circled counter-clockwise around the bed, as Violet (above) was manipulating Corky (below) with her hand and bringing her to orgasm. The camera viewed their breasts touching as they were engaged together.
Corky (Gina Gershon) and Violet (Jennifer Tilly)
Breaking the Waves (1996, UK)
In Lars Von Trier's melodrama, manly oil-rig worker Jan Nyman (Stellan Skarsgard) married sweet-faced, kind-hearted, pious and virginal Scottish wife Bess McNeill (Emily Watson) - they experienced sex for the first time in the missionary position against a restroom wall during their post-marital wedding reception.
Her newly-wed husband became a paraplegic after a freak accident - she prayed for his quick return (after their honeymoon) to the Scottish coastal village in the early 1970s, and felt guilty and self-blaming - even more so when the paralyzed Jan pleaded with her that the only thing that would give him the will to live would be if she took lovers and then described the sex to him.
She slept with other men as a way to establish spiritual contact with her husband. Her first adulterous seduction experience was with Dr. Richardson (Adrian Rawlins) in which she laid nude on a bed in front of him and pleasantly entreated: "You can touch me now. You can have me now," although he turned away from her ("Bess, listen to me. We're not going to make love. Now put your clothes back on"). She was shocked: "Don't you like me? You said that you liked me." She later rationalized:
Her tragic rape/murder in a sacrificial, self-destructive martyr's death aboard a Russian freighter - where even prostitutes wouldn't go - ended the film. Bess was refused a proper burial as a transgressive cast-out from the community, so a miraculously-healed Jan stole her body's coffin in order to bury her at sea - as a giant pair of heavenly bells mercifully rang over the ocean and the oil rig in the film's cosmic ending, signifying that her soul was entering heaven.
The Celluloid Closet (1996)
This documentary was inspired by Vito Russo's book The Celluloid Closet (1981), and narrated by Lily Tomlin and other stars.
This was a groundbreaking compilation film about the distorted portrayal of gay men and lesbians on the big screen, from the earliest days of stereotypical representations to the present, illustrated by over 100 film clips.
The films ranged from the earliest 'gay' and 'sissy' images in the silent era and early talkies, to Dietrich's cross-dressing in Morocco (1930), to Garbo's lesbian kiss in Queen Christina (1933), and through to more recent films such as Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971), Cabaret (1972), Cruising (1980), Making Love (1982) and Philadelphia (1993).
Queen Christina (1933)
Making Love (1982)
David Cronenberg's coldly-erotic NC-17 rated drama was deliberately controversial and repulsive with slightly depraved, raw scenes exploring fetishism and a unique form of perversion and deviance. The entire film involved individuals who had survived gruesomely violent automobile crashes and explored their sex-tinged obsession with crashes, automobiles and injuries. This film was vilified in much the same way as Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960) was, and the Cannes Film Festival screening had people walking out in disgust, nausea and revulsion.
The film opened with three sexual couplings illustrating a couple's open-marriage and how they were turned on for their own love-making by casual talk about each others' extra-marital adulterous affairs:
Soon after, Ballard had a near-fatal head-on car accident with a car driven by surviving Dr. Helen Remington (Holly Hunter) whose passenger-husband was killed. She freed herself from her seatbelt and tore open her blouse to expose her breast to him as they stared at each other amidst the wreckage.
Ballard engaged in an extramarital affair with the widowed, surviving victim Helen - their first sexual encounter was in the front seat of his new car (same make and model) in an airport garage as a way to re-establish the 'eroticism' of the crash (and they continued their affair, always with love-making in his car in a public place). The experience caused Ballard to have increased sexual excitement toward his wife and their own rear-entry love-making.
Ballard and Helen joined a sexual cult of car crash enthusiasts or victims who would arouse themselves ("It's all very satisfying") by re-enacting (or recreating) famed auto accidents ("the ultimate in authenticity" - the noteworthy car accident of famous Hollywood legend James Dean (Sept 30, 1955)).
After purposely being tantalized on the road by reckless driving performed by crash-enthusiast leader Vaughan (Elias Koteas), Catherine became excited with homo-erotic sex-talk about how James might have anal sex with him, and she kept making statements about his bodily fluids ("Vaughan's semen must be very salty"). The fetishistic car-crash group were compelled to watch crash-test videos that functioned as pornography, to attend scenes of real car crashes, to photograph and collect pictures of crash victims, and to be sexually-stimulated by having sex in parked or moving cars (or during a car-wash!).
Physically-deformed impact victim Gabrielle (Rosanna Arquette) made love to Ballard in a car while braced or harnessed with a full-body support suit of black plastic and stainless steel - she offered him her vulva-like gash/scar ("neo-sex organ") on the back of her left thigh after he ripped off her black fish-net stockings. She fondled her own breast as he raised and kissed her leg and then made love to it.
In the film's startling conclusion, Ballard deliberately rear-ended his wife's sports-car. She was thrown from the car onto the ground next to the wreck, where he caressed her and made love to her from behind, after she regained consciousness and he learned that she was all right (he promised her a more deadly crash the next time):
(Deborah Kara Unger)
Catherine on Balcony
Dr. Helen Remington
The English Patient (1996, US/UK)
Director/writer Anthony Minghella's film was the winner of nine Academy Awards (including Best Picture) - it was a great romantic war drama about star-crossed lovers in a turbulent, illicit extra-marital love affair in the North African desert pre WWII.
The story (in flashback) was about how 'English patient' Count Laszlo Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) became involved with married and luminous Katherine "Kay" Clifton (Kristin Scott Thomas), the wife of fellow cartographer Geoffrey Clifton (Colin Firth).
It included various liaisons and love scenes between them, such as when her dress was torn off when Almasy hungrily kissed her, followed by love-making (implied) and an intimate and erotic bath scene (she shampooed his hair before joining him), although he warned her: "When you leave, you should forget me."
They also engaged in a sexual tryst during the Christmas season in 1938 when he told her: "I can still taste you... Swoon, I'll catch you" - she promptly fainted in the heat and then in the film's most sensual scene, they found a private place where, to the background sounds of Silent Night being sung, he slowly undressed her and they were consumed in passion with each other.
The adulterous, doomed couple also laid together in bed after another sexual encounter when he described, semi-personally and humorously, about how he fell "under the spell of a mysterious English woman" - he then stroked her bare skin:
The film was also noted for the heartfelt request she gave him in the cave after an airplane crash:
The film also featured a love affair between the English patient's Canadian nurse Hana (Juliette Binoche) and Sikh bomb expert Kip (Naveen Andrews).
Count Almasy with
(Kristin Scott Thomas)
This lesbian-leaning female bonding film from female director Annette Haywood-Carter was based on Joyce Carol Oates' novel. A similar girl-empowerment coming-of-age film in the same year was director Jim McKay's Girls Town (1996), and then followed in a few years by Jolie's Oscar-winning performance in James Mangold's Girl, Interrupted (1999).
Then-unknown Angelina Jolie starred as tough, wild, and rebellious Margret 'Legs' Sadovsky.
She helped four other fairly like-minded teenaged girls to overcome the sexual oppression and harrassment of their peers and a biology teacher at their Portland, Oregon high school:
In one semi-exploitative erotic scene, the girls received a trademark flame tattoo emblazoned on their breasts by needle-wielding Legs. She assured a skeptical and fearful Maddy: "Don't be scared."
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Robert Rodriguez' sexy and ultra-violent crime thriller was memorable for its musical number performed at the sleazy, vampire-infested Titty Twister roadhouse (open 'from dusk till dawn') in Mexico to a leering, cheering audience of mostly truckers.
The nudie dancer-stripper was voluptuous, maroon bikini-clad and caped Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek) on a fiery stage. Her name was derived from the character in the director Gilberto Martínez Solares' nunsploitation horror film Satanico Pandemonium: La Sexorcista (1975, Mex.). The foreign film was inspired by Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971, UK). She used her seductive human features (full breasts covered by a dark reddish bikini bra) to entice males.
She was introduced as "The Mistress of the Macabre," "The Epitome of Evil" and "The Most Sinister Woman Who Ever Danced on the Face of This Earth." When she removed her cape, she had an oversized white snake phallically wrapped around her.
After performing a sensual, entrancing snake-dance, the Queen Vampire descended (without her snake) into the South of the Border audience for more intimate and sultry dancing. She poured alcohol from a large bottle of booze down her bare leg and stuck her wet foot to be licked into the mouth of deranged criminal Richard "Richie" Gecko (actor/scripter Quentin Tarantino). She also took a mouthful of alcohol and dribbled it from her mouth into his. Richie's brother Seth (George Clooney) applauded loudly when she finished: "That's what I call a f--kin' show!"
When a fight broke out between some of the bar patrons and the Gecko brothers, Richie was stabbed in the hand. Soon, he became an undead victim of Santanico's destructive vampirish attack when she lustfully saw blood dripping from his wounded hand. She morphed into a vampire creature, jumped on Richie's back, and lethally directed her fangs into his neck. Seth fired at the vampire on Richie, and they both hit the floor.
A feeding frenzy was then initiated ("Dinner is served") when the bar employees came back as "undead" vampires and attacked the living. Seth eliminated Santanico, who was threatening to make him enslaved to her, by shooting down a chandelier from above to impale her. Richie also came back as an "undead" vampire, and Seth was forced to reluctantly kill him, by pounding a wooden pool cue into his chest.
Ghost in the Shell (1996, Jp.)
Japanese animated films (called anime) have often featured explicit and graphic content and unflinching explicit bloody violence, first evidenced in Akira (1988).
This adult-oriented, PG-rated animation contained soft-core nudity and stylized erotica regarding the film's major character: the often nude and beautifully voluptuous but tough cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi - a special security agent resembling a Playboy Playmate-like Terminatrix.
Heaven's Prisoners (1996)
There were many stars in this notable noirish mystery crime-thriller, which was mostly noticed because of Teri Hatcher's brief full-frontal nude scene. It was originally to be released in 1994, but was delayed for two years - and resurrected when Hatcher rose to fame in TV's Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman:
Cajun wife Claudette, the power behind the scenes, strutted fully naked behind a railing on a veranda while drinking gin rickeys, often displaying her butterfly tattoo to guests who arrived on the driveway. Robicheaux became a vengeful vigilante after his wife Annie was shot to death, and he began asking too many questions about a drug smuggler's plane crash.
Hotline: The Brunch Club (1996) - TV
Catherine Bell (later, the star of TV's JAG from 1997-2005) helped to launch her career by appearing in a memorable episode (#17) of Season 2 of UK's cable TV, late-night, adult series Hotline in the mid-90s titled The Brunch Club.
The film told about four housewives who talked about their sex fantasies, affairs, and the subject of fidelity during a morning's brunch:
During the story told by recently-divorced Cat, she told how she was seduced during a late-night office flirtation that went all the way. In the scene set in a darkly lit office (to the sounds of a wailing saxophone), Cat was standing topless in front of a doorway, then undressed (her navy blue skirt and white panties were removed), and she made love to her partner seated in a chair while still wearing her thigh-high white leggings.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
In this intelligent romantic comedy by writer/director Cameron Crowe, charming, slick, high-pressure sports management agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) shared a wild sex scene with his stunning fiancee Avery Bishop (Kelly Preston).
The short scene included raucous stand-up coupling and pleasurable screaming next to a bookcase:
She then suggestively proposed, as a way to express her 'intimacy':
Afterwards, she went to the kitchen and hand-fed him helpings of fresh-fruit strawberries.
Jude (1996, UK)
Director Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel Jude the Obscure was set in late 19th century Victorian England.
The two main protagonists in the doomed romance were unlikely lovers in the fictional university town of Christminster. Both of them were married to others:
In an erotic, fully-revealing love-making scene between the two cousins, Sue stripped off her white gown and laid back fully nude on the bed:
Without marrying and living out of wedlock, they both faced social scorn and were forced to move from place to place (for work and lodging), although they produced two children and remained together. A third child (son) was also conceived by Arabella from Jude, named Jude (or "Juey"), who came to live with Sue and Jude.
Other than the explicit nude scene, there was another one of Sue's very graphic (and bloody) child birth.
The conclusion of the tale of forbidden love was extremely tragic. Because the family had grown so large, they could not remain in their present location - and Juey (who feared for the future) killed his two half-siblings and then committed suicide by hanging. His suicide note read that he had hoped to solve the family's problem: "Becos we were to menny." In the belief that she was being punished by God for her extra-marital sexual affair, Sue broke up with Jude and reluctantly lived with her repugnant husband Philloston.
About a year later, Sue and Jude did meet coincidentally at the gravesite of their children. He asked: "Do you love me? Do you still love me? I won't come again if that's what you want, but I need to know." She replied: "You've always known." He requested that she come with him, but she refused: "No, Jude." After a passionate kiss, she walked away from him, as he delivered the film's final line:
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