Since the dawn of the motion picture industry, there have been a number of surefire methods that filmmakers and distributors have used in order to draw certain types of people in. One guaranteed technique is religion. Whether a film depicts the final days of Jesus of Nazareth in a entirely brutal-but-all-too-realistic matter (see that one Mel Gibson piece), or it offers an alternative and entirely-sacrilegious view of Jesus’ last few hours on Earth (a specific Martin Scorsese title comes to mind), you can bet your bottom dollar that the religious community is going to take note — and thus, pay. Controversy usually follows, which, in-turn, makes more people (even those who are not religious) pay as well.
Another scheme to fulfill the ol’ “a fool and his money” adage has also been used by many since the moving pictures first came about: the sex. While it sometimes succeeds in being just as controversial as its religious genre counterpart on occasion, the sex has the extra-added benefit of pulling in just about every type of person imaginable — from the interested, the affronted, and the perverted. And, while the prospect of watching a man die a slow agonizing death for two-and-a-half hours whilst nailed to a piece of wood is all-too tempting at times, the likelihood of getting turned on by bearing witness to some of mankind’s more-desirable creatures baring all seems like a win-win to me.
Plus, if you opt for a nudie flick and feel guilty afterwards, you can always go to church and confess. Whereas if you feel a bit accountable after watching Jesus be bludgeoned and pinned-up until he croaks, it’s because you are accountable: he did it for you, you know. Sinners!
Now then: with your minds and bodies free to sin away, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you “Sex, er Six Features Jesus Wouldn’t Approve Of.”
Oh, and don’t go frettin’ about this none, neither: Jesus said he’ll forgive and still love you for picking these titles up, just as He told me when I exited the video store.
· The Image (1975) (Synapse Films)
The Short Version: Radley Metzger, I love you.
The Slightly-Elongated Version: The one and only Radley Metzger went from the swingin’ couples of Score (featured in this previous “Catching Up” article) to the world of S&M, bondage, humiliation, and all that other great stuff we tend to look up on the Internet when no one’s looking. The multi-chaptered story here centers on Jean (Carl Parker, Score), who becomes involved with an old acquaintance of his named Claire (Marilyn Roberts) and her younger sex slave, Anne (Joe Sarno regular Rebecca Brooke, using the alias Mary Mendum). A masterpiece of adult art, The Image has been remastered in HD for a marvelous 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC Blu-ray release from Synapse Films and is presented in its original uncut, often sexually-explicit glory. The disc includes 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 soundtracks, an isolated music/effects track, optional English (SDH) subtitles and some notes on the film and its director. A great Father’s Day gift if I ever saw one. Also available on DVD.
· The Sins Of Madame Bovary (1969) (One 7 Movies)
The Short Version: Edwige Fenech, I love you.
The Slightly-Elongated Version: There are few actresses in all of Europe — nay, make that all the world — that are as beautifully fetching as the lovely Edwige Fenech. No matter how trite a motion picture may tend to get, you can rest assured that as soon as Edwige appears onscreen, the heat will turn up. (The Sins Of) Madame Bovary, one of many adaptations of the Gustave Flaubert novel, is a great example of how a simple dark-haired beauty can brighten up a movie that would otherwise put me to sleep. Emma Bovary (Fenech) is bored over the fact that her country doctor husband’s always working, so she begins to have a few infidelities with a couple of handsome strangers. Gerhard Riedmann plays Fenech’s oblivious hubby, while actors like Franco Ressel and Peter Carsten get to have all the fun with her. One 7 Movies brings this previously-unreleased German/Italian film to the US in an anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1, Italian mono sound with optional English subtitles, and a gallery of artwork.