Sure, America has its DC Comics Legion of Doom, and those villains seemed pretty darned nasty while menacing kids over their sugar cereal and “Super Friends” on Saturday mornings. Let me just tell you that the Legion of Doom has nothing–BUT nothing–on the villains of Italian fumetti neri, adult comics that fused sex and violence into a fantastical art trashgasm.
- I will not make any “Hostel”/hostile puns.
- I will not profess my panty-moistening desire to hump the balls off of director Eli Roth and bear his scores of love-children, even though I have received the memo that he’s the new Bruce Campbell. Eli-Lovers, he is all yours (you’re welcome).
It’s not particularly revelatory to say that the 1970s were a time of sexual experimentation taken to the point of faddishness. Porn films came into vogue, the Swinger lifestyle was the subject of much conversation, and the Free Love of the late 60s had morphed into a hedonistic zeitgeist that lots of folks talked about, even if relatively few were living it. Just check out this awesome ad for Xaviera’s Game, a board game marketed in conjunction with that Happiest of Hookers–what better way to get all the glamor of prostitution without actually having to–you know–have sex OR get paid for it? The goal of the game is to complete 6 of the 8 Phases of Lovemaking, according to the instructions I found. Partial completion of lovemaking might indicate the game was designed by a man, but the game’s emphasis on lengthy explanations tells us that women had some hand in creating this mind-boggling parlor game. In the spirit of this safe form of taboo busting, adult magazines pushed the envelope ever further with their content–sometimes to downright bizarre degrees.
Look–we’ve all got them. Call them “chick flicks” or the male equivalent thereof, there are films of a nature that make them utterly unappetizing to our domestic partners but which sing their siren song to us, beckoning us to view their forbidden excellence when disapproving eyes are out of range. My own brand of “chick flick” is the kind of hazy, languorous, nudity-packed kink-tragedy produced Continentally during the 1970s. I know that for many, the long shots of Significant Glances and the injection of La Philosophie dans le boudoir adds up to boredom of the most excruciating sort, but for me, it’s pure bliss. A master of the form, director Jess Franco delivers the titillating goods once again in 1970’s “Eugenie de Sade.”
Pichard began his career in 1946 with illustrations in mainstream publications, eventually moving into comic strips and then producing his first erotic work, “Blanche Epiphanie,” in 1967, beginning what would be a 40-year career in naughty books. Late in his life, he taught at l’Ecole des Arts Appliques in Paris (where he had been a student). Pichard died in 2003, leaving the world with a tremendous legacy of erotic art.
If Nate Yapp of Classic-Horror.com wasn’t such a goddamn charming sonofabitch, I, much like Admiral Ackbar, would have been able to identify a trap when I saw one. I guess it’s a good thing for you folks that my life continues to be Gullible’s Travels, because I was lured into an exploration of the frequently-analyzed and thoroughly-awesome Mexican horror film “Alucarda.” Leave it to the glossy allure of New Media to lull me into a sense of geeky hyp-mo-tism!
- Boris Karloff’s awesome haircut
- Panty-moistening art deco architecture
- Incestuous necrophilia
- Subnormal is the NEW normal
- Blood-drenched lesbonic hottness
- Why “Alucarda” is not a nunsploitation film
- Psychic battles with gypsies
William Friedkin’s 1980 film “Cruising” is a puzzling shocker whose controversial reputation is well-earned. The director of “The Exorcist” was no stranger to this kind of negative publicity, and while he agreed to place a disclaimer in front of his film testifying to the fact that it’s not meant as a criticism of gays in general, this did approximately NOTHING to placate those who were already suspicious of Friedkin’s motives. The film tracks police detective Steve Burns (played with a strange brand of naivete by Al Pacino) as he goes undercover in New York City’s gay S&M scene in an attempt to learn the identity of a serial killer. He’s set up in what would now be a $3,000-a-month-plus Greenwich Village apartment and has to learn the ways of the leather daddy scene in an iron-pumping, hanky-code-learning montage. Note: Don’t wear the yellow hanky unless you MEAN it, boys. As Burns repeatedly visits these underground nightclubs (located in the now-posh Meatpacking District–I like to think that Burns attended Precinct Night at the RamRod in what is now the Alexander McQueen boutique space or a Tory Burch retailer), he finds himself increasingly fascinated by the raw sexuality on display, even as he begins to question the motives of his fellow policemen in tracking down the killer. At the time of its filming and initial release, the movie raised the ire of gay rights activists who objected to its perceived implication that violence is inherent to the homosexual lifestyle. The film’s coda, which involves a murder committed after the incarceration of the Real Killer and the resurfacing of a sinister character from the beginning of the story, points to an uncomfortable ambiguity that could be perceived in this way, but the story is, at its heart, something far more straight-forward than all that.
The account of Elizabeth Bathory is sort of a perfect storm of Stuff That’s Relevant to the Tenebrous Interests, as you can probably tell by the multitude of tags that are attached to this post. It’s a tale whose soil is rich enough to support a multitude of interpretations from those focused on class warfare (entitled aristocrat preys on the poor villagers nominally under her care) to a feminist cautionary tale (a woman who finds value only in her appearance is driven to brutal measures) to a blood-soaked kink melodrama (cruel, beautiful mistress takes “abusing the help” to new extremes). Depending upon the artist’s perspective, the clay of the story allows for a great deal of molding to fit the tastes of the teller.