Category Archives: Erotic

#115 – Falling Blossom

(1981, Fr, 101 min) Dir Catherine Dominique. Cast Allegra Biscotti, Serge de Foy, Jean Fillet.

The peak of the latter half of Dominique’s career and the last film she would make until 1990’s Love is the Death, Falling Blossom would also, if you removed all of the sex (which, sensitively handled and beautifully shot though it might be, is still pretty filthy), be a perfectly heartbreaking coming of age story. Allegra Biscotti, here in her first film role, confirms Dominique’s unerring eye for a beautiful lead actress as the titular Blossom, growing up in her family’s country house in the French countryside of the 1930’s. She becomes besotted with a local artist called Phillipe (de Foy, of Claude Claude fame) and through a campaign of borderline stalking manages to snare him, the two of them falling into passionate love over the course of this one hot, sweaty summer. Alas once summer is done Blossom must return to the city and Phillipe, staying behind, gives in to the ghosts of the old war he fought not so long ago while simultaneously fighting the premonitions of a new one looming on the horizon. Everything came together for Dominique here, perhaps now that the greater excesses of her work have been purged. Not that she would agree: “This is me,” she has said, “And so is that. There is no difference.”

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#114 – Baroness Lesbos

(1978, Fr/Sp, 99 min) Dir Catherine Dominique. Cast Ewa Rohm, Adrianna Belle, Hans, Peter Allison.

Originally titled The Mother of All Sin this is the one film of Dominique’s she seems incapable of standing behind, despite what even she admits are some moments of beauty studded throughout. “It was taken away from me by the bastard producers,” she told me at a 2010 retrospective in Berlin, “They cut it and take out what they don’t like. They film more things and put them in too. Even they take it’s name. I find it hard to look at still, you know?” As you might expect what was taken out was atmosphere and what was added was sex, but that’s not what upset Dominique: “The actors – Adrianna and Hans and Peter – they all work with me before so they refuse to not work with me. All they have then is Ewa, who I never wanted anyway.” That’s not all they had – they also had another woman in a blonde wig pretending to be Adrianna Belle but who looks so unlike her it completely sinks the back half of the film which is a shame as the first half is as strong as anything she has made with fantastic use made of the sunsets along the Spanish coast. Dominique would be back on solid ground three years later with the crown jewel of the sexploitation half of her career – the beautiful and romantic Falling Blossom.

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Twitter: @MadeUpFilms

#113 – Bête érotique avec quatre jambes, La (Four Legged Sex Beast)

(1974, Fr, 88 min) Dir Catherine Dominique. Cast Beau Modeste, Jean Fillet, Peter Allison.

A midway film from Dominique, straddling her earlier art house efforts and her later sexploitation work, the amusingly titled Four Legged Sex Beast concerns the porcelain Modeste as the powdered and perfumed Lady Pea who is being transported to the home of the man that she is being married off to by her father when one of the carriage wheels breaks on the rutted country road, stranding them in the dark woods. As night falls first the coach driver is taken screaming into the night and then her father too. It’s only a matter of time before whatever it is that’s out there returns for Pea. Of course the beast wants something more than meat from her too – the last twenty minutes of the film form the notorious extended sex scene that saw the film quietly banned in a lot of places. But what is the nature of the beast? Is it a real life Sasquatch type or is it the physical manifestation of Pea’s suppressed sexuality? Who knows! The only film starring the beautiful Modeste, filmed as she rested on the cusp of fame after the one-two hits Je Suis un Tracteur and Petit Chat de Fourrure stormed the French charts and before the suspicious snorkelling accident that took her life. Her performance is limited to be sure but the camera just can’t take it’s eye off her.

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Twitter: @MadeUpFilms

#102 – Invitation to Sin, An

(1976, US, 95 min) Dir Art Blitzen. Cast Angela Raider, Morty Handlon, Sissy Pfister.

Another exercise in inappropriate sexploitation from ‘Artless’ Art Blitzen. Despite no one liking it, 1974’s What Did They Do To Patricia was a success, perhaps for those who enjoyed The Exorcist and Deep Throat but wanted one film that would do the job of both. Newly emboldened by this random occurrence, Art indulged in that vice which strikes the surprised successful – that of an inflated ego. An Invitation to Sin was to be his classy film, the one that transcended the smut genre and oozed across and into the mainstream. Fair intentions but unfortunately for Art his nickname wasn’t ‘Artless’ just because it was a fun play on his first name, he really had no idea about aesthetics at all. So what’s the package? An Invitation to Sin centres around a young woman’s mysterious invitation to a masked ball at a country estate where she becomes embroiled in a seemingly endless orgy where every kind of vice and perversion is indulged. The concession to class seems to rest solely on the fact that the setting is a country estate and that the characters dress in fancy period finery (though what exact period that is supposed to be is left somewhat vague). Despite the awfulness the film was another success for Blitzen as there really is a lot of filth in it. The bad news is that that led to more films but the good news is that his next one was his own personal Heaven’s Gate – the science fiction sex odyssey Sex Beyond the Stars.

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Twitter: @MadeUpFilms

#101 – Fusil Rose, Le (Pink Musket, The)

(1976, Fr, 98 min) Dir Catherine Dominique. Cast Adrianna Belle, Jean Fillet, Hans.

Riding the crest of the wave started with Emmanuel, Catherine Dominique traded in art house experimentation for feminist sexploitation with Le Fusil Rose. “Emmanuel, we all hated,” she said in 2010 at a retrospective in Berlin, “I wanted to make a film where the woman make the choice, you understand? Like me, in life.” A discussion of Dominique’s life is better left for a review of Madame D, the documentary about her, but it’s hard to miss the parallels between this and it, even though Le Fusil Rose centres around a female highwayman character and not a twentieth-century film director. Like Dominique, the Pink Musket is in reality the sweet and mild daughter of a landowner. The both of them dressed up to go out at night and take what they wanted  from men – Dominique using the power of her body over them and the Pink Musket her weapon. Both also had the law on their tails but for Dominique it was for the provocations of her art and unlike the Pink Musket it never came in the form of Jean Fillet and his swimmer’s physique. At the end of the film he and the Pink Musket come face to face in a battle of physical strength that is far removed from the kind that you would expect at the end of a Clint Eastwood movie for example. Brazenly erotic and unashamedly political it’s great to see Dominique enjoying a resurgence of interest in recent years.

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#46 – What Did They Do To Patricia?

(1974, US, 92 min) Dir Art Blitzen. Cast Angela Raider, Pete Diggs, Harry Pork.

Given that The Exorcist’s release coincided with the ‘Golden Age’ of porn with Deep Throat, Behind the Green Door and so on, it should come as no surprise that someone would meld these two types of blockbuster together. Unfortunately that person was ‘Artless’ Art Blitzen and his effort What Did They Do To Patricia? (whose title, incidentally, is nonsensical) might actually be a step down from the likes of Jesus Franco’s Lorna the Exorcist, if such a thing can be believed. Angela Raider plays history student Patricia who has been possessed with the Paluzu, a spirit from an old icon, and of course this  renders her an insatiable nymphomaniac. By the time the church gets around to drafting in a pair of priests to rid her of the demon she’s already drained three men of their ‘lifeforce’, which means exactly what it sounds like. Unfortunately for both the viewer and everyone in the film too, the aforementioned priests are sex-crazed lunatics with a rather unfortunate method in mind of divesting Patricia of her demon. This film is all kinds of wrong – not just in a moral sense (though you’ll feel in need of a wash afterward) but also aesthetically, as everything seems to take place in a series of nightmarish bedsits and in them ‘Artless’ Art seems to spend as much time lingering on the appalling décor or figuring out how to pull focus as he does on recording the ‘action’ itself. Grim.

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Twitter: @MadeUpFilms