mardi 4 mai 2010

From roughies to nunsploitation

S&M iconography also invaded “female roughies” like the Ginger sequel The Abductors (1972) where thugs kidnap 3 cheerleaders and deliver them to a high-class white slave organization, standard “generator” that goes on in hard-boiled sot-porn as The Candy Snatchers (1974). Rape was an absolute obsession of the times, from westerns and detective movies to the “rape and revenge” subgenre or utter sexploitation like German Cry Rape (1974) or the Greek The Rape Killer (1976). Misogyny exploded in its most basic form, getting rid of the constitutive theatricality of S&M rituals but showing the brutality of male fantasies, eerily reminiscent of those studied by Thiewellert through the Nazi Freierkorps intimate journals.

The alternate subgenre of withcraft, reminiscent of Enlightenment and Romantic pornography, would bring a mini-genre of Italian possessions Un angelo per Satana, la Sorella de Satana and the “nasty witch-hunting” subgenre of Adrian Hoven’s Hexen bis aufs Blut Gequaelt and Hexen Geschandet und zu Tode Gequaelet (1969). “Rather than explore the links between sexuality, sadism and cinema as a spectacle, these films simply deploy gross brutality in a fantasy regime that poses emaciated and broken female bodies as ideal images of women and the rippling muscles of the “macho” man as the ideal of masculinity” (P. Hardy, op cit, p. 255).

The trend melted with the other S&M subgenre of Nunsploitation, as in Franco’s Les possédées du diable (1974) or Bernardo Aria’s El Inquisidor (1975) and the “heretic” cycle (Alucarda, Flavia la Monaca, La monaca che uccide, etc.) before incorporating elements of the Satanist revival (Riti Magie Nere, Satan’s Slave, To the Devil a Daughter; L’ossessa/sexorcist and Franco’s pornographic Sexorcismes) . Interestingly enough, Ed Wood's final film was the low-budget, occult porn (or 'smut') film Necromania (1971), subtitled “A Tale of Weird Love”, shot in less than a week in two versions (soft-core and hard-core). It told the story of Danny and Shirley, a young couple who visited a mysterious necromancer named Madame Heles (in her sex clinic and funeral parlor) to solve the couple's sexual problems. The hands-on lessons they were taught in the simplistic, weird film involved a coven of witches, simulated sex with painted skulls, topless chanting and spells, and an extended sex scene in a coffin.

Anticlerical in the line of classical libertine erotica and Gothicism, those films claim to show the hard-edge of Western de-Christianization but are in fact delighted by the Christian iconography of transgression, sadism and torture (Le couvent infernal, Bacchanales infernales or Mario Mercier’s La papesse ).

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