Saturday, September 22, 2018

Lilith Likes to Watch - Alice In Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy

Title: Alice In Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy
Year: 1976
Starring: Kristine DeBell, Alan Novak
Director: Bud Townsend
Synopsis: Alice is a good girl who isn't sure she wants to go all the way with her boyfriend. But when she follows a white rabbit into wonderland, she discovered just how fun being naughty can be.
Why it is Notable: It's a musical porn version of Alice in Wonderland.

This review is going to be brief. I don't have much to say about this film.
For a musical, the songs are forgettable.

For an Alice in Wonderland adaptation, the visuals are remarkably uninspired and the costumes are cheap or non-existent. The Cheshire cat doesn't exist, instead the production had two mouse costumes lying around so they decided just to have a couple people wear those and lick Alice all over.

The Mad Hatter sort of looked like Roger Daltrey from Tommy, so that was interesting, if not distracting.

The erotic bits were fine, though there was a charming self-love scene in a river. Probably the highlight of the movie.

I saw this with the cut scenes spliced back into the run time, which made for some fun clashes of quality. There was one chase scene that looked like a skipping DVD, so that was amusing.

At times it forgets its a porn, and at times it forgets its a musical. There was potential here, but something didn't click all the way. A shame.

LILITH'S SCORE: 3/5 - It's fine.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Lilith Likes to Watch - The Image (AKA The Punishment of Anne)

Title: The Image (AKA The Punishment of Anne AKA The Mistress and the Slave)
Year: 1975
Starring: Rebecca Brooke, Carl Parker, Marilyn Roberts
Director: Radley Metzger
Synopsis: The story of middle-aged Jean, a writer, who meets an old friend, Claire, a lesbian and also middle-aged, and is soon drawn into her world of sadomasochism, in which they torture Claire's youthful slave, Anne.
(via Wikipedia)
Why it is Notable: It's considered a staple of "Porno Chic".

A few years ago when Fifty Shades of Grey hit the scene, there was concern that it was espousing an unhealthy idea of BDSM, that it encouraged people to enter the fetish scene without fully comprehending the rules of the lifestyle. Even the author of the series has out and out admitted that she just found it hot, with no deeper meaning of the lifestyle.

36 years before Fifty Shades was published, The Image hit the scene, and completely ignored all the Safe, Sane and Consensual rules. Safe words don't exist in this relationship.

This is a tricky one. It has some sequences that push all my personal fetish buttons, but there's just whole chunks of story missing. This is not a story about a healthy BDSM lifestyle, but rather a tale of cruelty and abuse.

We never understand how Claire acquired Anne, nor why Anne agreed to be Claire's slave. We never get to see how Claire and Anne decide to let Jean into their little arrangement. We can infer that Claire loves Jean, and Jean is infatuated with Anne, but it all culminates into a very brutal and confusing climax. You get the feeling that Anne has no idea why she's being punished, and neither does the audience. There is absolutely no love, or ever fondness in this film. Just viciousness.

There are some shots of beauty in this movie, though they are few and far between.

Rebecca Brooke does very well as Anne, her eyes and body language convey a passivity without seeming vacuous. At the same time, a dozen micro-expressions float across her features as Anne is preparing to be whipped. Confusion, excitement, satisfaction, fear. And when her face contorts into pain it's extremely believable, to an uncomfortable degree.

Anne seems sweet and kind and she doesn't deserve this punishment because it's not out of love or enjoyment on her part. She especially doesn't deserve the raw and savagery. In the end, the two abusive shitheads end up together. The movie closes with Jean and Claire fucking on a staircase. We don't even get to see Anne enjoy her new found freedom.

I think ultimately it's a story about jealousy but I guess something was lost in translation.

This is my second time watching this movie and I'm still just as confused as before.

LILITH'S SCORE: 3.5/5 - It's a bit better than fine.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Lilith Likes to Watch - In The Realm of the Senses

Title: In the Realm of The Senses AKA Ai no korîda
Year: 1976
Starring: Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda
Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Synopsis: A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end. (via IMDB)
Why it is Notable: It contains scenes of unsimulated sex on screen.

In the Realm of the Senses was added to the watch list because of 2 things - It had unsimulated sex acts on screen, and it had a Criterion Collection release, which meant it was classy.

This movie was inspired by the true tale of Japanese folk hero, Sada Abe, a Japanese woman who killed her lover. Though this movie focuses on the relationship between Sada and said lover.

It was...fine.

It wasn't particularly pretty, for being a French-Japanese co-production. You had all the visuals of Japan, flowing silk, embroidery, the music, the makeup, and it was just sort of there. The inherent beauty in it wasn't romanticized at all.

The sex was, obviously very real since it was real sex and thus, not very sexy.

However, re-watching the trailer for this review, it struck me that the acting was quite impressive. The actors conveyed the passion and obsession quite believably.

So, it's a significant movie for having real on screen sex, and that it tells the true story of a woman who cut off her lover's penis, but it's just sort of...fine. Just fine.

LILITH'S SCORE: 2.5/5 - If that's your kink, then fine.