Lilith Likes to Watch - The Autobiography of a Flea

Title: The Autobiography of a Flea
Year: 1976
Starring: Jean Jennings, John Holmes, Paul Thomas, Annette Haven, Joanna Hilden, Kinta (As Belle's dog)
Director: Sharon McNight
Synopsis: In 1810, a flea narrates the story of its host, an innocent girl abused and corrupted by an evil lusty priest in league with her vile old uncle and several other wicked men. - Via IMDB
Lilith's Notes: It's the first erotic film directed by a woman.


Welcome to the first ever Lilith Likes to Watch Deep Dive! Where in we not only watch the porno, but also consume material adjacent to it, be they novels, biographies, interviews or other reviews. This week we review The Autobiography of a Flea.

I discovered this film because, basically I just read over Jean Jennings' IMDB page and saw the title. It was an unusual title so I investigated further. Not only did it have a strange title but it was based on a novel that's over 100 years old and it was the first porno to be directed by a woman. Clearly it deserved more attention than a typical Lilith Likes to Watch review..

So, I watched the movie, then I read the book.

For the age it is, the movie is fairly pretty, with attention to costuming and sets and locations. There is some inventive shot composition and in one or two scenes, some good use of lighting. But, the film itself is so battered it's hard to appreciate. This would do well with a remastering, if only to give some respect to the costumes. I wonder if that's due to the fact that this film was made through a woman's eye.

The acting is fine, though the narration by the flea is very distracting. His voice doesn't suit a flea at all. Not that I was expecting something squeaky and tiny but something a little less, I don't know, mature, maybe?

Jean Jennings is pretty good as Belle, the curious object of lust for so many boys and men. She has a physicality that plays on youthfulness. When she's drinking whine she's all giggles and sway, and as she becomes more familiar in the ways of sex, she has subtle ways to get her seductions across. There's a fun instance where, while trying to seduce her best friend's father, she runs her fingers along the length of her closed ivory fan, a subtle gesture that was much appreciated.

Then again, often during the actual sex she becomes a bobble-head that gulps her mouth like a fish.

The sex was good. It was actual penetrative sex for the most part, with some small instances of cunnilingus and fingering. No one was afraid of, or turned away by a pussy. I had wished for some lesbian scenes but was left denied. They weren't in the book, either.

The book by the way, was garbage. It was a mashed up repetitive word salad that I had to force myself to finish. Everyone fucks Bella (Belle in the movie, Bella in the book,) and it's an ongoing cycle of "Oh what's that? Oh it's a dick! Oh it's huge! Oh it hurts! Oh it feels good! Oh what is that warmth in me? Oh it's spunk! Oh such spunk!" Over and over and over.

Each new man Bella encounters, his dick is bigger, there's more "spunk", yes really, spunk, and she's filled to overflowing but never has to bathe. She's stretched out to accommodate every man that enters her but each and every time she complains about how much pain she is in, until it dissolves into pleasure.

He comes in a torrent, she comes like she's pissing everywhere, the word "emissions" is used, then they drink wine.

About the time I reached chapter 7 I attempted to reignite my interest in the story by looking at it as a tale about a girl who is groomed by predators, enjoyed, discarded, and used to lure other girls into the clutches of the priests who violated her, but Bella was just too evil a co-conspirator for that reading to work.

Then, in the last chapter, the author uses the word "Clitoris" 6 times. It was as if after chapter 11, the author learned the word and, like an excited child, used it as much as he could.

That's my first theory about this book. My second theory is that the author, Edward Avery, was in a very boring, very god-fearing marriage where he and his wife only fuck missionary and she never had an orgasm, therefore he did not know that typically, girls don't piss when they climax.

Finally, the book gave me the most disgusting sentence I've read in a long time. I'm going to share it with you now.
"Pain at the distension had now given way to pleasure, and young and elastic flesh opened to receive the column of gristle"
- The Autobiography of a Flea, Chapter IX
That is not sexy. That is the least sexy thing I've ever read. I almost gave up at that point but I had obligations to you, the reader of this blog.

The fact that Sharon McNight was able to take this dull, redundant, crude garbage mostly verbatim and make something relativity pretty out of it is an accomplishment in and of itself.

LILITH'S SCORE: 3/5 - It's fine. Book score: 1/5. It was a terrible book.

NEXT TIME: T'is the season! Our next film is the Christmas themed The Passions of Carol.