Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Submission (1969)

* Look, I know the softcore-sex genre isn't the most impressive of genres. But there's one thing you have to do if you're going to inhabit it -- you've got to show us some good fuckin'. It's simple: Sex is exciting. Movie-watching is a safe form of voyeurism, and voyerism can be exciting. If you've made a film with no plot and lots of bare flesh, and somehow that bare flesh is unexciting, you're doing it wrong.

* I'm really not sure what happened in this film. We're given the thinnest skeleton of a narrative, per the usual, but I'm unclear as to what that narrative is. I think it involves a rude sadistic guy and his attempts to keep various chicks in a boarding house under his thumb. Then there is sex. And more sex. Then a scene with a couple of people standing around. Then more sex, and so on.

* As kinky as director Allen Savage tries to make his film (there's lesbianism, group sex, rape-fantasy sex and other stuff), he never quite tops the bizarre pull of the early scene where the Guy lords his power over some chick (his girlfriend, I presume) by throwing out her secret stash of chocolate bars.

* The musical score is really awful -- it's eerie minimalism better suited to a sci-fi or monster movie. This may be one big reason why the myriad sex scenes aren't sexy.

* One wan positive is the odd interesting shot or angle that floats through every so often like the shot of two post-coital lovers, legs still locked together, bodies splayed in opposite directions. I think the aim was to give this the high-class gloss of a Joe Sarno or Radley Metzger film, but the impression given is rather one of second-year art students slumming in a genre they despise. Still, it's something worthwhile, and we take what we can get around here.

Grade: D+


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