21 July 2014 | lazarillo
Another dimension of Pete Walker
I like Pete Walker. A lot of people like his horror films ("Frightmare", "House of the Whipcord"), but I even like his sex films. British sex films were pretty tame, of course, and especially so in the 60's. But in other countries where it became legal much earlier to show people having graphic sex, the "films" quickly degenerated into NOTHING BUT people having graphic sex. Sure a lot of British sex films of that era have this annoying wink-nudge-giggle aspect to them, but Walker's are somewhat different. They were actually more bizarre lurid melodramas than comedies, and often explored the increasingly seedy Swinging London scene that Walker always seemed rather dubious about.
This is not as good as Walker's best sex film, "Cool It Carol", which had the benefit of being his first collaboration with screenwriter David McIlvray (who later wrote all of Walker's best horror movies). It is interestingly structured though. A German lothario leaves his sexy girlfriend (Karen Boyer) in Germany and comes to England looking for a German girl (Swedish actress Lina Skoog)who has vanished into the Swinging London scene. He talks to various people--her roommates, her friends, her employers, her footballer boyfriend (Robin Askwith)--to develop various perspectives--or dimensions--of the missing girl. I hesitate to mention that this is also the basic structure of "Citizen Kane", except that "Citizen Kane" is not 1. in garish color with periodic scenes of 3-D, and 2. chock-full of naked and half-naked dollybirds.
This is definitely more entertaining than your average British sex film (but some would say the same is true of paint drying). Perhaps owing to the 3-D, it features a lot of actresses (Skoog, Boyer and Jane Cardew) with very pendulous breasts (some are pretty pendulous period). Russ Meyer fans would like this (interestingly both Walker and Meyer were at one time attached to a movie with the Sex Pistols). Contrary to popular opinion, I find Walker to be a significantly better filmmaker than Meyer. And big breasts notwithstanding, none of these actresses here is as cute and sexy as Janet Lynn, the lead in "Cool It Carol" or Candace Glendenning (who was in Walker's first horror film "The Flesh and Blood Show"). The very cute Felicity Devonshire does have a small part as one of the roommates. She actually had a much more substantial film career than flash-in-the-panel model Leen Skoog, but is less famous today, perhaps because her breasts are not actually bigger than her head. On the male side, Robin Askwith went from small parts here and in the "The Flesh and Blood Show" to the male lead in "Cool It Carol" to become probably the most well-known actor in 70's British sex comedies. He kind of looked like Mick Jagger's younger brother (albeit with a lot more nude scenes), but he definitely had a lot of charisma. It's too bad he only has a small part here because the actual male lead is generally pretty uncharismatic.
This is not Walker's best film or even his best sex film, but it's certainly worth a look.