Friday, 28 September 2012


Year: 1970

Director: Antony Balch
Screenplay: Antony Balch, John Eliot, Martin Locke, Maureen Owen, Alfred Mazure and Elliott Stein
Starring: Valentine Dyall, Maria Frost, Sue Bond and Yvonne Quenet
Running Time: 91 minutes
Genre: Comedy, fantasy, sex
This film definitely lives up to it's title. Basically it is seven short stories dealing with various aspects of sex narrated by an Egyptian mummy (Dyall). The stories include a photographer who goes to extreme lengths to make sure that her models really capture pain, an elderly man who is preparing for his young wife's first child only to discover that the baby is not what he expected, a strange man who really loves lizards and the adventures of a glamorous secret agent in a spoof of 1960s spy movies.
Antony Balch was kind of a curious figure on the British cultural scene in the 1960s who is probably best known for his experimental short films that he made with Beat writer William S. Burroughs, Towers Open Fire (1963) and The Cut-Ups (1967). This was his feature debut. The film is very much a product of it's time and sometimes feels like a time capsule of the late sixties (it was filmed in 1969). It is worth bearing in mind that by modern standards the film is horribly politically incorrect and if it wasn't so ineptly made it would probably be extremely offensive. The acting is pretty bad, most of the cast being primarily models instead of actors. The script is bad and the film is full of nonsensical interludes and weird visuals. For the most part it falls into the "so bad it is actually hilarious", however there are moments where Balch shows genuine cinematic talent, and the film deserves points for being genuinely unpredictable, and it is a real oddity.
It was a huge success in it's day and ran on the grindhouse cinema circuit in London pretty much constantly throughout the 1970s in variously edited versions. The film was also released as Secrets of Sex.

Fifty shades of blue:  Bizarre

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