It’s no secret that (straight) preteen boys enjoy ogling women’s bodies in various states of undress. They can’t help it. They’re hardwired to do so at a biological level. And of course curiosity plays a big part. You might not want to believe that a well-respected member of society like myself would partake, but even I’ve glimpsed a bosom or two in my day. Don’t blame me, blame the guy who made science.
Today’s youth are spoiled. They have a literal unlimited supply of free porn at their fingertips. They can look up naked women whenever they want on their iPhones. My generation could only dream of a future where such things were possible. I mean, the internet was around, but not everybody had it at home, and certainly not on their phones. I acquired most of my knowledge of female anatomy from cult, exploitation, and horror movie VHSs (later, DVDs) and the occasional Playboy that my brother stole from the bookstore. My pause and rewind buttons got a good workout. Ever wonder why the nude scenes had the most tracking lines? Yeah, that was me. Whoever invented the A-B repeat function on DVD players, god bless.
There are obviously less penises in movies than there are breasts, but they still pop up now and then (pun intended). Man butts, on the other hand, are in no short supply. I’d be willing to bet girls paused and rewound just as much as we boys did. They’d never admit it, though.
One of the cool things about Amazon is that there’s not really an age verification system in place, which means that at a few years later, when I got my first job, I was able to order explicitly pornographic movies like Tinto Brass’ Salon Kitty and Caligula from the high school computer lab straight to my doorstep. Big win for me.
I can’t recall where I first read about Salon Kitty, or what made me want to buy it, but there’s a 99.99% chance it had to do with the butt cheeks on the cover of Blue Underground’s standard DVD edition. Caligula‘s reputation precedes it as an epic, triple x-rated garbage fire, so of course I bought that one too.
Of the two, I recommend that you check out Salon Kitty ASAP. It’s an Italian Nazi exploitation drama/cabaret musical (!) set during World War II, based on a real-life whorehouse which members of the SS intelligence agency rigged to spy on each other. It’s one of the sleaziest pieces of trash ever conceived, yet it’s totally classy and well-produced too, if that makes any sense. A lot of that’s due to production designer Ken Adam (Dr. Strangelove, Moonraker).
Highlights — actually, “lowlights” would be the more appropriate term — include multiple song and dance numbers, slaughterhouse footage of pigs being killed, dwarf penis, double amputee penis, tons of “normal guy” penis, a whimsical pube shaving & ass powdering montage, and the single greatest shot in the history of the medium, one which trucks over twenty-five bare-naked beauts standing shoulder to shoulder on a stage while a Nazi officer looks them over. The shot has it all — perky boobies, circular boobies, swangin’ boobies, side-set boobies, lopsided boobies…
As far as top iconic shots of all time go, you’ve got the the shadow ascending the staircase in Nosferatu, the burning windmill in Frankenstein, the dolly zoom down the stairwell in Vertigo… Then, above all those, you’ve got this
Perfection. After the last print of Salon Kitty was sent out to cinemas, cameras everywhere should have been seized and their blueprints destroyed because nothing else has compared to this shot in the forty-three years since, and nothing ever will.
The rest of the movie is pretty great too. In one bizarre scene, a man tells a woman to place a loaf of bread shaped like a dingus between her legs. The man proceeds to go down on the bread while a projection of a Hitler speech plays over their bodies. Without warning, he bites the bread in half. The woman screams in abject terror, gets up, and goose-steps across the room, having suffered an apparent mental breakdown. Next thing you know, she’s being carried out on a stretcher while foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog. Hilariously, someone picks up the broken bits of bread and piles them on her chest as if they held special significance to her. Hold on! Can’t forget these!
I literally skipped school to watch Salon Kitty and Caligula. My mom left for work before I left for the bus, so I called her those mornings and told her I overslept because I was sick. She phoned in my absences, no questions asked. The perfect crime. Take that, the establishment!
Another one of my first sleazy purchases was Thriller: A Cruel Picture. I picked up my red, “Limited Edition” version from a book store called Borders. It was marked up to, like, $27.99, but money was no object. The back cover reads, and I quote:
[Frigga] rebels against her captor only to have one of her eyes gouged out as punishment (in a scene rumored to have been filmed with an actual corpse)… THRILLER is presented here with all the graphic sex, violence, and action intact. Over 20 minutes of additional footage has been restored!
How could anybody resist that? It was a must-own. One problem, though. The back cover also states quite explicitly not to sell it to minors. Who puts those warnings there? You’re ruining lives. Fortunately, my older brother was with me, so I sent him up to the checkout.
Thriller was everything that I hoped it would be and more. It tells a tale as old as time. A girl is sexually assaulted by a stranger in a park and grows up to be mute Christina Lindberg. Toward the beginning, she’s driven away by a second stranger, injected with heroin, and forced into a life of prostitution. Forty-eight hours without a fix and she’ll die, he tells her (pretty sure that wouldn’t happen, at least not after a few days or weeks). Frigga tries to run, but as mentioned above, gets one of her eyeballs sliced open with a scalpel as punishment.
I’ll save you the trouble of a Google search — Ms. Lindberg has stated several times in interviews that a recently-deceased young woman was in fact used for the scene, which was shot in a morgue.
Frigga’s parents later kill themselves when they read a letter penned by her captor. In a bid to exact revenge, Frigga uses her tips to enroll in martial arts courses, firearm training and driving lessons between John (and Jane) appointments. Eventually, she gets her hands on a sawed-off shotgun, a car, and a ton of her own heroin. Let’s just say, “They called her One Eye, then ran for their lives!”
NOTE: When watching the movie in English, the main character’s name is Frigga. When watching the movie in Swedish with English subs, her name is Madeleine. Same character, different name. Kinda confusing.
Thriller is somewhat notorious because it contains hardcore inserts and most of its sex is presented as rape. The material in question only amounts to about seventy-five seconds of film, but can definitely be classified as “pornographic.” Before you ask, the no-nos were played by a body double. Whether or not said footage is truly necessary has been debated. On one hand, it deepens the impact of the violation endured by Frigga. On the other, it could have been added solely to incite controversy. Upon its initial US release, Thriller was re-titled They Call Her One Eye and sheared of approximately twenty-two minutes of action (well over the seventy-five seconds of inserts). As such, the film exists in two forms, R-rated and X-rated — the latter of which would be my suggestion, simply because it’s what the director intended.
For me, the most shocking part is when it shows a man glazing Frigga’s butthole like a donut, in full graphic detail. You’ll never look at a Krispy Kreme the same way again.
Thriller is one of those films that you hear about again and again until you finally track it down and watch it. If cheap 70s action served with a side of Kung Fu and sex sounds intriguing, you won’t be disappointed. Go buy it.
Even though I only really enjoy two of these movies, all three played an important part in corrupting my innocence. So, uh… Thanks, I guess? Have you seen any of these? What were your first dirty movies? Leave a comment below.