Out of all the sub-genres of sexploitation, Nudie-Cuties are one that I'm pretty unfamiliar with. I am well aware that access to titles is not very hard, a great deal have been available through the Something Weird catalog for decades at this point. The couple that I have seen I just haven't found all that interesting. "Yay, topless women running around to go-go music! How exciting!"....Not really. Not that I'm some kind of pervert, because I'm not(too much). I find these films quite boring and hardly sexy, but being a grindhouse guy I feel it is my duty to screen and review as many of them as I can, no matter how uninterested I am.
Suburban Pagans(1968) was a bit different than most of the few Nudie-Cuties I've laid my eyes upon. Keep in mind that I was still bored. Not as bored as I have been, but still felt an hour and 15 minutes was a bit excruciating. Unlike other early titflicks, Suburban Pagans didn't take place at a nudist camp. In fact, like many mondo films, Suburban Pagans is presented to be something of a "faux-documentary". The film starts of with a radio show host interviewing a Detective on the Los Angeles Police force who has spent a considerable amount of time investigating the "swingers" movement, which was apparently against the law at the time this film was made. Between short sections of "interview", we get to see different aspects of what is supposed to be the happenings of a secret "key Party" between a group of "immoral" adults.
Besides the key party motif, many of the subjects of a typical pornographic/sexploitation movie are touched upon. Not only does the viewer get to see wife swapping, but there are also elements that make or break even modern fuck flicks. Threesomes, orgies, lesbianism, and strip poker are all prevalent themes throughout the film.The major difference is there is nothing really boner-inducing, or even sexy with this film. So much ,in fact, it was actually quite laughable. Nudity was all topless, with the exception of a few ass shots and a split second of bush in the shower scene. That must have driven the censors crazy. I've watched plent y of softcore in my time, and I know that there are definitively ways to make a film such as this sexy. Intimate, soft contact for one. Most of the scenes in this movie consisted a spasmatic kissing of every inch of the body, with the exception of the sexy parts. The few times there was actual making out. The actors looked like a bunch of eleventeen year old meth-heads. It was all so crazily erratic, that a person couldn't help but chuckle throughout the film. But it wasn't really a fun type of chuckling. The only way I can actually see it being fun is if I were stoned, which I wasn't.
I don't want to go into the overdubbing, but I really have to, Not only do we here all the sounds of the sex party softly though out the film while "sexy" jazz is playing in the background. But the genius director also thought it would be a good idea to loudly overdub dialogue. There was no need for dubbed dialogue and grunts. In fact, it only made the flick that much more ridiculous because it didn't even come close to syncing up with mouth movement, kind of like a kung-fu flick. This just adds to the laughability, and not in a good way.
As much as I was bored with Suburban Pagans, i can actually say that the copy I watched was pretty pristine and must commend Something Weird for a job well done. As bad as the acting and dubbing was, the editing and camera shots were actually pretty decent, but that doesn't mean you should go out and watch it. This film has very little value in the private home viewing department, either alone or with company. Pagans is best watched with a large group of drunk people, in a bar or party, with no volume. Watching it any other day would just cause a person to shut it off within minutes. Me being who I am, I'm still going to sit through so many more of these flicks. Hopefully somewhere along the way I'll find some that are redeeming.