Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Li'l Girls Blue

It's amazing how innocent Joanna Williams' Little Girls Blue (VCX, '78) feels today. It's like an Afterschool Special with Genitals.

A product of the late 70's, and released just after Debbie Does Dallas, it is a much more accomplished piece of erotica than Debbie. Though a notorious "stick film" due to its availability at the time, Debbie is a (mostly) drab piece of pornography with an occasional flurry of fully erect sexuality.

Little Girls begins with a surprisingly arty credit sequence, then launches quickly into its storyline.

Director Joanna Williams (perhaps a pseudonym for a male director?) was responsible for the relatively rough but overpraised Expensive Tastes, another '78 effort released prior to this.

Often referred to as a roughie, Tastes does feature light rape footage, but it's not a terribly visceral affair, and was easily eclipsed by works such as Zebedy Colt's Unwilling Lovers ('77)...

... and Shaun Costello's Forced Entry ('73).

Fans of Don Coscarelli's Phantasm will recognize the location standing in for a girls' school in this film.

Known as 'The Morningside Mortuary' in Coscarelli's surreal horror flick of '79, it is a boarding school for sexual shenanigans in this soft-hearted, hardcore effort.

I say "soft-hearted" because the sex scenes are extremely conventional and affectionate by today's pornographic standards. Although the content is definitely XXX-rated, the staging is surprisingly subdued and playful.

As turn-on material, it's very effective. The lighting is more than adequate and the couplings (and triplings) are allowed to develop and grow. It's refreshing to see a lady gradually losing her garments.

Personally, I can't stand extended blowjob scenes in pornography of any kind, so Little Girls loses a point or two for me for spending so much time on these.

Perhaps I'm alone on this matter, but filmed blowjobs do not make for exciting erotic footage. They focus primarily on a man's penis (for a hetero audience), and use up valuable screen time that could be better directed towards oral servicing of a woman's sexual regions.

Do male porn fans really demand on-screen blowjob, or do lazy producers just think they do?

Guys love lesbian porn because it's all about the female parts. Is that not instructive?

This fine frame grab redresses the balance and is an example of the film's superior lighting and naturalistic production design.

Several years later, directors Svetlana and David I. Frazer gave the world a wonderful, highly erotic trio of Hawaiian-set porn movies that included Surrender in Paradise, Hanky Panky, and Pink Lagoon.

This duet, who were also responsible for the great Sex Boat...

... and Bad Girls, had an intrinsic understanding of eroticism that does have its roots in films like Little Girls Blue.

Just as films like Saw have, unfortunately, redefined what horror is to some (thus turning them off a genre that is about so much more), so, too, has grotesque gonzo porn (from the likes of Max Hardcore and Rob Black) redefined what porn is to those who always feared the worst. It's a shame because the porn genre has many magnificent classics that could be enjoyed by a much larger section of the population if only it was prepared to take the plunge.

For every Saw VI there's a Grace or The Children.

And for every Cumstains 10 or Rough Sex there's a Little Girls Blue, Buttman's Revenge, Hanky Panky, 3AM, Blonde Ambition, Night Dreams, or Opening Of Misty Beethoven.

6 comments:

  1. I'd forgotten that I'd seen this until the screencap with Paul Thomas.

    Regarding your opinion of blowjobs on screen, I can agree that in many instances the duration of the act can be cumbersome (especially in scenes during which the *only* action is fellatio), but I disagree that it doesn't make for erotic footage.

    The variety of approaches and techniques can make a blowjob scene visually striking (and don't count out the "That looks like it feels amazing!" angle...). I can't say the same for cunnilingus, although that doesn't mean there aren't any spectacular scenes of men (or women) going down on women.

    Finally, there should probably be a distinction made between "lesbian" (The Crash Pad) and "girl/girl" (Girls Only: Janine). Perhaps I'm further towards 6 on the Kinsey scale than you, but I've always wondered if men loving girl/girl scenes wasn't a little overstated. Off the top of my head I can only think of one scene (Judith Hamilton and Georgina Spelvin, The Devil in Miss Jones) that really stuck with me and no all female movies.

    Based on this write up, I'm rushing right off to my queue to see about adding Hanky Panky et al.

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  2. chuckled a little at your critique of oral sex scenes. but, so true! lol

    those school girls look old. lol

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  3. I can't stand extended blowjob scenes either! Okay, a little blowjob here and there, fine. Not my favorite thing to watch, but I understand it's part of the whole pornographic experience, I guess. But for like twenty minutes? Even five minutes. C'mon.

    I also appreciated your comment about it being refreshing seeing a lady gradually loose her garments. It's more of turn on to go slow sometimes.

    Excellent post!

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  4. Oh brother, Night Dreams is utterly insane.

    I don't especially care for extended blowjob scenes or lesbianism, but then again I've seen so few of those scenes that don't turn boring after a minute and a half.

    As far as Svetlana goes, 'F'is probably my favorite.

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  5. Roger -- you make excellent distinctions in your post. There is a difference between "lesbian" and girl/girl. I hear your take on blowjobs, too, and concede that, like sex itself, preferences are indivudual and subjective. One size doesn't fit all. Definitely add Hanky Panky.

    ***

    Diane -- thanks for dropping by. The "little girls" of the film are not so little and not so girls, either, but the film still works as pulp.

    ***

    Jenn -- definitely more of turn-on to go slow. I learned that the hard way. Incidentally, as I'm now knees-deep in a new film which has a number of bizarre, almost Saeki-esque sex scenes, I'm applying the "go slow" technique to every scene and doing my best to hint at so much more. We concur on the subject of silver screen blowjobs.

    ***

    d -- Night Dreams is insane and wonderful. "F" is great and Svetlana is hypnotic.

    Wonder where she is now.

    Not much documented work post '98.

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  6. Is that Annie Sprinkle in the credits of 'Unwilling Lovers'? And I guess 'Forced Entry' would be the Harry Reems version? (I won't google...I prefer asking humans) I am new to a lot of these, and finding them the first time, I think what attracts me is the aesthetic of these films which is virtually impossible to recreate today. Like...I guess 'Maniac' is a good example, 'Last House'...there is a texture (you mentioned the aesthetic currency of 'grain') whereby a lot of the xxx films are actually much like the latter two films...except without the hardcore sex quotient. The whole Grindhouse experience I guess you could say, now the dust has settled on all that. (the connection of course is more patent when we recall Craven and Cunnigham were pornographers first, so that the style remains intact is hardly surprising- not to mention Fred Lincoln's involvement) But, getting back to my real point...there is an aesthetic here which is undeniable. Undeniable. Reading the 'Other Hollywood', the more I watch, the more I realise that 10 percent of the stuff is what I would call brilliant- were it not for the 'brown bag' stigma- and should be considered alongside 'Tango', or 'Realm of the Senses. Why they are not can only be accounted for by that unquantifiable element...the utter unpredictability of the zeitgeist. (Or sheer bloodyminded prejudice, and the superstitious, unfounded, highly illogical fear of porn...)

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