Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Sexual Customs in Scandinavia (1972)
When it comes to white coaters, SEXUAL CUSTOMS IN SCANDINAVIA is definitely one of them. Sorry I can't be more effusive. It's not bad as these things go, but it looks like plans were changed in production of this movie.
We open with the standard travelogue footage and a narrator using a Yumpin' Yiminy fake accent lecturing us on the new direction in sexual freedom with our Scandinavian brothers and sisters. Then we switch to another narrator (uh oh), a very uncomfortable woman chain smoking her way through the proceedings as she pretends to be a therapist. The case studies she presents don't really enlighten us on the so-called "sexual customs in Scandinavia" but rather are your standard variety sex manual "issues" so commonplace in these sex-ed movies.
My skepticism about this film being originally conceived as another installment in the usually faked Danish/Swede/etc. sub-genre is that the bulk of it doesn't match the promise of the title. There is a SECOND (male) doctor seen throughout the segments. Our host therapist never interacts with any of her "patients"; she merely relates their stories and how she referred them to the other doctor. So while the stories of those segments basically play out the same as they would have before, they are usually presented sans dialogue with the principals given surnames like "Stenvig" and "Thorens."
It's too bad these are related almost entirely through narration, because I would have liked to hear what was being said in these vignettes. Jason and Tina Russell are on-hand, in a segment that uses sex puppets (not as much fun as it sounds). Shaun Costello, Jamie Gillis and Dolly Sharp also get in on this early production. Jamie in particular looks impossibly young. And then there's the one-shot(?) girl who plays Uma/Uta/Ulma/whatever her name is. Credited as Angelica Bender in the film, she is worth the price of admission all by herself.
I can't call this boring, but it's not as interesting as some of the better white coaters. It mostly serves as an early glimpse at some legendary performers and as a time capsule of the hardcore film genre as it was enduring its growing pains. For some of us, that's enough.