Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Miniskirt Love (1967)

Miniskirt Love is another bizarre slice of 60s sexploitation from Something Weird Video, included in a triple bill with Cool It, Baby and Venus in Furs (no, not the Jess Franco flick). It was directed by Lou Campa, who was also responsible for Cool It, Baby.

It starts off with a perfect suburban family. Well perhaps not quite perfect. Teenage son Billy (one of those movie teenagers who looks around 30) is a little odd. He’s not really playing with a full deck, and spends most of his time taking photographs. Mom has artistic leanings and is studying acting, and is sleeping with her acting teacher. Dad has a high-stress job and relaxes by having sex with hookers in hotel rooms.

Unfortunately Billy regards everything as suitable subject matter for his camera, including Mom and her acting teacher having sex. And he can’t wait for Dad to arrive home from work so he can show him the photos he’s taken today. Not surprisingly, Billy’s photographic hobby leads to Mom and Dad having words in the kitchen, and Mom happens to be holding a carving knife. With Dad dead and Mom in the psych ward it seems there is no-one to look after poor Billy, but luckily his Aunt Janet steps into the breach.

Aunt Janet is a fairly youthful and attractive woman, and she’s determined to give Billy the love and affection he needs. She’s a woman with a lot of love and affection to give, and a desperate desire to give it. And she tend to express this affection in a fairly physical way. Pretty soon Billy is responding well to all this warmth and tenderness. Cut to five years later, and Billy and Janet are living as a couple. Complications do arise one day, however, when the Avon Lady calls while Billy’s at work. It seems she’s also a woman with a lot of love and affection to give, and when Billy arrives home unexpectedly he finds Aunt Janet and the Avon Lady expressing that love and affection in a particularly enthusiastic manner on the living room floor. Fortunately it turns out there’s enough love and affection for everybody. But what’s going to happen when Mom is released from the psych hospital? How will she deal with this happy little threesome?

What makes these 60s sexploitation flicks so strange is not the content, but the style. It’s like a mix of reality TV and surrealism, and they manage to be both sleazy and oddly innocent and naïve at the same time. These were the days when people apparently kept their underwear on when they had sex. It’s all very steamy and overheated while showing very little indeed. The scene with Aunt Janet lying in bed, thinking about young Billy and getting all hot and bothered and thrashing around in a frenzy of sexual frustration without actually doing anything to herself is wonderfully typical of these types of films. Combined with the stilted acting and some jaw-dropping dialogue it all adds up to extreme weirdness, but there’s an oddly appealing quality to it. You just have to keep watching the films, in case the get any stranger, and they almost invariably do.

No comments: