Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Nymphs Anonymous (1968)

Nymphs Anonymous is the other half of Something Weird’s double-feature that also includes the wonderfully strange She Mob. And in its own way Nymphs Anonymous is just as much fun. This is a classic 1960s sexploitation comedy.

The plot (yes it has a plot) revolves around the Federation. This is an organisation set up by women to help other women in need. Women who desperately require additional sexual services and whose husbands are simply not up to the job. If their situation is sufficiently urgent the Federation will dispatch a fast response team of studs to provide immediate relief.

Things are going well until a new woman, Laura, applies for membership. Her husband is not pleased to arrive home to find the fast response team in action with his wife. He’s put up with her seducing a string of hapless door-to-salesmen and miscellaneous tradesmen, but this is the final straw. He grabs a rifle and starts taking pot shots at the Federation guys, several of whom are unfortunately killed in the line of duty, so to speak. When Laura discovers the first body she thinks she’s finally had a breakdown and calls her psychiatrist.

At this point the movie, already somewhat surreal, becomes much much stranger. Laura’s husband is himself recruited by the Federation. Bodies start turning up all over the place. Laura tries to seduce her psychiatrist. In between fending off her physical attentions he tries to persuade her that she’s simply imagined the bodies. A rather lackadaisical Irish cop is called out to the house where Laura’s husband is servicing his first client for the Federation. Attempts are made to seduce the cop. And then a pair of lesbians arrive from the Federation, and they end up fighting over Laura’s husband, with the butch one challenging him to prove he’s more virile than she is.

And then there are the undertakers who arrive periodically to collect the bodies, but usually end up taking the wrong bodies. Their method is to put anyone not moving into a coffin, even if the person happens to be not moving simply because they’re asleep (possibly in an exhausted sleep after performing arduous duties for the Federation).

The movie is like a bedroom farce with occasional murders, but it’s all played strictly for laughs. The most pleasing and surprising thing is that it really is funny. It’s also (despite a moderately high body count) a remarkably amiable and infectiously likeable sort of movie. It’s quite sexy, with some extremely attractive women who spend a considerable amount of time naked or near-naked, but it’s really too frenetic and too bizarre and too surreal to be really titillating. And it’s really a rather good-natured sort of film, with none of the misogyny that mars some of the “roughies” of this era. It’s more of a very camp nudie-cutie punctuated by sporadic gunfire and lots of surreal humour. It’s both exceptionally weird and thoroughly enjoyable. This particular Something Weird double feature is very highly recommended for all connoisseurs of cinematic strangeness.


Matt Farkas said...

Was Something Weird's original DVD release through Image ever re-done to correct the mis-sequenced reels? Casey Scott's review from DVD Drive-IN details the error which disrupts the correct flow of the narrative from the 38-minute through the 74-minute mark. Perhaps this is why it seemed surreal?

I agree, it's zany good fun, especially for a genre that typically aims much lower, but it's hard to fully appreciate, at least on the disc that I have.

dfordoom said...

The great thing about 60s sexploitation movies is that if the reels are mis-matched it can actually enhance the movie! They're so bizarre to begin with.