December 12th, 2010

THE LOVE CULT (1966) * ½

A two-bit hypnotist gets tired of the daily grind and sets out to find a new way to make some quick dough.  He eventually dubs himself “Father Eros” and starts a “Love Cult” where he preaches “The Climax of the Now” and encourages his flock to freely fuck one another.  When a wealthy old nympho makes a big donation, it allows Eros to buy a large church to hold his orgies.  Naturally, his wife and business partner gets insanely jealous and threatens to ruin their lucrative franchise. 


This plot could’ve worked but The Love Cult ultimately fails because it takes an inordinate amount of time to get going.  It takes over twenty minutes before we see any tits and when they do finally get around to the fucking, it isn’t all that great.  And while the flick is only 65 minutes, it feels a helluva lot longer than that. 


I guess it was just a matter of poor timing.  Had director Barry (The Beast That Killed Women) Mahon made this flick a couple years later, when weirdo cults like the Manson Family were more prevalent, it would’ve made for a juicier topic.  Then they could’ve made the cult leader an out and out crazy person instead of a boring con man looking for a quick buck.


World renowned stripper Tempest Storm stars as a burlesque dancer who also owns a women’s gymnasium.  There’s a killer running around with a stocking on his face that gets off on stabbing girls who frequent the gym.  Two dim-witted sex-starved cops are on the case, but can they stop the killer before he strikes again?


Mundo Depravados (World of the Depraved) is a so-so nudie mystery movie that features a good amount of tits and not much else.  I think the big problem is that it tries to be a “roughie” but it just doesn’t have enough balls to get down and dirty.  It’s telling that the movie is called “World of the Depraved”, yet the most depraved thing in the flick (besides murders of course) is a couple of Peeping Toms.


The movie also suffers greatly from the woefully unfunny comic relief cops.  I think if all of their stupid banter was left on the cutting room floor in favor of letting more girls get naked, the flick could’ve worked.  Then again, the girls in this movie are kinda rough looking.  Tempest Storm in particular looks pretty busted.  It also looks like gravity hasn’t been very kind to her if you catch my drift. 


Still, this movie has a couple of nutty scenes that sorta worked.  I liked the part when one of the strippers blew her inheritance on a champagne party for her co-workers that resulted in her getting totally shit-faced and taking her clothes off.  You don’t see that everyday.  And the dialogue is pretty great too.  My favorite line was, “I think Bert is the sex monster!”


AKA:  Mundo Depravados.


Steven Soderbergh usually splits his time between directing big budget studio fare like the Ocean’s movies and quirky low budget stuff like Full Frontal.  The Girlfriend Experience is one of his films that fall into the latter category.  A lot of Soderbergh’s indie films are pretty bad and this one is no exception.  It’s the rare movie that makes prostitution seem dull and unsexy.


Porn star Sasha Grey stars as a hooker who offers “The Girlfriend Experience” for her clients.  That means instead of just having dirty sex in the normal hookery type places like alleys, motels, and the backseats of Chevys, the client has to take her out to dinner and a movie first and treat her like they would a girlfriend.  And here’s the kicker… most of these bozos don’t even have sex with her!  They’d rather TALK to her about their problems and shit.


Now I don’t know about you but this sounds like some backward ass shit to me.  Why would you pay some hooker some crazy amount of money and THEN pay for dinner AND a movie AND cab fare and STILL NOT HAVE SEX WITH HER?  That’s the reason you pay a hooker money; so you don’t have to go to dinner and a movie.  You can just skip right to the sex.


It would be one thing if the movie was all about Sasha Grey getting paid to have sex, but no.  All she fucking does in this flick is talk, talk, talk.  And she doesn’t even talk about cool shit either.  Mostly she talks a bunch of boring crap about investing money and whatnot.  It’s like watching goddamn Suze Orman or some shit.  (And half the time she whispers so much you can’t even hear what the fuck she’s saying.)  Sasha isn’t a bad actress but Soderbergh doesn’t give her anything to do besides babble.  She isn’t nearly as good as she was in Swallow My Children that’s for damned sure.