Online Archive  
Issue 13 - June 1973
Never Mind The Quality, SEE The Skin
Recently there has been an increase in the amount of X films being shown and in the amount of cinemas and cinema clubs in the north-east. There is a tendency to separate these films into two categories, i.e. good old, plain ordinary X films, and sex films. The latter seeming to be of a lesser class. To find out if this was true and to get an idea of what these films are like, off went Mike, raincoat at the ready, to see a cross-section of the current sex films being shown in the area, and what follows are the results of his quest.

Tatler - Newcastle
'Use the Back Door', colour, USA. A delivery boy for a local store tells how he was first turned on by a schoolgirl and from then on when he delivers groceries he discovers women engaged in multiple sex, masturbation and lesbianism and is either forced or invited to join in the fun. He eventually tires of this and says he's going to go back to college to meet a nice girl and settle down and wonders what will become of the 'weird chicks' he's met. After a few minutes of writhing naked bodies tedium sets in, relieved by the intercut action and the odd spark of humour - a girl is getting hot with a Pepsi bottle, and in her apartment the TV is showing some chaste majorettes at a football match.

The second feature 'Soft Skin on Black Silk' is worthy of an 'A' certificate at most, was at times very good but finally disjointed and contradictory. Well photographed in black and white, badly acted, it tells of a young man whose rich dad sent him to Jesuit school to learn chemistry. But the lad comes out wanting to be a Jesuit. Dad freaks out and gets his hedonistic but broke nephew to corrupt the lad. No sex.

'The Stripper in the Interval' was young and attractive. Usual strip routine but barely visible for most of her act due to seating in the cinema.

Apollo 2 - Byker
'Naughty Knickers'. A girl makes it from back street innocent whose father turns her into a whore to a courtesan in the 'highest circles'. She relates her tale in the third person to her uptight escort who believes that sexual purity is the pillar of the state. The film was occasionally funny but uses a social message of a sort to excuse peeps at sexual activity.

Second feature 'Play the Game or Leave the Bed' - the title might as well have been 'Richard Nixon Fucks a Donkey with a Banana' - was vaguely the story of Mme Bovary. Badly acted, minimal sex. The film fails to achieve anything except anaesthesia. In short the programme was a load of crap. A diet of candy floss crap can give one indigestion and I felt somewhat bilious as I struggled out of the Apollo clutching my plastic mackintosh about my person. 3 hours of tepid trivia is a bit much to take.

Tatler Cinema Club - Byker
'Mondo Keyhole', black and white, USA, 1966. One of the best films I've seen in the last year. It's about a man who runs a semi-porno 'art' magazine and is also a rapist. He cannot enjoy sex unless it is against the will of the woman he's having it with. His wife tries many ploys to excite him but always fails. He eventually ends up in a nightmare fantasy situation previously created by a film director working for him. The music is freaky and sympathetic. The film is well directed and photographed. I think the title was probably conceived by the distributors to sell a film that probably few would find erotically arousing. When I saw it, everyone seemed bored except during the parts of the film which were so dramatic and involving that they were caught in the mood it created.

The second feature 'The Raw Ones' (black and white, USA) was a tedious nudist film. Heavy commentary on nudism being a right guaranteed under the US constitution, being good for the minds and body. Righteous dogma, boring after the first three seconds. The sun looked warm though; of course laws against not wearing clothes are crazy - but being told so for an hour almost makes you feel that the folk who make films like 'The Raw Ones' are pretty crazy too.

Stoll - Newcastle
'Guess Who's Sleeping with us Tonight', colour, Germany. Story of a family whose tradition is randiness due to the spring water they drink. The version I saw seemed to have several frames, even whole episodes, missing from it. It was a lousy print and it was dubbed into American. Yet it had a certain light-hearted fantasy appeal about it and was infinitely preferable to the vicious stupid Italian film that took the top billing. This had nothing to recommend it - OK it was a good print, well edited etc but it was basically as empty and inconsequential as 'Guess Who ...' without the redeeming virtue of a bit of naked tit.

Incidentally the Stoll is a beautiful cinema inside - I believe it was once a music-hall - and it's worth at least one visit just to see the decor.

All in all, surveying the skin-flick scene, if you just want to see good acreage of skin and some action join a cinema club, or buy some high-powered binoculars.