First up is the Sensually Liberated Female, which is narrated by the attractive Lindis Guinness (also of John Hayes’ enjoyable Grave of the Vampire).
We open on Guinness taking a swim in a huge inground pool, wandering around the house in a bra (yeah, I’m sure she wore that beneath her bikini), switching to a very 70’s shift and pendant ensemble to get the mail, then to a tacky mu mu to mix herself a martini at her private bar, and finally an elephant bell jumpsuit to lounge out on a revolving red velour loveseat.
More friggin’ costume changes than Cher, and we aren’t even 2 minutes into the picture! At least she’s kinda sexy for an undernourished Brit…*
* seriously, check out all those ribs and frighteningly skinny arms…
If you’ve seen, say, The ABCs of Love & Sex, you pretty much know what to expect here. A sort of pseudo-psychological mondo variant that focuses on and emphasizes human sexuality and practices, both vanilla and slightly kinky if not bizarre.
It’s a bit more prurient than usual, with a few surprising full frontal bits (inclusive of an erect male member) giving way to full on use of lonely person devices and eventually even oral business. But taken as a whole, there’s not a hell of a lot to talk about here other than Guinness’ smooth, proper tones offering an extra frisson to the often far from aesthetic onscreen happenstance.
There are a few retroactively amusing scenes, like the seriously scary looking butch lass in a spacewoman fright wig who feels herself up in the mirror while a Kevin Bacon lookalike looks on in horror, or the girl who rubs an apple all over herself before pulling out a baster and spreading Cool Whip on her breast. Alone. Uh-huh.
As mentioned earlier, things actually move from the more expected softcore to soft X territory relatively quickly, with a mustachioed cross between Christine McVie and Linda McCartney going full on with a number of Doc Johnson novelties, and a horrifically porcine fat girl going the Summers Eve route on the john before shaving vegetables for uses not endorsed by the FDA. Apparently Cimber felt moved to warn against the use of daikon. You can’t help but get wry when faced with material like this.
Things get particularly absurd when we progress to “exercises”, which involve demonstrations of one ridiculous (and likely wholly imaginary) variant on the Kegel after another. How these hippie chicks kept a straight face through all of this is beyond me.
Finally we close out on a shot of Guinness attempting to shoot pool. Tellingly, we never actually see her take a shot…
Our co-feature comes arguably earlier if in the same year, and while far more aesthetic, offers even less to discuss.
A far more attractive couple of the era than any of the mutations that peopled the action of The Sensually Liberated Female goes out shopping, wanders through the park, hits the local carnival, drives out to the beach, drops in on the disco and runs through the fields butt naked, generally behaving like the slo-mo “romance” sequence of any period film (or for that matter, Summer’s Eve commercial).
Sprinkled between these outdoor “aaah, isn’t it wonderful to be in love?” sequences is the world’s worst live sex show, with the two taking over a half hour just to get undressed and down to business, despite being set up with a revolving round bed (yeah, my folks had one of those too, but it didn’t spin!) and shag rug, suffused in kaleidoscopic lighting.
It’s a very typical white coater, with the possible exception of featuring a decent looking couple who actually seem to dig one another. Nuff said.
There’s a 12 minute chat with Cimber about his start in the industry and the two films in question, where he unsurprisingly notes the Sensually Liberated Female being produced to cash in on the phenomenal success of The Sensuous Woman “by J”, the lawsuit it inspired and how an article in Life magazine nearly derailed his career right at the start.
Cimber would conclude his arguably adult film career not long after these pictures, going on to helm a few low rent blaxploiters (Lady Cocoa and The Black Six, both of which starred footballer Gene Washington, the former also bringing Pittsburgh Steeler Mean Joe Greene and singer Lola Folana into play) before making the equally acclaimed and derided cult classic The Witch Who Came in from the Sea and devolving into material such as the Pia Zadora vehicle Butterfly and bottom feeder sword and sorcery like Hundra and Yellowhair and the Fortress of Gold, eventually bottoming out with a stint writing for the over the top female wrestling program G.L.O.W. (featuring Mimi Bobeck precursor Dee Booher as “Queen Kong”!)
How much value anyone finds in this sort of material making its way to DVD after all these years is questionable, but as always, Vinegar Syndrome simultaneously delivers a bang up restoration job and scours the filthiest corners of the local peepshow to dig up yet another pair of who the fuck asked for these obscurities.
Add ’em to your collection for laughs or as a variant on coffee table books – something to spring on hip visitors after the drinks have flowed sufficiently. Hey, can you believe they put this out? Wanna see?