Monday, May 24, 2010

Bacchanales Sexuelles (Jean Rollin, 1974)

Containing all the properties you'd expect something that is aggressively awesome to own, yet lacking that certain something, Bacchanales Sexuelles (a.k.a. Tout le monde il en a deux or Fly Me the French Way) is half-assed erotica at its finest. Failing to utilize the curvaceous fullness of its many nimble frames, director Jean Rollin (credited here as Michel Gentil) seemed genuinely disinterested in both the story and the plentiful sex acts that take place throughout this film. The latter was mishandled because the so-called "villainess" of the piece was underdeveloped. Every time she appeared on-screen, my interest in her odd quirks (she likes to shoot her pistol at mannequins) and strange allure (she has a multitude of seemingly loyal followers) would increase. Except, we only get to revel in her craziness in short, unsatisfying increments. What ultimately ends up filling this time is scene after scene of pointless sex. Of course, like any sane individual, I wouldn't exactly call the sight of Joëlle Cœur getting chocolate sauce licked off her chest to be "pointless," on the contrary, I think it's pretty enlightening, I was just hoping for more balance in terms of naked writhing and crazed cult leaders who enjoy having their toes sucked by small-breasted underlings.

Lovely in a conventional, non-threatening sort of way, Joëlle Cœur plays Valérie, a bored brunette if I ever saw one. House-sitting for her mysterious cousin, Valérie isn't digging the whole home alone routine, so she calls up her friend Sophie (the vivacious Marie-France Morel) to, you know, drink vodka, listen to weird jazz music, and of course, mock devour each other's pussies.

Exhausted after a night of purposefully smothering their faces in dark, rarely explored places, the gals go to sleep. Awoken by the sound of two masked intruders in mismatched leotards, Sophie is wrapped up in a blanket and forcibly removed from the apartment.

Just before she is whisked way, Sophie managed to make a call for help to her friend Paul (Jean-Paul Hazy). Now, I know what you're thinking: Why didn't she just wake up Valérie? Well, you should have seen the amount of facial energy Val put into lapping up Sophie's choice undercarriage earlier in the evening; it was so intense, that it broke the gauge that measures lesbian fortitude. In other words, you can't really blame her for being too exhausted when it came time to come to Sophie's aid.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter, because when Paul shows up, the last thing on his mind is the whereabouts of Sophie. Yeah, that's right, he's too busy trying to grope Valérie. His creepy perseverance eventually pays off, and Paul and Valérie end up fornicating multiple times over the course of the evening.

Meanwhile, poor Sophie is chained up in a dank dungeon underneath the head quarters of the high princess Malvina (Brigitte Borghese), lord and ruler of an unnamed order of suburban sex maniacs. Worse yet, they were supposed to kidnap Valérie's cousin, but nabbed her instead.

What will it take to get Valérie and Paul to stop fucking for more than five minutes and focus their frazzled minds on their missing friend? Two sexy maids beating the crap out of each other, that's what. You see, one maid named Jenny (the splendid Agnès Lemercier) comes over to clean up and have French bathtub sex with Valérie and Paul. Yet, another maid named Katarina (Virgina Loup) knocks on the door just after Jenny, Valerie, and Paul had completed a gratifying threesome.

Which one is the real maid? Valérie attempts to find out by quizzing them. I, on the other hand, would have spotted the imposteur by looking at their panties. In that, one of them wasn't wearing any panties. Remember kids, real maids always wear panties; tight, freshly-laundered, blood constricting panties.

After the maid mix up, Valérie and Paul finally put some clothes on (Joëlle has either been nude, covered in soap suds, or scantily clad since the film's two minute mark) and hatch a plan to rescue Sophie, who is having unrewarding dungeon sex with Malvina's favourite boy-toy as they leave the apartment.

A camp movie vixen crying out for more screen time, you could tell Brigitte Borghese wanted to steal Bacchanales Sexuelles out from under its less charismatic actors. Unfortunately, she isn't given a chance to fully realize the brainsick potential of her juicy character. That being said, I loved her lounging technique, the affected manner in which she walked, and the fact that she reminded me of a surlier than usual drag queen.

I have to say, the lesbian sex scenes were way more arousing than heterosexual ones. Mainly because I couldn't help but notice that the men in the hetero scenes were always clenching their butt-cheeks–you know, to keep their testicles hidden from view. Yeah, I recognize that this was necessary in order to maintain the film's softcore temperament. But still, I found their constant cheek clenching to be a distraction.

Most hardcore, overzealous Bacchanales Sexuelles fans, and you know who you are, will probably disagree, but I thought Marie-France Morel was the major hottie of the piece. Painted on eyebrows, a long mane of red hair, and legs for miles, Marie-France, whether arching her back so that Joëlle could gain better access to her wrinkled piece of heaven or cowering on a dungeon floor, brought a playful panache to the misunderstood Sophie.

Virtually forgotten by her hedonistic friends, Marie-France's pale visage stays in our minds because she brings out the good in all of us.

In addition, her heterosexual sex scene was the one of few that worked on any sort of erotic level. I'm not surprised. I mean, for one thing, she's freaking gorgeous. Wearing a saucy belly chain didn't hurt, either (her captors may have robbed her of her dignity, but they allowed her midsection to remain fabulous and fashion forward). Plus, the unflattering dungeon light really brought out the definition of her shapely legs), and she was on top throughout her lone penis encounter. And you that means? That's right: less male butt-clenching.

Speaking of gorgeousness, in casting a veritable bevy of babes, the task of watching this sometimes dull endeavour became that much easier. I mean, every frame is literally filled with beautiful women doing unsavoury things. Everyone from the real and fake maids (Agnès Lemercier and Virgina Loup) and the cult member prospect in the green lingerie (Annie Belle), to the blonde twins (Catherine and Marie-Pierre Castel) and Minia Malove as a loyal henchwoman were all scrumptious in their own unique way.

If only that kind of commitment could have had been applied to the art direction (bland interiors), dialogue (stiff and slightly wooden), and costumes (other than Brigitte's metallic outfit, Marie-France's mini-skirt, and the aforementioned green lingerie, I found the duds to be lacking in flavour).

video uploaded by SkyWookiee


  1. Great writeup on this film. I've got mixed feelings about it. I enjoyed your post. Have a fantastic week.

  2. "Overzealous"? OVERZEALOUS? I am of the considered opinion that zealotry in the service of truth, justice, and hott lesbonic French women is no crime, sir! ;)

    As for the relative merits of Joelle Coeur and Marie-France Morel, that seems a lot like saying "This briefcase full of gold bullion is superior to this other briefcase, which is also full of gold bullion." :) Morel indeed has a lot going for her, not least her magnificent gams and totally rockin' bod, so I can't say you're wrong in your preference. However, we all have our "types," and Joelle just happens to fall right into my sweet spot.

    Still, I'm not averse to rewatching the film with your points in mind, to see if it affects my viewing experience. It's a sacrifice, but one I'm willing to make!

  3. LOL. The paragraph with the introduction of the maids is great! And cheek-clenching. Hee.

    If you want to know what the back of my head looks like--and my other half's head, which is even more prominent in this video--check out this YouTube clip.

  4. Keith: Thanks, Keith. You, too.

    The Vicar of VHS: I find your use of the word "gams" to be quite endearing. :)

    To be honest, I actually scribbled this entry long before I came across the one you did. So, the whole thing about "overzealous Bacchaneles Sexuelles fans" was, as lame people say, serendipitous.

    I'm not averse, either. In fact, I've already watched certain scenes multiple times.

    Karim Amir: I should clarify that the women in Bacchanales Sexuelles clench their cheeks as well. It's just that the men seem to do it more since their the one's doing the majority of the faux thrusting.

    I was gonna say, if I'm going to see the back your head, I'd like see you other half's as well. ;)


  5. Woo-hoo! Front row! The guy from the Dream Syndicate. Was the gig part of Freaknik?

    The only concert I ever attended where I was that close was back in the early '90s: The Young Gods @ the El Macombo. I got pelted with Swiss sweat. Good times.