Happy Mother’s Day – NOT!
I know that Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate all that Mom did to make your life better…but what about the “Crazy Mothers” who spawned these films?
Here are 3 films NOT to share with Mom – one is a euro-shock grindhouse classic, one is a neglected masterpiece, and one is – well, quite simply one of the most notorious films in Hollywood history!
The Sinful Dwarf!
Let’s start with this grindhouse classic…Yes, this is “THE MOTHER OF ALL DWARFSPLOITATION FILMS!!”
I have written about this legendary and recently uncovered 1974 film before, so I will let Amazon’s product description do the rest:
“A young bride, left alone to the lewd passions of an evil dwarf!”
Severin Films is officially going to Hell – and taking you with them – with the DVD release of what may be the sleaziest film in EuroCult history:
Diminutive former kiddie-show host Torben Bille – who looks disturbingly like Jack Black in a trash compactor –
Yes, that is Torben Bille – The Sinful Dwarf – who stars as the pint-sized pervert who imprisons drugged teenage sex slaves in the attic of his drunken mother’s decrepit rooming house…and that’s just the first ten minutes!
Poor Anne Sparrow!
Just look at this description from the cover art:
“The delicious Anne Sparrow – in her first and understandably only screen role – co-stars in this towering achievement in graphic depravity, now fully restored from a 35mm print discovered hidden in a janitor’s closet at the Danish Film Institute!”
Anne Sparrow certainly had a good reason NEVER TO ACT AGAIN – in classic euro-sleaze style, she is abducted and abused by our Sinful Dwarf – while her husband naively looks for a job…
Oh, did I mention that his Mom is CRAZY – and yes, she SINGS! Happy Mother’s Day indeed! You will never clean your ears the same way again…
This was originally known as “Dvaergen” in Denmark – and if they called it that in Denmark, you could only imagine what they called it in Sweden – I mean, LOOK AT THIS POSTER!!
And yes, that’s right – this movie was not only found in a janitor’s closet in Denmark – but they chose not to throw it out!
You will never see a more bizarre film than “The Sinful Dwarf” – and yes, it’s a euro-sleazy as they come…this is grindhouse at its best – or worst!
Now, onto something a bit more subtle….NOT!
HELL HOLDS NO SURPRISES FOR THEM…
What happens when you take one of England’s most controversial Directors, one of the country’s heaviest drinkers, and a bunch of possessed Nuns?
The Devils – Directed by Ken Russell – 1971
Talk about controversial! Oh, and definitely NOT for Mom! That said, this is a little-seen masterpiece finally getting released on DVD…from a brilliant Director and a terrific cast!
Controversial Director Ken Russell made this provocative drama in 1971, and it was promptly banned around the world.
Here is the plot: Cardinal Richelieu and his power-hungry entourage seek to take control of seventeenth-century France, but need to destroy Father Grandier – the priest who runs the fortified town that prevents them from exerting total control.
Oliver Reed was known as a legendary drinker…and a madman on the set…just what madman Director Ken Russell needed for this masterpiece…
The church sets him up as a warlock in control of a devil-possessed nunnery – and let the craziness begin!
Vanessa Redgrave starred as the sex-crazed Nun – who charged Reed with witchcraft…setting in motion a series of controversial scenes that garnered the film an “X” rating when it was released!
Yes, A DEVIL-POSSESSED NUNNERY!
This film was banned from Italy and its stars Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed were threatened with three years’ jail time if they set foot in that country. Reed described this as his best performance ever.
A major sequence in which the nuns tear down and ravish a life-sized icon of Christ in an orgiastic frenzy was cut from the film and subsequently vanished. Film critic Mark Kermode discovered the footage many years later.
Director Russell was keen to reinstate the scene but found that Warner Brothers were not interested in doing a director’s cut. The footage can be seen in a documentary Kermode made about Russell and was subsequently included in an uncut DVD release.
This is worth seeing, just not with Mom! Oh, and now for the most notorious film in Hollywood history…
Caligula! – 1979
One of the most notorious films ever released! An all-star cast finds themselves in a hardcore film!
Here is the plot: The rise and fall of the notorious Roman Emperor Caligula, showing the violent methods that he employs to gain the throne, and the subsequent insanity of his reign – he gives his horse political office and humiliates and executes anyone who even slightly displeases him. He also sleeps with his sister, organizes elaborate orgies and embarks on a fruitless invasion of England before meeting an appropriate end.
There are various versions of the film, ranging from the heavily- truncated 90-minute version to the legendary 160-minute hardcore version which leaves nothing to the imagination (though the hardcore scenes were inserted later and do not involve the main cast members).
Yes, while the film was always supposed to be very adult, the original Director Tinto Brass walked away when Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione added hardcore sex scenes into the movie….
Acclaimed writer Gore Vidal did not want credit for his work on the screenplay, and legendary Actors Peter O’Toole and John Gielgud claimed to have been unaware hardcore sex footage was being shot for the film.
Malcolm McDowell plays Caligula, and even if material was added separately, there is still plenty of graphic sex and violence in the original version. Helen Mirren co-stars as well…
Great trivia courtesy of IMDB: Despite popular beliefs, Gore Vidal and Tinto Brass did not disown this film because Bob Guccione inserted hardcore sex and graphic violence sequences and changed the point of the film.
In reality, only five or six minutes of the 156-minute version of the film was part of Guccione’s reshoot – that five or six minutes consists of the lesbian tryst in the secret room, and several inserts in the imperial bordello scene.
Everything else was shot by Brass. Vidal disowned the film because Brass and lead actor Malcolm McDowell changed the point of view of his screenplay. Brass disowned it because Guccione locked him out of the editing room (some in the industry suspect it was because Brass didn’t want to use Guccione’s hardcore inserts) after assembling the first 40 minutes (which was probably disassembled shortly afterward).
Guccione then proceeded to edit the film himself, but he often chose shots that were never meant to be included (the many zooms, out-of-focus shots, etc.), and also cut up certain scenes and put them in the wrong order.
There are several special editions of the film including documentaries and interviews about what happened here…a fascinating piece of movie history for all the wrong reasons!
Happy Mother’s Day!
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