“Nothing is sweeter than the taste of…”
In the 60’s, smart theater owners made a fortune by peddling movies that promised lots of “adult erotic action” to lonely men looking for a thrill.
These films were pretty clear in their intentions:
“There is an expression for girls like her…you see it scrawled on walls!”
An “Adult Experience” Indeed!
Yes, it’s time to go back to the movies, down ‘n’ dirty style! Before the sexual revolution, you had to venture into the more dangerous parts of town to get your movie kicks, such as in New York’s legendarily dangerous Time Square “grindhouses” like these:
The movies were rough, the audiences even rougher! In movie theaters like these, the action on screen was rarely as exciting as what was going down in the seats!
It was an era of cheap tricks and dirty movies – even if the films were mostly full of “shocking” moments like this!
Enter a world where just drinking a bottle of coke seems wrong! And words like “Honey” meant a whole lot more than sweetness!
This “Honey” double bill is a prime example of how Movie Producers took “cautionary tales”, sexed them up a bit, and made a fortune…let’s start with the sweet and sinful:
The poster says it all, but look at this plot! Honey runs away from home and meets Ray, a carnival barker who offers her a job in his “girlie revue.” Honey accepts, unaware that Ray is a pimp!
But of course! So you see what is going on here: wanton women led down a path of moral destruction by evil men…it’s a formula that works every time…check out this classic sexploitaiton trailer:
Thanks to “Mick’s Public Domain Movies” site on youtube…check Mick out for great exploitation classics!
“Honey” was directed by Jerry Denby, and stars 60’s sex kitten Peggy Steffans. She made several more exploitation films like….
Under the name Cleo Nova, she also did “The Love Merchant” and “The Sex Cycle” among others…
these are classic cult movies that deserve to live on. Thanks goes to @trashcompactorX on twitter for sharing this movie poster!
There are a number of people who are keeping cult cinema alive, so keep it up! For, for the second “honey” feature, time for “an adult experience!”
A Smell Of Honey, A Swallow Of Brine!
Let’s pause for a moment to LOOK AT THAT TITLE! And what about that tagline! “There is an expression for girls like her…you see it scrawled on walls!”
I mean, C’MON, MAN! This is sexploitation at its finest!
Welcome To The Black ‘n’ White World Of “Nudie Cuties!”
The era of “sexploitation” was full of movie like this, and posters that promised rampant nudity and sexual situations – but the movies barely had either! Grindhouse cinemas were an easy way to make money off of “lonely” young men…without ever really showing anything “dirty”…staying just on the right side of the law!
“I May Be A Bitch, But I’ll NEVER Be A Butch!”
Check out this classic moment from “Brine”:
So what exactly is “A Smell Of Honey, A Swallow Of Brine” about? Well, the poster suggests it’s every young man’s fantasy: AN ADULT EXPERIENCE! Look at what it says at the bottom right: “The cunning young cannibal who devoured everything that fell into her soft warm trap…”
Sexy Stacey Walker, with her arched eyebrows, wicked smile and heavily sprayed hair, burns up the screen as Sharon Winters, a character who gets her kicks seducing men, then crying “Rape!” (In his commentary, Producer Friedman tells how he considered calling the movie “C.T.”, but figured no one would get it.)
Shot in black and white, “A Smell of Honey” has a deliciously tawdry look, yet shows some artful flourishes- likely attributed to the early worked of legendary Cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs. Even when the actors are clothed, our imaginations are nudged into the gutter – here are some examples: Walker and her “victim” framed in a tree that looks like spread thighs – and of course, THIS:
It’s the classic moment when Walker suggestively drinks from a Coke bottle while the camera periodically cuts to the thrusting, bulging crotch of her boyfriend singing in a bar. In a world when nudity in a film was an invitation to being busted by the vice squad, this kind of stuff worked!
According to the Producer, Walker could’ve easily gone on to stardom, in either exploitation or even mainstream movies (she reportedly was courted by Paramount). But, as pointed out on the film’s entertaining DVD commentary track, she married “some gazoony” and moved back to her home state of Texas after only making two feature-length movies. Folks, THIS is what you call an audio commentary worth listening to!
The Producer Of “Scum!”
If you want to read more behind the mad genius who pushed the boundaries of sexploitation, click on my story here:
Let’s not forget there is a home video company that has done a lot to keep this genre alive as well:
All Hail “Something Weird!”
Something Weird Video still offers a great way to keep this genre alive: buy their special edition videos!
The late Mike Vraney was the man behind this genre – read all about him here:
So much exploitation, so little time!
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