Death By Cinema – 18 – The Touch of Her Flesh

“If I must just choose the method of my demise, I choose…

Britt

Death By Cinema!” -Britt Rhuart

Day 18 – The Touch of Her Flesh

So, for those unaware, films that exploit the use of sex are called sexploitation films. They can range anywhere from things called Nudie Cuties, which are literally just girls dancing around in various stages of undress in a loose plot, to hardcore sex. Sadly, I’ve seen several examples of both types of film and I am rarely impressed by these films. There are a couple decent ones, and they’re the ones with the most story. Confessions of a Psycho Cat and Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill are both solid films, especially the later. Caligula is one of the more disgusting films I’ve ever seen due to its use of constant and unrelenting sex, though the acting, music, and sets are very nice.

Today’s film is a sexploitation film, but it actually does have a plot. Not only that it mixes genres, as this can be seen as an early porto-slasher film. In fact, this film was the first of the infamous Flesh trilogy, starring, produced, and directed by Michael Findlay, a gutter auteur well known for sexploitation. These films follow crippled and cuckolded arms merchant Richard Jennings as he gets revenge on his wife and all women (in this film meaning strippers and prostitutes) by brutally murdering them. How well does sexploitation and horror mix in this first film? Let’s find out!

Random Thoughts While Watching the Film:
The film opens with a nude body, just so we know what to expect. That being said, these are some actual cool titles. They are projected across the naked bodies, James Bond style, except sleazier.
Did that woman just pull her breasts apart and push them back together to make room for the director’s pseudonym? Yup.
It’s clear from the cinematography that Findlay is actually trying and thinks he knows what he’s doing, but he doesn’t.
Here’s a whole three minutes that’s nothing but crosscutting between people walking and people getting undressed, cut to “music” from a piano played by a lunatic.
There are two people clearly making out on a bed, so their mouthes are busy, but the two “actors” have done a voiceover so they can converse. Looks bad.
Actual quote: “He couldn’t shoot his way out of a rubber bag.” Seems to me while that’s not particularly hard, it is hard than a wet paper bag.
Now here’s another 3-5 minutes that’s just a couple making out on a bed half dressed and the husband, Jennings, walking up the stairs to the room.
Jennings then runs through the streets directly into a moving car. The tracking shot is actually not bad, but the editing, particularly the jump cuts, and lighting ruin the effect.
We see a doctor looking over Jennings (directly into the camera, which if Jennings perspective) for about 15 seconds with nothing else happening.
Actual dialogue: Monotone Doctor: “You were hit by a car and hurt very badly, but you’ll be alright.” Jennings: “I can’t move.” Monotone Doctor: “You’re going to be alright. You were hit by a car and hurt very badly. Your legs will be paralyzed for a while, but it looks as if it won’t last too long. You’ve lost one of your eyes, I’m terribly sorry.” This doctor has the worst bedside manner I’ve ever heard.
Despite the fact that both his legs are supposed to be cripple for a while he uses one in the next scene to get his wheelchair through the door. He looks real nutty with that eyepatch.
DOES THAT WOMAN HAVE A CAT BEWEEN HER LEGS?!? I hope so because otherwise that woman needs more landscaping than a golf course.
Looks like it’s a fox stole… yeah.
We see a montage that shows Jenning’s insanity taking over and how he wants to be violent against women. Really, it’s just an excuse to show more pointless nudity while Richard Jennings reads just an insane, rambling, pointless, and stupid monologue.
Seriously, this montage goes on for about about 5 minutes with this insane piano music. We get it! Move on!
Now Jennings is at a go-go club. I’m just sitting here waiting for the first murder.
A black stripper takes her top off, combs her hair, and puts on perfume. This is the crux of the scene. A guy walks in on her while she’s fully nude and delivers a rose in a box. She is mildly annoyed. She pricks her thumb on the rose and… is it poisoned? I guess not because she’s dancing now. So what was the point of any of that?!?
The artist singing right now sounds like a Ray Charles rip-off… and they loop the song. Literally, we see the black girl dance to the whole song, then they start it over because, I guess, we don’t see enough of her mediocre naked dancing.
Ok, finally the stripper falls down dead. I guess the rose was poisoned, but it happened so long ago after the dancing that it’s pointless.
We see Richard’s wife Claudia painting her dude friend Janet. Claudia is afraid Richard will come after her. Hopefully he does, then maybe we can have some forward motion in this plot.
Jennings goes to another strip club and watches a stripper. This goes on for 5 minutes.
I actually had to rewind here to see how Jennings killed the stripper, because I zoned out watching the stripper and paid more attention to my fantasy football lineup. Not a good sign movie. But to answer your question, Jennings kills her with a dart from a blowgun. I don’t know how he wasn’t arrested or picked up.
Jennings picks up a hooker. He helps her get undressed, though once again, she takes for-goddamn-ever to get undressed. He then makes out with her hip (is that a fetish I’m unaware of?), while she moans in voiceover. Seriously, A. Her mouth clearly isn’t moving and B. Who moans when you kiss their hip? Is it just a massive turn on for her too, or is she faking it in the most fake way possible?
The hooker lies fact down on the bed while Jennings gets undressed. He then pulls out a mini-scimitar (it may as well be a letter opener). The woman closes her eyes as he caresses her, moaning the whole time (Imma call her Moaning Myrtle). He threatens her for info on where his wife is, then he stabs her. She dies instantly.
Cut to Janet and Claudia just hanging out nude on a coach. As girls are want to do, I hope and wonder.
Jennings arrives where Janet and Claudia are hold up. I’m still confused as to whether Janet or Claudia is supposed to be Jennings’s wife.
Jennings runs after Claudia who locks the door after her. You know, he runs pretty well for a guy who couldn’t walk one scene ago. He then casually opens the locked door (you know, as one does).
Why they’re hiding in an abandoned warehouse and why they’re shooting with a fish-eye lens is beyond me.
Jennings grabs hold of Claudia (in the weakest manner possible and wrestles with her, tearing her cloths off… naturally. He then strangles her and… oh, shit he puts her on a buzzsaw.
Actual line: Jennings: “Oh, yes, my dear Claudia. Let me see those breasts of yours. Let me see those breasts that he was fondling. Let me see them again, before they die!” Wait… her breasts are going to die?
Claudia then accidentally turns on the buzzsaw and… what the hell?!? I guess Jennings sawed her head off, despite the fact that he has no blood spatter on him and we never see the aftermath.
Jennings then goes after a topless (of course) Janet with a crossbow. When he catches her, he’s dropped the crossbow for some reason and wrestles with her for too long.
During the fight Janet hits Jennings with a piece of wood, by which I mean, she barely touches him. During the confusion, she takes his crossbow and lies in wait. Janet then shoots Jennings in the belly with the box (it takes him a second to react) and he apparently dies. That’s the end of the film, no end credit, though I must assume Jennings did survive as he comes back for two more films.

This was a tough film to sit through. The runtime is and hour and 15 minutes, yet it genuinely fueled like several hours. It had everything I hated about Just For the Hell of It, what with it’s pointless scenes. While Just For the Hell of It had pointless fight and destruction scenes, this has pointless nudity and sex. Granted, this film is ever so slightly better. The directing is better, the story is better, the music is better. But saying this film is better than Just For the Hell of It is like comparing a pile of dog crap to a slightly large pile of dog crap. Six of one, really. I may at some point watch the sequels, possibly even this month, but I find it unlikely.

Tomorrow, the Abominable Snowman film, Shriek of the Mutilated!

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