REVIEW: TORTURE ME, KISS ME (1970) Reviewed by: Bryan SHU-IZMZ Schuessler
The folks at Something Weird Video really do have a collection of some of the most bizarre and sexually pleasing perverted flicks that appeal to those that like a little bit of “cult appeal” and edge to their flicks. Torture Me, Kiss Me is a film that really is less than stellar in terms of good plot, acting, and the technical aspects of a film, but its so damn fun to watch!
Our story takes place during World War 2, in the summer of Berlin in 1943, at the peak of the Nazi occupation of Europe, specifically in France at a chateau. Max Von Hildebrandt (Blaine Quincy) has just been given a promotion from the general (as if the harem of women he already has in which he engages in orgies is not enough in fringe benefits) and is moving his operations there to combat the locals and the French Underground that is so rampant in those parts. Hildbrandt takes with him his luscious blond-haired and blue-eyed secretary, Ilsa Schneider (Christine Cybelle) with him, most obviously for her great looks and nice rack. Did I mention one of the first scenes in the film is an “orgy” in which Ilsa, Hildebrandt, an officer, and two other brunettes get it on in what is described in the trailer as “…an orgy that builds to a climax that will put all other orgies to shame forever…”.
Well, I don’t know about that because, after all, you are reading a review by one that has seen quite his share of orgies on and off screen (I can dream-can’t I?), and although it is kind of tame as far as orgies go (mostly heavy kissing, petting, groping and no bush!), it is interesting how the director, David R. Friedberg (his one and only film according to IMDB), decided to film it. Edited back and forth between close-up angles and shots of breasts, then back to a portrait painting of Adolf Hitler, then back to a huge Nazi flag hanging on the wall behind the Hildebrandt’s desk, and back to wide shot of all the action.
The extreme close-up shots of female genitalia is prevalent throughout the film and one of the high points of the film itself, as well as the fact that it was filmed in black and white, giving it that vintage naughty stag film quality to it. One of the other aspects of the film that I found interesting was the director’s choice of music for the soundtrack of the film. He uses non-original music for the whole film, “The Merry Widow Waltz” by Franz Lehar. The Merry Widow is the title of a musical television show from 1958 that was directed and produced by Charles Hickman and released in the UK. Again, in 1968, another production of The Merry Widow came along, in which Lehar wrote original music for, and was directed by John Gorrie. I am going to assume the music was borrowed from the 1968 production in which Lehar wrote the music for and many other versions of this seemingly famous operetta. But enough about The Merry Widow and back to Nazis, orgies, and large boobs and bush.
The film is broken up into segments that seemed like Leni Riefenstahl (Triumph of the Will) himself directed them in the propaganda style in which the Nazis used to hoodwink the German people and the rest of the world. They used very triumphant sounding music for mini-scenes of Nazis driving authentic looking cars from that era (one looks very similar to a Duesenberg but I am sure that I am wrong about that) and roaming the countryside while looking very proud and distinguished. It really reminded me of the style that German Nazis used when promoting their delusions of a Third Reich empire.
I really thought the strongest performance was given by Blaine Quincy and his portrayal of the power-hungry and sexually perverted Commandant in the film, Max Von Hildebrandt. Quincy definitely had a huge ego and was very convincing at being a power and sex hungry addict. Although, for portraying an officer from Germany in the Nazi Party, he and every other character in the film all had American accents. I can’t really fault the film for this because its not one of those movies that are meant to be taken seriously. The only thing serious in this film was the amount of nudity, sexuality, perversion, and voyeuristic camera shots that are rampant throughout the production.
Some of the other women in the film who had scenes with men and had no dialogue but were shot in varying scenes of undress were Linda Boyce (Daughters of Lesbos) credited as Madelaine and Elaine Seagal credited as Pepi.
I have a couple of favorite scenes in this film, aside from the opening “orgy” scene that was mentioned earlier. The scenes with actress Uta Erickson who was credited in the film as the “Lesbian with Banana”, as she bathes outside in the forest with a small bucket of soapy water and a sponge, bare for all the world to see, including a random villager that is spying on her from within the cover of the trees. Later on in the film we get to see who those peering eyes again, but this time we find out who they belong to. Those eyes happen to belong to a beautiful blond and she is in one of the finer lesbian picnic sex scenes that I have seen involving fellatio performed upon a banana (if not the only scene). Again, the creative use of camera angles and close-up shots come into play and give the film much more character and scope then your average trashy sexploitative film might.
Another scene that was well-shot and well-“executed” was, well, the execution scene in which the Nazi soldiers line up in strict military fashion and blindfold Marianne Duval (Wendy Wood), a mute girl, that Von Hildebrandt raped prior to her execution. He believes her to be part of the Underground. In addition to killing her, he murders a priest. The film bounces back and forth to Nazi perversion scenes littered with tits, ass, and bush and then bounces back to the storyline involving the French Underground and the back story of our evil Von Hildebrandt. Through the course of the film and very early on we are shown that Von Hildebrandt’s secretary is actually part of the French Underground, but that is not even one of the film’s little twists in it.
Inglorious Basterds this film is not, by any means or standards, but if Tarantino had some Nazi perversion scenes in it, perhaps I would have enjoyed his opus even more. Torture Me, Kiss Me even has some S&M in it, if only light S&M, when character Erik the Torture Master is introduced. Played by Jan Saint (who’s a very ugly man I might add) and very convincing, Erik is the goonish freak that gets off by whipping beautiful young women in the “dungeon” of the French chateau. One of the women being whipped has a very nice tan, leather mini-skirt, and knee-high leather boots with a nice body and pair of tits to boot! She definitely looks more “Hollywood ” than anyone living around the 1940’s in France during Nazi occupation, but who the hell cares! Viewers get to see her nice rack and if one is into the kinky stuff, we get to see her give AND receive a whipping. The whipping she administers is to another brunette tied up and topless for allegedly being a French spy in the Underground.
Included on the dvd are a bunch of trailers from the archives of Something Weird Video and something weird perfectly describes the line of films that they carry and distribute. I look forward to viewing every piece of low-brow smut with high-brow cult appeal trashy gem that they put out. Hopefully more often than not I will be pleased with the end result.