Thursday, November 4, 2010

Swinging sex on Blu-Ray and we all SCORE!

SCORE (1974)
D. Radley Metzger
Cult Epics
Blu-Ray 16x9 Enhanced

I have a confession to make. I have never seen a Radley Metzger movie. I own a couple, but I have never actually sat down and watched them. Then this Blu-Ray of SCORE appeared mysteriously in my mail box one day. Many people consider this among his finest films (along with THE IMAGE, which I also own and need to sit down with). Having only recently gone Blu, I figured this was as good a time as any to acquaint myself with his work. Boy am I glad I did! if SCORE is anything to go by I have been missing some seriously great erotic cinema.

The set up is simple, and has been done dozens of times in both mainstream and smut films. A swinging couple, played by Claire Wilbur (TEENAGE HITCHHIKERS) and Gerald Grant (NAKED CAME THE STRANGER) have a standing bet that she cannot seduce the straight laced, even backward Lynn Lowry (I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, SHIVERS). Meanwhile it seems that Lynn’s husband Calvin Culver aka Casey Donovan is definitely siding on the side of sleeping with the boys.  Throw into the mix a horny, willing to do anything phone repair man played by Carl Parker (THE IMAGE) and things are bound to heat up soon.

What makes the movie so wonderful is that for most of the running time is is a huge cock tease. An incredibly directed,  smartly written cock tease. The camera finds the most interesting places to shoot from, or through or into, while the characters dialogue is witty, fast and filled with repartee that is layered with sexual innuendo. The first (and only) sex scene in the first half of the movie is soft-core and barely lasts a few scant minutes. What makes it hot is how Lynn Lowry’s character is tricked into being a voyeur at first, then a willing participant by taking Polaroids of the action. She flees wracked with guilt, but is lured back into the nest by the couple for dinner only hours later. Along with her husband where the almighty marijuana is rolled out and inhibitions are loosened. Soon everyone is dressing up in there alter-ego outfits - Cowboys, Nuns, Sailors, Prostitutes, and the shackles of their sexual desires are slowly let go of.

The last half hour of the movie is basically two long, very graphic intertwined sex scenes. Apparently uncut for the very first time on this Blu-Ray. Watching it there is no question what is new here as the many erect cocks in loving close ups, photographed with artfulness rarely seen in this kind of movie are surprising to say the least. But the fact that the scene is a very graphic gay seduction leading to a full blown hardcore sex scene probably couldn’t happen in an erotic film today. Technically both sex scenes are gay scenes as the two women pair off and seduce each other and the two men do the same and each scene is inter-cut. Oddly enough it is clear the men are “in the business” as it were as their scenes are FAR more explicit than the women’s. But the handling of both scenes is so professional, with such enthusiasm from all performers, and with such incredible directorial flare that none of it can be denied as incredible erotic film-making. Gay, straight, or just don’t care, back in the 70’s I can’t imagine anyone leaving their seats. And it still holds up marvelously today.

The Disc delivers a host of extras that make it well worth picking up for fans as well. Besides this being for the first time an uncut version there is a commentary with Metzger himself which from what I understand is a bit of an unusual thing. There is also a longish, and very interesting behind the scenes /on the set documentary that features rare footage of the cast in action and a 20 minute current interview with cult actress Lowry. This being Blu-Ray people are very concerned with picture quality. I thought it looked extremely nice, the natural film grain was present throughout and had not been digitally enhanced out of the picture like some modern Blu-Rays have a tendency to do. It also has not been cleaned up to the point of blowing out colors or highlights. All color is crisp, clear and well rendered with sharp, fine detail. The 2.0 Mono soundtrack was clear and clean as well so that very Rolling Stones sounding theme song played through loud and strong whenever it reared its head.

I am not entirely sure if this is CULT EPICS first foray into Blu-Ray. if it is they have done an outstanding job entering the market. it not, then it is just as outstanding disc and well worth putting into your collection for fans of cult movies and erotic cinema. 

Review © Andy Copp

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