Wednesday, 1 June 2011

This, That and the Other

Split into three segments, This, That and the Other is a sort of smut portmanteau (smutmanteau?) and, as you might expect, it’s a hit and miss affair. The first part stars Dennis Waterman, and is fairly straightforward: a case of missing identity leads to sex. There’s a bit of a ‘Blow Up’ parody and some unusual costumes, but it’s the least interesting element.

The only laugh in an hour and twenty minutes of comedy.

Shagged out.

The second sequence sort of satirises Swinging London, where a lonely and suicidal man is given temporary respite by the bright (in terms of glamour, not intelligence) young things which accidentally descend upon him. Victor Spinetti stars, and occasionally channels a little bit of the peerless Tony Hancock into his performance. Valerie Leon appears briefly, in the bath, then grooving in a rather uncoordinated manner.

A cry for help / chips.

'Star Maidens' is that way, love. 

The third story involves a taxi driver (John Bird) who, while chasing a fare dodger (occasional Hammer starlet Yutte Stensgaard), happens across an erotic sex party. By far the weirdest part of the film, this sequence has great visuals, strange electronic music and delivers more psychedelics per foot of celluloid than any other sex comedy made in Britain in 1970. That sounds like faint praise, but it’s great cinema, and totally unexpected.

It won't be long before a corn plaster floats past.

Menacing, and vaguely arousing.
 Derek Ford (who directed and co-wrote with his brother Donald) and Stanley Long (who produced) were kind of like the Spielberg and Lucas of cheap sixties and seventies British exploitation films. Equally at home with smut, horror and documentary, they made dozens of films between them, taking it in turns to fulfil key roles on the production. We’ll see more of their oeuvre in due course but, until then, here's a taste of slightly trippy smut.

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