Private Parts (1972)

Article 3854 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-22-2012
Posting Date: 3-3-2012
Directed by Paul Bartel
Featuring Ayn Ruymen, Lucille Benson, John Ventantonio
Country: USA
What it is: Very black comedy

A runaway teenage girl takes refuge in a hotel run by her aunt. Some of the residents of the hotel are very eccentric, and some have even deeper problems… including a photographer with some very strange sexual hangups. Unfortunately, the girl is a little too curious about sex herself. And there’s also a murderer on the premises…

This is definitely one of the sicker movies I’ve encountered for this series, but I find its sickness more along the lines of “weirdly fascinating” rather than “repellent”. I think what makes it work is that it gradually works up to some of its more outrageous revelations; the movie has a bizarre surprise around every corner. It’s directed by cult figure Paul Bartel, who is perhaps best known for giving us EATING RAOUL and DEATH RACE 2000. It’s definitely not for the kiddies and will probably best appeal to those with a taste for the twisted. My biggest problem with the movie is the final twist; it’s out of left field, and I’m still not sure whether the movie adequately prepares you for it. Perhaps the most curious detail in the movie is that one character blurts out the title of a Scorsese film two years before it was made, a fact that becomes even more curious when I discovered that the same title was also that of a an episode of “The Brady Bunch”. Sometimes I’m a little amazed at the directions some of these movies take me.


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