SECRETS OF SEX (1970)
Article 4117 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Antony Balch
Featuring Richard Schulman, Janet Spearman, Dorothy Grumbar
What it is: Anthology involving sex
A mummy narrates a series of stories involving the battle of the sexes.
To be truthful, I was expecting a movie that would settle for little more than a series of sex scenes, and the cover of the DVD package certainly did little to convince me otherwise. I turned out to be wrong; the movie has a theme (namely, the stranger manifestations of the battle of the sexes) and it sticks to it, as each of the sequences does deal in some way or another with sexual politics and manipulation, and not just sex per se. In fact, some of the sequences don’t even involve nudity; the opening story about a man who thinks his wife’s lover may be hidden in a trunk certainly has none. It doesn’t quite live up to the claim to be one of the strangest movies ever made, but it gets a lot closer than I thought it would. Outside of the framing device (an ancient mummy narrates the various stories), a couple of the stories do have fantastic content; the story about the photographer doing a study on torture lapses into horror before it’s all through, there’s a spy pastiche among the stories, and the story about the old woman and the greenhouse has some fantasy elements. Those catching it for the sex scenes only will be the ones most disappointed; I found myself rather intrigued and amused by the whole thing. I found this one to be much better than I thought it would be.
Director Antony Balch (who died in 1980) wrote and directed just one other feature, 1973’s Michael Gough triumph HORROR HOSPITAL, another collaboration with producer Richard Gordon.