History of Sex in Cinema:
The Greatest and Most Influential
Sexual Films and Scenes



The History of Sex in Cinema
Title Screens
Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description

Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott's space science-fiction horror film Alien (1979) was extremely suspenseful as it told about a menacing, unstoppable, carnivorous, stowaway, hermaphroditic Demon beast - an adult creature with both a phallic head and an open, dripping vaginal mouth.

The Stages of the Alien Creature's Development

Giant Alien Egg Sac

Face-Hugging Alien

The Underside of the Face-Hugger

The Demonic Xenomorph Beast With Phallic Head and Vaginal Mouth

It was rich with Freudian sexual metaphors and sexually-charged images and symbols of sexual violation and biological reproduction, such as:

  • the film's opening birth sequence, envisioning the awakening (or birth) of the members of the hypersleeping crew of the Nostromo ("Mother") who emerged from separate egg-shaped, coffin-like cribs
  • the discovery of a huge, derelict alien spaceship that had crash landed on an uncharted planet, with its two hind 'legs' visible and extending upwards; the legs appeared to be two large, phallic-like prongs or extensions coming out of the ground
  • the crew entered the ship (between its 'legs') through vaginal openings leading to the inside of the 'body' of the spacecraft
  • the sight of a gigantic, fossilized, reptilian, alien creature - described as leathery and skeletal with a ribbed surface; it was seated, with its ribs bent outwards; it appeared to have a lengthy, erect giant phallus
  • the view of a pod field composed of rows of eggs (semi-translucent) resting below a bluish, reactive mist; the top of each egg sac had a crossed opening (double-vulva shaped)
  • the Face-hugger emerged (actually violently ejaculated) from the inside of one egg, and began the act of impregnation into the body of male crew member Kane (John Hurt); the Face-hugger had a bilateral hand of eight fingers that grasped and covered Kane's head; later, its underside revealed dark, fleshy and moist-appearing labial folds, and there was also a phallic-shaped proboscis that had forcibly inserted itself into the victim’s mouth
  • in the film's most startling and gory scene, after Kane had been 'impregnated' by the insidious creature as a surrogate mother, he 'gave birth' to the phallic-shaped baby alien - the newborn alien burst from his bloody chest - as a Chest-burster
  • when the Chest-burster quickly grew (or molted), it shed and discarded its skin onto the floor, like a used condom (symbolizing that it was no longer sheathed, but ready to penetrate and kill, with sexualized rapes/murders)
  • the adult Xenomorph - it was a slimy, penis-headed beast about 7 feet tall, with dripping secretions from its open vaginal-shaped mouth; inside the Xenomorph's mouth was a set of pharyngeal jaws (a phallus-within-a-phallus inner jaws) - an extension of its phallic head; some also interpreted the double jaws as female - as the inner and outer labia of the vagina dentata
  • Ash stuffed an adult magazine into heroine Ellen Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) mouth - an expression of sexual domination, oral rape and murder
  • in the sequence of Lambert's (Veronica Cartwright) death - the creature's phallic tail slid up between her legs and she made pseudo-orgasmic grunts and howls of pain over an intercom as she was killed (offscreen), implying that she was literally raped
  • the ending sequence inside the Narcissus shuttle (with a throbbing blue strobe light) revealed Ripley's starkly female appearance in a braless, sleeveless white tank top and skimpy, low-cut mini-panties as she confronted the threatening, phallic alien beast; she protected her fragile flesh from penetration after dressing herself in an astronaut suit
  • when she opened the airlock to expel the Xenomorph, it held on until Ripley shot a harpoon at the creature to completely eject or expel it, but it still persisted by grasping a rope (its umbilical cord) until it was incinerated by a blast from the ship's engines
Ripley's Sexually-Charged Imagery

Magazine Rape

Female vs. Beast

Partially-Expelled Xenomorph

Hanging On by an 'Umbilical Cord'

The "Birth" of the Hypersleeping Crew on the Nostromo ("Mother")

The Two Extended 'Legs' of the Crashed Alien Spacecraft

The Alien Spacecraft with Vaginal Openings Between Its Extended Legs

The Seated, Fossilized Alien Creature - With a Large Phallus?

The Top of the Egg Sac - With a Crossed, Double-Vulva Shaped Opening

The "Birth" of the Phallic-Shaped Alien - The Baby Chestburster

The Xenomorph's Double-Set of Jaws (Phallic and/or Vaginal)

Being There (1979)

The provocative black comedy Being There (1979) from director Hal Ashby, based upon Jerzy Kosinski's 1971 novella, was a wonderful, insightful tale that satirized politics, celebrity, media-obsession and television.

In a later protracted 'seduction' scene, the main character - reclusive, illiterate, passive and simple-minded gardener Chance (Peter Sellers), declared:

"I like to watch."

He was in the company of unsatisfied, love-starved Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine), a dying financier's wife. She desperately and seductively tried to arouse the unresponsive Chauncey - he only responded, with a shocking but understandable line, that he "like(s) to watch" - and "it's very good, Eve" and then sat on the end of the bed (oblivious to her).

His most famous line about his joy of watching TV was misinterpreted or misunderstood by the amorous Eve as an invitation to voyeurism:

"You mean you'd like to watch me...do it?"

She viewed his statement as an invitation to sexually arouse and stimulate herself. She complied with his request by reclining on the floor. She laid on a full-sized bear-skin rug while grabbing the bedpost. Meanwhile, he was watching an exercise program on TV from the end of the nearby bed and mimicking the exercises (he even performed a hand-stand), oblivious to her sexual pleasure as she masturbated herself nearby.

Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine)

Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-VIXENS (1979)

Independent film-maker and producer Russ Meyer's ("King Leer") last theatrical feature film was this vulgar and crude adult comedy (co-written with critic Roger Ebert - with pseudonym R. Hyde). It was reportedly Meyer's favorite of all of his films. The introduction of pornography on videocassettes had spelled the end of theatrical films of this type that could only be screened at porno theaters with much harder-core fare.

It was a cartoonish parody of Beneath the Valley of the Dolls (1970). Its tagline was:

"Six Chicks in search of a Cluck!...and so hilariously funny!"

The lewd, cartoonish and unbelievable film was mostly a series of exaggerated, fast-edited soft-core vignettes. None of Meyer's films included penetrative sex - which was where the industry was heading at the time, although this film came close. For example, the film highlighted the pornographic use of a double-ended dildo, as well as close-up shots of the head of a penis.

Borderline Images for a Russ Meyer Film

It starred a number of big-breasted females and other minor characters - as was typical of all of Meyer's films. In the opening scene set in a mortuary with a player piano and phonograph record player providing background music, the local mortician/funeral home owner Martin Bormann (Henry Rowland) (an escaped Nazi general) was seduced by:

  • Miss Eufaula Roop (Ann Marie), a very-busty blonde radio evangelist and faith-healer (who broadcast from a shack, known as the church of Rio Dio Radio, with 100,000 watts of power; she often wore gingham dresses)

After lasciviously viewing Martin's erect member as he laid inside a lined coffin, she lowered herself onto him, and they did the 'bump-and-grind' while singing: "Give Me That Ol' Time Religion."

The film's omnipotent "Our Town" styled-narrator known as The Man From Small Town U.S.A. (Stuart Lancaster) introduced more of the "oversexed" small-town's Texan residents who were having wanton sex with others:

  • The Very Big Blonde (Mary Gavin, aka Candy Samples), a large-breasted housewife providing sex to a lingerie salesman in his small VW Beetle
  • Junkyard Sal (June Mack), a large African American who frequently forced her working-class employees to have sex with her while on the job; Lamar and others were threatened with being fired - and ultimately Lamar was let go for refusing her and for being viewed as a "prevert"
  • Lavonia (Francesca "Kitten" Natividad, the film's main star and the director's wife) - a typical small-town wife in Americana living in a trailer-park, married to Lamar but sexually-unsatisfied
  • Lamar Shedd (Ken Kerr), Lavonia's red-necked husband who worked in Sal's junkyard
The Introduction of Lavonia (Kitten Natividad) - a Cartoonish 'Little Annie Fanny' Character

When introduced, Lavonia was unsuccessfully trying to seduce Lamar for straight sex when he completely ignored her (while doing some mathematical calculations). She was playing with herself in the nearby bedroom and touching herself - viewed in large close-ups. She reached for a foot-long, white plastic, battery-powered vibrator/dildo in the nightstand drawer, and dipped it in a jar of vaseline jelly before switching it on. The humming noise and sounds of her moans and giggles alerted Lamar. She moved it around on her breasts before applying it to her belly-button and lower crotch region.

Disgusted with her, Lamar seized the dildo and smashed it against the bedroom wall. She then paraded around naked, and drank from a half-gallon carton of milk, with some of it spilling down the sides of her mouth. She kept trying to tease him and tantalize him. He reacted violently - by attempting to have anal-sex with her (he was a "rear-window man") on his work-table. After he climaxed, she angrily kicked him in the crotch. As a couple, they were experiencing serious sexual issues, because he was uninterested in standard vaginal intercourse. She hurriedly dressed and drove off in his truck. She first sought sexual relief from burly garbage collector Mr. Peterbuilt (Pat Wright), and then the next morning also went in pursuit of more sex, from:

  • Rhett (Steve Casey), a 14 year-old teenager who was skinny-dipping in a lake; Lavonia literally attacked and raped him, and forcibly offered him oral sex under-water
  • Semper Fidelis (Michael Finn), a lingerie door-to-door salesman, who sold Lavonia various clothing items (including stripper lingerie) and a wig; although she refused his bust-developer apparatus, she had sex with him

Lavonia decided to disguise herself as Lola Langusta ("La Exotica") with a wig and Mexican accent, and to take up stripping at the local club The Other Ball - where Lamar happened to be drinking beer on a Friday evening, but didn't recognize her. She drugged his drink, then took him to an upstairs apartment bedroom where she bound him by his wrists and ankles to a bedframe. After chloroforming him to keep him unconscious, she raped him via normal vaginal sex (covering his penis with a black sock before arousing him and using him as a "living dildo") to try and cure him of his anal-sex obsession.

That same afternoon, Lola then rushed back home via a taxi to 'service' Mr. Peterbuilt with another quickie of wild sex before Lamar returned home, but he arrived early and found them in the bedroom. He discovered that she had used a stripper disguise to trick him. To prove her love for Lamar, she burned Peterbuilt's scrotum with a hot lamp light and threw him out.

To save their marriage, Lamar (with Lavonia in tow) sought "individual therapy" from effeminate, gay dentist/marriage counselor Asa Lavender (Robert Pearson) - this would be "a case for the record books" (according to the narrator). In the office, the couple met:

  • Nurse Flovilla Thatch (Sharon Hill), the doctor's shapely, sun-tanned nurse, who was lubricating her gloved left hand

During their office visit while Lavonia was in a dentist's chair having dental work performed, Lamar anally-raped the nurse in the outer lobby. Lavonia also grabbed the doctor's open crotch to stimulate him. The dentist heard Lamar and the Nurse over the intercom and enviously interrupted them. He lowered his pants and offered to have sex with Lamar, who fled into a locked closet. In the most outrageous sequence, the Nurse and Lavonia experienced lesbian sex in the dentist's chair via a 17 inch-long double-ended dildo. At the same time, the dentist was doing everything possible to break through the closet door (even using a chainsaw), while ignoring the rampant lesbian activity in his office. Eventually, Lamar knocked out the doctor (revealing that he was wearing a "phony" toupee) and broke up Lavonia and the Nurse's sexcapades.

Lavonia and Nurse Flovilla Thatch With a Double-Headed Dildo

Lamar sought further help for his sexual afflictions in order to preserve his marriage to Lavonia (or otherwise, according to the narrator, he would "have to shoot the rapids in someone else's canoe"), by being dropped off at the radio station/tower of evangelist broadcaster Miss Roop. (Meanwhile, Lavonia returned home and was back at it with Mr. Peterbuilt in her bedroom during Lamar's absence.)

During Lamar's visit, he lowered his pants and exhibited his penis (seen in a gigantic close-up) for the astounded and excitably-aroused Miss Roop. He asserted: "I wanna be saved." She decided to hurriedly end her on-air live broadcasting, and led him into Studio A: her "TUB OF JOY", where Lamar was prepared for a naked healing - a born-again, drowning baptismal rape. While the baptism was covered 'live,' she positioned herself onto him for sex as she repeatedly dunked him, while preaching to her radio listeners about his cleansing salvation. She ultimately climaxed with orgasmic screams and squeals - sending the sound-meter into the red zone. Lamar returned home (he jogged there), again assaulted Mr. Peterbuilt, and joined Lavonia in bed for normal missionary-position sex ("Oh, Lamar, I feel like a virgin again!").

Back at the radio station, Miss Roop continued to have sex with teenaged Rhett, who serviced her from under her desk. Then, the "young sinner" was offered a second baptismal rape. The film concluded with the revelation that Rhett was the narrator's teenaged son, and his young wife was stacked, Austrian-born SuperSoul (Uschi Digard, a Russ Meyer favorite during a short cameo).

Rhett with SuperSoul (Uschi Digard)

After finding his son Rhett having rear-entry sex with SuperSoul in the barn's hayloft, the narrator decided to take his son's place for sex with his own wife - thereafter causing an earth-shaking quake:

Now, son, if you plan to be around to see your fifteenth birthday, you'd better pull out that thing you call a dick and let your father show ya how it's done.

Russ Meyer revealed himself as the cameraman amidst desert landscapes as the film ended, with selected excerpts from the film. He described the final fate of Nazi Martin Bormann (a rocking back and forth coffin with Sister Roop), and also beckoned a naked Natividad (using her real name) to follow him for filming, but then asked: "Where in the hell is the crew? (pause) Well, no matter." He advertised his next coming attraction (although it never came to fruition): "THE JAWS OF VIXEN" - subtitled "...She'll never let go."

Sister Eufaula Roop (Ann Marie) Having Sex Inside a Coffin with Bormann

Junkyard Sal (June Mack)

Lavonia With Young Teenaged Rhett in Lake

Lavonia With Lingerie Salesman Semper Fidelis

Lavonia Posing as Stripper Lola Langusta at 'The Other Ball'

Lola/Lavonia Chloroforming and Raping Her Own Husband

Lamar's Discovery of Lavonia With Mr. Peterbuilt

Lesbian Dental Nurse Flovilla Thatch (Sharon Hill)

Lamar Exhibiting Himself to Radio Broadcaster Miss Roop

Lamar's Baptism/Rape by Miss Roop

Lavonia Cheating Again with Mr. Peterbuilt

Director/Photographer Russ Meyer (in cameo)

Caligula (1979, It./US)

This lavish Roman-Empire epic was the last major attempt of its era to include graphic sexual content in a mainstream film. It was written by Gore Vidal and co-financed by adult-oriented Penthouse magazine's producer Bob Guccione, though the script underwent several re-writes after the director and cast found Gore Vidal's interpretation unsatisfactory (Vidal later disowned it and removed his name). It advertised itself as "the most controversial film of the 20th century" - and was the most expensive pornographic film ever made.

The objectionable film was originally intended by Guccione to be high-art (although it turned out to be excessive cinematic sleaze), with major and notable stars (Malcolm McDowell as the infamous, crazed and corrupt heir to the Roman throne, John Gielgud as Senator Nerva, Peter O'Toole as Tiberius, and Helen Mirren as promiscuous courtesan Caesonia), but was described as a "moral holocaust" by Variety and reviewers considered it worthless fantasy trash.

Roman Senator Nerva (John Gielgud)

Caligula (Malcolm McDowell)

Caligula's Grand Uncle Tiberius (Peter O'Toole)

Caesonia (Helen Mirren)

Hollywood's recent attempts to sensationalize antiquity, which owe some debt to Caligula, have found their way into feature films (such as Gladiator (2000), Troy (2004), Alexander (2004), and 300 (2007), and cable TV shows (such as Rome (2005-2007), Game of Thrones (2011-2019), and Spartacus (2010-2013)).

This was Hollywood's first big-budget ($17.5 million that later ballooned to $22 million), bizarre blockbuster sexploitation epic of 'classy' hardcore sex and gory violence - and it became both a critical and commercial disaster after a very limited theatrical release (due to fear of prosecution for obscenity). Fearing an X rating, it was originally self-rated as MA (mature audiences only) and shown in a 156-minute version, but it was then severely edited for an R-rating down to about 102 minutes.

This depraved movie, condemned as worthless fantasy trash, arrived just before the new conservatism that took place during the Reagan administration and its subsequent Meese Commission Study of Pornography (finally published in mid-1986). The film's director Tinto Brass had only one major film in his resume, Salon Kitty (1976) about a German brothel used by the Nazis.

The film's plot followed the rise and fall of "Caligula" (Latin term meaning 'Little Boots') (Malcolm McDowell), the 24-year-old young heir to the throne of his grandfather - the syphilitic 77-year-old half-mad, depraved Emperor Tiberius (Peter O'Toole). Caligula was summoned to the island of Capri. He was accompanied by his sister Drusilla (Teresa Ann Savoy) with whom he was having an incestuous affair. Caligula was treated by Tiberius to a massive area where dozens of subjects were engaged in an orgy.

The sordid film included graphic and steamy sex scenes of sexual depravity, degradation and orgiastic excess during the large-scale orgy, including a phallic swing, masturbation, rape, torture, genital mutilation, views of deformed freaks, among other thngs.

Male Nudity

Phallic Swing

Orgy Scene

Perversions with Snake





Orgy Scene - Filmed on Three Levels

There were maneuverings behind the scenes to determine who would become the next emperor, due to Tiberius' ailing health. Caligula played a part in the drowning death of Tiberius' trusted Senator Nerva (John Gielgud), and also was complicit in the murder of Tiberius by the head of the Praetorian Guard Macro (Guido Mannan).

Once attaining the emperorship, the ruthless Caligula had Macro's wife Ennia (Adriana Asti) arrested for "insubordination" and exiled to Gaul, while rival Macro was subjected to a mock-trial (for Tiberius' murder) and decapitated during a gruesome public execution.

Caligula then went on a quest to find a wife, aided by Drusilla as they surveyed dozens of mostly-naked young females in a holding area - all priestesses of the goddess Isis. Disguised as a female, Caligula was intrigued by promiscuous divorcee Caesonia (Helen Mirren) and selected her as his mistress for rear-entry sex.

Later, he chose to 'deflower' virginal Livia (Mirella D'Angelo), even though she was engaged to his loyal soldier Proculus (Donato Placido). He forced Proculus to watch Livia's first painful and bloody sexual intercourse, and then forced his friend to also partake, while 'fisting' him in the anus. He eventually schemed to rid himself of his rival Proculus - Caligula disemboweled and castrated him in a gory torture-murder.

Caligula's Virginal Bride Choice Livia (Mirella D'Angelo)


Caligula 'Deflowering' Livia

While Caligula was making love to both Drusilla and Caesonia in a later threesome sequence, in a nearby bed chamber, two Isis priestess lesbians Messalina (Penthouse Pet Marjorie Thoreson (credited as Anneka Di Lorenzo)) and Agrippina (Penthouse Pet Lori Wagner) were engaged in explicit oral sex. [Note: The sequence was filmed at a different time and inserted for prurient interest.]

Part of Censored Hard-core Lesbian Scene

Caligula's fortunes and mental state began to take a turn toward paranoia and insanity as his behavior turned erratic and he acted tyranically without impunity against perceived rivals, the government, and even the gods. When Drusilla died of a fever (he reacted by dragging and carrying her nude body around the palace), and Caesonia bore him a daughter, he imagined the child was his son. He haphazardly executed Roman Senators, forced their wives and daughters into prostitution (in a large brothel-ship built in the palace - with an extended, second orgy sequence raunchier than the first one), senselessly declared war on Britain, and proclaimed that his horse Incitatus was a Senator.

In January of 41 AD, a plot to assassinate the deranged and hated Caligula were in the making by a group of conspirators. As he returned to his Imperial Palace, Senator Chaerea (Paolo Bonacelli), head of the Praetorian Guard, mortally wounded Caligula with a sword, stabbed Caesonia, and murdered their child. A dim-witted Claudius (Giancaro Badessi) was hailed as the new Emperor.

Tiberius (Peter O'Toole) with Slave Girl

Caligula's (Malcolm McDowell) Incestuous Love Affair with Sister Drusilla (Teresa Ann Savoy)

Priestesses of Isis - Possible Brides for Caligula

"Promiscuous" Courtesan Caesonia (Helen Mirren) Selected as Caligula's Mistress

Caligula's Rear Entry Sex with Caesonia

Nude Caesonia - Caligula's Wife

Ennia (Adriana Asti), the Wife of Praetorian Guard Head Macro (Guido Mannari) - Rejected as a Wife by Caligula, and Exiled

Caligula's Threesome with Caesonia and Drusilla

Drusilla Dead of a Fever

Ship-Brothel Sequence - Another Excuse for an Extended Orgy

Hair (1979)

Hair was first presented as a controversial, cult musical play from 1968-1972 with memorable songs ("The Age of Aquarius" among others). It was then made into a major film studio event by Czech director Milos Forman - a bit outdated by the time it arrived in the late 1970s.

It featured rebellious anti-establishment and anti-war themes and the hippie lifestyle of the late 60s. The film's political viewpoint was clear from the following quote:

"The draft is white people sending black people to make war on the yellow people to defend the land they stole from the red people!"

The film followed the exploits of:

  • Claude Hooper Bukowski (John Savage), a draftee into the US Army

Claude left Oklahoma on a bus to NYC, where he encountered a tribal group of long-haired hippies in Central Park, led by:

  • George Berger (Treat Williams in his first leading film role), free-spirited

During the few days before he was shipped off to Nevada, he and the hippies smoked hash, crashed a wealthy family's dinner party, and Claude met the unattainable love interest of his life:

  • Sheila Franklin (young Beverly D'Angelo), a rich, high society debutante

During an LSD trip, Claude imagined what it would be like to be married to Sheila. When Claude was deployed for training at boot camp in Nevada, Berger hijacked the car of Sheila's brother and drove the hippie group to the base, where he swapped identities with Claude to allow him time to see Sheila.

The film's minor plot twist was that during the afternoon's picnic, Berger was shipped off to Vietnam (in Claude's place) - and was killed in action. His gravestone revealed that Berger died in Vietnam on April 6, 1968 at the age of 22 1/2, as the group sang: "Let the Sunshine In." Massive protest riots erupted and groups of young people surrounded the White House.

Sexual frankness included skinny-dipping in Central Park at night, when Sheila (stripped down to her panties) jumped into the water after Claude. A prank was pulled on them while they swam - Berger stole their clothes. Unamused, Sheila was forced to run half-naked up a hillside and hail a passing cab to return home. Sheila also went topless in the front seat of a car when stealing an officer's uniform in order to help enter the Nevada army base.

Another indication of sexual freedom at the time was the song "Sodomy" - full of sexual terms:

"Sodomy, Fellatio, Cunnilingus Pederasty, Father, why do these words sound so nasty? Masturbation can be fun, Join the holy orgy, Kama Sutra Everyone!"

Sheila Franklin (Beverly D'Angelo) with Claude Bukowski (John Savage)

Sheila Skinny-Dipping in Central Park in NYC

Sheila Topless in a Car

Hanover Street (1979, UK)

Director Peter Hyams' WWII war-time romantic drama with a sweeping John Barry score featured a love triangle between:

  • David Halloran (a young Harrison Ford), an American pilot
  • Margaret Sellinger (Lesley-Anne Down), a pretty British nurse
  • Paul (Christopher Plummer), an English secret agent/spy

The plot revolved around the question posed to David: should Margaret's husband Paul have his life saved or sacrificed during combat?

Margaret Sellinger (Lesley-Anne Down)

Hardcore (1979)

Writer/director Paul Schrader's film, similar to John Ford's western The Searchers (1956), told about the one-man crusade of conservative businessman and religious Michigan Calvinist Jake Van Dorn (George C. Scott), a single parent.

His obsessed objective was to find his misguided daughter Kristen (Ilah Davis), who had run away from Grand Rapids, Michigan (while attending a youth convention with her Calvinist church) to Bellflower, California to join the world of the underground porn film industry. The pornographic film-making industry was shown, for instance, in the filming of a porn scene in a cheap motel room, between a male and two females (porn actress Niki (Season Hubley) wearing a wig, and Serena (real-life porn star Serena)).

It included the scene of the screening of an ultra-low budget, 8mm X-rated scratchy peep-show porno stag film, titled Slave of Love, of Jake's daughter found by sleazy Los Angeles private investigator Andy Mast (Peter Boyle) (with Jake's anguished screaming "TURN IT OFF!") as he watched the sex unfold ("Oh my God! That's my daughter!").

In other scenes, Van Dorn was led to visit the "Les Girls" strip club in Los Angeles that featured a titillating, topless re-enactment of the Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker lightsaber battle on the main stage. The busty topless clerk (Linda Morell) told him that it was $5 for two minutes in one of the private booths, the price of one token. She had a coin-change maker strapped to her waist and conveniently provided change.

Van Dorn spoke by a red booth phone to sweet-natured stripper/prostitute and porn actress Niki (Season Hubley), as he posed as a porn-film producer. She boldly placed both legs up on the window glass to display herself to him. She became a surrogate daughter to him as they allied together to try and find Van Dorn's daughter.

The World of Strip Clubs: Private Phone Booth Stripper Niki (Season Hubley)

After a brief time in San Diego, the ending's reunion between father and daughter occurred in San Francisco. It was a predictable, but heart-breaking and revealing encounter, when the desperate Jake finally caught up with Kristen. She was rumored to be under the tutelage and control of S&M pornographer Ratan (Marc Alaimo) whose specialty was 'snuff' movies, and Jake became worried about Kristen's fate. He pressured Niki to reveal information that might lead to Ratan's location: "Listen to me, young lady. My daughter's been missing for five months. And I've gone through a lot to try to find out what's happened to her. Now today, I saw Ratan kill a girl, and I'm not gonna let this Tod slip through my hands. Now where is he?" When Niki wouldn't answer and instead responded that she feared being deserted by him: "But then you'll forget about me" - he viciously slapped her to get her to talk. Then, he reassuringly kissed her forehead: "I won't forget you."

After beating up Ratan's porn-industry 'player' Tod (Gary Graham) at a bondage house, Van Dorn (again allied with PI investigator Mast) traced Kristen to a SF nightclub where she was in the audience watching a live sex show with Ratan. During a struggle, Van Dorn was slashed in the left arm by Ratan, but as Ratan fled, he was shot and killed by investigator Mast on the street - and collapsed dead in front of another porn theater.

Afterwards, Van Dorn confronted his rebellious daughter and let her decide whether to come home or not (although he begged her to return), but she at first rejected him in anger for not loving her - and asserted that she freely entered porn of her own free will:

Kristen: "Don't hurt me."
Jake: "I know it's been terrible for you, but it's over now. You can come home now. It doesn't matter what they made you do."
Kristen: "They didn't make me do anything. I wanted to leave."
Jake: "Well, that's not true, baby. You didn't leave. They took you away. I love you."
Kristen: "Don't touch me, you c--ksucker. You never gave a f--k about me before. You didn't, so don't touch me now. I didn't fit into your god-damned world. I wasn't pretty or good enough for you. You never approved of any of my friends. You drove 'em all away. I'm with people who love me now. You robbed my life."

Saddened and crying, the emotionally-challenged Van Dorn asserted: "I do love you. I just never knew how to show you. It's very difficult for me - nobody able to talk. I'll try. It's just my damnable pride." When she pleaded for her father to "just get away," he promised to leave her alone ("Do you really want me to go?"). However, she relented and changed her mind ("No"), and he responded: "Then you take me home" as he reached out his hand to her, and covered her shoulders with his coat.

In the final scene on the street, Niki walked up to Van Dorn and then wordlessly walked away from him and refused to speak to him (she had not forgotten that he had slapped her earlier) - she was resigned to her life on the streets because it was all she knew, and she realized that Van Dorn would no longer be interested in her. Mast told Jake to return home: "You don't belong here," and he quietly obeyed - he joined his daughter in the back of a police car as the film concluded (to the sound of Susan Raye singing Buck Owens' song: "Precious Memories").

Peep-Show Film with Jake's Daughter Kristen (Ilah Davis)

Strip Club Clerk (Linda Morell)

Filming a Scene in The Porn Industry

Sex-worker Felice (Leslie Ackerman)

Jake Reunited with Kristen

Jake's Last Look at Niki

H.O.T.S. (1979)

This R-rated, raunchy and witless campus comedy was typical of the late 70s and 80s (that played on late-night cable TV) - it followed on the successful heels of Animal House (1978) and other soft-core "Cheerleader" Films of the time. There were two previous films with the same sub-title:

  • The Swinging Cheerleaders (1974) (aka "H.O.T.S. II")
  • Revenge of the Cheerleaders (1976) (aka "H.O.T.S. III")

It boasted a screenplay scripted by two women (Cheri Caffaro and Joan Buchanan). The setting was Faireville University (aka F.U.), and conflict between two groups of sorority girls: the blue bloods at Pi ("Perfectly Ideal Girls") sorority, and the sorority rejects (H.O.T.S.):

  • Honey Shane (Playboy Playmate, January 1977, Susan Kiger)
  • O'Hara (Lisa London)
  • Terri Lynn (Playboy Playmate, April 1978, Pamela Jean Bryant)
  • Sam (Kimberly Cameron/Carson)

Shenanigans included:

  • a swimming pool party with a kissing booth (and Danny Bonaduce singing)
  • topless parachuting ("skin-diving") by Boom Boom Bangs (Angela Aames)
  • interrupted topless sunbathing with banana cream pies
  • a housekeeping robot and a slinky seal, and Sugar Bear (the rival school's mascot)
  • a jock-strap raid
  • a lecherous Dean Larry Chase (Ken Olfson)
  • a wet T-shirt contest (and cat fight) at a disco party

The climactic sequence was an all-girl topless-strip football game in which the H.O.T.S. females wore red and white-striped bikinis and the opposing team green bikinis. Every time a team scored a touchdown, the opposing team had to remove clothing. There were two memorable topless football huddles of the attractive players, taken from the ground's point of view.

All-Girls Topless Football

Melody Ragmore (Lindsay Bloom)
Honey Shane (Susan Lynn Kiger)
The Topless Football Huddles

Honey Shane (Susan Lynn Kiger)

O'Hara (Lisa London)

Boom Boom Bangs (Angela Aames)

l to r: Stephanie (Sandy Johnson) and Cynthia (K.C. Winkler)

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

In director Robert Benton's sensitive, tear-jerking, Best Picture-winning marriage-related drama about divorce and gender roles - it reviewed the sudden break-up of a dysfunctional yuppie family with a 6 year-old son; a workaholic NYC ad executive suffered an abrupt break-up with his emotionally-unstable wife who walked out on him - stating that she was unhappy and needed to find herself; the single father was faced with taking on a nurturing gender role, and ultimately lost his demanding ad executive job; as the film concluded about 15 months later, the estranged ex-wife unexpectedly returned to take their son away with her:

  • in the opening shocking sequence, unhappy, suicidal wife Joanna (Oscar-winning Meryl Streep) announced to workaholic Manhattan adman husband Ted (Oscar-winning Dustin Hoffman) that she was leaving; she explained that it wasn't his fault when he asked what the problem was and then she admitted that she wasn't a good mother for their young son Billy (Oscar-nominated Justin Henry)
  • separated/divorced husband Ted was now faced with taking on two roles - his own demanding ad executive job and the role of a nurturing mother; he vainly attempted to make a breakfast of French Toast for Billy shortly after his wife Joanna departed
  • Ted delivered a difficult, tearjerking reading of Joanna's goodbye letter (as "Mommy") to Billy; he also struggled at dinner when Billy began to act out, was continually distracted, and ignored his father's instructions to eat his dinner meal; Billy forced Ted to take disciplinary measures by taking his "spoiled, rotten little brat" son to the bedroom; naturally, Billy blamed himself for his mother's abandonment
Billy's Encounter with Nude Phyllis in Hallway
  • in the film's sole (and hilarious) sex-related scene, Billy encountered his father's nude overnight guest - the embarrassed and flustered Phyllis Bernard (Jo Beth Williams) in the hallway as she was enroute to the bathroom; she stuttered while introducing herself: "I'm a friend, uh, business associate of your father's"; Billy non-chalantly asked her if she liked fried chicken: ("Do you like fried chicken?"); afterwards, she told Ted in the bedroom: "Kramer, I just met your son"
  • as the film was concluding, a more peaceful and adjusted Joanna resurfaced after 15 months, and summarized her original problem, and then explained how she had found herself in California in the meantime by getting a job and a therapist; she also suddenly announced: "I want my son"
Courtroom Battle Regarding Child Custody
  • during a nasty child-custody battle in the court, Ted made an eloquent and heart-felt court plea - defending his right to have custody of his son over Joanna, and his admission that he was not a perfect parent; however, the Judge ruled in favor of mother Joanna - Ted lost custody, had to pay child support, and was granted limited visitation rights; in the film's unexpected concluding scene, Joanna met with the persevering Ted after winning custody
  • but then, she backed down with a sudden change of heart when she realized father-and-son's close bond. She decided that Billy should remain with him in his true home; the final scene in their apartment building lobby highlighted Joanna's sudden change of heart, after she had her rethought her position even though she had just won custody of their child in a difficult divorce settlement and was about to take him away. She decided that their son Billy should remain with Ted in his true home; Ted suggested that Joanna should go up in the elevator by herself and see Billy, and he would wait downstairs; she asked him just before the elevator doors closed, after wiping the tears from her eyes: "How do I look?" and he responded: "You look terrific"

Joanna's Announcement of Marital Departure

In Elevator: "And I don't love you anymore"

Difficult Dinner Scene

Joanna After 15 Months: "I want my son"

Joanna's Change of Heart: "I'm Not Gonna Take Him With Me"

- "How do I look?"
- "You look terrific"

The Lady in Red (1979)

Actress Pamela Sue Martin, better known for her role as cute, good-girl 'Nancy Drew' in TV's Nancy Drew Mysteries in the late 70s, and in ABC's TV long-running soap Dynasty in the early 1980s, starred in this low-budget gangster (fictionalized) biopic produced by Roger Corman, with a script written by future director John Sayles (his first major screenplay).

It was another Bonnie and Clyde knock-off, coming after Corman's own Bloody Mama (1970) with Shelley Winters, Big Bad Mama (1974) with Angie Dickinson, the reboot Big Bad Mama II (1987), Martin Scorsese's similar Boxcar Bertha (1972) with Barbara Hershey, and John Milius' Dillinger (1973) from AIP.

Shedding her former image in this coming-of-age tale of a female in jeopardy - laced with social commentary, Martin's breakout lead role in a feature film was as Polly Franklin - the daughter of a strictly-religious farmer in the 1930s. Abused and tyrannized as a poor farm girl, she left and ended up in Chicago. There, she was ill-paid and exploited in a sewing sweat-shop working for sleazy manager Patek (Dick Miller).

She was arrested as a dancer after propositioning a cop in a dance-hall and was subjected to a brief stint in a woman's prison (and subjected to a strip-search and line-up by a tyrannical, white-coated warden). In the scene, the naked female inmates were threatened by Alice (Nancy Parsons), who spoke menacingly while adjusting latex gloves on her hands:

"Ladies, my name is Alice. And from now on, you are to address me as 'Yes, ma'am, and No, ma'am'. And if you think you can get around me, or if you think you can hide anything from me, even up your kiesters, well then you'd better think twice. From now on, I rate top-billing in all your nightmares. Now bend over and spread 'em wide."

To escape incarceration, she became a professional hooker in a bordello run by immigrant madam Anna Sage (Louise Fletcher). Eventually, she became the inaccurately-dubbed 'lady in red' - girlfriend to notorious Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger (Robert Conrad).

Polly Franklin (Pamela Sue Martin)

"10" (1979)

Writer/director Blake Edwards' sex comedy's title helped to popularize the objectification and rating of women on a perfection scale from 1-10.

It told about how mid-life crisis suffering song writer George Webber (Dudley Moore), with a long suffering stage actress girlfriend Samantha Taylor (Julie Andrews), followed a fantasy girl of his dreams to Acapulco, where he voyeuristically saw the nubile newlywed Jenny Miles/Hanley honeymooning (Bo Derek in her screen debut and in the role that made her a sex symbol).

This was the film's indelible and iconic image of her corn-rowed, beaded hair (which set off a national frenzy) and skimpy bathing suit while sunning herself and then running along the beach in slow-motion.

Iconic Images of a "10" Beauty - Jenny (Bo Derek)

After saving her husband David from the water, he was rewarded by her. She greeted him at the door in only a towel, slick and wet from a recent shower. He was seduced in a darkly-lit scene - memorably played to the sounds of Maurice Ravel's "Bolero." She wanted to have him undress quickly, so that the record wouldn't have to be restarted.

Jenny (Bo Derek)

Zombie (1979, It.) (aka Zombi 2, or Zombie Flesh Eaters)

This gory Lucio Fulci horror-sci-fi film was one of many Italian redos (or unofficial sequels) of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978) (released in Italy as Zombi). Therefore, this one was alternately titled Zombi 2.

The film opened with an eerie scene as an abandoned yacht-ship (un-manned except for one fat, bald, deformed flesh-eating zombie) (a rip-off of Nosferatu (1922)) entered NY harbor, and threatened to collide with other vessels in the area. One of two harbor Coast Guard patrolmen investigating the strange vessel was attacked below deck by a flesh-eating zombie and bloodily bitten in the neck. The second patrolman riddled the zombie's body with bullets when it didn't heed his warnings to "freeze where you are," and it tumbled into the water.

During an investigation by police into the death of the patrolman from the zombie's attack, two people became involved in the case:

  • Peter West (Ian McCulloch), a British newspaper reporter who was investigating the story
  • Anne Bowles (Tisa Farrow, the sister of Mia), the daughter of the boat's owner, a scientist named Dr. Bowles (Ugo Bologna), who had recently set sail to an island in the Antilles - it was probably the source of the boat with a zombie onboard

Peter West (Ian McCulloch)

Anne Bowles (Tisa Farrow)

Anne told investigating police that she hadn't heard from her father in over a month, and last spoke to him 3 months earlier - when he set sail for the Antilles. (Her father first came out to the islands three years earlier.) Together with Peter West who was conducting his own investigation, they discovered a note written by her father to her from the island of Matul in the Antilles. He expressed gloom about his prognosis: "But I know I'll never leave this island again, at least not alive." There appeared to be a plague of zombie attacks on the island, causing the rampant contagious disease.

Bryan Curt (Al Cliver)

Susan Barrett (Auretta Gay)

After arriving in the Caribbean's Antilles by plane, Anne and Peter hired a couple (two American guides) to provide them with a boat ride to the island of Matul: Bryan Curt (Al Cliver), an ethnologist, and Bryan's sexy wife Susan Barrett (Auretta Gay). However, they were explicitly warned: "That's not a cool place to head. Natives claim it's cursed. They avoid it like the plague."

Scuba-Diver Susan Preparing to Enter Water Topless

During the trip to the voodoo-worshipping Caribbean Island, Susan decided to go scuba diving without her bikini top. During her underwater excursion, she was attacked first by a tiger shark, and then a zombie. She fought off the zombie with a sharp piece of coral - who then took a big bite out of the shark, until the shark grabbed the zombie's arm and tore it off.

Dr. David Menard (Richard Johnson)

Paolo (Olga Karlatos) - Menard's Estranged Wife

Meanwhile on the disease-stricken island during a plague, the suspicious Dr. David Menard (Richard Johnson), an expert on zombie reanimation (through miraculous voodoo), lived with his estranged wife Paolo (Olga Karlatos). She considered his research experiments "crazy, demented, cruel, evil...You're no better than one of their witch doctors....You call fooling around with superstitions and voodoo rites research?" She was desperate to leave the island as soon as possible, although communications were cut off.

In one of the most gruesome and scary eye gouging or 'splinter-into-the-eye' death sequences ever filmed, Paolo was at first seen taking a shower, when a creepy zombie hand emerged at the bathroom window as it spied on her. When she realized she was being assaulted, she squished the zombie's fingers in her door, locked it, and then hid behind it to avoid the undead, marauding flesh-eating zombie from attacking. With great effort and exertion, she struggled to push a large, heavy cabinet over to the locked door to try and blockade it, as it was being splintered.

Through gaping slats in the broken-down door, the zombie reached in and grabbed her by the hair. It slowly dragged her right eyeball into a serrated shard of wood sticking out - horrifyingly filmed from her POV. After her death (off-camera), she was consumed by zombies.

[Note: A similar scene appeared in director Lucio Fulci's The Beyond (1981, It.).]

The Build-Up to the Infamous Splinter-in-the-Eye Sequence Inflicted Upon Dr. Menard's Estranged Wife Paolo

At around the same time, Dr. Menard came upon the stranded group from the boat, and told Anne about his acquaintance with her father David, and his recent death: "When he became a victim of the disease, he insisted upon staying, in spite of everything I said to him. I insisted that he should leave, but he wouldn't. He felt that he could, in some way, become a guinea pig. That he could help in discovering what was causing the horrors that were destroying our island, transforming it into a wasteland of terror. Extremely courageous man." There was a brief flashback to the day that David died when he begged Dr. Menard: "Make sure that my soul rests in everlasting peace." Shortly later, Menard reluctantly "released" his soul by shooting his wrapped body in the head - as he became zombified and came back to life.

Menard regarded the phenomenon as the result of a voodoo curse: ("It makes the dead stand up and walk. I've seen it with my own eyes...Some evil witch doctor who creates these zombies"), but others were skeptical, especially Bryan: "Voodoo is just plain superstitious horses--t." Dr. Menard was determined to find if there was a "natural explanation."

Zombies Feasting on Paolo's Body

After the boat group was sent back to Menard's cottage to check on his wife Paolo, they discovered her corpse being consumed by zombies. The group fled in a Jeep from the ravenous zombies, and ended up in the jungle near a Conquistador-era graveyard. Susan was attacked and bitten by a zombie-conquistador who had burst from the ground in the cemetery.

Susan Attacked and Bitten by Graveyard Conquistador Zombie
Dr. Menard Bitten in the Face

In the film's blood-splattered climax, the horde of flesh-eating zombies (many of which were Spanish conquistadors, evidenced by their helmets and rising from their gravesites) as well as "living dead" who were reanimated in the hospital, attacked the few human survivors on the island in a siege of the hospital's church similar to the one in Night of the Living Dead (1968). Dr. Menard was bitten in the face by one of his own reanimated patients. Fire-bombs worked temporarily to hold back the surge, but the only sure way to eliminate a zombie was to shoot it in the head. Bryan didn't defend himself when he was startled to see his own zombified girlfriend Susan, and she bit him in the left arm. Bryan commanded for Peter to shoot her in the head.

Those who were able to get off the island included Anne, Peter, and Bryan (although he soon died from Susan's bite). Peter suggest that they lock Bryan up in the bilge to be brought back: "He's the only proof we've got that this all happened. And we will need proof unfortunately. Otherwise, they'll just think that we're crazy."

In an ironic twist ending (similar to the film's opening), as their boat approached NYC harbor, a radio broadcast reported that the city was under a zombie attack: "The situation here in New York City since the discovery of the first zombie is getting worse by the hour. There's chaos in the streets...the zombies are taking over. The governor has declared a state of national emergency...The zombies are everywhere. There seems to be no way to stop them. The city is at their mercy."

Abandoned Sailboat in NYC Harbor

Attacking Zombie on a Deserted Yacht

Murdered Coast Guard Harbor Patrolman - Lethally Bitten in Jugular Vein

Zombie Riddled With Bullets

Underwater Zombie Attack on Susan

Zombie vs. Shark

Susan Pulled From the Water After the Attack

Paolo's Actual Eye Gouging

The Boat Group

Dr. Menard With the Stranded Group

Flashback: The Day Anne's Father David Died of the "Disease"

Anne's Father's Body Wrapped and Shot in the Head as It Zombified

Zombie Apocalypse: Night of the Living Dead-Styled Siege on the Island

Film's Final Image: Zombies Crossing Bridge into NYC

Sex in Cinematic History
History Overview | Reference Intro | Pre-1920s | 1920-26 | 1927-29 | 1930-1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934-37 | 1938-39
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Index to All Decades, Years and Features

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