May 7, 2019

Blue Movie (1971)

I have to confess that ‘Blue Movie’ is certainly a film title that, although fairly generic and even a bit antiquated, has obsessed me for a number of years, namely because it is the title of three very different, albeit all technically erotic, films that I have had an interest in at one point or another. Indeed, aside from the Andy Warhol flick also known as Fuck (1969) starring Viva and Louis Waldon and the truly eerie and esoteric rape-ridden 1978 artsploitation of the same name directed by underrated aberrant-garde Italian auteur Alberto Cavallone, the Dutch sexploitation flick Blue Movie (1972) directed by Wim Verstappen has been on my radar for a number of years but it was not until the other day that I actually got the opportunity to watch it via the new Cult Epics blu-ray. As an inordinately obsessive fan of Dutch cinema, I naturally had been intending to watch the film for sometime as it is considered a key cinematic work in the Netherlands due to more or less single-handedly demolishing the censoring power of the Dutch film Ratings Board (which was officially dismantled in 1977) and thus influencing the more explicit films of greater filmmakers like Paul Verhoeven and ultimately becoming an unexpected huge hit as one of the most (monetarily) successful Dutch films of all-time, yet I also had certain reservations due to it being a (s)exploitation flick made in collaboration between Wim Verstappen and Pim de la Parra (aka ‘Pim & Wim’) via their production company Scorpio Films. While there is no doubt that the aptly titled Blue Movie features enough flaccid cocks, bushy beavers, and large pendulous big sippers to be at least considered a genuine softcore fuck flick, it luckily features enough food-for-thought to chew onto to imbue one with a respectable degree of toxic intellectual diarrhea. Indeed, for a film that ostensibly celebrated the so-called ‘sexual liberation’ movement that initially blitzkrieged the Occident in the late-1960s and ultimately caused more long-term social damage to Europe than the Soviets ever could, it unequivocally depicts the (im)moral phenomenon in an exceedingly negative fashion, which is especially curious when one considers that the film’s Surinamese-Sephardic-Jewish producer de la Parra more or less spent his entire career peddling celluloid smut. Maybe it is because I am from a generation where porn has always been pretty easy to come by, but the only kind of people that Blue Movie might arouse is virginal middle school math teachers or young Mormon kids that has never seen a nice pair of shapely tits before. Luckily, the film was made in a (post)Calvinist nation where even ostensibly vogue erotica is impregnated with a certain discernible degree of pathological pessimism and cynicism.  In short, if you are one of the oh-so-few unfortunate beings that manages to get aroused enough to bust a load while watching the film, you will probably feel exceedingly guilty afterwards as you stare at your cheaply misspent baby batter.

Indeed, despite obviously mainly being a huge financial success due to its then-shocking (anti)erotic genital-driven content and the predictable scandal it caused, would-be-auteur Verstappen made a fairly intellectual plea as to why the film was more than mere disposable celluloid dung, or as Dutch film scholar Peter Verstraten explained in his book Humour and Irony in Dutch Post-War Fiction Film (2016): “Director Verstappen was dissatisfied with this decision and in a quite lengthy counter-plea he pointed out the scientific and religious purport of the film. BLUE MOVIE, he bluffed, should be seen as a loose adaptation of DE TOEKOMST DER RELIGIE [THE FUTURE OF RELIGION] (1947), a volume consisting of nine essays by the respectable writer Simon Vestdijk. Verstappen also attached an official American scientific research document, called THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON OBSCENITY AND PORNOGRAPHY, to his apology, for he claimed that this was crucial source material. By explaining in his apology that such extra-textual aspects had been influential, which of course was hard to deny, Verstappen provoked the Film Commission. Moreover, a psychologist was consulted who thought the film made sense from the perspective of his profession.” On top of being, relatively speaking, almost shockingly ‘intellectual,’ the films is—by modern degenerate liberal standards—fairly ‘red-pilled’ in terms of its rather frank depiction of male and female sexuality and the social influences behind said sexuality. In fact, the strongest and sanest voice of reason in the film is an old school ‘fascist’ zoologist-cum-professor that has come to the conclusion after studying monkeys that, as far as human sexuality is concerned, women look for ‘status’ (as provided by an alpha-male type) when it comes to men and men care more about the prestige a beautiful woman (translation: ‘trophy wife’) gives him than the actual beautiful woman herself. On top of that, a hedonistic lifestyle involving orgies, fucking married women, and creating pornography ultimately leads the male protagonist to becoming impotent, at least when it comes to a woman that he actually he loves in what ultimately proves to be a venomously ironical twist that is clearly meant to mock the raincoat crowd. In short, this erotic film demonstrates, so-called ‘free love’ is not free and, like so-called erotic films, can surely lead to the erasure of eros and a sort of excremental approach to human sexuality where sexual release becomes something akin to a bowel moment in terms of personal value. 

Like a sort of anti-Rear Window (1954) where the young and virile (as opposed to old and crippled) ‘hero’ spends his entire time fucking tons of (sub)debutantes in tons of different apartment building rooms instead of voyeuristically spying on them from the comfort of his apartment like Jimmy Stewart's rather sedentary character, Blue Movie might have by directed by a guy that has described himself as having been influenced by Hitchcock yet it can hardly be described as Hitchcockian, especially as a cinematic work that utilizes explicit sexual imagery over suggestive symbolism and hyper horny (yet oftentimes homely) whores and housewives as opposed to cool and mysterious platinum blonde bimbos. While Verstappen (with Martin Scorsese of all people!) co-penned his pal Pim’s almost obnoxiously Hitchcockian Dutch-German co-production Obsessions (1969) aka Bezeten - Het gat in de muur starring German actor turned producer Dieter Geissler (who also co-produced Blue Movie), his oftentimes dually flaccid fuck flick is brutally bare bones aesthetically speaking and has about as much visceral thriller-mystery tension as a New England fast food line, yet that it is ultimately to its benefit in terms of demystifying the innately idiotic Marcusian counterculture myth of ‘free love.’ Indeed, not coincidentally concluding on a shot of the obscenely oppressive and clinic apartment complex, which fittingly resembles a dystopian prison, that the protagonist and his feckless fuck buddies and friends have turned into a virtual human sex zoo where sexual shame and self-control have been just as thoughtlessly disposed of as civilization itself, the film demonstrates in a sometimes devastating (yet oftentimes humorously depicted) fashion that free love has resulted in a sort of cleverly cryptic metaphysical enslavement of the West that controls people more than any religion, government, or dictator ever could. It is also probably no coincidence that the very same base instincts that led to the protagonist serving a jail sentence also lead him to relative financial and social success despite also causing him to being unlovable and impotent in the end.  Indeed, as the film demonstrates in a relatively subtly sardonic fashion, the morally inverted world that the protagonist unexpectedly finds himself in after getting out of prison at the beginning of the film leads to his complete and utter retrogression as a human being; or, in short, the rather ironic consequences of so-called ‘progressive’ (sexual)politics. While the quite literally puritanical values of Calvinism that led to the once-powerful Dutch Empire are nowhere to be seen in the ostensibly hip and happening post-colonial Holland depicted in the film, flagrant philandering, treacherous cuckoldry, single mothers/bastard kids, porn addiction, sexual-shame-inspired suicide, and early age impotence, among other things, are so rampant that they can be found under the roof of one apartment building.  In short, Blue Movie makes for a rather mirthfully morbid masturbation aid and if you are dumb and/or sexually retarded enough to beat your meat to such a devilishly dejecting movie, just remember that the filmmaker(s) would be laughing at you (and rightly so!).

Blue Movie hero Michael (Hugo Metsers)—a rather dumb and unwitting yet reasonably affable dude that thinks with his dick instead of his brain—was sentenced to five years in prison for having sex with a slightly underage teenage girl, so naturally he is in for quite the surprise when he is finally released from the slammer and discovers that ‘free love’ is now the norm and that no one would dare give a shit about such a carnal ‘crime’ in the new sexually liberated climate in the Netherlands lest they be deemed uptight reactionaries and/or dorks. As a somewhat handsome 25-year-old buck that has spent about half a decade of his most sexually virile years completely pussy-starved (in fact, the protagonist had to spend an extra year in prison after beating up a queer that tried to rape him), Michael naturally sees his fairly conservative parole officer Eddie (Helmert Woudenberg, who is the son of a Dutch-Waffen-SS Untersturmführer)—a well-meaning yet unintentionally comical and seemingly half-autistic nerd that makes a piss poor attempt at warning the protagonist about the moral degeneration that has hit the tiny Lowland country—as somewhat of an obstacle in terms of trying to find a nice warm hole to stick his extra eager bald-headed bandit into. Luckily, Michael’s new apartment building, which resembles something you might expect to find in some obscure Soviet shithole, is packed with shameless whores that are completely down to fuck, including a number of married women.  In short, Michael had no way to predict that he would be unleashed in a recklessly wanton world that is beyond his most lurid dreams, but unfortunately he is also in no way prepared to deal with the unexpected consequences of such widespread hedonism.  Driven by a libido that is only transcended by a lack of IQ, Michael sometimes seems more like a giant pulsating penis than a man with a mind and personality.

 Despite respecting her zoologist husband Dr. Bernard Cohn (Kees Brusse)—a stoic scholar that acts as a sort of father figure for the protagonist—Michael finds himself reluctantly engaging in an affair with a mindless kraut cunt named Marianne (Ursula Blauth), who has no qualms about confessing to the hopelessly horny hero that she finds him especially attractive because hear bears a striking resemblance to a brother that she had an incestuous childhood relationship with. While a genius when it comes to studying monkeys and their strikingly eerie similarities with humans, Dr. Cohn—a rather conservative chap with a Kohenic kosher surname that couldn’t be less kosher in terms of attitude and demeanor—was clearly blinded by fine young female flesh when he dared to marry someone as young and dumb as Marianne, who is at least young enough to be his daughter. While clearly a failure when it comes to choosing the appropriate wife, Dr. Cohn ultimately eclipses parole officer Eddie in terms of acting as a sort of wise and sensible fatherly figure (in fact, he even acknowledges his foolishness in terms of choosing a young hot twat spouse). Clearly overwhelmed by the steady flow of warm-and-wet spunk-pots that are quite literally dropped off at his doorstep, Michael finds it to be impossible to turn down all the carnal-traps and thus ultimately find himself turning into a virtual fuck-toy for his entire apartment building. In fact, the protagonist finds himself so deeply buried in gash that it eventually leads him to gaining an admirable reputation and, in turn, a ton of cash after he learns to monetize his carnal prestige by becoming a full-blown pornographer, though it comes at a somewhat hefty price: his soul. 

 For many, if not most, young men, sex is naturally the most important thing in the entire world and the one activity where one expends the most time and energy attempting to procure but, as Dr. Cohn attempts to explain to Michael, there are much more important things in life than pussy. Indeed, when Michael asks him if sex is important, Dr. Cohn, who clearly did not become a successful professional as a result of spending all his time getting drunk and banging bar whores, bluntly replies, “Power, aggression is more fundamental” and even hilariously tells his wife—a hot twat harlot that seriously acts as if her gash is god’s great gift to the world—during the same heated conversation that, “Heaven doesn’t lie between your legs.” Needless to say, being part of a decidedly degenerate generation that has been strategically force-fed the bitter blue-pill of Marcusian mumbo jumbo, Marianne—the sort of impressionable yet not less self-absorbed I-got-my-head-up-my-add idiot that would believe Wilhelm Reich was a legit scientist—accuses her hubby scientist of being a big mean “fascist” for expressing traditional ideas that contradict her debauched tendencies towards extramarital excursions and consuming endless brotherly cock. As Dr. Cohn explains towards the end of the film upon confessing to Michael that he is fully aware that he has cuckolded him, “When you spend your life watching monkeys you learn about people […] I find it terrible.” While Dr. Cohn attempts to give Michael some fatherly advice about life, he also warns him, “Maybe you’re a born bachelor. And then such value is nonsense.” It seems that Michael may indeed be an accursed perennial bachelor of sorts as he actually attempts to transcend his degenerate Dutch Don Juan status and hooks up with a single mother named Julia (Ine Veen)—a girl that he was initially extremely attracted to yet ultimately rejected due to the rather unfortunate problem of her bastard brood—but the love affair proves to be doomed from the get-go, at least as far as biology as concerned, as the hunky hero fails to even get a hard-on after a hot and heavy foreplay session that occurs at the end of the film. Indeed, it seems that too much pornography and poontang has left the once perennially potent protagonist impotent, at least when it comes to women that he actually loves. In short, sex has become nothing more than an impulsive bodily function like defecation for Michael and everything has turned to shit.  In short, free love is far from free, or so the hapless protagonist learns after more or less losing his soul in a sea of semen-sucking skanks.  As to the character's rather quick rise and fall, Camille Paglia might have been onto something when she argued in Sexual Personae (1990), “Ironically, sexual success always ends in sagging fortunes anyhow. Every male projection is transient and must be anxiously, endlessly renewed. Men enter in triumph but withdraw in decrepitude. The sex act cruelly mics history's decline and fall.”

 One of the things I find most intriguing about cinema, especially old and/or foreign cinema, is its ability to act as a sort of virtual time-machine and express the fears, obsessions, trends, and zeitgeist of a particular era. Of course, not like an ancient cathedral, great cinema as created by master auteurs like Dreyer and Bergman was clearly made to stand the test of time but such timeless cinematic works are few and far between. Of course, this can certainly not be said of virtually all erotica, especially a film like Blue Movie, which was clearly made to cash-in on degenerate trends (if nothing else, producer de la Parra was a clever promotions man), hence why the film is almost forgotten today despite being technically one of the most (monetarily) successful Dutch films of all-time. Still, the film is more intriguing than I expected it to be, if not for oftentimes unintentional reasons, as it unwittingly exposes both the spiritual and sexual bankruptcy of so-called sexual liberation. After all, it is no coincidence that our so-called puritanical ancestors had more sex than we do despite the fact we apparently live in oh-so liberated and enlightened times.  Also, compared to a decidedly degenerate film like Just Jaeckin’s insultingly idiotic Emmanuelle (1974)—a film that is undeniably stylishly directed yet ultimately a disgustingly debauched piece of celluloid doo-doo that derives most of its false potency in its perpetual degradation of tragic Dutch diva Sylvia Kristel—Blue Movie is much maturer and realistic in terms of its message. Indeed, whereas Jaeckin’s unintentional celluloid joke literally basks in cuckoldry and attempts to pass off Sapphic sex as the height of hipdom, Verstappen’s surprisingly whimsical quasi-sexploitation flick completely demystifies the entire sexual liberation (pseudo)ethos and hints at how the ostensible sexual utopia would lead to a degenerate dystopia. Indeed, leave it up to the Dutch to create a fuck flick that features figurative finger-wagging about fuck flicks and a both literally and figuratively anticlimactic climax where the Michael’s flaccid pecker becomes the sort of viscerally pathetic anti-star of the protagonist's own worst nightmare; or, in short, the perils of metaphysically-induced castration anxiety and impotence.

When it comes down to it, Blue Movie is, in many ways (and probably mostly unintentionally), an insanely aesthetically grotesque film that absolutely epitomizes everything that was obscenely ugly about early-1970s clothes, hair, and fashion styles, which is rather fittingly as these gratingly inane ingredients help to (unwittingly) underscore the equally inane ideas of the singularly deleterious ‘save the whales and kill the babies’ generation. In fact, the visuals of the film have aged just as poorly as the odiously sensually overzealous zeitgeist that it so vividly (and, somewhat surprisingly, viscerally) depicts. Notably, the Cult Epics blu-ray of the film includes an interview with Blue Movie lead Hugo Metsers’ son Hugo Metsers Jr.—himself an actor that also happens be the son of avant-garde filmmaker Maartje Seyferth (Venus in Furs, Crepuscule)—and it is somewhat incriminating in terms of revealing the effects that the Dutch porn generation had on its children. Among other things, Metsers recalls a somewhat traumatic childhood experience where he randomly encountered Blue Movie at the mere age of 10 on pirate television while at a friend's house and it devastated him so much that he instantly ran home and cried in his bed. In fact, Metsers describes his childhood as “lonely” due to his parents' careerist self-absorption and sums up the sexual revolution era as being “chaos” for him, which probably explains why he has lived a somewhat disastrous personal life that includes two failed marriages.

Despite technically being the fifth biggest native Dutch box office hit of all-time and demonstrating that sex—even marvelously mundane sex involving floppy flaccid cocks—certainly sells, Blue Movie also confirms that most pussy gets pretty old pretty fast, hence the relative obscurity of the film today (and why it makes a worthy release for the vintage Euro erotica nostalgists at Cult Epics).  Although Verstappen would go on to direct other erotically-charged material like Alicia (1974), quite unlike his pal-cum-partner Pim, he eventually demonstrated he was a somewhat eclectic filmmaker and would greatly mature with age as revealed by his largely genital-less aeronautical affair Dakota (1974) and rather unconventional Dutch Resistance flick Pastorale 1943 (1978). Indeed, as the sagely Peter Cowie noted in his text Dutch Cinema (1979), Pastorale 1943 was “his most successful from a critical point of view” and that “Verstappen formed with de la Parra one of the most significant partnerships in modern Dutch films, and there is a clearly discernible maturity about his later work.” As for Blue Movie producer Pim de la Parra, he would confirm certain unfavorable racial stereotypes by continuing to direct artless smut, including Wan Pipel (1976) aka One People which, aside from being the first feature ever made in the director’s homeland of Suriname, depicts a miscegenation-based bizarre love triangle between a negro, white Dutch woman, and brown Hindu broad. While Pim has revealed certain Godardian pretenses with his debut feature De Minder gelukkige terugkeer van Joszef Katus naar het land van Rembrandt (1966) aka The Not Too Happy Return of Joszef Katus to the Land of Rembrant and even later works like Paul Chevrolet and the Ultimate Hallucination (1985), he never quite achieved the artistic prowess of Wim and can be seen today as a sort of slightly more serious ‘Dutch’ equivalent to Lloyd Kaufman in terms of degenerate schlock influence and curious combination of undeniable likeability and would-be-chic sleaze. As Cowie rightly noted when comparing the producer-cum-director to his former partner Wim, “Pim de la Parra’s successes as a director have been more modest. He is primarily a catalyst, a centre of ceaseless energy and ideas for other to put into practice.”  In that sense, he can certainly be seen as a sort of secondary auteur of Blue Movie, which makes for a good double feature with de la Parra's own sardonically salacious Swinging Amsterdam flick Frank & Eva (1973) also starring Hugo Metsers and featuring Sylvia Kristel in her debut film role.

For being an early fuck flick that even predates the ‘porn chic’ trend sparked by Gerard Damiano’s obscenely overrated Deep Throat (1972), Blue Movie is ultimately strikingly prophetic, especially terms of its ending, as porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED) is apparently a serious problem among a lot of modern-day young men as pornography can change the way a man’s brain reacts to sexual arousal.  In other words, pornography is not only largely pathetic, but can also result in sexual retardation, as if the touch and smell of a real woman has been completely neutralized by poorly directed images of a labia-less lady with giant silly silicone tits being blacked by some beefy bro named Tyrone.  Indeed, before porn even became completely vogue in the Occident, Verstappen’s prick-filled flick deconstructed the porn myth of the daredevil dick and really underscored the true pathetic persuasion of porn and the so-called sexual revolution. In that sense, Blue Movie totally transcended any sort of expectations that I had for it (which were admittedly somewhat low). I certainly cannot deny that the film reminded me that the only way to not feel like an emasculated loser while watching porn is if you’re doing it for ‘aesthetic’ reasons (e.g. experiencing true classics like Jonas Middleton’s truly singular hardcore horrorgasm Through the Looking Glass (1976)) and/or in the company of a girl you are about to fuck. Also, there’s something supremely cucked, if not downright gay, about watching some random coke-addled ‘performer’ plow some superlatively silly silicone-powered thot’s well-worn HPV-positive vade-mecum with his extra veiny Viagra-ridden ramrod, but then again I am the sort of guy that cannot help but be reminded of Der Stürmer when I see Ron Jeremy and can only speculate as to how any non-retarded man could find someone as intrinsically plastic and grimy as Jenna Jameson to be extremely sexually desirable.

Of course, most young guys are not going to think of such things and it is no coincidence that the protagonist of Blue Movie is a fairly normal unthinking dude that never considered that there might be some negative aspects to ‘free love’ as he is innately irrational due to being perpetually high on hormones, hence the truly pernicious character of the sexual liberation movement and the rather grotesque and uniquely unsexy virtual gargoyles like Reich and Marcuse that provided the pseudo-philosophical framework to unleash it on Christian Europe.  Speaking of psychoanalytic quacks, not unlike goy Jung with his former kosher mentor Freud, Wim did not really evolve and become an interesting filmmaker with his own distinct voice until after dropping Pim and rejecting a simply sex-obsessed approach to the medium.  After all, Europe did not become great embracing sexual gratification but by deferring it, hence the absurdity of describing sexually degenerate ideas as ‘progressive’ when they are literally and quite unequivocally the opposite.  After all, compare the post-Christian cinematic art of Wim and Pim to the countless great painters (and artists in general) of Dutch Christendom. Indeed, I do not think that it is an exaggeration to say that there's more dark erotic intrigue in a small fragment from a painting by Old Dutch Masters like Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel the Elder than there is in all of the films of Wim and Pim combined. Additionally, Wim and Pim's approach to the romantically lewd seems rather retarded when compared to one of Godfried Schalcken's more subversive chiaroscuro paintings like ‘A Man Offering Gold and Coins to a Girl,’ but that is exactly why Blue Movie is worth seeing as it painfully, if not playfully, highlights the twilight of Dutch Kultur and spirituality in an almost hypnotically crude fashion.

-Ty E

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