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THE GOLDEN AGE OF DANISH PORNOGRAPHY
DVD. Pink Flamingo Entertainment.

The Golden Age of Danish PornographyHard as it might be for younger Strange Things readers to believe, there was a time when watching a porn movie involved more than just a few mouse clicks, or even slipping a DVD into the player. Back in the 1970s, when hardcore was first becoming legal everywhere (apart from Britain, of course), X-rated movie viewing in the home involved threading an super 8 film (a step up from the more brittle 8mm films of the 1960s) into a projector and then enjoying the usually silent footage that mostly ran for about 8 minutes – sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes jamming or snapping. Unlike cutdown versions of mainstream movies that were available for home viewing, these smut films were mostly made specifically for the 8mm market, churned out in their thousands across the world. Even when home video took over, it’s likely that collections of these shorts would be amongst the first porn you ever saw, especially if you were British – imports and bootlegs of the Color Climax films were by far the most widely available hardcore titles.

Unlike with feature length hardcore, little effort has been made to catalogue or preserve these short films, on the whole, so Pink Flamingo’s release of twelve films from director Freddy Weiss (who released films under the Venus and Playgirl imprints, amongst others) is most welcome, even if it is the tip of a very large iceberg. Complete with informative and entertaining sleeve notes by Nicolas Barbano and a gloriously funky new soundtrack by Alex Puddu – at once a pastiche of porn movie music and a sympathetic, groovetastic tribute that fits perfectly with the films on screen, and is available on CD and LP – this is a must-have for any classic porn fan.

The twelve films, dating from 1970 – 1974, are pretty typical of the genre. While the basic structure of sex scenes hasn’t changed much in the ensuing four decades – there are only so many positions and coupling opportunities, after all – in all other ways these seem entirely alien by modern porn standards. For a start, the action is fast and furious – with just 8 minutes or so, it had to be. As the average porn movie now often has 30 minute plus sex scenes, you can imagine that these films don’t waste time, and frankly are all the better for it. And of course, the performers look very different. One or two exceptions aside, there’s a lot of hair on display – pubic hair isn’t simply present, it’s extensive, some girls have underarm hair and most of the men are hairy as werewolves too. Bodies are entirely natural, and – Seventies makeup, moustaches and hairstyles aside – look remarkably natural. There are no super-toned bodies or gym-crafted bodies here, just real people.

As for the actual films:

Barbershop sees a young lady pop in to the barbers for a pussy shaving (pre-dating a similar scene in the classic Whitehouse Video Show No. 1) before getting it on with the filthy fingernailed barber and his female assistant, who sports the most unconvincing wig I’ve ever seen – hardly the best advert for a hairdresser, you might think. Sucking Start also seems to have a hairstylist theme, as a guy moves from combing the coiffed heads of two hair hoppers to a vigorous three-way, while Madam’s Delight sees (I assume) a rich woman and a champagne drinking couple partying with an Indian maid. There are some shocking Seventies fashions in this film.

Miss Butterfly opens with a man reading Oui (a long forgotten but once very popular girlie mag) before his girlfriend strips and shares a cigarette with him – these days probably the most outrageous part of the whole film. Massage Parlour is a pretty frantic look at life in the eponymous establishment, with assorted couplings crammed into the running time, while Doctor Sex has what I suspect are a highly under-qualified doctor and nurse / secretary in action.

The Golden Age of Danish PornographySex Kittens sports the sort of film damage that retro-grindhouse filmmakers spend ages trying to reproduce, endearingly clumsy sex and the most garish fashions imaginable – Burberry tartan style y-fronts? Black Triangle has a black girl and balding white guy indulging in dildo action in a hideous room, before another woman joins in. The editing on this one is all over the place and the location ensures it’s the ugliest film in the collection!

Lusty Nurses
sees two…erm… lusty nurses visiting a chap who’s obviously had a bad accident. Being public spirited they take his mind off things by fucking him and his mate. These two might be the cutest girls of the collection, but that’s all subjective, isn’t it? Sex Bar sees a bit more build up than usual, as a couple visit a bar and the woman is peeved by her man’s interest in the bottomless bar maid – understandable if this attraction wasn’t clearly advertised outside. I assume it wasn’t, as the place is otherwise devoid of customers, and as the horny customer and flirty bar maid get it on, the initially unhappy woman decides to make the best of it by joining in. Full marks for an impressive and lurid set in this film.

Lady Lovesport sees a footballer return home to find his girlfriend masturbating, and he wastes no time in helping her out, while Trio Sex has a woman being distracted from her piano playing by the fornicating couple next to her. Unable to tickle the ivories, she has no choice other than to join in the sexual action.

With (I hope) original box synopsises on the back cover (“a visit to the hair salon quickly evolves into a stimulating séance” is one description), this is a classic collection of vintage smut, infused with a charming naïveté. I’m not sure it works as porn these days, but it is a wonderful look back at what used to get people hot. Well worth picking up.

DAVID FLINT

 

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