LIKE IT SEXY
DVD region 2. Nucleus Films.
released as Come Back Peter, this 1969 film doesn’t
promise much, being stuck between the swinging cinema of the Sixties
and the sex film explosion of the Seventies. And the opening scene
seems to confirm all your fears – Christopher Matthews (of
Scars of Dracula ‘fame’) driving
around London in a sportscar, looking for a naïve young chick
to pull like a poor man’s Alfie –
though Matthews is no Michael Caine. In fact, he’s not even
a Robin Askwith, coming across as thoroughly unlikeable.
But things start to slowly become a lot more interesting.
There;s no plot as such – instead, we get a series of episodic
sequences where Matthews visits a different woman and has some
sort of sexual adventure. So far, then, typical of the British
sex comedy. But this is rather different. For a start, it’s
not a comedy. And there’s no real connection between the
scenes, other than Matthews delivering a gift (that always stays
wrapped) to each woman. But his clothes change from scene to scene
(though they remain, for the most part, some of the most heinous
fashion faux pas you’ll ever see), as does his personality
– one moment he’s cocky and confident, the next nervous
It’s after a few of these scenes that you begin to realise
that this is something rather impressive. Matthews seems little
more than a prop – a featureless, characterless figure who
is little more than a mirror to the various female characters.
His partners include Twins
of Evil stars Mary
and Madeline Collinson (who have a surprising and somewhat
tasteless incestuous lesbian scene), feisty black singer Valerie
St Helene, hippy stoner Annabel Leventon), man-hungry MILF Yolande
Turner (and, by implication, her daughter played by a young and
fully clothed Madeline Smith)
and down to Earth Salvation Army officer Nicola Pagett. If it
wasn’t for the shots of him selecting gifts from a briefcase
full before several encounters, you could easily think that this
was Matthews playing several different characters… and in
a way, he is. I won’t spoil the final twist, but it does
allow the preceding film to make sense (including ths shots of
chopping meat that had accompanied each scene in a none-too-subtle
metaphor - or so it seems).
Writer / Producer / Director Donovan Winter manages to make this
film much more than it deserves to be. With a fascinating music
score (a soundtrack album would be great) that mixes then-current
pop hits, classical and original music into bizarre sound collages
that are years ahead of their time and remarkable visual
flourishes – the hippy sequence is both seductively and
nightmarishly trippy, and edited so frenetically as to induce
seizures – the film frequently transcends its sex film origins
to become more like an experimental arthouse /underground film.
The scene with the aggressive St Helene is strangely reminiscent
in feel (if not explicitness) of Lasse Braun’s Sensations,
while the closing sequence with Pagett is a classic slice of kitchen
This version is the ‘overseas’ edit, which means more
sex – you’ll spot the inserts easily, not only because
they are more explicit (though still softcore) but also because
the bodies frequently don’t match. You can also tell where
non-insert sex scenes were extended, as they scenes in question
often have a closing shot where the original edit would be before
carrying on with the rudeness. Given that British sex films of
this period tended to have most of the nudity removed, let alone
any sexual activity, it’s hardly surprising that these ‘continental’
edits were essential. Now, the extended sex scenes actually seem
to get in the way, and are about as sexy as a steak and kidney
pie - though I'd still rather have them included than missing.
Saddled with it’s dreadful and misleading retitle, Some
Like It Sexy won’t do much for you if you’re
expecting a Confessions… style romp. But
if you want to see a fascinating and unique late Sixties artefact,
you’ll be more than happy.
Nucleus have packed this DVD with extra goodies too – a
37 minute, oddball effort from Winter called Penny for
Your Thoughts, where young men and women gabble on about
boyfriends and girlfriends, backed to the sounds of Swinging London,
is a remarkable bit of cine-verite that is probably a more authetic
slice of life than most Sixties documentaries and, impressively,
George Harrison Marks’ Halfway Inn, a late
Sixties black and white softcore movie, originally released on
8mm and starring the Collinson Twins as a pair of naughty maids
confusing some poor Peter Wyngarde lookalike as they take turns
bedding him. Given how poorly the Harrison Marks collection is
being distributed (or more accurately, buried) right now, I hope
Nucleus or some similar label can snap up the rights to more of
these buried treasures for DVD release.
Finally, the disc contains a PDF of Winter’s unpublished
autobiography – I haven’t had a chance to read it
yet, but how can it not be fascinating?
So, a splendid disc all round and well worth picking up.
IT NOW (UK)