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TEENIE TULIP
Something Weird. Download.

Teenie TulipI suppose we all have to start somewhere, and this 1970 softcore effort is an early offering from Gerard Damiano, here a long way from the existential bleakness of The Devil in Miss Jones and Memories Within Miss Aggie, or even the jolly sexuality of Deep Throat – though at a stretch, you can see some of those ideas being formed, rather nebulously. Instead, what we have here is a pretty messy effort, made worse by being presented in one of the most beaten up, chopped up prints I’ve ever seen.

Peggy Simpson plays Karen, who is about to get married but has never had sex with her fiancé Jim. Her friend Jane (Linda Southern) suggests she visits a rather seedy psychiatrist, Dr Luv, who discovers – by asking – that her sexual repression dates back to the time a boyfriend tried to force her into giving him a blow job. Dr Luv decides that Karen needs his special form of sex therapy that involves her having sex with other people. And despite not wanting to give it up for Jim, she’s soon getting down with total strangers in his office. Go figure.

As we met the doctor’s other patients – a woman wanting to be spanked and a blonde looking for vibrator therapy, both helped out by an unappealing nurse called ‘mother’ (for all I know, she might well be supposed to be Dr Luv’s actual mother) – the film grinds on, concluding in a party where Karen strips off and fondles herself with a banana. Meanwhile, Dr Luv is being investigated by other doctors and suffering bad flashbacks as a result of one of his former patients being crushed to death by a horse. Do I really need to explain how that happened? Sensitive viewers and law officers will be relieved to know that the flashback to this scene is all suggestion.

Teenie Tulip – and don’t ask me where the title fits in, because there are no teens (or tulips) anywhere to be seen – is pretty shoddy, truth be told. There is reportedly a mid-Seventies version with hardcore inserts that is supposedly better, but to be honest, it’s hard to see how this could be salvaged. A mostly unappealing cast, limp action and incoherent plot make it hard to sit through, even in a version that clocks in at under an hour. There are plus points for the overly dramatic music, but if you’ve ever seen a Doris Wishman roughie, then you’ve heard the music before.

Whatever qualities the film does have are invariably lost because of the print damage. While it’s great that Something Weird are saving these obscure movies, and it’s unlikely that a pristine print or negative would ever turn up of this, the constant jumps and scratches – heavy in dialogue scenes, even heavier in the sex scenes – make it pretty much incomprehensible, as presumably important plot points, and even the ending of the film, are lost. As a slice of pre-porn history, it’s of some historical value; as a piece of entertainment, erotic or otherwise, it’s a non-starter.

DAVID FLINT

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