Lorna (Russ Meyer / U.S., 1964):

Vadim took Li’l Abner to the Côte d’Azur in Et Dieu... Créa la Femme, Russ Meyer brings it back home and in the process offers his own Bardot. "Lorna, does his touch excite you?" wonders the ballad over the credits, a woozy drift down the river leads to the shack on the edge of the Californian dogpatch. The titular blonde (Lorna Maitland) yearns for jazzy swirls, her husband (James Rucker) pours over too many books at night to notice her humid under the sheets, their anniversary is the following morning. Lusty boredom and lusty brutality are the town’s two speeds, so it goes over the course of a rather eventful day: An escaped convict (Mark Bradley) has the potency Lorna craves, after her ravishment she won’t let him leave, hubby meanwhile engages in shovel jousts with a couple of razzing Iagos in the salt pit. "Woe to the libertine who preys on the virtues of the weak..." Moving to straight narrative without forgoing his peepshow bark, Meyer is his own very capable photographer out for flesh and light: His camera follows Maitland into the stream encircled by dappled branches and, whaddya know, finds a Déjeuner sur l’herbe. Lot’s wife is indicated and the Reaper himself makes a flickering appearance, the Preacher (James Griffith) thunders right at the voyeurs in the audience while a succession of priapic satellites (hatchets, slanted church towers, fishing rods) orbits around the pillowy leading lady. "Physical stuff, plenty physical!" Mudmoney and Vixen are ferocious dilations, the European response arrives by way of Peckinpah in Straw Dogs. With Hal Hooper, Doc Scortt, Althea Currier, Fred Owens, and Frank Bolger. In black and white.

--- Fernando F. Croce

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