Monday, 1 January 2018

Felicity (1978)

“Bumper Package of John D Lamond Ozsploitation Classics”

       If the term Australian Erotica sounds like a bit of an oxymoron then it’s unlikely your opinion is going to be changed by this package of three (!) movies from the late 1970s, all produced by John D Lamond and now getting a UK release on Blu-ray for the first time courtesy of Severin Films.

The ‘A’ feature here is FELICITY. Shot in the same bright travelogue style as Just Jaeckin’s EMMANUELLE, it details the adventures of its title character (played by Glory PREY Annen), starting off in a girls' boarding school run by at least one nun who can’t mime playing the piano. Felicity spends her time reading The Story of O and getting up to beneath the sheets fumbling with her classmates in the grimmest-looking girls’ dormitory ever committed to film.

A birthday gift from her father sees Felicity travelling to possibly the wettest, most miserable version of Hong Kong ever depicted in a film of this type. She stays with an older couple who take her to a pool party where it’s so cold you can see everyone’s breath. Felicity gets seduced on the bonnet of his car by a gentleman with an enormous moustache (it's not the moustache that does the seducing before you get excited). Then she gets taken on tour of what look like the backstreets and ghettos of Hong Kong by a Chinese girl she befriends, culminating in one of those bathhouse-type scenes where you feel relieved for her to finally be inside somewhere warm.

       Numerous sexual encounters later, Felicity falls for a nice Australian bloke (Aha!) and the final act of the movie is about them breaking up and getting back together again. If you’re a fan of 1970s sexploitation you’ll probably want to see FELICITY as it seems to be considered by some as one of the classic softcore films of the period.  

The same might not be said of the two other films on here. ABCS OF LOVE & SEX: AUSTRALIA STYLE starts off very strangely with some animation before launching into a terrible song and dance number for its opening titles. After that the film plummets downhill as it shambles through the alphabet. AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK is a pretend-documentary that tries to suggest the country has a dark side full of oddball / sexy / sleazy goings on but is best viewed with your best comedy hat on and plenty of coffee to keep you awake.

       You have to hand it to Severin, though. As well as all the above you get commentary tracks on all three films, plus interviews with Glory Annen, John D Lamond and cinematographer Gary Wapshott. A terrific value bundle if this is your sort of thing.

FELICITY is out on Blu-ray now from Severin Films

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