U.S.A. | 2011
Directed by Nick Philips
Uschi Digard, Lynn Harris
Color | Not Rated
Pleasures of a Woman (1972): 60 Min.
Fancy Lady (1971): 54 Min.
Format: DVD(R1 - NTSC | 2-disc set)
Retro-Seduction Cinema
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Review by
Doug Red

Fancy Lady:5
Uschi Digard is a legend. Her incredibly oversized chest brought her to the attention of mammary enthusiast Russ Meyer, who cast the uninhibited little gal from Sweden in a number of his later, craziest epics. Uschi, whose ample endowments are matched only by her mind (she speaks eight languages), was ubiquitous in men's magazines and erotic films throughout the 1960s and '70s. The Retro-Seduction Cinema DVD imprint has mined the film vaults of darkest Hollywood to uncover the Uschi Digard Collection to a waiting world.
    1972's Pleasures of a Woman features sweet Uschi as Martine, who loved her husband to death for his money. Unfortunately she finds that her spouse left all her cash to his comely niece Gwen (naughty vixen Lynn Harris, who brings much of the cute girl next door qualities that makes Misty Mundae so memorable). Martine uses her body and the lure of pleasure physical and chemical, to the point of addiction to get what she wants from Gwen, who is also as bisexual as her step-aunt. Martine first makes her move on one of Gwen's leather shoes for a memorable self-pleasuring sequence which eventually ends with Martine and Gwen getting together, involving much boot worship and rubbing together of two different female body types: slim and svelte vs. titanic and well-endowed. Gwen also finds time in her busy seduction calendar to make sweet love with an enthusiastic old flame for some hetero scenes. As Martine and Gwen carve out a pleasurable slice of life for themselves, Gwen even imagines another woman in leather posing for her enjoyment as the couple rub each other to satisfaction in a variety of positions from the zoo playbook of animal attraction (at least one position reminded me of a rather exotic lawn chair).
    Pleasures of a Woman is a film very much in keeping with new cinema values of the '70s. There is no actual dialogue, just Gwen's constant voice-over narration explaining her thoughts about the action presented in the film. Relationships between images are created in the mind of the audience via the magic of editing (such as the kicking boots in a can-can dancing girls print on the wall, providing visual foreshadowing and motivation to Uschi's later shoe fetish), making the film a bit more arty than the average blandly-shot softcore film of the era. The endless background music sounds much like a trapped jazz trio playing in the corner of an abandoned building with no particular aim. Since the narrative (such as it is) revolves around narration, it allows for the film to tell a visual story that doesn't always match up with what the voice-over is telling us, but in between these two parallel techniques lies an interesting tale of love and addiction that actually has a point besides just the display of beautiful people in love.
    Fancy Lady (1971) features bouncy young Uschi as Karin Nykquist, a hard-hitting investigative reporter looking into the sexual revolution hotly underway in San Francisco. Taking in an erotic movie show moments after landing in the U.S.A., she sees two lovely young lesbians making love in a patch of greenery (Pleasures' Lynn Harris and Barbara Mills). They "die the little death" repeatedly and with their boots on, a turn-on for shoe-loving Uschi. Next, the photo-snapping Karin is able to walk in and observe a young hippy couple (Starlyn Simone and George Peters) in the throes of passion. This is also the featured appearance of a calico kitty I've dubbed "Sex Cat". During the softcore tryst, Sex Cat hangs out fairly unimpressed on the bed as the hipsters knock boots while romping and rubbing in a variety of positions, at least until an energetic moment of backdoor delight which seems to startle the otherwise nonplussed feline. Karin's question to herself in the nonstop voice-over "If I had taken off my clothes, would he have welcomed me?" takes on a new meaning if Karin was contemplating making a move on Sex Cat. Finally the film ends with Karin taking a tour of her own body as she considers the sights, sounds and sensations she has experienced in San Francisco.
    Fancy Lady once again utilizes nonstop voice-over and background music in lieu of synch sound and spoken dialogue, but in this film's case it turns it into more of a travelogue or mondo film as opposed to the character-based narrative of Pleasures of a Woman. Fancy Lady also has a slower pace and less development of character than Pleasures of a Woman, but it benefits from a slightly younger Uschi displaying her wares with a bit more enthusiasm. It also benefits from genuine street locations shot around San Francisco, adding to the time capsule qualities of the film. The major question of if Uschi gets it on with yet another in an endless supply of shoes in her final solo scene, and the final fate of Sex Cat, will not be spoiled by this review.
    Taken together, Pleasures of a Woman and Fancy Lady shed light onto the swinging world of early '70s softcore, and gives audiences another chance to enjoy the delightful screen presence and bodacious physicality of titanic Uschi Digard.

Retro-Seduction Cinema's Uschi Digard Collection 2-DVD set features clear 4:3 prints of Uschi's features, somewhat faded but fairly clear and looking very much the way they should, with minimal scratching. The twin DVD's also come with a staggering mountainside of extras to compliment the features. Sharing Disc 1 with Pleasures of a Woman is another full-length film, Retro-Seduction's own 2002 remake (using the same title). Starring Julian Wells in the Uschi role and Darian Caine in the Lynn Harris role, the storyline follows the same general trajectory of the 1972 original, including make-out sessions with shoes and boots. It also includes a new character played by gargantuan Syn DeVil as a welcome third wheel for their lovemaking and debauchery. The flesh is enjoyable and energetic, but the storyline is less developed than the original. Also included are trailers for both 1972 and 2002 version of Pleasures, as well as five trailers for other Retro-Seduction titles (Roxanna, Lustful Addiction, Female Animal, Inga, Seduction of Inga) and trailers for some of the beloved Seduction Cinema Sexy Spoofs (Playmate of the Apes, Witchbabe, Erotic Witch III, Mummy Raider, and Gladiator Eroticus). Another interesting addition is a short featurette that features the pseudonymous 42nd Street Pete reminiscing about seeing Pleasures of a Woman back in the day, cut over footage from the film.
    Disc 2's extras are devoted to short 8mm loops of Uschi in action, doing her thing as only Uschi knows how. The first one uses sound (as a phone conversation), and the other ones just utilize the buzz of film going through a projector. The viewer is given a choice of what activity to see Uschi engage in, including sitting on a chair, on a sofa, a bed, with another girl and guy on a bed, and finally (and most horrifically) with a balloon-bosomed elderly matron with an incredibly long tongue who is unafraid of using it. Soft focus & softcore is the lesson here, because the cheap little loops can't overcome the limitations of grain and focus inherent in 8mm cameras. An interesting curiosity though, and Uschi seems enthusiastic in some of them. 6/29/11