USCHI DIGARD COLLECTION
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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