Impulse Pictures // 1973 // 95 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Chief Counsel Rob Lineberger (Retired) // June 29th, 2007
A true report of a 16-year-old nymphomaniac's behaviour.
Impulse Pictures is doing their level best to validate the "Swedish babe" mystique. Their steady stream of hard- and soft-core Swedish erotica shows us a carefree, sexually liberated world of fun times, absolutely weird interludes, and lots of nubile, naked women. I've yet to encounter an Impulse title that wasn't worth a look for exploitation junkies. That streak continues with Anita -- The Shocking Account of a Young Nymphomaniac, though the film differs from their usual fare in key ways.
Anita's (Christina Lindberg, Thriller: A Cruel Picture) father is more interested in his military career than anything and her mother is a mirage. Anita might be able to deal with their aloof parenting style if not for her brown nosing younger sister, whom her parents dote on. This inequity drives Anita into a tailspin of depression and self-deprecation that leads her to a life of cheap sex. Anita will take all comers, from young studs to homeless crack addicts. When she puts the moves on a young student of psychology named Erik (Stellan Skarsgård, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End), he immediately detects Anita's emotional vulnerability and vows to help her. Anita moves in, sending Erik's roommates into hormonal chaos. Undeterred, he works with his professors to determine a treatment for Anita: unencumbered orgasm!
Christina Lindberg has what you might call a rockin' body. No matter how many times she doffs her clothes, you look forward to the next doffing. And though Anita -- The Shocking Account of a Young Nymphomaniac has no hardcore (and few softcore) sex scenes, Lindberg is reinforcement enough to maintain your anticipation throughout the film.
So if the sex scenes are infrequent, what else then? Glad you asked. Anita's nymphomania, and its roots in trying to shock her parents into noticing her, leads to some peculiar scenes. For instance, Anita and her sister perform a duet for Daddy's military brass and business partners. Then Anita caps the performance with a bawdy strip tease right there in the living room. In another scene, Anita stares glumly at herself in the mirror, perhaps mulling why her sinful, curvy body must betray her desperate need for self worth. Lindberg accents this internal monologue by groping her breasts then pressing them together and thrusting them at the mirror (and, thus, at us). Such moments reveal the depths of her psychological abnormality. If Anita were your daughter or friend, you'd naturally be horrified and honor-bound not to enjoy these scenes. But this is a '70's arthouse flick featuring a notable softcore starlet; relax, and stare all you want.
That about does it for the pros, the bread-and-butter of Impulse Pictures and the most likely reason you're reading this review. (If "Shocking Account of a Young Nymphomaniac" means something to you other than "hey, is this a nudie flick?" then my apologies.)
As for the rest, uneven is a kind way to put it. Lindberg and Skarsgård enjoy an innocent, workable chemistry that makes their dry-as-dirt psychological ruminations bearable. Otherwise, Anita is a laughably overwrought dose of '70s psychoanalytic theory. From Erik's earnest, but clinical, discussions with Anita to the painful scenes of her home life, Anita is an After School Special in the vein of Kramer vs. Kramer, only without the production values and peppy vibe. Anita whores around and gives handjobs to crack addicts because of psychological abuse. She is beaten by her peers and shunned by the locals. Her funky fur coat gets marred when she ruts around in the dirt under a tarp on a construction site. Anita is not a sunny film, but it lacks the necessary gravity to make it meaningful.
The DVD treatment is as though they ran Anita through a telecine and spanked her on the ass on her way to the DVD shelves in your local store. The badly damaged, washed-out, grainy print has a yellowish-green cast, complemented by several orangy-black scenes -- and you'll be straining to see what you so desperately want to see hidden in the inky orange depths of the frame. Personally, I prefer a bit of grit and grime to glossy digital trickery, but Anita is still a dirty, dirty girl. She sounds kinda hoarse to boot. There are no extras on the DVD nor liner notes, though Impulse has provided a scintillating DVD cover with a nice grindhouse vibe (be sure to ask for a refund if you pay more than 25 cents for the DVD!). All in all, it's a bare-bones delivery of a title you'd otherwise be hard-pressed to view if not for the magic of DVD.
As a serious, non-exploitative take on nymphomania and teenage depression, Anita earns arthouse cred. But its day has passed and modern audiences will find it tedious and obvious. Yet you can't overlook Christina Lindberg's electric screen presence and sinful body, which admirably acquits this Shocking Account of a Young Nymphomaniac. Impulse Pictures doesn't go overboard with extras or restoration, but they're doing the key thing right: bringing us Swedish starlets on a tiny silver platter. Skål!
Anita was seen hurrying out of the judge's chambers. He emerged shortly thereafter with a shocked expression. The bailiff is still looking for her.
Review content copyright © 2007 Rob Lineberger; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Impulse Pictures
* 1.66:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital Mono (Swedish)
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 1973
MPAA Rating: Unrated