Seduction Cinema // 1965 // 77 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker // January 11th, 2008
They indulged in the kind of life many dream about...but don't dare live!
It's a film about making a film about a woman trying to make it in the theater! It's Day for Night meets All About Eve! It's 8½ meets Stage Door!
OK, it's not. It's a '60 sexploitation cheapie that's short on "sex," long on "ploitation," and every inch a "cheapie."
The Sexperts is about three men planning a film. The film (within the film) is about sexy siren Liz (Lana Lynn) and sexy bookworm Connie (Rusty Allen). Told mostly through narration, the film-within-the-film focuses on Liz's efforts to skank her way into the theater world by sleeping with an actor, then a director, then a wealthy producer. The side story in the f-within-the-f is of the comparatively demure Connie and her problems with her boyfriend.
Whenever things start to slow down -- which is frequently -- we cut back to the three "filmmakers" talking about how the plot should go. Occasionally, they argue about whether the film should be in black-and-white (which The Sexperts is) or color, which opens the door to having some extraneous nudie-cutie footage thrown into the proceedings.
If Douglas Sirk had 50 bucks, a camera, and a head injury, he might have made The Sexperts. This story is more soap opera than sex film, and aside from the color inserts, there's precious little flesh to be seen. The narration is purely melodramatic, and the framing device of people making this film allows for a lot of narrative shortcuts. Had this been made as a "straight" story without the narration and inserts, it could easily pass as a forgettable, legitimate, low-budget potboiler.
Instead of Sirk, we have William Mishkin to thank for this one. Mishkin was a producer and distributor of exploitation fare back in the wild n' wooly '60s and '70s. As a distributor, he would often get his hands on European films, slap a provocative title on them, and release them as "scandalous" product. Sometimes, he would insert new footage into an existing film, famously taking a 1972 Italian crime film starring Farley Granger (Strangers on a Train), adding hardcore sex scenes with Harry Reems and Tina Russell, and retitling the film Penetration for its 1976 American release.
The Sexperts was Mishkin's follow-up to his successful Orgy at Lil's Place, another soap opera with a title that was smarmier than its content. It was directed by Jerald Intrator, who, under the name J. Nehemiah, which he used here, had also directed Lil's Place.
It's unclear whether the bizarre soundtrack was by accident or design. Part narration, part synched scenes, part over dub (often with different voices for actors you'd heard earlier), it's a mess. At around the 35-minute mark -- coincidentally, the same time as the first color insert -- it goes completely over to narration, which becomes pretty tedious pretty fast. It almost seems as if they shot a bunch of stuff, changed their minds about what they wanted to do with it, and then added the narration to concoct the story.
Retro-Seduction Cinema once again gives us an outstanding package. The picture, restored from recently discovered 35mm elements, looks great, with high contrast and deep blacks. That The Sexperts features above-average cinematography helps considerably. Audio is an acceptable Dolby Mono track.
Like last year's impressive release of The Sexploiters, another (and superior) low-budget exploitation film from 1965, The Sexperts set has a great slip cover featuring art by Daniel R. Horne. The case itself has what appears to be poster art from the film's original run, including its subtitle: "Touched by Temptation."
The Sexperts does not feature a commentary track as The Sexploiters did, which is unfortunate. The extras here focus more on nudie cutie than indie filmie. As one bonus, we get the color sequences looped together. Interestingly, it's noted that these particular sequences are not the ones originally featured in the film; those, apparently, are lost forever, but no matter; if you've seen one grainy, color insert sequence of a topless woman hopping around a harem or jungle set, you've seen 'em all. Exploitation favorite Audrey Campbell (Olga's House of Shame) has a brief bit at the end of The Sexperts and is shown in some vintage commercials for floor wax and other products. A second disc gives us Naughty Nudes '65, a bunch of stag loops from decades ago. Collectors of ancient erotica will be thrilled with this bonus; casual viewers are advised to keep the remote handy.
The best extra here is an eight-page booklet with an essay on The Sexperts and its creators by Michael Bowen, a short tribute to Audrey Campbell, who died in 2006, and an introduction to the Naughty Nudes disc by 42nd Street Pete. As always, Bowen's work is terrific, giving the film and filmmaker context in the canon of '60s exploitation indies.
The Sexperts is far from exploitation at its finest, but it's worth a look for aficionados. Retro Seduction has put together another good package.
Review content copyright © 2008 Tom Becker; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Seduction Cinema
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 77 Minutes
Release Year: 1965
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Scenes
* Vintage TV Commercials
* Bonus Disc: "Naughty Nudes '65"
* Eight-page Booklet by Michael Bowen
* Official Site
* Daniel R. Horne Site
* William Mishkin Article