Judge Christopher Kulik doesn't need a Swedish maid. His French one is doing just fine.
Sweet innocence comes of age!
What can you say about a film which is written by a man named Mike Hunt and directed by a man named Floch Johnson?
Facts of the Case
A 16-year-old Swedish milk maid named Inga (Christina Lindberg, Thriller: A Cruel Picture) is yearning to see what life is like in the big city. So, she decides to travel to Stockholm to visit her sister Greta (Monica Ekman), who has her own apartment. Inga is somewhat surprised to find Greta living with an older man, a doped-up slacker named Carsten (Krister Ekman). Things are fine at first, but when Inga catches Greta and Carsten having wild sex, her virginal existence is screaming to be compromised.
As luck (fate?) would have it, Greta sets Inga up to have a date with Bjorn, one of Carsten's weird friends (a professor, no less). The night starts off well, with the couple having dinner and playing some records. Then, he decides to date-rape her; she initially resists, but ends up loving it. Even though Inga was a moral girl before, she and Bjorn are now drinking and having sex as much as they can, which only makes Greta worried and Carsten jealous.
This movie is in some kind of time warp. It was made for one reason only: to capitalize on Swedish starlet Christina Lindberg and her rising popularity as a centerfold (she was Penthouse's Pet of the Year 1970). Plot-wise, Maid In Sweden is supposed to be about a young girl's sexual awakening—and it is—but it's also concerned with showing her unclothed as much as possible. (Footnote: this is not exactly a complaint, just an observation). Truth is, this film comes off today as a dirty, dated little ditty.
From the given details, one would think that this is nothing more than a foreign exercise in softcore amusement. Actually, Maid In Sweden is a US-Swedish co-production, shot on location in Stockholm, but filmed in English. The now-defunct Cannon Films was chiefly responsible for the film's production and—despite the title—it was never released in the country of Sweden! Still, it served its purpose back in 1971, which was getting Lindberg's fans in the theater and drooling over her luscious, barely-legal body.
I'm not denying Lindberg looks great (look at the DVD cover for God's sake!). However, I found this film troubling as softcore entertainment, as the sex scenes involving Bjorn and Inga had a sour taste to them, seeing how they involve a girl being raped and enjoying it. This may have been commonplace in 70s nudie films, but now it's just sad, offensive and, most importantly, not to be believed. I preferred the slow-mo shots of Lindberg just bathing by herself or walking around naked for no other reason because she can.
Maid In Sweden makes its DVD debut courtesy of Impulse Pictures. Saying that the film shows its age would be the understatement of the year. The opening credits are incomplete, signaling a hackneyed crop job, complete with more visual imperfections than I've seen all year. There is a reddish, silent-movie tint, which only makes the flesh tones flushed; all the actors look sunburned in snowy weather. Black levels are also terrible, with the nighttime shots yielding very little.
Audio-wise, there are hisses galore, and the background noises are easily detectable. The dialogue comes, goes, and cracks up at whim. Sadly, there are no subtitles, which is a huge blow. Impulse ought to be ashamed of themselves (even if the film is just a 42nd street curio) and yet they almost make up for the visual/audio discrepancies with a couple of bonus items. The only meat is found in a brand new video interview with Lindberg; while she remembers very little about the shoot, she does provide some focus into how "natural" she felt doing nude scenes and that "she doesn't look Swedish." There is also a poor theatrical trailer.
The best thing about the movie is Lindberg, and the best thing about Impulse's DVD is the cover. Otherwise, skip it.
Lindberg is free to go, but the film and Impulse are found very guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Impulse Pictures
• Christina Lindberg Interview
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