Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sex Ritual of the Occult (1970)

... aka: Rituals of the Occult
... aka: Sex Rituals of the Occult

Directed by:
Robert Caramico

Macabre orgies! Weird exotic rites! Sex ceremonies! See it all in this "daringly authenticated film" from the smut peddlers at Something Weird Video. This one's available in several different forms. The first is the full-length 80 minute version, and the other is a truncated 30 minute version released as an extra on the SATANIS: THE DEVIL'S MASS / SINTHIA: THE DEVIL DOLL double feature DVD. Our on-screen narrator / "technical advisor" (Vincent Stevens) shows us a mask used in Haitian voodoo rituals. He tells us that Haiti is "The place perhaps where it all comes together." He then tells us about the tens of thousands of people who have died over the course of five centuries as a direct result of witchcraft. Tens of thousands? That's a lot! It's no wonder good Christians frown upon the practice of witchcraft. After all, if another religion is responsible for tens of thousands of needless deaths and your own religion is responsible for hundreds of millions of needless deaths, you certainly have the right to stick your nose up at them in protest! After some more senseless chatter from our host comparing the bizarre sex acts of the occult to modern sex clubs, we're promptly swept off to a black mass ceremony.




A nude woman lies in a coffin. Chanting is heard. Hooded candle-holding cultists appear. Hooded candle-holding male cultist's robe drops. Nude large-breasted blonde comes in and fakes giving cultist a blow job. Male cultist returns the favor. Extremely awkward simu-sex in the standing up position follows. Man makes a go for girl in coffin. Other cultists lose robes and everyone goes to town next to, inside and on top of the coffin. Random two-second insert shot of a vibrator sitting on a pillow that nobody even uses. There's some nice variety in the participants, with blonde and brunette women, a black woman (with an afro) and an Asian woman, but unfortunately most of this is shot at a long distance with very few close-ups, which completely defeats the purpose. There's no dialogue aside from faked dubbed-in moaning and it also includes one of the least convincing whipping scenes in history.



Don't try this at home, kiddies!


Confused about how homosexuality works? Well, then you're in luck. Our narrator is kind enough to explain it to us: "Although some would disagree that homosexuality is a cult, I submit that homosexuals tend to love - which is another word for 'worship,' by the way - their own bodies, and are driven to members of the same sex by that worship." Adding: "Today with gay bars as citadels, park benches for shrines, the ritual is still performed." And by ritual, he means sex. The idea of a soft-core male-male sex scene may scare some people off (pussies!), but it's actually the only scene in this entire "documentary" that's the least bit memorable. It's also strangely the only sequence to have what appears to be foreplay and kissing. Having it in an occult-themed film while spooky music plays the whole time may be faintly offensive, but hey, at least they had the balls to wedge this into an otherwise routine softie. All of these segments were shot on the same redecorated set by the way. This one is decked out with a tree and a park bench (because, you know, gays love their public sex) and has some weird / creepy giant surreal painting in the background.






Next on the agenda is some voodoo nookie. The narrator tells us that witch doctors have more power in some countries than the dictactors and monarchs and talks a little about poking voodoo dolls before any other poking can commence. Our next tale is about a young warrior unable to perform a sex act with his wife so he's given a virility potion. The set has changed to a jungle background. There's a lit fire and some potted plants lying around. The stupid red coffin from the first sex scene is there for no good reason. Naked people in the background do a silly dance flailing their arms and dipping down to their knees. The sexy black actress from the first story thankfully gets to "star" in this one as the wife. She and her man go at it for a bit and are eventually joined by the rest of the "tribe" (i.e. the same people from the black mass segment). This one has some kaleidoscopic shots that multiply (and usually distort) what's going on. The color palette of this entire film is odd. Most of the scenes are drenched in red, pink or purple lighting. The narrator pops back in to defend what we've just seen by telling us to go to the library and look this stuff up if we don't believe him. I guess I'll get on that.




So basically all this really is is sex, sex and more sex. There's nuttin wrong with that but there is something wrong with so much of it being long, unbroken shots from across the room, so a few points get deducted. No cast is credited, but Neola Graef (from the Ed Wood-scripted LOVE FEAST), Kathy Hilton (SEX AND THE SINGLE VAMPIRE) and Marland Proctor (GARDEN OF THE DEAD) are a few of the performers.

1/2

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