PEEP SHOW: Fantasm/Vanessa

The premise behind 1976’s Fantasm is nothing short of porn genius: a series of (mid-70s softcore) sexual fantasies, with the viewer guided through each segment by a grimly Freudian German psychiatrist, one Professor Jurgen Notafreud. Get ready to pay your fee and lie back on the couch, because Dr. J is about to pry open your repressed psyche and show you every titillating aberration, from teacher/student seduction to fruit fetishism(?!), along with some rape, girl-on-girl sauna action and a transvestite or two, just for spice. This psychoanalytic sex session serves as the perfect pairing for 1977’s Vanessa, the tale of a young orphan girl raised in a Bavarian convent who discovers she’s heir to both a citrus plantation and…a chain of Hong Kong bordellos! Czech-born director Hubert Frank (who also helmed the classic Has Anybody Seen my Pants?) adds a touch of Eurotrash class to this German-made film. Unexpectedly, beautifully shot, Vanessa revels in the delights unveiled to our virginal heroine as she takes control of her estate. The result is the stuff of wet dreams – lesbian trysts, sweaty orgies, prolific 69ing and a few whips and chains thrown in for good measure.

35mm prints provided by The American Genre Film Archive.

Fantasm: Dir. Richard Franklin aka Richard Bruce, 1976, 35mm, 90 min.
Vanessa: Dir. Hubert Frank, 1977, 35mm, 91 min.