In the history of American erotica, burlesque films came just before nudist films. One difference between the two genres was that during the era of burlesque, pasties were used, while the nudism of nudist films provided an excuse to show full nudity, as far as toplessness went.
To my surprise the film above, Teaserama (1955) also includes silly skits in the style:
- “he’s so honest he finds things before they are lost”
- “he studied for a doctor once, the doctor was too busy to study for himself”
- “he treated a man for five years before he found out the guy was a chinaman.”
I actually saw that film.
Ilsa conducts sadistic scientific experiments designed to demonstrate that women are more capable of enduring pain than men are, and therefore should be allowed to fight in the army. Ilsa is also portrayed as having a voracious sexual appetite for her male prisoners, whom she then castrates and kills.
It plays with the tropes of male anxiety of sexual inadequacy and the fear of castration.
Her character was very loosely based on that of Ilse Koch.
Some people don’t make the news when they die. Among them this gentleman.
William Hamling was an American publisher of pulp and erotica, in a time when publishing books could still be dangerous (it has not been dangerous for the last fifty years of so, at least in the west). His financial backing for the case Redrup v. New York against Robert Redrup, a book seller who sold Hamling’s risqué paperbacks was instrumental in abolishing obscenity censorship in the United States.
Most amusingly Hamling published an illustrated edition of the President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography in 1970 [sample page, above].
Both its editor Earl Kemp and Hamling himself were sentenced to one year in prison for “conspiracy to mail obscene material,” but both served only the federal minimum of three months and one day. Incredible if you come to think of it (and strange also, considering that the Redrup case supposedly abolished obscenity censorship).
I would have thought a complete version of this grand example of détournement to have been available by now, disappointingly so, this is not the case.
Sex: The Revolution (2008) was a four-part documentary miniseries that chronicled the history of sexual culture in America from the 1950s through the turn of the millenium. Ironically, the version shown on VH1 was pixelated to censor nudity including in discussions of censorship of nudity.
I’m afraid this is that pixelated version.