This London Times Online piece about the most audacious and penetrating envelope-pushers in terms of sex, drugs violence and religion is old and crumpled and covered in dust — it was published last Saturday, 8.19 — but it’s a pretty good rundown.
It doesn’t mention what a ground-breaker Mike Nichols‘ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff was in 1966 for its first-time-ever use of terms like “screw you” and “up yours”. It sounds comically lame in today’s context but no studio- funded film had used coarse street dialogue before.
Sam Peckinpah‘s Straw Dogs (’71) is mentioned for the Susan George rape scene, which for years has made compassionate and senstive people feel guilty when they watch it because it delivers a kind of dark twisted turn-on. (Yes, yes…Peckinpah was a sexist dog but the arousal factor is still there.)
And I’ve never even heard of No Orchids for Miss Blandish (’48), a crime drama about a relationship between a gangster and an unsullied woman in her 30s. The film isn’t on DVD or even VHS, but the Times piece says that one British critic called it “the most sickening exhibition of brutality, perversion, sex and sadism ever to be shown on a cinema screen.”