Strange Sinema 86: Experiments in Sex - Fri. Mar. 20 - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Strange Sinema 86: Experiments in Sex, a once monthly evening of newly discovered and avant-garde rarities from the stacks of the archive. Drawing on his collection of over 50,000 16mm film prints, Oddball Films director Stephen Parr has compiled his 86th program of classic, strange, offbeat and unusual films. This program features a wide array of experimental and avant-garde films juxtaposed with comedic animation, pop-trash commercials, and a taste of surreal Triple XXX smut. The program explores, spoofs, and explodes concepts of eroticism from the 1930s through the 1970s.  Films include the legendary Lot in Sodom, (1933), Watson and Webber’s landmark Pre-Code Sodom and Gomorrah story filled with sinewy and semi-clad bodies and delirious bacchanales devoted to physical pleasure (print provided by the Jenni Olson Queer Archive); A Dream of Wild Horses aka Le Songe des Chevaux Sauvages (1962), the raw, yet elegant physicality of wild horses in a breathtaking, erotic and euphoric film-poem; experimental filmmaker Scott Bartlett’s lyrical and tactile flesh and fantasy film Lovemaking (1970); how to sell the sexy fashions in a unabashedly sexist Fredericks of Hollywood (1970s) excerpt; the screwball sexual psychedelia of Ego (1970) by famed Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto; the glamorous and over-the–top commercials for Bigelow Carpets (shades of the Zodiac!), Chemical Bank New York (“When her needs are financial her reaction is chemical”), and the slapstick fetishistic Safety Shoes (1970s); the amateur homoerotic North Beach “nature boy” in The Groping Hand (1968); the rare Swedish erotic exercise short Sofia Girls (1950s), an excerpt from the groundbreaking Mondo Cane (1962) featuring famed artist Yves Klein utilizing naked Human Paintbrushes on a giant canvas, the granddaddy or erotic cartoons Buried Treasure (1928) starring Eveready Harton; Tex Avery’s sexy adaptation of an age-old fairy tale Red Hot Riding Hood (1943); female soldiers demonstrate a top secret weapon developed by the military in Laser Bra 2000 (1979); porn legend Gerard Damiano’s psychobilly smut trailer Memories Within Miss Aggie (1974) featuring a combination of horror and low life white trash, a couple having sex is interposed with an old house that succumbs to a violent death in L.A. Too Much (1968) and finally we see burlesque queen Betty Dolan bring new meaning to the phrase dancing with the devil in Satan Tease (1955). Whew!

Date: Friday, March 20th at 8:00PM
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


Lot in Sodom (B+W, 1933) 
Lot in Sodom was one of the strangest works of cinema of the early 1930s. Even by the standards of Pre-Code cinema, the blatant sexuality pushes the envelope to the point of being shredded. Lot in Sodom was the second and final collaboration of two Rochester, N.Y.-based creative artists, James Sibley Watson Jr. and Melville Webber. In 1928, the duo created an expressionistic silent short based on Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher.” Inspired by German Expressionism this avant-garde interpretation of the Old Testament tale of the trials of Kit and features sensual dances and distorted multiple images in telling its tale of a good man and his family living amidst a sexually charged band of Sodomites. Lot in Sodom is a sensual depiction of the Sodom and Gomorrah story filled with sinewy and semi-clad bodies, delirious bacchanales devoted to physical pleasure, and a searing, cataclysmic finale depicting the fall of a city devoted to sins of the flesh.
Lot in Sodom is an early and important and influential film (this film greatly influenced Barbara Hammer’s “Nitrate Kisses”) in the history of American avant-garde cinema. The overlapping multiplies the sensual landscape of human flesh and gives a choreographic grace to the erotic movements of the Sodomites. Print courtesy of the Jenni Olson Queer Archive.

A Dream of Wild Horses aka Le Songe des Chevaux Sauvages (Color, 1962)
This landmark short film was written & directed by Denys Colomb Daunant. It’s a cinematic poem which uses slow motion and soft focus camera to evoke the wild horses of the Camargue District of France, showing them as they roam on the beach through fire and water. The raw yet elegant physicality of the horses in motion is breathtaking, erotic and euphoric.

Lovemaking (Color, 1970)
The famed experimental work by film pioneer Scott Bartlett is a delicate and arousing treatment  Bartlett’s films often form an interaction between film material and photographed image by combing complex analog film effects with film and video images to create a lush, colorful, and layered flow optical and auditory information. Its mode is simple and classical, combining technical mastery and personal restraint. The image is vivid subtle and ambiguous while the sound is sharp and clear. Barlett's “Lovemaking” is an imaginative, suggestive, artistic, non- clinical evocation of the sexual act of lovemaking. Both visually and conceptually dense, Lovemaking explores eroticism, sex, and the body in a completely new and innovative way.

Frederick's Of Hollywood (Color, 1970s, excerpt)
The appeal is sex.  We see models prancing around in ridiculous lingerie, and extolling the miracle of padding in all of the right places, old ladies opening mail in the mail order department and couples selecting sexy underwear. The clothes are designed to please men; to put a man in their life and a little life in their man.  Since women aren't born equal its Frederick's of Hollywood's job to make them more equal. Does Frederick's of Hollywood treat women like sex objects? Of course, that's the point.

Ego (Color, 1970)
Brilliant animation by Italy’s Bruno Bozzetto (of the cult favorite Mr. Rossi series)- starts with traditional comic-style animation until the factory-working family man goes to sleep and unleashes his subconscious thoughts sending him into a battleground of erotic situations.  Utilizes a number of animation styles including optical printing and dazzling pop art imagery. Wild soundtrack by the ultra-lounge master Franco Godi…

Bigelow (Color, 1970s)
Bigelow Carpets designed these shaggy rugs especially for Scorpio women-in this case erotic model Erin Grey purring away on a carpet made in heaven.

Chemical Bank (Color, 1970s)
“When her needs are financial her reaction is chemical”.
Glamorous sexism in this New York City shot commercial for Chemical Bank.

Safety Shoes (Color, 1970s)
This unconsciously perverse and comedic film is actually an industrial safety film. Watch sexy legs in sparkly tights do a little dance before turning into a pair of bare feet dancing around broken glass, rusty nails, falling cinderblocks and metal pipes, kitchen sinks, lawn movers and boat anchors. Finally we see the results of this reckless lady’s behavior-remember-wear safety shoes!

The Groping Hand (Color, 1968)
This bizarre slice of homoerotica was shot in San Francisco’s North Beach in the heyday of free love. A hunky male gets all revved up gazing at the live sex show signs and clubs on Broadway when he’s beckoned in by a female hand. Once inside he cuts loose, “stripping” his time away to down and dirty soul music.

The Sofia Girls (B+W, 1950s)
The Sofia Girls is a rare Swedish instructional exercise film with a brilliant choreographic style, wondrously shot in an iconic post Riefenstahl style. One of the gems of the Oddball Archive!

Human Paintbrushes (Color, 1962)
This excerpt from the groundbreaking “Mondo Cane” has famed artist Yves Klein utilizing human paintbrushes on a giant canvas. Klein, a student of Eastern spirituality was on a quest for pure color and form. His live performances were groundbreaking precursors to minimalism, conceptual, land and performance art. Klein was a showman and one of his most famous events was the imprinting of paper with naked models smeared with his trademark blue paint, as he
directed their performance to music. As well as his monochrome works, Klein created sculptures using sea sponges, paintings made with fire, and is well known for his exhibit called The Void, in which he chose to exhibit an empty gallery room, void of everything but a large cabinet.

Buried Treasure (B+W, 1928)
The Granddaddy of pornographic cartoons, persistent rumors suggest that Max Fleischer (Betty Boop and others), Paul Terry (of Terry Toons) and Budd Fisher (Mutt & Jeff) were responsible for this bawdy masterpiece.  The legendary porno cartoon with a boogie woogie piano soundtrack depicting the unlikely adventures of the perpetually aroused title character (Eveready Hardon) with, among others, a man, a woman, and a cow. You’ll laugh and the guys may even scream!

Red Hot Riding Hood (Color, 1943) 
This sensual adaptation of the old fairy story soon liberates its principals from their cute Disney-style forest and slaps them right in the middle of swanky Manhattan. Grandma's a nymphomaniac swinger, and her rustic cottage home a hip penthouse pad. Little Red has become a red-hot singer-stripper; the Wolf is a model of lupine lechery; and the forest is supplanted by a big-city nightclub as the enchanted place of forbidden sexuality. The Wolf tries to pull the old Red Riding Hood gag in order to meet up with Little Red, but Grandma has other ideas. A super-surrealist sendup!

Laser Bra 2000 (Color, 1979)
Michael O’Donahue (1940-1994) was one of the most important writing and creative forces behind the original Saturday Night Live. This mind-blowing erotic excerpt from his feature film debut Mr. M*ke's M*ndo Video features sexed up lingerie wearing female soldiers demonstrating a top-secret new weapon being developed by the military the “Laser Bra 2000”-bras that shoot lasers.

Memories With Miss Aggie (Color, 1974) 

Porn auteur Gerard Damiano fancied himself as a modern day Hitchcock and in this psychobilly-smut trailer he manages to combine horror and low life white trash. From the golden age of Triple xxx features.

L.A. Too Much (Color, 1968)
A couple having sex is interposed over shots of the architectural details of a house. Strange noises fill the sound track.  Ultimately the old house succumbs to a violent death.

Satan-Tease (B+W, 1955)

Burlesque queen Betty Dolan brings new meaning to the phrase dancing with the devil. Cleverly costumed, Miss Dolan's right hand is the hand of the devil and she can't stop it from trying to get to third base. Strange and erotic on many different levels, it must be seen to be believed!

Curator's Biography:
Stephen Parr’s previous programs have explored the erotic underbelly of sex-in-cinema (The Subject is Sex), the offbeat and bizarre (Oddities Beyond Belief), the pervasive effects of propaganda (Historical/Hysterical?) and oddities from his archives (Strange Sinema). He is the director of Oddball Film+Video and the San Francisco Media Archive (, a non profit archive that preserves culturally significant films. He is a co-founder of Other Cinema DVD and a member of the Association of Moving Archivists (AMIA) where he is a frequent presenter.

About Oddball Films
Oddball films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.
Our films are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.