Before adult filmmaking became chic circa Deep Throat and Behind The Green Door, hardcore films had a quirky, “anything goes” quality. As long you had a gaggle of free spirits willing to bump and grind in front of the camera, you didn’t need elaborate settings or even synchronous sound. Evil Ways Of Love is a sampling of that kind of film, made right before Gerard Damiano and others changed the whole game around (in fact, there’s a rumor that Damiano directed this before making Deep Throat but there’s no definitive confirmation for that).
Evil Ways Of Love is interesting because there’s a tension between the silent imagery and the offbeat narration. The images just seem to chronicle a post-hippie swinger’s party that takes place aboard a little houseboat. The sex scenes are lengthy and explicit but light in tone, with the most amusing being a deckside tryst between a couple with his and her’s matching afro-perms.
However, the narration tries to impose an entirely different narrative over these images. It suggests that the boat owner, one “Andy,” is reeling from being jilted by a woman he loved and has thrown himself into senseless hedonism. It also tries to suggest that the blonde he picks up at the harbor is subjected to degredation by Andy and his swinger pals even though she seems as willing as the rest of the group. The narrator talks a lot about abnormal psychology’s role in the onscreen escapades, including a hilariously preachy coda about sex without love that suggests the uncredited filmmakers were enjoying a private joke while serving their audience’s needs.
In short, Evil Ways Of Love is fun viewing for those interested in the early days of the adult feature. There’s a freewheeling, “let’s put on a show” quality to it – none of the unknown cast members have the disinterested quality that today’s adult film actors often have – and that quality is intriguingly offset by the tongue-in-cheek narration.
DVD Notes: Impulse Pictures just issued this title on DVD. The Academy ratio transfer is impressive, taken from real film elements and looking amazingly good for a fly-by-night quickie production. Impulse also throws in a sampling of their 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection line, with a trio of all-action 8mm loops that revolve around threesomes. Imagine a higher-end, tech-conscious version of what Something Weird does with vintage adult fare and that will give you a good idea of what to expect here.