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August 17, 2013

Dude, your movie has little kids having sex in it!

Kiddie sex is possibly the most controversial topic any movie can examine. Slip anything into your movie about sex involving a child (whether the child is being molested by someone older, or is doing it with another child) and you guarantee plenty of censorship and angry chatter about censorship, not to mention pretentious eggheads trying to make the case that people are taking this way too seriously and kiddie sex totally isn't what the movie's about.

Sometimes those pretentious eggheads are right, and the detractors really are focusing too much on one little scene or insinuation to the exclusion of all the rest of the movie's story. A little child nudity, a child's having a precocious crush on an adult, or even a crime story involving child rape and/or prostitution do not make the movie all about kiddie sex. Fritz Lang's M, Michael Bay's The Island, Randal Kleiser's Blue Lagoon, Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver, even Luc Besson's Leon: The Professional... none of these are really about kiddie sex, despite whatever prurient interest a few pathetic perverts might be able to take in them.

On a few rare occasions, however, the detractors are dead right and all the pretentious eggheads' film jargon and psycho-babble about metaphorical-subtextual-yackety-yack can't gloss over the reality that a given movie is all about the severely underage rumpety-pumpety, on-screen or off, with everything else mostly there just to provide a contextual excuse. We're not talking about trashy movies in which teens played by twenty-somethings or even by actual teens get all wildly promiscuous on-screen, we're talking about tweens and kids in the single digits doing the four-legged frolic. The following are genuine examples of these I-can't-believe-it's-not-kiddie-porn flicks.

(Dis)Honorable Mention:
Emanuelle's Daughter

 (Dis)Honorable Mention: Emanuelle's Daughter (1980)

The excuse plot:
Actually, don't expect to hear many artsy-fartsy excuses about this being about a "painful coming-of-age story" or anything like that, because even its defenders tend to acknowledge this flick is mostly just a rip-off of the somewhat well-known Emanuelle series of soft-to-semi-hard-core porno flicks. The main focus is on the sexual exploits of the titular Emanuelle and a hit man she hired to kill her abusive husband, with her jailbait daughter's loss of virginity and subsequent rape just kind of slipped in between a lot of other thoroughly preposterous sex scenes.

What proves this movie is totally about kiddie sex?
Well, all right, it isn't really, though only because this movie is mainly about the mother Emanuelle's torrid exploits. Also, though the daughter may allegedly be as young as 12, the actress playing her definitely doesn't look anywhere near that young even if she is pretty obviously still jailbait. In most respects, Livia's portrayed more like the high school pincushion from a bad "teen sex comedy" than a pre-pubescent child. Had she looked a bit less like a teenager, this movie would not have been disqualified. Even though this trash didn't quite make the list, however, it's still pretty obviously little else but a wretched excuse for showing off some feminine flesh of both the motherly and dangerously-underage-daughterly kind.

The movie's worst offense(s):
Supposing for the moment that the daughter really were 12 years old, these would be a scene in which Livia gets all naked and snuggly with a boy who looks roughly the same age as she is, and then a later scene when her mother's hired hit man, having nailed just about every consenting female with a pulse in this movie, decides to have his way with the explicitly non-consenting Livia as well. As if we needed any further reminders that the whole point of this "story" is to set up the sex scenes, it doesn't last much longer beyond this rape scene, tying up this loose thread rather abruptly with Emanuelle's confronting and shooting the rapist and then standing around waiting to be arrested as a crowd gathers. Seriously, the credits roll and that's the end right there.

Rich Kids

 1: Rich Kids (1979)

The excuse plot:
See the movie's tagline in particular: "What happens when kids grow up and parents don't." See, this is a family movie about how the kids may be spoiled rotten, but the divorced and getting-divorced adults are even more rotten, which is why their 12-year-old kids seek consolation in a shocking romance with each other.

What proves this movie is totally about kiddie sex?
"A shocking romance" means, of course, "their rutting like two randy rabbits in heat." All of this takes place off-screen, but the movie leaves no room for doubt that Franny and Jamie pull a scam on their clueless parents specifically so they can sneak up to Jamie's condo while his playboy father's away and have some rigorous and raunchy 12-year-old nookie in his hot tub. In case that, and the scene in which Franny's parents finally catch on to what the kids are doing and come storming into the condo to retrieve their naked soap-suds-covered daughter from that hot tub, doesn't convince you, we also have an explicit proclamation of this from United Artists itself. In the words of Steven Bach, the studio executive who supervised the film, it was

a story of teenage [sic] needs, affection, self-determination and sexuality. Expressed. Off camera and discreetly, written with delicacy and wit, but, no doubt about it, those kids actually do it! ...And aren't harmed by it. And the sexual episode brings everything to a blithely happy conclusion.

By "teenage" Bach means "12-year-old" and by "blithely happy conclusion" he means, of course, that you should enjoy seeing a pair of rich and spoiled 12-year-old brats get barely so much as a slap on the wrist for doing the wild thing behind their parents' backs.

The movie's worst offense(s):
Believe it or not, the blatantly pre-coital and post-coital scenes aren't the worst part of this movie. What's really disgusting are the scenes afterward in which Franny and Jamie each have a little heart-to-heart chat with their respective parents and affirm that since the adults are no better behaved than their children and having sex was really fun, the adults really have no business disciplining their kids. That's right, kids: Hollywood wants you to know your parents have no moral authority because they suck, that casual sex is great and has no downsides, and it's totally appropriate for you to go get laid as soon as you find out how, which was apparently around age 12 back in 1979. (Nowadays, thanks to Hollywood, TV, and public schools, it's probably more like age 9.) Undoubtedly, Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, and Whoopi "It wasn't 'rape' rape" Goldberg, to name a few, approve this message!

L'enfant D'eau
("Water Child")

 2: L'enfant D'eau ("Water Child") (1995)

The excuse plot:
It's a tragic tearjerker of a tale about a mentally stunted twenty-year-old guy and the very precocious twelve-year-old girl who loved him after they survived a plane crash and were marooned together on an island.

What proves this movie is totally about kiddie sex?
Precocious, of course, means sexually precocious. It's established early on that 12-year-old Cendrine knows all about sex and is initially afraid that this big dumb Emile guy who somehow is the only other survivor is going to rape her until she realizes he doesn't have the brain power even to imagine such a thing, let alone be tempted by it. Eventually, seeing how friendly and protective of her he is and driven by her own urges, it's she who warms up to him and decides to jump his bones, although oddly enough neither she nor he remove any of their clothing below the waist for this, so maybe she's just grinding on him, for all the difference that makes. Her journal, which provides the details to this story to the rescuers after she dies and he's rescued (Oops! Spoiler alert! Um, except not really; that's how the movie begins, actually) is filled with passages about how sorely tempted she is to go to town on this big friendly oaf and make a baby with him even though she knows she really shouldn't.

The movie's worst offense(s):
Aside from the aforementioned grinding scene, in which (in Canadian French) Emile actually says "It's bad" and sheds a few tears while Cendrine says "Don't cry" to try to assuage his confusion and fear, there's also a part where Cendrine mentions in her diary that "I know girls shouldn't make love before 15, but I want to." Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!? Who told her 15 was the cut-off age, and what does that have to do with anything? Apparently, it didn't occur to either of her parents to tell her what she really ought to be asking from any guy with whom she wants to make a baby is a ring and a marriage license or at least a spoken wedding vow, and that it's statutory rape to go lap-dancing on anybody who doesn't have a developed enough mind to understand this sexual stuff, whatever his or her chronological age is.

Piccole Labbra
("Little Lips")

 3: Piccole Labbra ("Little Lips") (1978)

The excuse plot:
In this downbeat story, the mentally scarred and broken soldier Paul, home from the senseless slaughter of World War I, is contemplating suicide until a fresh young girl named Eva helps brighten up his life and pull him back from the brink.

What proves this movie is totally about kiddie sex?
Oh yeah: she's 11, by the way. Also, Eva's dress rides up to expose her undergarments a lot and there are several lingering nude scenes of her (one indicated to be entirely a product of Paul's lurid imagination). Eventually, (Spoiler alert!) we learn that all his explicitly romantic interest in her is strictly emotional-only, however, since apparently he got shot in the testicles during the war and the doctors had to amputate. After Eva's innocent affections inspire him to write a novel about a man overcoming, um, "nature" by romancing a little girl, (Bigger spoiler alert!) Paul comes home from a very successful book tour only to discover a twenty-something street performer going at it with Eva in her private playhouse, goes back to his study under a cloud of jealousy and despair, and shoots himself.

The movie's worst offense(s):
Aside from the very prurient nude scenes, that ending was probably the worst part of the whole movie. I mean, yeah, it doesn't really make Paul any less of a pedophile to be missing the parts of his anatomy vital to doing dirty deeds, but at least that absence combined with his affable personality means he's rather harmless to Eva. If he really felt he'd lost all reason to live and had to shoot himself, couldn't he at least have done everyone else a favor by shooting that filthy kiddie-fiddling street performer first?

Quand J'avais Cinq Ans Je M'ai Tué
("When I Was Five, I Killed Myself")

 4: Quand J'avais Cinq Ans Je M'ai Tué ("When I Was Five, I Killed Myself") (1994)

The excuse plot:
8-year-old-going-on-9 Gilbert is in the Pâquerettes Children's Home for what he did to Jessica. The mystery of what exactly he did to Jessica gradually unravels as he recounts everything that led up to his being packed off to this asylum for mentally unstable children.

What proves this movie is totally about kiddie sex?
I'll save you an hour and a half of watching the movie to solve this mystery. (HUGE spoiler alert!) He porked her! Actually, it was Jessica's idea to do a little "magic trick" to end their childhoods (because they hated being children for some reason), but Gilbert certainly seems to have rolled with it willingly enough. There's nothing quite like a little implied off-screen sex between 8-year-olds to provide a shocking climactic reveal to a mystery movie, is there?

The movie's worst offense(s):
82 minutes into the film, Jessica's mother discovers the two kids naked in bed with each other, freaks out, and stirs up quite a commotion with them while hauling them out of the bed, from which we cut to Gilbert in the asylum telling us that's basically how he ended up here. That, you silly watcher of artsy-fartsy French cinema, is also how you ended up wasting most of the last hour and a half of your life wondering how the intriguing title ties into the story. Surprise! That title was just a red herring; it was his having somehow figured out enough about sex by age 8 to be doing it with his girlfriend classmate that ultimately got Gilbert sent to the funny farm.

By the way, if you think that plot twist was utterly disgusting or just outrageously stupid (or both), good luck getting a refund now, sucker!

Mords Pas, On T'aime
Beiß Nicht, Man Liebt Dich
("Don't Bite, We Love You")

 5: Mords Pas, On T'aime or Beiß Nicht, Man Liebt Dich ("Don't Bite, We Love You") (1976)

The excuse plot:
This is a romantic dramedy about a preteen named Frédéric raised by his grandparents who stirs up some trouble with his girlfriend Rose in order to get the attention of his ne'er-do-well father Georges and absent mother Agnès.

What proves this movie is totally about kiddie sex?
In the absence of any English dubbing or subtitles, we non-French-and-German speakers will mostly have to take the native speakers' words for it in their summaries. Judging from the visuals, though, this summary is accurate if by "a romantic dramedy" it means "an excuse for Frédéric and especially Rose to get naked a lot" and by "stirs up some trouble" it means "pays an illicit visit to Rose and a bunch of her classmates while they're naked in the showers at her all-girls' school, and then goes to bed with her about halfway through the movie."

The movie's worst offense(s):
As mentioned, about halfway through the movie, Frédéric and Rose hop in the sack together. When the father Georges (who's apparently some kind of truck driver) comes home after a long day's work and peeks in to his son's bedroom only to discover the two naked kids asleep in what's obviously a post-coital embrace, he quietly closes the door, turns out the light, and goes off to bed himself. The very next scene shows Georges, Frédéric, and Rose having what must be one awfully awkward breakfast together the next morning.

Oh, and by the way, this whole embarrassing situation leads to a bunch of meetings between the parents and school officials as one might expect and does indeed bring Frédéric's mother Agnès back for a visit, apparently to discuss what's to be done with their wayward boy. Near the end, she also does some naked bed wrestling with Georges for old times' sake... but then casually walks out on him again the next day; nice role model little Frédéric's got for a mother, eh?


 6: L'immoralità ("Immorality") (1978)

The excuse plot:
This is a grim n' gritty giallo about a child killer on the run from the law who finds his way into the care of the precocious little Simona, who strikes up a strange kind of romance with him while tending to his injuries. Her frigid and jaded mother Vera, who's also the town mattress, eventually finds out about her daughter's new house guest, but instead of turning him in to all the police and vigilantes out looking for him, seduces him into conspiring with her to murder her bitter and estranged husband, who's mostly just waiting around to die anyway. Simona does not take kindly to her mother's stealing him away, and plots brutal revenge on everyone who's wronged her. See, this movie is all dark and edgy and existential and stuff!

What proves this movie is totally about kiddie sex?
Once again, the words "precocious" and "romance" here are intended entirely in the pornographically explicit sexual sense. In one truly vile scene, little 11-year-old Simona tells the child-killer Federico she wants a baby and lays herself out naked in front of him on the bathroom mat. At first it seems the rest of this sex scene is all going to be taking place off-camera as the movie cuts to a shot of a tree in the family arboretum encased in a rather phallic-shaped cage. (Uh, yeah, that's real subtle.) However, it then cuts back to an awfully explicit shot of naked Frederico passionately pumping away atop a naked girl; this girl whose face we never see is not actually the child actress playing Simona (of course) but a body double, so legally speaking this flick is totally not actual kiddie porn or anything... honest!

The movie's worst offense(s):
Yeah, that on-screen sex scene is the vilest part of the movie, hands down. That doesn't stop the rest of it from being nigh-pornographic and depressingly nihilistic in its own right, though. If a fake sex scene between a pedophile and an 11-year-old girl turns your stomach, you also probably won't much enjoy the next few scenes in which, despite her apparent willingness to spread for him earlier, the frightened Frederico pulls a knife on Simona and threatens her into keeping him hidden from the gun-toting vigilantes who've stormed her house looking for him. Then you most likely won't enjoy watching her mother Vera take her own roll in the hay with Frederico a bit later either, or subsequently going at it with a crooked police officer some time after that.

In fact, you might prefer just to skip to the end, where (warning: MASSIVE spoilers ahead) Simona, distraught at finding her father has finally committed suicide, picks up a pistol and blows away the police officer, her mother Vera, and Frederico, in that order. Yay! A happy ending... for Simona, anyway, I guess. Maybe.

Spielen wir Liebe
("Adolescent Malice"
"Playing at Love")

7: Maladolescenza or Spielen wir Liebe ("Adolescent Malice" or "Playing at Love") (1977)

The excuse plot:
This is an avante-garde painful coming-of-age story about the 14-year-old Fabrizio as he convinces his 12-year-old childhood playmate Laura to help him attract the attentions of the 12-year-old Silvia as they explore their budding sexuality together.

What proves this movie is totally about kiddie sex?
By "avante-garde painful coming-of-age story" I mean of course "thinly-veiled kiddie porno flick in which the horny teenage molester guy is a sadistic bully" and by "explore their budding sexuality together" I mean "both reluctantly submit to the guy's cruel sexual abuse and rape." Seriously, that's what this whole hideous "art movie" is about: Fabrizio having his way with each of the girls in turn as they protest and cry about what a bully he is, and yet for some reason don't leave him and don't call their parents or the police on him. Oh, did I mention this supposed 14-year-old guy is actually played by an 18-year-old? Yet the actresses playing the girls really were both 12 years old at the time.

By the way, a court in what was not previously widely understood to be the prudish and puritanical country of Germany effectively banned this movie in 2006 by declaring it kiddie porn and ordering the German "cult classic" company that released it uncut on a DVD to recall and destroy every copy it could. A court in the Netherlands followed suit in 2010, and the uncut version of this movie is no longer legally circulated anywhere in the allegedly sexually sophisticated countries of Europe that are always making fun of Americans for supposedly being so prudish and puritanical. In fact, the only reason this crap is still available for viewing to anyone at all to this day is that somebody somewhere ripped one of those formerly legal DVDs and dumped a copy of it online, where it's been circulating ever since. Yeah, ain't it just spiffy what our information technology revolution has made possible these days?

The movie's worst offense(s):
As I say, this whole bowel movement of a movie is completely vile and offensive. In addition to all the sexual abuse, there's some cruelty to animals as Fabrizio shoots a bird dead with his bow and arrow on-screen in front of Laura just to make her cry. Really, it's hard to find anything in this movie that isn't insulting to both one's moral sensibilities and one's intellect. I'd wager even a great many closeted pedophiles looking for a legal way to indulge themselves wouldn't enjoy watching this crap. Deciding which scenes are the most offensive is just about impossible: the prolonged focus on the naked Fabrizio with his dong hanging out at the beginning, the rough sex with Laura as she cries and whines but doesn't resist, Silvia joining in with Fabrizio in bullying Laura, Silvia crying and whining a lot herself as she gets lost in a cave, (Spoiler alert!) Fabrizio's finally getting sick of her complaining and stabbing her to death with a knife... Seriously, take your pick.

The only possible target audience for this movie, apart from bad movie afficionados willing to endure watching these torture instruments masquerading as movies on a dare, such as yours truly, would be actual violent child rapists like Fabrizio. Since these hardened criminals are all currently either busy raping and murdering children or in maximum-security prisons being punished for raping and murdering children, they won't be watching this either. The only part of the movie I didn't find eye-gougingly bad was the part 91 minutes into it: you know, the point that marked the end of both this movie and the ordeal of watching it.