Monday, 21 January 2013

Lorna

Lorna; drama, USA, 1964; D: Russ Meyer, S: Lorna Maitland, Mark Bradley, James Rucker

Lorna is unsatisfied with her boring life in an isolated, small town and with lame sex with her husband Jim. When Jim seemingly forgets their wedding anniversary and goes to work in the salt mine, Lorna wonders off to swim in the river. A convict rapes her, but she actually likes it and, attracted by his lust, invites him to her home. Jim is teased by his two co-workers who joke mock him and say that Lorna is probably having an affair, so he has a fight with them. Upon returning home early, Jim wants to treat Lorna to a hotel for their anniversary, but the convict attacks him. In order to save Jim, Lorna is killed together with the convict.

Russ Meyer, one of the few opulent directors who admitted that they are fascinated with large breasts, filmed movies that mirror that fascination. "Lorna" was the movie that established his future 'exploatation'  formula - exaggerated jealousy, resulting in exaggerated violence, resulting in exaggerating deaths - yet today seems more like a 20 minute short that was overstretched into an empty and thin feature, except that the prolonged running time was not backed up by a stratification of events that could sustain it. As such, it is a simplistic morality play where the heroine cheats on her "boring" husband, just to later regret it and realize what a nice man he is. The main tangle is especially weird and problematic: after a convict rapes her, Lorna suddenly finds that "unstoppable passion" attractive and actually enjoys it (?!), which is really too much, whereas misogyny is slightly also evident in the intro where one male protagonist slaps a woman for refusing him, which is equally pointless as it is irrelevant to the film. Lorna Maitland is beautiful, though, and one wonders where Meyer got all these busty beauties as if they were a dime a dozen. The only interesting thing, movie-wise, is the almost touching finale where Luther talks to the heroine and she realizes how special her bond was with her husband, a rare moment of touching, wise drama, untypical for Meyer.

Grade;+

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