Friday, December 6, 2013

POOLE'S BIBLE (Vinegar Syndrome DVD) - Classical Erotic Nights in the Garden of Wakefield

Ever read the Bible? The good book? The word of God!? Between smiting an the strange case of an apple eaten  in pursuit of knowledge I’m not sure that the authors ever really imagined a naked man climbing through the rocky footings of deserted, placid beach at the beginning of time eventually meeting a gorgeous first-timer, Eve. I mean… or maybe they did. What’s a Garden of Eden without Tomaso Albinoni jamming out in the background while complete strangers, new humans on the face on the Earth, fornicating like they were born to breed?  If it sounds like I’m being blasphemous, I’m sure on some level I am, but I’m also talking about Wakefield Poole’s The Bible. The Vinegar Syndrome dug up this strange piece of avant-garde, erotic retelling of three classic Biblical tales… tales of women. Tales of men. Tales of naked people set to classical music. I’m not sure I like it, but you have to see it to believe it.

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:

The stories of Adam & Eve, Bath Sheba and Samson & Delilah are given sexual twists.


I’ve been moderately stunned by Poole’s Bible. Part of me doesn’t really enjoy watching modern silent movies no matter how clever the Director is. In this case, watching the introduction to the film with Wakefield Poole and the commentary provided on the disc can assist you in placing and categorizing this movie in your head. So it’s a silent movie with stories that you may be familiar with, told in erotic ways. The goal isn’t to get you off, but the casting was very… how shall I put this… voluptuous. Naked men and women writhing around delicately finding the serpent and the apple. The seduction of Sampson and the betrayal of his luscious locks. Sheba takes a bath and then covers herself in leaves while some dude picks the best opportunity possible to Peep her Tom. It’s not zany. It’s not exactly humorous though I assume one might be able to riff it up a bit. It’s actually a serious erotic work; one that deserves more respect than my adolescent-ish brain could afford it. I’m hard pressed to find any movie to which I might compare it save for a few student short films that try to push the boundary of cinema. It’s not pretentious though. Rest assured there’s art between these here legs.

Notes: 1.33:1 OAR, DVD

Extras include an absolutely necessary commentary track from Poole, an introduction for Poole (not watching this will leave you dumbfounded later), and a video interview with Floria Grant and Georgina Spelvin. An extensive still gallery, theatrical trailer, screen tests and costume and effects tests are also provided.  That’s a pretty packed release for a 76 min long skin flick from 1973 during a period of great experimentation in cinema.

I’d recommend Wakefield Poole’s Bible to folks who enjoy erotic cinema. I’m not talking about porn here. I mean beautiful imagery laced with seduction and clever shot choices that art both merit worthy and artistic. Do not wait for the proverbial money shot (though you might find a few that could qualify). This could be the best study guide for Biblical scholars since the invention of the Comic book Bible. Easy to understand interpretations of familiar stories with new interpretations that your Priest or Rabbi can’t possibly understand (or perhaps understand too well). Not for  tightlipped thumpers in need of a douche or enema. This is a solid release from Vinegar Syndrome though I will say that it might not be appreciated as such by fans of the more gratuitous double feature releases. Jess Franco and Joe D’Amato fans need apply.

-Doc Terror 

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