Friday, March 31, 2017

The "Flesh" Series Where Sex & Violence Collide In A 60's Serial Killer Trilogy By Michael & Roberta Findlay

On our web portal we have a page called Welcome To The Sinema. It is chock full of vintage shorts and full length sex films of a NON pornographic nature. A varied group that includes a page on Bettie Page, the topless attractions at the 1939 world's fair in New York and our newest offering(s) a trio of feature films known as the "flesh" trilogy.

Michael Findlay (1938–1977), and his wife Roberta Findlay, directed and produced numerous sexploitation movies. They were part of a group of New York filmmakers including; Joseph Sarno, Joseph P. Mawra, and Lou Campa who combined mixed violence and sex (often kinky) creating a genre known as roughies. One that went mainstream (kind of) in the 70's with films like "Last House On The Left" and "I Spit On Your Grave". Sometimes he would direct under the alias Julian Marsh and act in his own films billed as Robert West. His wife Roberta (a.k.a. Anna Riva) was the cinematographer, co-writer, and supporting actress for many of their films together.

The couple is mostly known for the "flesh" trilogy. Starting with The Touch of Her Flesh and the two sequels, The Curse of Her Flesh and The Kiss of her Flesh. They tell the tale of a cuckolded gun dealer named Richard Jennings (played by Findlay) who is disfigured in a car accident after finding his wife in bed with another man. In recovery, Jennings comes to generalize his hatred of his wife to promiscuous women in general; after he is released, Jennings goes on a killing spree, murdering prostitutes and strippers with a variety of unique implements, including poison-tipped rose thorns, blow darts, a crossbow, a scimitar, and a buzzsaw. Although he would appear to die at the end of the first two films he would pop back up for more fun & games.

The Touch of Her Flesh
The Curse of Her Flesh

                                       The Curse of Her Flesh

Another of his films that is noteworthy for it's star power is Satan's Bed. It was made in 1965 before the Flesh films and amongst the players in this hot mess is Yoko Ono! Also known as “Satan's Hot Bed” this movie, like all truly bad thrash, is two unrelated films spliced together in a cinematic marriage that produces this masterpiece.

After the “Flesh” series Findlay continued to make films about perverse sexuality and violence. Among them are; A Thousand Pleasures , The Ultimate Degenerate, The Closer to the Bone the Sweeter the Meat, Funk, a Yeti slasher movie called Shriek of the Mutilated and a Manson murder homage Slaughter, the 1971 film that, after further contributions from Allan Shackleton, became Snuff (1976), the namesake of the fictional snuff film genre.

Ironically enough Michael Findlay's death in 1977 was gruesome, he was decapitaed by a helicopters rotary blade in an accident on top of the Pan Am Building.