Friday, May 13, 2011


Blonde twins Jacki and Julian (Judy Geeson and Martin Potter, pictured at right) arrive in London with their big teddy bear Agamemnon to stay at the house of an old family friend. When she’s not as accommodating as they’d like, Julian arranges for her to have a fatal accident on the stairs. With the house to themselves, they leap into the decadent lifestyle of swinging London, becoming part of a circle that includes a closeted gay politician (Michael Redgrave), a not-so-closeted gay art dealer (Freddie Jones), a young man of indeterminate sexuality named Clive (Alexis Kanner) and his supposed girlfriend Denise (Marion Diamond) who nevertheless starts flirting with Julian, who himself does some heavy-duty flirting with his own sister—if you find overtones of incest to be a “yuck factor,” this movie’s not for you. Julian is raped by two drag queens, and pictures are taken of the event. Clive tries to blackmail Julian with the pictures (he needs money to pay off a gambling debt), but Julian and Jacki kill him and separate to go on the run. Jacki, who thought they were just scaring Clive, is traumatized and wanders the streets where she is befriended by Redgrave who seems to genuinely care for her, but who also can’t afford to have his name attached publicly to a murder scandal. Meanwhile, where is Julian?

This is pretty much the definition of kinky, at least mainstream cinema kinky. In the beginning, it has some promise, feeling like a Shirley Jackson novel updated to the sexy, druggy 60s, but the narrative unravels quickly. The twins act like addled amoral children, talking frequently to the teddy bear and blithely unconcerned with the consequences of any of their actions. It’s not really worth doing psychological readings of the characters, though it does seem like Julian’s incestuous feelings are hiding his inner homosexuality. Sometimes the movie looks interesting (the 60s colors, some odd camera angles) and at least two of the supporting performances are worth seeing: Redgrave, who manages to give his character some shadings of depth, and Jones, who adds some much needed humor now and then. A stronger screenplay would have helped make this something more than just a period novelty. [DVD]

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