Peter Balakoff – Norma (1970)
A woman goes to a doctor hoping he will cure her nymphomania. Scenes of her with her various lovers and pick-ups of both sexes are shown. Through therapy she remembers being discovered and punished by her “mother” while making love to a neighbor guy for the first time and that is the source of her trauma. Keep your eye out for Uschi Digard [girl at orgy]
It never ceases to amuse me that once upon a time, films such as these were actually attended by “the raincoat contingent” looking for visual stimulation. Naturally, today, this would look really tame, seeing as how the adult content consists primarily of naked breasts and simulated undulating. On the surface, this plays like a standard, dry plot that would easily serve as a letter to Penthouse forum: a woman visits a psychiatrist regularly to determine the cause of her conflicting feelings of nymphomania vs. sexual panic. There’s cursory backstory about her one true love who was lost in Vietnam and how it would seem she merely flings with men to fill that void. And naturally, every “hot button” issue of the era — lesbianism, sadomasochism, group orgies, even cross-dressing — comes into play as the frustrated Norma goes into one flashback after another. But 3/4 of the way in, after jarring uses of insert shots from the opening scene to punctuate her fear of sex, it finally hit me: this film is one huge MARNIE ripoff! Woman who runs hot and cold, teasing men then backing away from them, flirting with the man determined to “cure” her, clues that only make sense in the “hypnosis” finale — there’s even an agitated horse and a repressive mother. The only thing that’s missing is the color red — but on the print I saw, the whole movie had faded to a shade of red, so that’s cosmic justice too. So if you gather friends together to watch this for some cheap irony, those of you who are film literate may get a few extra kicks. Gotta give credit to the ersatz skinflick creators for hacking from Hitchcock.