Saturday, 14 January 2012

Michele Valley & Meredyth Herold in "Singapore Sling" [1990 Greece]

Nikos Nikolaidis is a very interesting director indeed - I've seen only two films of his to date, and if these are anything to go by, one's in for a treat going through his filmography.

When I first saw his drama "Singapore Sling - O Anthropos pou agapise ena Ptoma" [Eng. title: Singapore Sling] it was one of the most grossest films I'd ever seen. That was four years ago, but how wrong I was! I'm so glad to have drawn the courage to watch it again having bought the DVD - this is actually an important film, a cinematic classic even, very stylishly done. But let's make one thing clear - this is not a great film that a normal couple could sit together and enjoy, but a great film that a cinephile can delight in after his/her better half had gone to bed.

The film starts with the protagonist's voice-over as we watch two women digging a grave in their garden, in pouring rain and in the middle of the night. They address themselves as mother and daughter, and are burying their latest victim - their new chauffeur. Still alive - kind off, and his entrails dropping off his shirt, his hand desperately grasps one of the woman's Wellington's - a desperate cry for mercy, until the other woman puts him off his misery with a final blow from her spade. We see the protagonist now - a detective definitely past his prime, already wasted with a gun-shot wound to his shoulder. Where was he coming from? One thing we do know, he's looking for a Laura, the woman he's in love with, and after three years of search, this is where his trail had led him.

He soon finds himself captive, and is informed that Laura is dead, killed by the mother-daughter, his captors. But in his state of mind, he sees Laura's resemblance in the daughter, and tries to get her out of the house. Is she really Laura, and are the psychopathic duo really mother and daughter..?

A clue to understanding the film lies in the Greek title, which roughly means "The man who loved a Corpse". "You better watch out McPherson, or you'll end up in a psychiatric ward. I don't think they've ever had a patient who fell in love with a corpse", says Waldo Lydecker to the detective from Otto Preminger's 1944 film-noire, "Laura". It's a Laura there that the protagonist - a detective as well, searches for in that film. Additional clues point to the portrait hanging on the wall in both that and this film. This film could be a homage of sorts not just to the aforementioned Hollywood classic, but to film-noire itself - the stunning black and white cinematography from Aris Stavrou and the exquisite lighting are there to hammer home the point. But then again Mr. Nikolaidis may also be parodying popular American culture. There's an instance in the film where "two servant rules' are reiterated by the mother-daughter duo, which strangely echoes a dialogue from a recent American film sci-fi film, "I, Robot" about the laws among robots. I discovered later that it is attributed to science fiction guru Isaac Asimov, upon whose book the film (I, Robot) was partly based. Another feature of the film is that the 'fourth wall' is frequently broken through when characters pause to speak to the camera. It's incredibly difficult to classify this film as a black comedy, horror, or erotic thriller - it probably is all..!

Whatever the case - parody, homage, or downright nastiness, there's no denying the fact that this is a beautifully executed piece of cinema that is both repulsive and fascinating at the same time - the gorgeous costumes and art direction would have done a Marco Ferreri proud, the cinematography is sumptuous, editing and direction sublime, the soundtrack exceptional, and the performances by the two female leads - absolutely riveting - it would have won many an accolade if only the subject wasn't as shocking. Needless to say, dear cinephiles - Highly Recommended Viewing..!

I'm glad that the DVD included the original trailer, which I think is very well done, and was surprised to see that it included some awesome shots strangely not included in the main feature.

Amazon DVD Link

Compilation: Meredyth Herold and Michele Valley
This is only a sampling of the nude scenes from the film - several more scenes not included.

Meredyth Herold and Michele Valley in Singapore Sling: O Anthropos pou agapise ena Ptoma

Scene Guide:
  • Mother and daughter busy doing graveyard duties - the mother is played by a fine actress and Nikolaidis regular, the stunning Michele Valley, and the daughter by the exceptionally daring Meredyth Herold.
  • Incestuous overtones - mother and daughter playing their favourite game, Laura's first visit to their house looking to be employed as their secretary (housekeeper).
  • Daughter remembering her dead father..! :)
  • Now here's a revelation - in more ways than one - is that really the mother..?
  • The detective trying to buy time after he barges in uninvited into the home. It doesn't work - the daughter had to drag him in. Meredyth sure isn't shy of giving us some generous upskirts.
  • But she couldn't contain her excitement of having someone new in the house - the impetuous girl takes advantage of the guy when her mother attends a phone.
  • Mother soon tells her off, but they make up in the only way they know.
  • At night, the daughter slips out of the bed to rendezvous with the captive stranger. She shows him her assets and gets down to business - she just couldn't help regurgitating while reaching climax..!
  • Mother and daughter questioning the detective - he's henceforth called 'Singapore Sling', after the cocktail recipe he'd written down in his note pad.
  • The 'questioning' becomes intense with electric shocks, culminating in the mother's bodily release of fluids - you'll know what I mean when you see it..!
  • The feast - this is a long scene cut short - because to watch it you should've first digested "La Grande Bouffe" and "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and her Lover"..! :)
  • Followed by some hysteric call-for-attention from a jealous daughter - awesome composition and cinematography - a classic..!
  • There's only brief nudity here with the mother wearing a transparent black top, but it is incredibly sexy as she teaches a hapless Singapore Sling the vowels and some nursery rhymes - this is some classy kink..!
  • The mother had become quite friendly with Singapore Sling much to the daughter's chagrin.
  • She vents her frustrations on an unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your view point) kiwi fruit in the most explicit manner possible - as far as I can see - there ain't no body double involved, Meredith or the kiwi..! :D
  • Singapore Sling is now digging a grave - whose will it be - intercut with the daughter being tortured by him - it soon turns out to be a full-on threesome among mother, daughter, and the lucky b*stard - thoroughly kinky, and if you're into BDSM or bondage, you'll simply love this long scene.
  • Later that night, Singapore Sling decides to leave...


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