3/5/09

B.L.O.G Presents I jomfruens tegn (1973) a.k.a In The Sign of the Virgin

When I look back at the seven months since I threw open the LBL’s doors and began to bring you folks my humble opinion on genre film, I had originally envisioned this as a horror site, but it’s become much more than that. I’ve covered action, comedy, giallo, Euro-crime, Pinky Violence, classics, sexploitation, blaxploitation, Sci- fi, and everything in between (all the while kicking in a steady stream of horror). However tonight I am tackling a genre which I have never attempted to bring up from the depths of the Lair.

The Bugg is covering Porn, hmm, what? Call it erotica because it’s from a foreign country? Nah, I don’t think so. I gots to call ‘em like I see ‘em, after all, like a famous man once said would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? And when you have a bevy of nubile young Danish girls who spend much of their time disrobed and/or having hardcore sex, what you’ve got there is porn. And what we’ve got here is tonight’s group of B.L.O.G girls, I give you….

The Girls of Nulpolitterorden’s Boarding School star in tonight’s example of the Danish Tegn film. Tegn, which literally translated means Evidence, is a style of erotic film which dominated the Danish cinema in the early 1970’s. Appropriately in 1969, Denmark became the first country to legalize pornography, and with this came a huge influx of erotic films to the market. One of the first films in this style was tonight’s flick which was so influential in its mixture of porn and comedy, it loaned part of its name to the style. Ladies and Gents, this one is not for the prudes out there, this is….
I jumfruens tegn [a.k.a In the Sign of the Virgin] (1973) starring Ole Soltoft, Sigrid Horne-Rasmussen, Bent Warburg, and Anne Bie Warburg.

In a boarding school in a Danish village, the Headmistress has her hands full. She’s got a school full of wanton little girls who seem entirely driven by sex. Unbeknownst to her, she can’t even punish the girls without them breaking out of the basement dungeon to sneak over to the local brothel. Soon the planet Jupiter with the constellation Virgo will align with the village as the focal point, and she worries that a sex frenzy will break out on her campus. Thankfully there’s science to the rescue.

Scientist Armond is dispatched to the village with a new hormone treatment in the form of a powder. If Armond doses the girls and the town’s water supply with the powder, then the mad orgy might be averted. However rival scientist Professor Bomwitz has hit town with his own special hormone powder, but his causes people to go into fits of ecstasy. When the two scientists literally run into each other, they accidentally swap identical cases of powder. With Bomwitz frustrated with the results his powder gets, Armond happily drops the wrong powder in the town reservoir. Now with the stars and planets aligning, the girls are taken over by an unquenchable sex mania, and no man is safe from their desires.

Film Facts

--Finn Karlsson directed his first feature film the romantic comedy Stine og drengene (Stein and the Boys) in 1969. He would go on to direct "potato western" Gold for the Tough Guys of the Prairie in 1971. I jumfruens tegn was his last film before reportedly descending into a life plagued by alcoholism.

--Ole Soltoft would appear in several other "Sign" films including Agent 69 in the Sign of Scorpio.



The Bug Speaks

When approaching a film of this nature, I feel that is is best to begin with the erotic aspects first. I Jumfruens tegn stars a verifiable cavalcade of young Danish women. (Although I have seen some buzz that not all the girls were Danish, and this explains the dearth of lines from the girls.) When I saw these girls, I was struck with how each of them was so adorable and real looking. This is one of the best things about watching Porn of bygone eras. For anyone who is a fan of the beautiful European ladies that populate '70's genre cinema, this is a film you will truly enjoy. These are not the blow up doll porn stars that grace the screens of modern blue movies, these girls are surgically unaltered, un-tanned, and decidedly unshaven. (Except for the scene involving the "Barber" who has a strange fetish for, shall we say, baldness.) To me this makes the film, and yes the sex, more enjoyable to watch. 

It was somewhat odd to watch the pornographic scenes with subtitles blazing by, but thank goodness I had them. I would have hated to miss some of the wonderful comedy this flick had to offer. Bent Warburg, as Bomwitz, dazzles with his performance. When the horny scientist takes a taste of his rival's non-horny powder, it is hilarious to see Warburg struggle with his limp little friend as several rather pretty girls try and inspire a response. (Bent should get an award for his tenacity while filming these scenes.)He finally does overcome his problem, and delivers a sex scene which gives you the feeling of Benny Hill indulging his naughty fantasies.  On the other hand you have Ole Soltoft. He plays wet blanket Armand with equal skill. Soltoft plays the straight man role so well that you can actually believe he is the biggest prude to ever walk the streets of Denmark. 

One of the saddest things about the film is the lack of information out there about it. With little to no credits on the actual movie, and a lack of information to be had elsewhere, I was not able to identify a single one of the girls in the film. That's too bad because there are some beauties on parade. Finn Karlsson really knew how to choose the right actresses. However, what Karlsson did not have was a great skill as a film maker. The transfer I got (from those great folks at Cinema de Bizzare! Sign up for the newsletter to get my exclusive reviews! I'm such a whore.) looked great, so I can only blame Karlsson for some of the dark muddy shots. That being said the final "sex ballet" in the reservoir is stunningly realized. If only Karlsson had been able to harness that energy in the rest of the film, this could have been a classic. 

As it is, Karlsson gives some wonderful scenes. After all what other film contains, girl fights, lesbian scenes, sorority hazing rituals, antique vibrators, aged hookers, and a girl who gets to "know" a loaf of bread in a biblical sense. All these things together make for a very entertaining film which I have never seen the like of. There may be other examples of Tegn film which might be more erotic, better filmed, or funnier. However this film will take a special place in my heart. After all, you don't forget your first. 

Bug Rating

Sadly no trailer or clip os available for this film, but in this pic you can see captures of many of the film's scenes. This does include some images that are decidedly NSFW.

2 comments:

  1. What a great post! I've never seen this film before. I don't think I've even heard of it before. I'll have to see if I can check it out. It sounds right up the alley of something I would like. I am a huge fan of 70's cinema. I much prefer the girls in those movies. They were natural beauties. They weren't surgically enhanced or airbrushed. They also did feel like they had to get rid of all their pubic hair.

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