Susan (Willeke Van Ammelrooy) lives on an idyllic farmhouse, along with the sex-loving youngsters Sandra, Olga and Julie, and the unstable voyeur Albert. A number of absurd killings take ...
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Pim de la Parra
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Pim de la Parra
Diana Gangaram Panday,
Willeke van Ammelrooy
Susan (Willeke Van Ammelrooy) lives on an idyllic farmhouse, along with the sex-loving youngsters Sandra, Olga and Julie, and the unstable voyeur Albert. A number of absurd killings take place by the sex-vampires. The allegations, however, go out to Piet (Nelly Frijda), the crazy woman on the other side of the ditch. A young craftsman is surprised by the dangerous ladies.
Widely considered as the godfathers of the Dutch commercial cinema renaissance of the '60s and '70s, Indonesian Pim de la Parra and the late Wim Verstappen radically shifted gears after their first collaboration - DE MINDER GELUKKIGE TERUGKEER VAN JOSZEF KATUS NAAR HET LAND VAN REMBRANDT (The Less Fortunate Return of Joszef Katus to the Country of Rembrandt), a semi-vérité account of the political upheaval in Holland during the mid-sixties - garnered considerable critical praise yet failed to put bums on seats. Under their soon to become notorious Scorpio Film banner, with one always producing what the other directed, they launched into a series of skin-heavy thrillers and dramas that would make the Calvinist country's film industry synonymous with gratuitous nudity and sex, an image it has never successfully got rid off since. First of these was the 1969 (how appropriate !) OBSESSIONS, a sort of hot under the collar Hitchcock variation co-written by then unknown Martin Scorsese and scored by Bernard Herrmann, sexy stills of which would pop up in men's magazines all over Europe for many years to come.
Two years later, "Pim & Wim" (as they were now commonly if not always affectionately known) wrote sordid cinema history when they took the Dutch censorship commission to task for its refusal to pass their explicit BLUE MOVIE. A man of considerable intelligence as well as eloquence, Verstappen re-submitted his outrageous opus without so much as a single cut, accompanied by an impassioned defense plea which brought the committee to its knees, simultaneously signing its death warrant by rendering them obsolete in the process. The movie went on to become one of the greatest box office blasts in the country's cinema history. FRANK & EVA (Living Apart Together) and ALICIA followed suit, both doing respectable if less than comparable business. MIJN NACHTEN MET... and the in-jokey farce MENS ERGER JE NIET! (Don't Worry Too Much!) were the last of Scorpio's naughty numbers before the company went bust producing de la Parra's epic labor of love WAN PIPEL, causing a rift between the longtime collaborators.
Indicative of the duo's dynamics, MY NIGHTS WITH... showcases both their strengths and weaknesses, compounded by budgetary short cuts. Presumably best known to stateside audiences for playing Sandra Bullock's widowed mom in Alejandro Agresti's THE LAKE HOUSE or the frumpy middle-aged central character in Marleen Gorris' Oscar winner ANTONIA'S LINE, it may be hard to believe that Willeke van Ammelrooy was the quintessential lust goddess of the Lowlands throughout the decade. Seeking refuge from a stormy professional and personal relationship with French skin flick "auteur" Jean-Marie Pallardy, she's ironically cast as former model Susan who has chosen a hermit's life on a dilapidated farm over the shallowness of jet set life. When Anton (theater thesp Hans van der Gragt), a hunky courier, comes along to pick her up for an assignment on the French Riviera, he's so fascinated by Susan's odd assortment of house guests that he decides to stay with them for a couple of days.
There's Albert (Flemish actor Serge-Henri Valcke, who had an indelible bit part in Dick Maas' THE LIFT), a fashion photographer suffering from agoraphobia now safely ensconced in Susan's cupboard, occasionally joined after dark by Julie (Marieke van Leeuwen) who sleeps through most of the day. Far more disquieting still is the presence of murderous nymphets Sandra and Olga (Marja de Heer and Franulka Heyermans respectively) who throw themselves at everything in pants, cracking the skill of a passing American motorist (Euro skin flick veteran Jerry Brouer) out of sheer boredom. Lest he manages to keep them sexually satisfied, Anton might be next on their random hit list. Observing this twisted menagerie is the retarded Piet (silent but scene-stealing Nelly Frijda), a disheveled woman who lives outdoors and knows all their dirty little secrets.
Beautifully shot by Marc Felperlaan, who did some of his best work for Alex van Warmerdam on DE NOORDERLINGEN (The Northerners) and DE JURK (The Dress), the film sets up several intriguing situations which are all too rarely followed through. This frustrating deficiency could be due to a screenplay credited to no less than five authors, including Belgian genre luminary Harry Kümel of DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS and MALPERTUIS fame. Several characters (Susan, Albert & Julie) fall by the wayside with an inordinate if aesthetically pleasing amount of time devoted to the deadly duo's unsubtle pursuit of Anton. Though their inexperience shows, as they were both nude models rather than actresses, de Heer and Heyermans convincingly convey the banality of evil, cheerfully chanting obscenities at the bewildered Piet and taunting their all too gracious hostess whose budding attraction to Anton they almost casually sabotage at every turn. They also make the movie a lot more fun than it otherwise might have been.
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