This film certainly lives up to its name. Bizarre consists of seven vignettes detailing "the battle of the sexes." Men and women vie for power in the age-old struggle of sexual dominance. Or whetever. But that isn't really what makes this one so odd. It's the way these stories are tied together. You see, the whole affair is narrated by a mummy. Yes, a mummy. You know, the Boris-Karloff-wrapped-in-bandages-B-movie type.
I suppose it's more interesting to have a mummy host the proceedings than a stuffed shirt scholarly type, but I am not entirely sure this fellow is all that credible. His only qualification seems to be the fact he's very old and has seen quite a bit. Or so he claims. I'm not convinced he can see much through all that dusty linen.
The tales themselves aren't that strange, and most are told with a misogynistic bent, the women being portrayed as conniving seductresses. That is, when they're not shown as dumb and whorish. And there is the occasional detour off into Twilight Zone territory, as in the story where the female scientist gives birth to a mutant child as revenge upon her new husband. (At least, I think that's what she did.) But mostly the stories are rather straightforward, just delivered in the oddest manner possible.
Take, for example, the story of the female cat burglar who is discovered mid-heist by a horny house husband. She convinces him to forgo calling the police in exchange for a roll in the sack. But this episode is, quite inexplicably, intercut with shots of airplanes jetting through the dusky sky. And as if that isn't enough, all dialogue fades away only to be replaced with a radio program on gardening.
Of the vignettes my personal favorite is the tale of a photographer and her model. She's shooting a book on Medieval torture devices, and spends the day dangling her model from the rafters. Of course, things take a bad turn near lunchtime. The lad is left straddling a "Spanish Horse" while the photographer and her assistant dine across town. Here the women aren't so much conniving seductresses or dumb whores as they're misanthropic man-haters, taking any opportunity to knife the closest man in the crotch. Well, anything for art, I guess.
Which is, of course, the filmmaker's motto, no doubt. How else do you get a mummy to narrate your sexploitation film? It probably explains the Milton quote the film opens with. Or the scene with the topless women being pummeled with rotten vegetables. Or the immortal dialogue "Imagine you were making love to this girl. Imagine you were making love to this boy. Imagine you were making love to this girl. Imagine you were making love to this boy. Imagine you were making love to this girl. Imagine you were making love to this boy. Imagine you were making love to this girl. Imagine you were making love to this boy..."
Directed by Antony Balch • R • 1969 • 92 minutes • AKA 'Secrets of Sex'