Daily Archives: December 14, 2012

Private Parts (1972)

private parts 3

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 7 out of 10

4-Word Review: He likes to watch.

Cheryl (Ayn Ruymen) is a teen who cannot get along with her sister and boyfriend and decides to move out of their apartment and into a seedy hotel run by Martha (Lucille Benson) a very strange old lady. Here she lives next to voyeuristic photographer George (John Ventantonio) who has a big sex doll fetish. Cheryl secretly spies on George having sex with his doll and starts to get off on it. George becomes aware of Cheryl spying on him and likes it, which causes them to form an odd relationship and that is when things really get weird.

The film’s intrigue comes from the way it see-saws between being a perverted character study, horror film, and dark comedy. Director Paul Bartel makes great use of lighting, setting, and camera angles. There is also one truly odd and memorable sequence involving Ventantonio filling up his sex doll with water and then pumping it full of his own blood. The story is subtle enough to keep you involved and guessing and may even take a couple of viewings before you truly ‘get it’.

Much like with his later and better known film Eating Raoul Bartel examines the psychological complexities that make up people’s sexual nature and how perversions and fetishes are a normal part of it. The mindset is that everyone probably has a weird fetish of some kind and the open minded approach is what ultimately makes it refreshing and intriguing.

Although the film teases you with some sex and violence it never really goes all out. By dancing the line between being a horror film and a sex flick it fails to make a lasting impression despite a few good moments.

This is an interesting curio for sure and for its time was really pushing the envelope, but suffers from a low budget and isn’t scary or gory enough. However, George’s sex doll is unforgettable and watching it fill up with his blood is one of the damnedest looking sights ever put on film.

My Rating: 7 out of 10

Released: September 17, 1972

Runtime: 1Hour 27Minutes

Rated R

Director: Paul Bartel

Studio: MGM

Available: VHS, DVD, Amazon Instant Video