“Maxi Mickey” is the title of a very popular French children’s comic book (as in Mickey Mouse) and was also an occasional porno pseudonym for idiosyncratic fornication filmmaker “Maxime Debest”, in actuality longtime legit producer Jean Lefait who went from funding then risqué fare like CE SOIR LES JUPONS VOLENT in the ’50s to an executive producer credit on Bruno Mattei’s delirious BLADE VIOLENT a/k/a WOMEN’S PRISON MASSACRE with Laura Gemser in a mere quarter century. He dipped his toe in the hardcore end of the pool with this venture, which seems to have been shot simultaneously – considering cast similarities – with his ZOB ZOB ZOB (French slang for a guy’s “wedding tackle”) and RENTRE, C’EST BON.
Employing the Debest pseudonym, he seems to have made only a handful of explicit features, outside of the comparatively major porno production companies existing in France at the time but with big name casts, further marked by a more realistic, even naturalistic approach to human (as opposed to exclusively sexual) interaction than was commonly found in contemporary Euro porn. His overlooked early ’80s mini masterpiece COUPLES PERVERS about a hit-man, impressively essayed by dead-eyed Michel Duchézeau, wrestling with his conscience while hiding out in the country side is a particularly eloquent example of his style. Obviously shot on a shoe-string, INONDE MON VENTRE still offers several surprisingly sensitive characterizations courtesy of some beautifully observed little moments that really bring them to life as flesh and blood people rather than superhuman sex machines which are rather more prevalent in this genre.
Bertrand (stalwart Jacques Gatteau who sadly passed away last year) has been semi-happily married for some time now to lovely Lise (superstar Brigitte Lahaie during her brief spell as a brunette) but reproaches her for being unresponsive in their lovemaking. Unbeknownst to him, she has been acting out her suppressed sexual longings during the afternoons while he’s at work in the exclusive swing club run by middle-aged Madame Bastide (Catherine Léno a/k/a “Kay O’Nell” from Claude Bernard-Aubert’s LA GRANDE MOUILLE) who keeps silver-tongued black midget Désir Bastareaud (a “John Love” regular, also in Alan Vydra’s glossy SEX ROULETTE) for both personal pleasure and that of frisky clientèle in need of instant relief.
At this point, its simple situation set up, the movie splits into two long sexual sequences. One of them is set at the club with a nervous couple (delicately-featured blonde Marion Schultz from Bernard-Aubert’s RABATTEUSE and John Oury, Dominique Saint-Clair’s insensitive husband from Michel Lemoine’s L’ETE LES PETITES CULOTTES S’ENVOLENT) becoming part of the spectacle. The fairly unremarkable blonde helping out during various sex acts is Michèle le Brumann, whose only other significant credit’s for Patrice Rhom’s LES JEUNES JOUISSEUSES.
Their mounting passion is cleverly mirrored in frustrated husband Bertrand’s attempts at adultery, aided by best friend Sam (French porn’s busiest beaver Alban Ceray) and a pair of amoral floozies, Claude Janna (apparently the only professional actress on Jean-François Davy’s morally suspect PROSTITUTION) and Catherine Tailleferre, who had made up a deadly duo with Alice Arno in Lefait’s sexy horror yarn LA PIPE AU BOIS a couple of years before. Both strands ultimately converge when this foursome makes it to the club, culminating in the central couple’s on-stage reunion in a gorgeously shot and deeply emotional encounter.
Though sporting another ridiculous come-on for a title (which literally translates as “Cover My Belly” !), due to the fact that French “X” legislation did not allow for any publicity other than a title (so no artwork or mention of any cast members), this overlooked little gem should spark some interest with longtime fans and not just because of who’s in it. An effectively de-glamorized Lahaie works wonders in the nominal lead role of the woman distressed by her own desires, generating a believable spousal chemistry with Gatteau far outshining their pairings in other movies. Non-sexual, seemingly “extraneous” scenes like the one in the kitchen where she’s just trying to get on with dinner while he’s playfully distracting her really make the film work as an unusually character-based piece of erotica. True to life script was actually the work of Gérard Beziat as the estimable Christophe Bier’s blog (www.leblogdemonsieurbier.com) helpfully informs. Composer, singer/songwriter and poet, Beziat pseudonymously penned many “adults only” paperbacks throughout the ’70s to make ends meet.
Other aspects don’t fare as well though. The lengthy frolics involving the two male best friends and their open-minded paramours do end up a tad tedious for example. Production’s fine on the other hand, with beautiful mood lighting and carefully crafted cinematography (uncredited but might be the work of then omnipresent Roger Fellous) bringing out the performers’ innate “real people” attractiveness. With many of her lesser performances already released onto DVD, this is one Brigitte Lahaie vehicle still undeservedly languishing in limbo.
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