Nine Lives of a Wet Pussy (1976)

The notorious debut feature from future acclaimed filmmaker Abel Ferrara (aka Jimmy Boy L), 9 Lives of a Wet Pussy, which was shot under the more appropriate title of ‘Nothing Sacred,’ is a sexual fever-dream laced with astute commentary on religion, class, and general mysticism. Written by ‘Nicholas George’, and photographed by Francis X. Wolfe (Nightdreams), and with a throbbing, jazz-infused original soundtrack composed by Joseph Delia (Bad Lieutenant, The Addiction), Pussy has long only been viewable in poor quality and censored editions. Vinegar Syndrome is pleased to present the world Blu-ray debut of this fascinating chapter in New York City made underground cinema, newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm original negative, with its most controversial sequence fully intact for the first time since its initial VHS release in the early 80s.
Pauline (Pauline LaMonde), a wealthy and bored socialite, has a secret relationship with an opium smoking tarot card reading mystic, known only as Gypsy (Dominique Santos). Recording and reporting on her various sexual experiences, as well as those of her friends, Pauline and Gypsy each use each other to explore their darkest sexual and emotional recesses. But as Pauline begins to pull away from her emotional connection to her friend, Gypsy herself realizes that she must keep Pauline under her control at all costs.

Pauline is a wealthy and married New York heiress who embarks on a series of sexual encounters with various people. She keeps in close contact with Gypsy, a tarot reader whom Pauline writes letters describing in minute detail about her conquests from seducing a French stable boy, to having sex with a gas station attendant, to a visiting Nigerian princess with a past, and to a fantasy lover, which apparently stems from her past involving a flashback sequence showing Pauline’s young grand mother and younger sister taking a verse from the bible a little too far and seducing their own father.
Ferrara’s first feature-length film is this hardcore effort about a rich New Yorker (Pauline LaMonde) who writes to her tarot card reading friend (Dominique Santos) about her various sexual encounters. These encounters include various men and women and we also get a sequence in a gas station bathroom where she pretty much has to rape the worker. Ferrara has pretty much forgotten all about this film as he had his name changed in the credits to Jimmy Boy L. and whenever asked about his first film, he actually talks about The Driller Killer his second film.  Here we get hardcore scenes yet they’re filmed in a way as if the director was saying he’d much rather be doing something else. This might be why he’s also refused to talk about the film or have anything to do with it. The sex scenes are all rather ugly without any decent camera-work but this could be said about the entire film. It looks incredibly cheap and seems to have been put together on the run. Ferrara does manage to create a rather weird atmosphere but the voice over narration and silly dialogue doesn’t help matters. One of the most outrageous scenes has a father passing out drunk and then his two daughters rape him. Yes, not step daughters but actual daughters. There’s a rumor that Ferrara was involved in hardcore scenes but I really don’t think that’s the case. He appears in a scene but I think it’s rather obvious, due to the editing, that there’s a stand-in doing the actual work. In the end, there are certainly much better hardcore movies out there so this here is going to be for Ferrara fans who want to see the film he wants nothing to do with. I’m not sure what he has against this movie but it’s certainly a lot better than The Driller Killer.