The legendary Erotic Memoirs of Male Chauvinist Pig (1973) is a wildly fascinating throwback to the early years of explicit feature films. Made by artist, and sometime master forger, Raymond C. Hoersch, the existential plot recounts the story of a misogynist and his travails with a series of women – and whilst exploiting all manner of taboos along the way. Highlights include a golden ‘beer’ shower, a crude sexual violation, hot bondage and some messy copulation. Featuring the cream of the pioneering adult film talent of East Coast erotic cinema including Tina Russell, Darby Lloyd Raines, Georgina Spelvin and Helen Madigan, Pig is a fascinating curio from the unforgettable grindhouse days of New York City’s adult cinema.
This one is pretty twisted and definitely not your average seventies adult feature. Barney’s narration, which is as nihilistic as it is self-serving and chauvinistic, carries the film and links the sexual encounters. At the same time, those scenes of copulation don’t always appear to be legitimately played for the purposes of arousal. They’re often quite quick and sometimes performed without any enthusiasm whatsoever, the most obvious example of that being a scene where Barney goes down on Alice while she talks… and talks… and talks. She’s not in the least bit aroused or into what he’s doing, but he goes at it dutifully because, well, he fucks and therefore he is.
The sense of humor that runs throughout the film is more effective than the sexuality of the picture. A scene in which Christine approaches Barney at the bar to get a bit of money out of him in exchange for some fun is handled well and shows interesting character traits in both parties, while the scene in which Barney visits Eddie only to get some surprise action from his wife is also pretty funny not just in content but in execution. A few odd angles are used here to accentuate the more unusual aspects of this situation. Also rather amusing is the scene in which Alice is eventually surprised by an intruder in the house. She reacts just as you’d think she would, chastising ‘Barney’ for being so predictable despite the obvious effort there to give her what she’s explicitly told him she wants. The movie makes some interesting observations about the lengths that couples can and do go to in order to keep things interesting in the bedroom, though it does so with more than just a little bit of jaded satire.
The performances are strong across the board here, with Spelvin and Taylor really turning in great work. The supporting cast members are also strong, but for the most part our two leads do the bulk of the heavy lifting. Spelvin’s character is a bit vapid and we don’t necessarily understand why she’s into Barney, but it never matters all that much. She’s funny and charming in that way that Spelvin can be when given good material to work with. Taylor does a great job here, offering up the narration with just the right amount of distanced disdain for his subjects, and the dialogue is written well enough to provide sufficient comic relief. Though the sex scenes do go into some rougher territory here – rape, golden showers, and even some blood – this one plays more as a strange, comedic satire than as a straight up traditional sex film. However, that doesn’t take away from its merits or its entertainment value. Definitely one of a kind!