A Victorian aristocrat buys a former madhouse and converts it into a “love nest”. Unknown to him, Jack the Ripper lives in secret passages lining the building. What follows is a lumpy blend of sex farce, gratuitous nudity and appalling violence. The film’s official leading lady Diana Dors is well past her prime, thus most of the sexual calisthenics are handled by others. This is supposed to be a “Comedy” but I put it in the “Other” section because I feel a lot of worthwhile films are overlooked in that category.
WHAT THE SWEDISH BUTLER SAW:
The Groove Room;
A Man with a Maid;
My Favorite Butler;
Teenage Tickle Girls
A young Victorian aristocrat named Jack Tanner (Ole Soltoft) falls in love with the daughter of the local clergyman. Her name is Alice (Sue Longhurst), and he does everything he can to sway her after meeting her in a small art gallery. He decides to show her how cultured he is by taking up photography and seeks advice from the local madame (Diana Dors)on how best to make her his. Finally he buys a former insane asylum and renovates it into the ultimate pleasure palace, complete with a secret room and many unusual devices.
When, thanks to a severe thunderstorm, Jack is finally able to get Alice into one of the secret rooms hoping to finally make his move on her, Alice shows Jack how things really are and pulls a complete role reversal on him. While all this is going on, the maid and the butler (Charlie Elvegard) are going about their randy ways, and much in the way of sexual hijinks occurs in the strange house. To complicate matters further, the house is full of secret passage ways and Jack The Ripper has found his way in and is now living in amongst its walls, and playing with the electrical panel. Released in various different markets under a few alternate titles (it’s commonly known as What The Swedish Butler Saw and My Favorite Butler) and with various trims made here and there to alter the running time and up the sex ante, The Groove Room is an enjoyable vintage sex comedy that provides a few decent laughs and some pretty girls to boot. Performances are above average for a European seventies softcore sex comedy, Sue Longhurst in particular doing a good job with the material and always remaining a prim and proper Victorian lady despite the insanity manifesting around her during the outcome of the film. Ole Soltoft does a good job of playing the clumsy oaf who thinks with the head between his legs and not the one on his shoulder and he comes across as a good natured sort, even if he is a little overly aggressive at times (though when you look at Longhurst, you can’t blame him for being a little overzealous). Director Vernon P. Becker does a good job with the pacing on the film, keeping the action and laughs coming at you in a pretty regular manner. The look of the film is also quite good, in that a lot of the costumes and sets are rather convincing and do look the part of upper class Victorian era society. Some of the shots are obviously designed to take advantage of the 3-D format that the film was shot for, and so it isn’t unusual to see things head towards the camera from time to time that otherwise wouldn’t have any place heading in that direction. It all works though, and it adds to the goofiness factor that makes the movie a fair bit of fun.