Friday, February 19, 2021

Second Coming of Eva (1974)

Second Coming of Eva
exists on the fence between a softcore sexploitation comedy and a hardcore film. It would have been to its benefit to commit to one or the other.

When Eva's (Teresa Svensson) discovered by her sister, Elsa (Kim Frank), in the throes of a near-orgasmic sex dream, she's sent to a Morality & Ethics School for Girls run by Baron Bo Gyllenstake (Rune Hallberg). Unbeknownst to Elsa - and the other concerned parents, fiances, and whathaveyou - the school is actually simply the estate Gyllenstake inherited from his uncle Joakim, temporarily disguised as a school in order to fool the attorney of a part of his family, intent on exposing him as a man of low character, nullifying the will, and taking the inheritance for themselves. When the girls are left under the supervision of the Baron and his staff (so to speak) the whole place turns into a non-stop party.

Gyllenstake's scheme was a little ill-conceived considering it began - and seemingly ended - with staffing the school with his friends, on the promise that they'd be surrounded by promiscuous ladies and would, I guess, figure out how to pass the whole shebang off as an actual school when the time arose. And arise it did, when the attorney, Roderick Elliot (Jack Frank) showed up, catching everybody literally with their pants down.

Ultimately, Elliot is won over after being captured and raptured by five of the female "students", and he uses his newfound sexual progressiveness to, in turn, win over Elsa and all's well that ends well!

It's established shortly after the girls' families leave the "school" that Eva is actually a fish out of water; not nearly as wild or sexually experienced as her cohort...

...especially two women who weren't enrolled by their families at all, but are actually hiding out having escaped a Beirut sex club.

With her name in the title, I would have expected that story line to be more at the fore, though the Swedish titles (Google translated as Porn in the Scandal School and Scandal at School) aren't as Eva-centric, so maybe that's that. It's also possible that something was lost in translation. I watched a dubbed version and also compared/contrasted a bit of a subtitled version and they were pretty similar, but I don't speak Swedish, so who knows how accurate either are? At any rate, Eva eventually does have a sexual awakening, which is marked - as with a few other female orgasms, including her prudish sister - by a sound effect that I can best describe as an amplified robotic dolphin crossed with the Caterwauling Charm that sounds when Harry, Ron, and Hermione return to Hogsmeade in Deathly Hallows.

Director (and writer, here) Mac Ahlberg had a pedigree as a sexploitation director, most famously for the Swedish smash hit I, a Woman. The film was a surprise hit in the United States and is credited, in part, to ushering in the era of sexploitation films and nudie cuties that would lead to the rise and eventual legalization of pornography. It was clear he knew how to handle simulated sex scenes (if I had to hazard a guess, maybe 70%?). Ahlberg was much better known as a cinematographer (including the John Landis-directed video for Michael Jackson's "Black or White" and the Stallone vehicle, Oscar), and Second Coming looked very good throughout. It seemed like shooting the the hardcore scenes was a learning-on-the-fly deal, which would make sense since, as far as I can tell, Eva was Ahlberg's first hardcore film. So, yeah, I think it'd've come out better if it had stayed completely softcore and in Ahlberg's comfort zone or fully committed to being hardcore and forced him to figure out the shooting, flow, and editing of hardcore scenes.

At the risk of repeating myself (repeating myself), this film could have been cut down to, say, 70 minutes, easily. There was a point I was *sure* it was wrapping up, and then there were 20 minutes (more than 20% of the film) left. What is this: Judd Apatow directs a Lord of the Rings movie???

Anyway, let's check in with Robert Rimmer:

[T]his sexvid has very attractive women whom you've never seen before, and an almost indefinable happy-go-lucy, slapstick sophistication that excapes American filmmakers.

Rimmer does love pointing out how unsophisticated American porn-makers are. I can't disagree that the women are very attractive, but feel the slapstick could have been slapstickier. This is the twenty first review since I restarted Pornonomy so I'm starting to see a bit of clarity for what rates as what. Eventually, I may revisit and revise some ratings, but putting Second Coming of Eva in comparison to the twenty other films I've written about in the past eight months, I'll give it a CC100.

° The English dub calls the Baron, phonetically, "Gillin-stake" whereas the subtitles call him "Goldenrod". The Swedish audio sounds something like "Gillin-stock-uh" and "gullis" is Swedish for "goldenrod", so point goes to the dub.

° This is the second film in a row with nary a popshot to be seen.

° The way the scene between Roderick and Elsa plays out, and that the actors share a (stage) surname, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Kim and Jack Frank were sex show performers.


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