1h 30min | Adult, Comedy, Romance | 5 April 2014 (France)
A horny hot woman who can achieve orgasm only through masturbation and never while having sex with someone decides to visit a sex therapist and seek help. He and his female assistant are organizing an experimental group sex therapy session in a villa for a couple of days, so she joins them. The group consists of his other patients with similar sex-related issues that range from asexuality and nymphomania to inability to achieve orgasm with the spouse, unless the spouse is having sex with someone else as well at the same time..
The feature-length BTS included (sans English translation) on the DVD shows filmmaker Ovidie in a new guise, dropping the punk and Gothic look, though still directing her video clad in trainers and skimpy outfits. She’s no longer the self- styled rebel of a decade or so ago, but is still breaking new ground in moving Adult content toward the mainstream.
Along with her trilogy “Sex Stories”, “Pulsion” is a significant achievement in playing just like a regular film (albeit low-budget indie, but there’s no stigma to that genre anymore) but with uncensored sexual content included at the proper moments. It falls within the category of hardcore pornography, but other than casting many familiar Euro porn stars does not resemble porn in overall content – just in its explicitness.
Ovidie’s conceit is to make fun of society’s pigeon-holing and attitudes towards folks who do not conform – this is her ongoing theme in everything she’s done. Treating the subject comedically is quite effective, as there are both humorous and sometimes hilarious moments during the feature, without ever descending into preachiness. I guess you would call her approach sexual truthiness.
Emy Russo (from the Marc Dorcel talent stable) is terrific as the red-headed heroine, afflicted with a malady diagnosed by her nutsy doctor (Christophe Bier, a revelation in a role that would have played well circa 1970 in an Alex De Renzy classic) as “Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder”. The English subtitles are excellent in capturing the original French dialog’s intent, as shown in the title “Good luck with that” applied when a character says “Bon chance”.
Unable to function and in trouble with her boss due to absenteeism (she needs to run off and masturbate 20 times a day), she’s sent to a country retreat for group therapy with a motley crew of folks suffering from radically different problems.
At this point, Ovidie’s film reminded me, in a good way, of Anthony Spinelli’s minor porn classic from 1971 “Touch Me”, about a sexual encounter group. Though not intended to be by the good doc, that is what this group becomes, as even an innocent meditation session outdoors turns into an all-out orgy.
Other than the safe-sex condoms which magically appear during penetration scenes (a strict Ovidie practice), the film’s content is unbridled and often unpredictable. Emy’s set-pieces are the most arousing, as she gives an uptight patient (who cannot communicate) an expertly sensual blow-job that ranks up there with the Score Group’ “Tits & Tugs” series for effective tease, plus a later hump on the couch with him.
The most outrageous-intended sex scene starring the great Angell Summers with two guys in a threesome lit by flashlight outside at night fell flat for me. It proved way too close to comfort in resembling those horrendous amateur exercises by Brit pornographers documenting the local practice of “dogging”, an absurdly unentertaining “meet up” type of pro-am sex in public.
Tiffany Doll, like Summers a highly successful XXX actress, is magnificent in her sex scenes, providing anal content in the role of a hapless housewife whose old hubby (stalwart Bruno SX) is addicted to that phony (see current American porn from Jacky St. James) fetish of “hotwifing”. The doc amusingly cures him, much to Tiff’s delight. One disappointing choice is Ovidie’s casting of Liza Del Sierra, a truly sexy top star, in a non- sex role as a woman who is asexual and feels discriminated against in our sex- crazed modern world. She does get a nude shower scene (face not shown but it’s obviously her) but no sex scenes.
Right through to a memorable cross-dressing finale that reveals the doc’s true colors, “Pulsion” delivers on both the sex and the comedy, and is a refreshing reminder that these taken-for-granted porn performers can really act when given the opportunity. Unfortunately, virtually the entire cast went back to slaving away in gonzo assignments after finishing this three years ago.
Stars: Emy Russo, Angell Summers, Liza Del Sierra