A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine (Byron Mabe, 1966)

posted in: Duane, Review | 0
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Sharon, a dirty slut who likes to toy with men and women alike, enjoys  leading people on until they think they’re actually going to get to go all the way with her before she yells “RAPE!” with increasingly disastrous consequences. Will Sharon finally meet the wrong person who gives her what she deserves?
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This is the first feature directed by Byron Mabe – astute readers will recognize as the infamous “Carl” from Church favourite The Defilers. Sadly, A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine doesn’t come anywhere near the awesomeness that is the aforementioned classic, but it does have its moments. At times creepy, comical and downright horrible… the film does manage to entertain on a pretty basic level. For the most part it’s all padding where Sharon fucks around with a myriad of victims until they’re so hot and bothered they can no longer stand it then pulls the plug, accusing them of rape. One unfortunate fellow actually ends up behind bars before he could even manage to get his pants down. Another is forced to skip town… Sharon’s manipulation of the populace for her own sadistic pleasure will have you wanting to cover her head with a plastic bag and beat her about the face and neck with a stick until the bag fills with a frothy pink slurry of hate. Expect to sit through many scenes of topless Sharon making out with dudes/chick while the same shitty chord gets strummed on an old acoustic guitar ad nauseam. The entertaining part lies in the aftermath of the aborted coitus where Sharon’s frustrated victims react to her cruel torments – sometimes with very amusing results. Also of note are the horrendous performances by all involved…. I think one could coax livelier dialogue from sock puppets.
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A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine does contain plenty of nudity and lingerie, dressing/undressing, bathing, et al. but sadly it’s mostly just Sharon who I didn’t find attractive in the least, and her lesbo room mate who is better looking but kicked to the curb pretty quickly. Fans of 60s cheesecake, fashion, and pinups will find something here to appreciate regardless. Also worth mentioning is the impromptu performance by some sleazy guy that picks Sharon up from a park bench… seems dude thinks he is quite adept at crooning out the odd tune at the local bar while thrusting his groin at the camera (meanwhile, Sharon looks on and deep throats a Coke bottle. Seriously). Something Weird Video fans will instantly recognize the segment where Sharon shuts down her roommate, Paula (after letting her massage and make out with her of course); “Paula, I may be a BITCH… but I’ll never be a BUTCH.”.A-Smell-of-Honey-A-Swallow-of-Brine-25283-2529

The last segment of the film is where things get really interesting (dare I say misogynistic) as Sharon decides to fuck with Captain Grointhrust from the park bench and discovers very quickly that he is certainly not as cordial as her previous suitors – where he proceeds to beat her head against the coffee table and brutally pummels her into submission, culminating with Sharon all strung out on the street corner getting picked up by a John. Just desserts, indeed.

This is a pretty typical entry into the 60s sexploitation library, but pretty thin on plot and entertainment value. Completists and fans of the subgenre will likely find something to appreciate, most others will probably nod off.

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Official COSDS Nunspank Rating:


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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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