American war hero turned director Barry Mahon was definitely no stranger to sleazy cinema, having been behind such seedy pictures as Confessions of a Bad Girl, The Sex Killer, The Beast that Killed Women, and the oddly misogynistic fright flick Blood of the Zombie (aka The Dead One). If you’re familiar with any of the aforementioned nudie cuties you pretty much know what to expect here – a cheapo production, stilted acting and a story that serves little purpose other than to show naked ladies and various forms of debauchery. But none of that is a bad thing if handled right.
Eric, a disgruntled and recently unemployed hypnotist, derives a plan to create a cult founded on the principles of the flesh and earthly pleasures. Transforming himself into Eros, High Priest of the newly formed group, he holds sermons on love and degeneracy while raking in donations from his licentious congregation. Much to the vexation of his wife, Eros passes the time counting cash and fucking any females foolish enough to seek his private council on the true nature of “love”. Soon, the magician-turned-prophet finds himself surrounded by an “inner circle” composed of the dregs of society and is raking in the cash hand over fist. When solicited by the prurient wife of a wealthy financier, Eros’ greed prevails and he can’t help but cater to her every whim in exchange for her acceptance into the Inner Circle (as well as a swanky mansion to hold cult activities) – with predictably disastrous consequences.
Despite the simple and seemingly linear premise, The Love Cult is in essence a scathing criticism of organized religion. Hiding behind the curtain of sexploitation lurks a clever commentary on the corruption and greed perpetuated by so called men of God, cheating an unassuming congregation under the guise of Christianity and salvation.
Not to fear however, the film is far from cerebral. There’s lots of sexy 60s cooze to ogle, along with copious nudity and even some rape action to keep things interesting (Tip: if you’re involved in a sex cult and you still need to rape girls, you’re likely doing something wrong). In spite of this, the film does become slightly tedious when Eros is left to blather at his pulpit of poontang for far too long. Also be on the lookout for 60s skin flick stalwarts Sharon Kent (The Hookers, Some Like it Violent) and Uta Erickson (The Kiss of Her Flesh, The Ultimate Degenerate) vamping about.
Veterans of trash cinema will find The Love Cult to be very familiar territory. From the terrible dialogue to the wooden performances (look for an early love scene between Eric and his wife where she looks like she’s ready to puke in her mouth rather than kiss the poor sod), it’s all filler as we wait (im)patiently for the next set of titties to jiggle their way onto the screen. Recommended for fans of z-grade rubbish.
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