Perhaps better known for her starring role in the sexploitation nasty, Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1974), former model/actress Christina Lindberg had already appeared in plenty of sexploitation and erotica features tailored to her young adult/late teen look (and within a few more years, plenty more to boot), and this pseudo-docudrama purports to examine the cause of nymphomania, and the effect one unbridled teen has on her seemingly Conservative family and irked community.
Written and directed by Torgny Wickman (who also co-penned the score, and contributed to the set design), this semi-serious celebration of healthy boobs and beavers is told in a weirdly fractured structure that more or less flips from chunks of Anita's past until it settles on a current time period, where the voluptuous babe explains her loose behaviour and raunchy cravings to psych/music student Erik (played by a tall, spindly, and ridiculously young Stellan Skarsgard).
Strangely, Wickman never clarifies Erik's major: he meets with his psych prof to discuss this rare gift – a real-life nympho! – that's been drop-kicked by the sex gods into his lap; and he lives with a batch of musicians in a shack-like dorm where he's occasionally consulted by housemates about where the viola should be placed in written score sheets. (No, honestly.)
The film's first third covers Anita's already promiscuous behaviour which has the whole town talking behind her back, and her cold-hearted parents who favour Anita's far more restrained sister.
Maybe Anita's striptease (to the film's goofy title song 'A Girl Like Me') in front of guests at her parents' dinner partee kinda made them angry, or perhaps it's the viral news of her trolling the train station for any guy willing to get his pickle polished that's peeved her armed forces dad and socialite mum; ultimately it's their poor parenting skills and the fire between Anita's legs that sends the troubled daughter out of the city in search for more men - free from seething town gossip.
In between all this is her savior, head shrink in-training Erik, who initially tries to unlock Anita's tormented soul, and quickly realizes she's the perfect case study for his thesis. Gradually, his clinical interest becomes personal, particularly when she turns to stripping in a portside cabaret show, thereby setting up the movie's denouement.
Does Erik save her from becoming a streetwalking loose caboose? Will his emerging passion for Anita bring her that evasive orgasm which theoretically might put an end to her nymphomania? And can the male musicians in Erik's dorm practice their trumpets without Anita's mind-blowing intrusions?
Impulse's print is a genuine grindhouse material, and whether shot on true 35mm or originally on Super16, Anita has a lot of wear, weak colours, plus some shots that simply couldn't be colour corrected due to lousy timing in the original footage. The modest widescreen photography is well-composed (though some hand-held and manual zoom shots are really clumsy), and the mono sound mix is pretty standard, with some dialogue clearly recorded on location.
The sleeve design – mimicking a battered grindhouse poster – is brilliant, though it's a shame there's zero extras or background info on a film that's clearly part of a prolific wave of Swedish erotica, produced during the late sixties and early seventies; much fuss has already been made of Italian and Spanish sexploitation flicks that keep popping up on DVD, but little effort's been made to contextualize these Scandinavian rare entries.
That said, a good intro DVD to un-mined, alternative, sensual, sleazy, smut. Other Lindberg titles released by Impulse include the brilliantly sleazy Anita (1973), Maid in Sweden (1971), and Schoolgirl Report 4: What Drives Parents to Despair (1972), and Wide Open [M] (1974).
© 2007 Mark R. Hasan