Well, I finally found a bad Jack Hill movie. Mondo Keyhole, codirected with John Lamb in 1966, is dreadful enough that I barely managed to sit through the whole thing. It’s about an exec at a porn company who, in his spare time, rapes lots of women in slow motion. Occasionally he refuses to have sex with his wife, also very, very slowly. And every so often a skull appears and waves back and forth while a disembodied voice natters on pompously about reality and fantasy and dark human drives. Then at the end there’s an orgy with a guy in a dracula mask talking about hell in a bad transyvania accent, and we learn that the punishment for rape is S&M play with two bosomy and scantily clad women. I think it was the moralizing/intellectualizing that really got me — most of Hill’s movies are unabashed about their lurid exploitation elements, and so are able to just happily and unapologetically heap other good stuff (interesting characters, snappy dialogue, whatever) on top of the sex and violence — pretty much the best of all worlds as far as I’m concerned. Mondo Keyhole, though, seems trapped in its own oleaginous moralizing and winking, tongue-in-cheek self expiation. It’s so busy congratulating itself for arting up its thoroughly sleazy violence and sex that it forgets to give us a plot. Or characters. Or entertainment.

Ah, well, so it goes. Even when your as good as Jack Hill, they can’t all be gems, I guess.

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