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Uschi Digard: The Buxom Bombshell Collection
Born in Sweden then moving to America in the late 1960s, Uschi Digard rose to fame as a big bust model in through the late sixties and the seventies before going on to star in over a hundred exploitation and softcore sex films from 1968 through to the early 1980s when she retired from film and opted out of the public eye. A few of her better known films, including Roxanna and Pleasures Of A Woman were directed by Nick Philips (a.k.a. Nick Millard), both of which have seen DVD releases from Retro-Seduction Cinema, who continue that trend with this release which compiles two new to DVD Uschi films, the first of which, Fancy Lady, is a collaborative effort between Philips and Digard. Though she'll probably always be best remembered for either her 8mm stag loops or her work with Russ Meyer (Supervixens, Harry, Cherry And Raquel), it's nice to see some of her more obscure works hitting home video and her many fans ought to eat this one right up.
Fancy Lady (1971): In the feature attraction we find Ms. Digard starring as Karin Nykquist, a reporter from Copenhagen whose assignment is to conduct the research that she'll need in order to write an in-depth article that will contrast and compare the sexual cultures of America and Denmark. Made without any dialogue and narrated by a woman with an insanely thick Scandinavian accent, the film follows Karin around as she explores the seedy side of San Francisco life where she takes in a dirty movie featuring two lesbians loving it up in big leather boots in the middle of a city park. From here we learn of Karin's own experience in lesbianism as a young, nubile nineteen-year-old girl experimenting with an equally young and nubile friend. From here, Karin meets up with a couple that has recently returned from her own hometown where they went for vacation. She meets them in their pad where they put on a show for her and make wild passionate love to each other while she watches and documents the experience from behind a door left slightly ajar. When it's all over and done with, Karin retires for the evening, exhausted from the day's experiences and craving the sexual satisfaction that a woman can only give to herself using a high heel shoe in place of a dildo. Seriously.
Short on plot, thankfully Fancy Lady features enough of the strange Nick Philips kink that makes his work so enjoyable that we're able to completely forgive the shortcomings of the story. Uschi's exploits feature plenty of obvious foot fetishism, especially the last scene where she literally rubs herself off with her black leather shoe, and in the lesbian scene in the park where both girls sport nothing but thigh high leather boots. Those familiar with any of Philips' other softcore films shot in and around the same era now that this type of stuff shows up quite frequently in his work but its shot really well, it's almost always steamy even if it's hard to explain why, and it completely works in the bizarre context of his fantasy world.
But what about Uschi? She's in fine form here. She's positively lovely in everything this writer has seen her in and this film is no exception. Her lesbian scene is top notch and the finale is as hot as anything else from the era. Her completely shapely body looks beautiful on film, and here it's lit to accentuate the curves the good lord gave her in all the right places. The movie isn't exactly a smart film, it doesn't require any thought or deliver any kind of social message, but it is packed with plenty of Uschi action and some very cool footage of San Francisco's red light district circa 1971.
Dirty Pool (1970): This second feature is just as simple story wise as the feature attraction, if not more so. Written and directed by 'Ed Stevens' (so says the opening credits), the movie follows a young married couple with a problem. You see, the woman in the couple is a 'sun goddess' who can't get enough tanning. This results in her having a whole lot of pent up energy that she unleashes on her husband in bed. He states that he's a sexual victim to help absorb some of her energy, as it's too much for one man to handle so he calls in another couple to help him out – Buck and his girlfriend.
Here the girlfriend's narration kicks in, we get her side of the story and find out that they're both very sexual creatures and very much looking forward to the upcoming challenge and we then find out, of course, that the sun goddess is Uschi. We see her go down on her man at the poolside and then we see the couple en route stop at the side of the road for some equally oral relaxation techniques. Uschi strips in the pool and fondles herself a bit, then gets it on with her man while the await the arrival of their new friends who are now involved in full on intercourse out there at the side of the highway.
When they finally arrive, the find Uschi in her bikini at the pool. The girl wastes no time getting her naked and going down on her, and soon Buck gets in there for a little fun too. After the three way, the girlfriend runs off with Uschi's husband to do him inside while Buck takes care of Uschi solo. Eventually everyone moves in side and has an orgy on top of a bear skin rug that involves a lot of toe sucking and faux humping (though some of the cunnilingus action looks like it might not be faked).
A lot of the narration in this movie rhymes, which gives it kind of a wacky beat when it plays out overtop of the free jazz soundtrack. The plot exists only as a way of moving the viewer from one sex scene to the next and there's really not much of a story here, but that's okay, as, like in Foxy Lady, the softcore action is steamy enough to hold our attention throughout the quick one hour running time.The DVD
The first film is presented in what one can only assume is their original aspect ratio of 1.33.1. Compositions look to be intact and the framing seems fine, and thankfully, the presentation that the movie get aren't half bad. There's some minor print damage and some moderate to heavy grain in a few scenes but for the most part the image is clean enough and color reproduction, though slightly faded, isn't bad either. Fine detail gets a little lost in some of the softer scenes but overall things are pretty crisp. Black levels are moderate to strong and there aren't any problems with the digital transfer in terms of mpeg compression artifacts or edge enhancement and only a slight bit of aliasing shows up to rear its ugly head now and then. Dirty Pool shows up in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen and is in slightly rougher shape in that it has a bit more print damage but is otherwise comparable in quality to Fancy Lady's transfer. Both movies look good enough on this DVD despite some moments which are a little rough around the edges.Sound:
The English language Dolby Digital Mono sound mixes aren't half bad on this double feature. There's some mild hiss present in a few scenes and the levels do fluctuate a tad but dialogue remains clean, clear and concise and the sound effects and background music are well balanced and don't over power the performers. No alternate language dubs, subtitles or closed captioning options are provided for this release.Extras:
Well if two features weren't enough for you, Retro-Seduction Cinema has stacked this release with some pretty keen extra features to compliment the two films. First up is A Look At The Fancy Lady which is an informative examination of the film and the people who made it thanks to 'Grindhouse Film Historian' 42nd St. Pete. Clips from the film play out underneath Pete's narration that explains how the film was shot in the red light district of San Francisco, and how we see it all play out through Uschi's eyes. He talks about the heavily accented narration, and explains the strong points of Nick Philip's more fetish oriented motifs in this film, with the lingerie and the foot fetish bits. He also covers some of Philips' other work like Dr. Christina Of Sweden and how theatrical softcore and hardcore is now more or less a lost art. This segment runs for just under six minutes.
Also included is a vintage 8mm stag loop featuring Uschi that has been re-titled here as Uschi's Phone Sex and which has some dialogue dubbed over top. This loop appeared on Alpha Blue Archive's release of Uschi's Hot Stud Pick Up as Phone Sex With Uschi sans the narration and with different music looped over top. At any rate, what happens in this one is Ms. Digard is on the phone with someone when she decides to take the yellow pages advice and let her fingers do the walking. Soon she's stripped down to her stockings and garters and is rolling around on the bed. She masturbates quickly, and the clip ends. This clip is just over six-minutes in length.
Rounding out the supplements on the disc is the magic of the Uschi Trailer Vault in which we become privy to promo spots for Fancy Lady, Pleasures Of A Woman, and Roxanne (interestingly enough the trailer for this one contains some of the original narration which didn't make it onto the DVD as the elements have since been lost).
Last but certainly not least, inside the keepcase you'll find an essay entitled Buxom Bombshell written by Terry Thorne, which originally appeared in Alternative Cinema Magazine that is illustrated with some prime cheesecake photos of Uschi as well as an essay from 42nd St. Pete entitled Fancy Lady Goes To San Fran. These both make for good reading as they contain some interesting information on the film and the woman who starred in them.Final Thoughts:
A fine double feature of some fun and sexy vintage sexploitation movies, Uschi Digard: The Buxom Bombshell Collection delivers everything fans of the top-heavy actress would expect from her work. The disc looks and sounds fine considering the age and scarcity of the source material and the extras, while not all that plentiful, are still a nice touch. Recommended, and hopefully we'll see more volumes in the future.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.