Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sylvia (1977)

Sylvia also known as A Saint, A Woman, A Devil is another strange one from the 70's. Sylvia is played by Joanna Bell and she has never done anything before or since. She portrays Sylvia as a odd-ball, anti-social, religious fanatic with multiple nymphomaniac personalities. At first glance Joanna Bells acting seems to be incredibly awkward with weird facial expressions that don't seem to match the scene or surrounding actions or moods.

For example if Sylvia is checking out a mans package she tightens her lips and her eyes twitch with a crooked grin. I'm not sure if the facial expressions were part of Peter Savage's direction but it certainly makes Sylvia even weirder.

Then we have some typically 70's tasteless material such as a incestuous scene between mother and daughter involving some dildo's. We also get a big orgy with interracial action, lesbian action and some disturbing nipple tassel shaking.

Then there is a nasty rape scene which shows the great Turk Turpin who I remember best for his role in Defiance Of Good as the big black male nurse who wanted to be the first to rape Jean Jennings. Well this time around he does plenty of rapping, slapping, beating and whipping on a virginal type character who doesn't do any hardcore in this one. Even the rape scene surprisingly enough didn't show any penetration. I suppose they knew the scene was strong enough to sand on its own without the XXX stuff.

Next Sylvia takes another surprising turn when Sonny Landham from Predator shows up as a helpless junkie, shaking and twitching and rolling about in violent spasms as he screams out for a fix. We do get to see Sonny put his junkie cock to use in one of the better sex scenes in the film but his best moment involves a violent robbery scene in a doctors office. There is guns, switchblades, broken bottles and blood and Sonny Landham's acting proves he belonged doing bigger things then hardcore porno flicks.

Sylvia is a little bit all over the place with a very shaky plot and at one point it almost takes a Exorcist ripoff turn and my personal favorite scene shows Sylvia attack a priest with a giant crucifix. She goes on long anti religious rantings and forces the priest or as she calls him "Slave boy" to take off his clothes and she proceeds to rape the man of god all the while ranting about how she is the devil and she commands his will.

The version of the film I saw was extremely cut. Apparently the original uncut version goes at 90 minutes and the VCX print that I picked up is cut down to 73. Its almost hard to believe considering the version I saw had some rough material in it. Makes me wonder what I'm missing. I suppose the problems with the plot is probably due to the rapist in the cutting room, chopping the hell out of this movie. Still Sylvia is a good blasphemous time with hardcore sex, rape, incest and some very strange actors.

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