Jul 22, 2019

My Nights with Susan, Sandra, Olga & Julie (1975)

The poster makes it seem like a sleazy skin flick, when it's really a rather dark and well-crafted picture.  Sure, it's still sleazy - but there's a grim and disturbing world that unfolds in this picture - and the movie posters don't do it justice.

The film begins by looking up the dress of a girl skipping stones.  Off to a good start I'd say. 

The hitchhikers notice a car coming.  The girls are Olga (Franulka Heyermans) and Sandra (Marja de Heer).

 Walking nonchalantly along the road - they know the driver will offer them a lift.

The driver is an American (Jerry Brouer); naturally he pulls out some booze and gets to screwing Sandra.

 Olga unexpected hits him over the head with a liquor bottle, killing him.

 The girls drag the body to the river, and abandon his car.

 But they're being watched.

 The girls make it back home to their farmhouse - and arrive at the exact same time as a visitor...

Anton (Hans van der Gragt) is from the city, and he's come to visit the owner of this farmhouse - and it isn't these two girls.

The frame that was used for the movie posters.  These girls creep me out.  They barely talk, and clearly are just empty vessels of evil.

The owner of the farmhouse is Susan played by the popular Dutch actress Willeke van Ammelrooy.  Anton has a mutual friend of Susan's named Barbara - and has come to take her with him to the French Riviera to visit with her.

 But now that he sees Susan's lovely housemates, he's suddenly in no rush to be going so soon.

 Susan has a couple other house mates - Julie (Marieke van Leeuwen) who sleeps all day.  Also there's Albert (Serge-Henri Valcke), who's agoraphobic and stays locked in a closet with only a dim red light.  What a strange and twisted menagerie in this house!

Dinner is awkward for Anton to say the least.

 That evening, Olga climbs up to Anton's loft and beckons him to come down.

 Add this to the "girl on ladder" trope we've run into a million times on VZ1.  This is among the best.

Anton has sex with Sandra while Olga watches; Albert watches as well, through a peephole in his closet wall.

Susan takes a shower, but sadly no nudity from Willeke Van Ammelrooy is forthcoming (other than a blink-and-you'll-miss-it boob a little later).  A crying shame.

Oh fuck.  The retarded neighbor, Piet (Nelly Frijda) is lurking around.  Remember the person who saw the girls throw the guy in the river?  Notice that she's wearing his sunglasses.  This character is hauntingly disturbing, and it gets worse.

Olga and Sandra note how Susan is becoming attracted to Anton.  That's not okay with them.  They'll do anything to sabotage it.  Anton is theirs.

 The girls make sexually suggestive comments toward Anton while they prepare dinner.

 Susan gives them the stink eye.

 Holy fuck.  Piet is keeping the body of the American.  

 Olga throws herself once again at Anton, but he doesn't take her up on it.

 Olga and Sandra have sex, but the whole time they are moaning "Anton".

Julie rises from her sleep to take a bath.  We also find that she has a secret romance going with Albert in his closet.

These girls are such devils.  They taunt Albert on the other side of the wall, looking through the peephole.

Anton comes to see what the girls are up to, and Olga just shushes him.  They're busy playing games with Albert.

But Albert's voice unexpectedly comes from the wall in a harsh tone.  Not what the girls are used to hearing.

 Olga and Sandra enter Albert's little closet and do what they do best - use their sexuality to corrupt and destroy others. 

 Julie sees Albert having sex with girls (peeking through the peephole) and absolutely loses her shit.  She packs up her suitcase and leaves.

 Olga and Sandra bully Piet, painting her face and screaming obscenities.

 Anton learns of the murdered American and suspects the two girls.  After all, how many other vampiric psychopaths could be in this little town?

 Piet, wearing the American's shades, destroys Susan's kitchen.  I suppose as a way of retaliating against Sandra and Olga's abuse.

 Susan finds that Albert has killed himself.  She confronts the girls in the tub, and tells them they need to leave her house at once.

 The girls, suspecting that Anton is getting too close to the truth about their murder, lure him into the barn, then attempt to kill him with farm tools... completely naked.  Anton is able to stave off Sandra using Olga as a shield.

 Susan enters and manages to get Anton out of harm's way and bolts the door so the girls can't get out.

 Susan leaves town with Anton - abandoning her "idyllic" country home.  The final scene has Piet sitting with the two dead men - the American and Albert. 

With Olga and Sandra still in the barn, Piet lights it on fire.  THE END

With a title like this, and the sexually provocative movie posters, you expect a stupid sexploitation flick; instead we get this skillful and artistic masterpiece of pastoral dread. 

Just as Deliverance demonstrated a few years earlier, the rural life ain't what it's cracked up to be.  Burt Reynolds and John Voight think they're going to "get back to nature", but instead, nature gets them. The people of the backwoods aren't the wholesome and simple people we idealize; nature is bloody in tooth and claw - and the more man is immersed within nature, the more he is a part of its primitive, animalistic ways.  Or at least that's the idea.

Here, Susan thinks she's going to have an idyllic country life; getting back to nature and living simply. But that idealized picture of the backwoods isn't true to reality.  It's still full of suffering and evil.  By escaping to the city, Susan hopes to leave behind the naive experiment of living close to nature. 

I wonder if these films were a reaction to the hippy vision of getting back to nature.  As if to say - "Shut up, hippies.  We like civilization.  You go too far from the city, and you become part of the food chain."  Walkabout was another good presentation of this mindset.

In addition to a really deep concept which deserves much more discussion, we also have Olga and Sandra, I'm not sure I've ever seen such a dismal and twisted look at soulless killers.  A good double feature would be From Ear to Ear (1970) which also featured a couple of evil and banal ladies, and also featured a Piet type character, mentally damaged but not deranged.

But as brilliant as this film is, I would never watch it again.  There's nothing fun or entertaining about it. At least Deliverance was an adrenaline rush of horror and high tension.  This film, however, was just fucking depressing.  There's a pervasive feeling of loneliness and isolation - and Piet with her dead bodies will leave you disturbed and wishing you'd put something in the VCR like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers instead.  In other words, I recognize it's quality, but not my cup of tea.

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