Saturday, November 30, 2019

Forced Entry (1973) The Ultimate Neo Porn Noir Roughie


"Porno Shock"
"Sadistic nightmare!"
"Sleazy sex on a low budget"
"Not a film to be taken lightly"
"The King of the "Roughies""
"Twisted Rape/Slasher XXX-"Rougie"..."
"Mostly effective seminal work of    hardcore, on-screen misogyny."
"A notoriously nasty 70's roughie porno  classic that definitely lives up to its killer  reputation"

Wow, feminists will go apoplectically ape shit over this film.

I've always said that the two extremes/opposite poles of unrestrained, uncensored film would be Snuff films and Porn. Here is a stylish Neo Noir film that simulates the one and performs the other.

Warning the following content is definitely Misogynistic, and NSFW.....

"FILM NOIR HAD AN INEVITABLE TRAJECTORY…
THE ECCENTRIC & OFTEN GUTSY STYLE OF FILM NOIR HAD NO WHERE ELSE TO GO… BUT TO REACH FOR EVEN MORE OFF-BEAT, DEVIANT– ENDLESSLY RISKY & TABOO ORIENTED SET OF NARRATIVES FOUND IN THE SUBVERSIVE AND EXPLOITATIVE CULT FILMS OF THE MID TO LATE 50s through the 60s and into the early 70s!" The Last Drive In (thelastdrivein.com)

I was thinking, and this was just in the space of about a week, that I had just seen a true forgotten/discarded classic and that there couldn't be any film of it's particular genre "Sexploitation" to match the acting ability of it's actors or the visual artistry of it's creators within the constrains of an  obviously low budget. That film was Fleshpot on 42nd Street. It's lead actress was Laura Cannon in a brava performance. Her two costars in it were Harry Reems and Neil Flanagan.

Well, I was right and I was wrong.

Forced Entry is a strong visual contender stylistically, in a Neo Noir sense. It uses unsettling Dutch angles, shadows, extremely high and low camera placements, in your face no holding back disorienting closeups of everything (and if you are thinking if I mean you know what, I do), inter cut with monochrome action sequences in flashbacks to the Vietnam War. These effects at times Shock. It has a minimal of dialogue whereas Fleshpot was more completing and dialogue driven.

Look at Film Noir  as this Style that mixed story and visuals into this sort of vast dark pool of creativity. The dark visual side came from low budget necessity, from imagination, from German Expressionism, from WWII rationing. You saw the nascent visual style present in Gangster pictures and Horror and it came into fruition at the end of the depression and beginning of WWII. The dark stories came from our own psyches.

This pool of dark themes and subject matter that Noir forged into stylish films were held in check by a voluntary Motion Picture Production Code. When the Big Studio motion picture companies began to get serious competition from television, they needed an edge to get asses out of the living rooms and into the theaters they began to no longer enforce the code and to explore more previous banned subject matter. The independent producers in competition with the Hollywood Studios tried to out do them by being the avaunt guard of exploiting the new freedoms. The legal challenges of, and ever changing benchmarks to the obscenity laws and the old taboo themes weakened the bulwarks of the pool and that arbitrary "dam" holding back all creativity burst out with predictable results.

That was a time of unfettered omnidirectional exploitative creativity for the film business in all genres. Sexploitation cinema was rushing headlong downstream towards the abyss of hardcore pornography.

So I'm on this quest mining these veins of Noir that dispersed during the late '50s and finding that even among most of the low budget crap of Sexploitation there are some interesting and intensely Noir films made by the New York Independents who achieved some impressive and shocking results.

I'm watching Forced Entry with it's intensely stylish cinematography and it's going where you thought it was going to go but it's well done on so low a budget that you can't help but take that ride right into the abyss of hardcore.

With Fleshpots on 42nd Street it teetered on the edge, In Forced Entry's case the film went pell mell right over into hardcore territory with all our familiar noir stylistic cinematography tricks intact. It's extremely effective and will be extremely offensive to some, but it's all quite shockingly believable.



In this film Harry Reems plays Joe an ex Vietnam veteran. Joe apparently runs a corner gas station someplace on what looks like possibly Murray Hill or The East Village in Manhattan. He's suffering, we soon surmise, very obviously from what we identify today now as PTSD.

Joe (Harry Reems)
However the plot in Forced Entry is simplistic, the dialogue reduced to crazed rants. It's not going for high art, it's going for shock, and there's no mistaking that it's a gritty, raunchy sex, porn flick. It was meant to put the asses of the raincoat crown into 42nd Street grindhouses. It just happens to be an artistically Noir porn flick. There is no hidden subtext, everything is explicit.  It's also a film that is definitely one of the roots of the slasher shock Horror pictures to come.  It's a Porn Noir Horror flick.

The credit Sequence in the present

NYPD in the new light Blue/White livery

Crime Scene Investigation circa 1973




the alias of Director Shaun Costello
In another nod to Classic Film Noir the story is all told in flashbackm and flashbacks withing the flashback in monochrome when in Nam. Theses flashbacks are accompanied by Chinese/Vietnamese traditional music which sounds like a cacophony of bird calls accompanied by cymbal clashes, zithers, flutes, lutes and other instruments I couldn't begin to describe. And all that is intermixed with gunfire and explosions.

Joe, Dead. Laying in a pool of blood, Brains blown out. Credits roll....

Jutta David "the wife"

Our flashback begins on the Upper Level of the Queenboro Bridge Jutta heading into Manhattan
So Joe, has no basic backstory other than what you can try and piece together from the Vietnam flashbacks. He apparently attacked random women. The women made the mistake of stopping for gas at his filling station. He clicked on something about the women, their attitudes or their looks and that triggers some mania and the ladies become his victims.


Reems is dressed in a patriotic red white and blue theme and even wears an American flag baseball cap. He looks like well, a regular "Joe." He plays a convincing nut case with almost all his victims basically just reacting to him and his demands in terror. When he gets what he wants he kills them.

His first victim is Jutta Davis who pulls up in a Karmen Gia for gas. He gets her address from a credit card. It's on 8th Ave.


You know when his fuse is lit when you see him lock up the station shove a revolver and knife in his pants and begin to hear the Vietnamese music, machine gun fire, explosions, and see Vietnam flashbacks inter-cut with his journey to the first address through the streets of Manhattan. Manhattan as a war zone.

Flashback

Locking up the station



He's back on the rice-paddy battlefields. If Joe was living in some flyspeck town anywhere else they'd spot him and cart him off to the loony bin. Joe however is in a New York City brim full with various degrees of crazy mother fuckers and the "normal" people out on the streets just don't get involved. It's how you survive metropolis. You don't make eye contact.



Joe gets to her apartment house cutting through an alley. He goes into the foyer where the mailboxes are, and matches the name on the note pad with the name on the apartment mailbox. From that he gets the floor and apartment number.



He heads up the stairs looking for the apartment. At her door he tries to use his knife to pry open the door lock. However Davis is not alone, he can hear two people inside talking. Joe has second thoughts. He heads back down to the ground floor and heads outside to the rear of the building to go up the fire escape.




Joe becomes a peeping tom watching the woman and her husband making love from the fire escape landing. So begins the first "sexploitation/porno" sequence of the film.



There is a piece of classical music playing as background, sounds like Mozart. David undresses down to her panties and begins to seduce her husband (played by the director Shaun Costello). Shaun is sitting on the sofa reading. Davis kisses her husband, slowly unbuttoning his shirt. He begins to react but she tells him to lay back and that she wants to make love to him.

It's a realistic love scene between a regular average couple, it is what it is. Remember America had transitioned out of the uptight 50's and all the repressed sexuality combined with the ominous immanentized threat of nuclear annihilation, the flood gates had opened.


She unzips  his fly and gives her husband oral sex. Watching all this through the Venetian blinds is Joe. He checks his revolver. He starts to get ideas. During the whole sequence we inter cut between Reems and David and Costello. Close up of the knife. Close up of oral, back to peeping Reems. When David has Costello all worked he then first goes down on her and then they switch to the old in and out.

 



Out on the fire escape Joe is startled by a police siren. Something happened down on the street, If any of the crowd gathering look up he will be exposed.



Joe climbs further up the fire escape to the safety of roof to get out of sight. He hides in a maintenance/storage room. Meanwhile David and Costello are still explicitly plowing happily away with some shots of a boom mike creeping into the frame (the mike guy wasn't paying attention to his job, lol). You know you are watching real porn when Costello stops copulating David to give us the traditional "money shot."

By the time Joe gets off the roof and back down the fire escape Costello is gone and David is lounging on the sofa wearing a robe and reading a magazine.

Joe heads back down to ground level, He goes back inside the apartment house to jimmy the door open with his knife. He gets in and quietly and sneaks up on Davis putting the knife to her throat. She screams but Joe's other had is over her mouth.


He tells her that he'll cut her throat. She asks him what he wants. Bad idea lady...

Joe: Lady... I want you to take my prick out of my pants and suck my cock.
Davis [whining]: Oh no.



He forces her to fellate him, telling her she better do a good job. It's a misogynists revenge fantasy with Joe babbling on and on, alternately talking about Gooks and about how she better do a better blowjob than what she's so far been giving him.


We see flashbacks to what looks like Joe being captured by Vietcong women.  His climax is inter cut with US planes napalm bombing a Vietnamese village. He finishes her off by cutting her throat. It's an intense sequence. His victims reactions is what gets Joe off and he feeds off it with relish.


Joe's second victim is played by Laura Cannon who really displayed her acting chops in Fleshpot but here in Forced Entry she's sadly and disappointingly reduced to just an object. You can see why an actress with her proven ability would get discouraged with the way things were headed and soon quit the dead end porno business.

Laura unfortunately stops at Joe's Mobile station in her Mercedes to get directions to an address. Joe is set off once again. He writes down the address she asked about.  He locks up the station and he heads off down the street in the direction Laura took.



Joe and Laura Cannon


Here, lets digress a moment, my born and raised in New York City geographical knowledge/curiosity kicks in.

The address Laura gives is only a few blocks from the Mobile station, however the sequence depicting Joe's trek to her place has him crossing a set of tracks where what looks like a Metro North  train just passed. This sequence would geographically move our whole story to the Bronx, however Jutta David's opening drive to Joe's station during the credit sequence has her going over the Queensboro Bridge to get there. It's a case of your typical sometimes crazy movie geography on display.



So Joe.crosses the tracks comes down the embankment on the other side and into a small park. The other side of the street at the parks edge has row houses.

It's the same MO. He jimmy's the door lock and gets into the house. He can hear the sounds of Laura singing upstairs. On a table by the stairway he sees smoke wafting up from a recently lit joint. He smiles and takes a hit and heads upstairs.




Laura is singing happily in the shower. Joe watches her from the doorway. He puts his knife away and walks in brandishing his revolver instead. Laura screams. Joe grabs her pulling her from the shower into a bedroom and throwing her on a bed.






Holding a gun to her head, he makes her suck him until he's good and hard. She does. Joe tells Laura that he's going to put it up her ass. He does. When he's done she's done in a very brutal stabbing sequence that is pretty intense for any audiences.




It all goes very amusingly Noirsville for Joe when his next intended victims are two stoned out lesbian hippie chicks.

Noirsville















  




Flashback


















While Fleshpot on 42nd Street tastefully restrained itself and displayed some artistic glimpses of hardcore erotica. Forced Entry goes the whole nine yards it's an unapologetic, audacious XXX Porno, a Neo Noir, and a shocking Serial Killer/Slasher/Horror film all rolled into one.

Fleshpot is melancholic and romantically subtle, Forced Entry is shockingly misogynistic and right in your face showing the un-sexy brutality of rape.

Fleshpot is a good film with an interesting story perspective with great acting, while Forced Entry is a well made film (for the Shock-Porn that it is) with minimal acting, and a simplistic story line that uses its Noir visuals to shock. Both deliver what they were made to deliver. This film is definitely for adults only.

The film was written and directed by Shaun Costello. The stylish Cinematography was by Jayson Black. The film stars Harry Reems as Joe the Gas Station Attendant, Laura Cannon as the Lost Driver, Jutta David as the Wife, Ruby Runhouse as one Hippie Girl, Nina Fawcettasn as the other Hippie Girl, and Shaun Costello as David the husband (as Helmuth Richler).

While Harry Reems went on in the adult film business until in the late '80s, Laura Cannon as mentioned soon quit the biz. Her last credit was for Teenage Nurses (1974). She had started when the Sexploitation Film biz was in flux because of the changing obscenity laws. The sex scenes were originally simulated 68/69 and then by1970 they were for real.

"Janet (Laura Cannon) was one of girls that came over from Linda to my agency. She was a sweet, pretty girl who everyone liked. Oh sure, she would always complain that she wanted to do films with less sex, but I told her, “Honey – if you take the sex out of these films, you haven’t got much left…”"

(Tallie Cochrane - Rialto Report)

In one scene in ‘Dark Dreams’, Kitty Kat and Laura were to cover me with whipped cream and eat it off me.
“Harry, Laura will give you head until you get hard,” said the director.
“What do you mean, give him head?” Laura screamed. “Aren’t you going to roll the cameras? I’m not doing anything off-camera.”

(Harry Reems (from ‘Here Comes Harry Reems’ (1975), by Harry Reems from the Rialto Report))

Laura stayed in New York City for a while but eventually went back to California.

Not a film to be taken lightly
sirarthurstreebgreebling10 December 2000

This has to be one of the most brutal films I have seen, regardless of the more well know films along this theme (House by the Edge of The Park, Last House on the Left) , "Forced Entry" by its low production values, obtuse direction that is meant to leave you wondering what the hell went on, and the most bizarre inclusion of hardcore scenes, that were the most unpleasant I have seen in years. It stuck out as a little know and heavily derided work. I don't think it could be classed as a "Adult Film" (as in pornography) because you would have to be one sick individual to get aroused watching this. That is where a lot of the controversy comes from, and I was amazed that it was included in the film, and it would have been better without the hardcore rape scenes. We get the idea of what is going on, but having 8 mins of him forcing a woman to give him oral sex and then cutting her throat (and we do get to see the money shot), had dubious overtones. But then again the subject matter is not one that should be glossed over rape is an evil crime and I have never seen it put across so well, if brutally as in this film. So I was in two minds about it, I did like and thought that it went to places that film makers are rarely brave enough to go, but then on the other hand I could see people taking it the wrong way. But you should make up your own mind and see i.t 
(IMDb)

"Overall Forced Entry is one of the more important and relevant films to ever come out of that age of pornography. It's a film that really transcends the time that it was made and might even be more important now than the age it was made. Sure there's a ton of nasty sexual activity in the film but the subject matter and what the movie is actually saying goes way beyond that. But be warned fellow perverts this one is the least boneriffic porn you will ever see, but it is absolutely brilliant and is finally getting the rightful attention it deserves." (Grindhouse Database)


This film is definitely not for everyone. It's low budget with uninhibited creativity that is gritty, raunchy, and raw.

"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.” (Pablo Picasso)

"It is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always the first handicap to any creative functioning." (Salvador Dali)

It was very surprising to me indeed to see a second porn film seriously embrace the Noir style, especially after watching a lot of low budget Sexploitation dreck whose main concern was pushing boundaries. There may be others.

 It's Noir, its Porno, its Horror. 7/10