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1964 List
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Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews The most enjoyable parts of this trashy exploitation skin flick are the nude scenes and Lorna'a appealing big titties. Rated: B- Jul 28, 2015 Full Review Read all reviews

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Audience Member Like most of Meyer's films there is actually some artistic merit here, but mostly it's just boring. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Audience Member This is Russ Meyer's first attempt at setting himself up as a serious moviemaker. While the nudie-cuties were fun and harmless, they didn't really have much of a story or a message to convey. But as he enters what is to be known as his Gothic period, or roughies, it becomes apparent that Meyer is a director keen to make a point - even if it's contradictory. There is a strong religious overtone present here, and the characters cast beneath a judgemental gaze. The notions of right and wrong are upheld to a Biblical standard, and as events rush to a foreseeably tragic conclusion, it becomes clear that, in Meyer's eyes at least, there is no right. 'Lorna (Meyer, 1964)' opens with a burst of violence which makes excellent use of music. The scene feels a little out of place, with no real resolve, but it serves a purpose. We are introduced to Luther (Hal Hopper), a disgustingly vile character, and his cronie Jonah (Doc Scortt). They're red blooded all-American men, and they take what they want. The focus of the story quickly shifts from the exploits of these two men to Lorna (Lorna Maitland) and her husband, Jim (James Rucker). They're approaching their one year wedding anniversary, but the marriage is starting to show cracks. Lorna finds herself sexually unsatisfied by Jim, and is apprehensive about their future together. Jim, however, is naive to her sexual frustrations - a loving and caring husband, but a little shortsighted. On the day of their anniversary, while Jim is at work at a salt mine with Luther and Jonah, a dissatisfied Lorna partakes in what seems to be a regular hobby - skinny dipping. Meyer lovingly frames Lorna Maitland's nude body, with some surprisingly artistic shots throughout. But as Lorna makes her way back home, she encounters The Convict (Mark Bradley) - who rapes her. 'Lorna' quite quickly plunges into problematic territory here, as the rape unlocks Lorna's sexuality and she finds herself enjoying the experience. Finally fulfilled, she invites The Convict back home for a meal and further amorous activity, quite confident Jim won't be home from work until later. But it's their anniversary, and after a particularly difficult morning with Luther and Jonah mercilessly mocking his ability to satisfy Lorna, he finds himself off work early. Meyer lays out the story carefully, and we know as well as he does that this won't have a happy ending. Despite Lorna's newfound happiness, the infidelity can't go unpunished. Jim, the only remotely innocent and likeable character, is caught in a maelstrom of violence and deceit. This is far removed from the happy-go-lucky innocence of 'The Immoral Mr. Teas (Meyer, 1959)'. Meyer has previously flirted with the idea of empowered women, seen most prominently in 'Eve and the Handyman (Meyer, 1961)'. Here he brings this notion full circle, with Lorna empowered but fatally flawed. Her selfishness clouds her judgement, and Lorna Maitland does an excellent job of bringing this conflicted character to life. It's little surprise that Meyer would go on to work with Lorna Maitland two more times throughout his career. Shot in beautiful black and white, Meyer's artistic capabilities mark a radical departure from his previous efforts. The casting of Hal Hopper and James Rucker is particularly inspired, both fleshing out their characters as polar opposites, their interactions infused with hostility. Abandoning the largely silent sparsely narrated nudie-cuties in favour of an actual narrative benefits 'Lorna' hugely, and Meyer's first roughie was a considerable success. Theatres that had previously shunned playing Meyer's nudie-cuties showcased 'Lorna' - for the sex and nudity is minimal and only used to service the story (bar, perhaps, the skinny dipping scene). Attracting a wider audience, although still predominantly male, this is unmistakably a sexploitation film, but it comes bearing a moral message and a judgement against those who sin. The male characters within the film are painted broadly as good or bad, with Lorna the only figure to be given any real depth. Around her gravitates stark depictions of lust and desire and love - mature themes for Meyer to approach. For anyone interested in Meyer's work, this is the place to start. 'Lorna' may not offer easy answers, but it is cohesive and well-made and, above all, enjoyable. Lorna Maitland's voluptuous figure may be the selling point on the poster, but for once there's so much more to a Meyer film than broads and breasts. Discuss on the blog: Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Audience Member A Russ Meyer Sexploitation Movie about a Woman who can't get satisfied by her boring Husband one Day she get raped by a Escaped Convict and that satifies her so she get his Woman now it's a Parabel on the 60's with its outbreaking Sexuality Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Audience Member Though a lesser Russ Meyer film, Lorna is still a grade above most b-movies. It’s stylish, well made and clever, fitting well within Meyer’s oeuvre. The story of a sexually frustrated housewife, the film begins with a strange and ironic “man of God”, telling us to be careful not to judge, because it is not our place to condemn. Those who indulge in this behaviour, will be judged and condemned far harsher than those who remain passive, and live for themselves and for God. The buxom Lorna has been married one year to her husband, who is shy, and has never satisfied her sexually. She cannot ask him to change, because he never listens, or is just too timid to discuss sex. One day while he is at work, she meets a stranger (who she is not aware has just escaped from prison), who tries to rape her, but she ends up relenting to his advances and enjoying the experience. Being so suddenly awaken sexually, she hangs onto the stranger, helping him, feeding him and sheltering him… all with the hopes that she will feel the bliss of orgasm again. Meanwhile, at work, her husband is being teased unrelentingly by his co-workers over his lacklustre sexual appetite, and suggest that his wife is having an affair. Like many of Meyer’s films, Lorna deals with hypocrisy and the connection between sex and violence. It’s hardly his most accomplished film in this regard, though it hints at greater ideas that he explores with more skill in his best work. The touch on religion is introduced in the beginning and the end, first offering the peaceful though warning, words of God, to his final return as he condemns Lorna for her actions. The irony is obvious, though it does require a bit of thoughtfulness on the audience’s part, remembering his message from the onset right until the end and how it has transformed over the course of the narrative. Though in many of Meyer’s films, his women meet untimely ends, it’s rarely with any kind of joy… but a sort of wink at our society’s unforgiving and repressive attitudes about sex, especially when it comes to women. The sex and violence come together through both the husband and the escaped convict, the former being sexually meek, but physically able, while the former being sexually powerful, as well as violent and sadistic. What becomes difficult, is how to differentiate their sexual attitudes, the husband is not an accomplished lover and doesn’t even attempt to rectify the situation. He seems to love his wife, but he sees his sexual needs above hers, even though he would sacrifice a great deal in order to make her happy. The convict is an escaped criminal, up for murder and robbery, he has no conscious, and yet he is very willing and able to satisfy Lorna. It seems just as motivated by ego and need however, the need to satisfy both his sexual urges, as well as controlling and earning compliments/praise from Lorna. It’s also important to re-iterate that he did first try to rape her, her enjoyment was a lucky chance, not something he had ever expected or even perhaps wanted. The best part of the film are as Lorna recounts the last year or two before the current situation. An interesting montage of churches, water, and clothes create a very sensual and evocative experience. The film’s major failure perhaps, is the lack of a strong female lead. Meyer’s best films have characters like Margo Winchester or Varla, and though appropriately busty, Lorna is a flat performer and rather uninteresting. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Not as balls-out crazy as "Mudhoney," but still great in its own way. Hal Hopper was a god among sons-of-bitches, and Lorna Maitland was born to play the ultimate desperate housewife. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review eric b Jim (James Rucker) is married to Lorna (Lorna Maitland), one of director Russ Meyer's typical restless, bra-busting vixens. While Lorna scowls at home, Jim literally works in the salt mines with two leering cretins who spend most of their energy fantasizing about Lorna and resenting Jim for snaring her first. But when a macho convict (Mark Bradley) escapes from prison and comes across Lorna bathing nude in the bayou, sparks inevitably fly between the two. What will happen if Jim returns from work and catches them in the act? "Lorna" is an early Meyer film (sorry, the breasts are in black-and-white and mostly shown from the side) and, arguably, it's his first to show some professional polish. His later humor is missing, and the only real laugh comes from a totally unnecessary shot of a cloaked "Death" figure. "The Seventh Seal," this ain't. The film does contain another example of Meyer's quirkiest trademark: the grandiose onscreen narrator. In this case, it's a stern preacher (James Griffith) who draws a parallel between this story and the Biblical tale of Lot's wife. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews

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Russ Meyer