Pim & Wim’s Blue Movie (1971)

March 20, 2019 | By

The term “blue movie” generally refers to films made for the adult market – smut – or those which contain a deep degree of naughty content. It’s also a term that makes it easier for people to refer to soft or hardcore porn without uttering the hard-edged P-word, but outside of the adult world, blue movie is teasing nomenclature that promises provocative content in the less-persecuted “erotic film,” a very broad term that transgresses different genres.

Gilalli aren’t smut nor blue films, but they often contain sequences of glaring nudity (Lucio Fulci’s loopy Lizard in a Woman’s Skin is exceptionally trippy) or improper relations because they elevate the genre’s shock factor, whereas applying the term to an arty, indie, or experimental film might similarly raise the profile of a work that’s otherwise branded as too esoteric or niche.

Terry Southern’s naughty 1970 novel BLUE MOVIE.

After author Terry Southern collaborated with Stanley Kubrick on Dr. Strangelove (1964), the author published the 1970 novel Blue Movie, in which a director makes the most expensive hardcore film with stars, and the only place it can be seen is in a cinema in the tiny principality of Liechtenstein.

Southern’s novel has gone through several on again / off again unproduced film adaptations (including fleeting interest by Kubrick), but every now & then a filmmaker will toy with and perhaps produce a film in which adult content is simulated, integrated with Hollywood actors (Nymphomaniac), or the cast actually engages in some graphic actions, whether it’s required for the character or it’s a creative gamble.



After the box office and home video success of Wild Orchid (1990), Zalman King needed another project, and no doubt the Wild Orchid brand was too good to abandon, so in spite of making a wholly different erotic drama called Blue Movie Blue, that title became an appendage to Wild Orchid 2 (1991).

The drama about a teen becoming a hooker at an elite whorehouse and being rescued by an unlikely hero has zero connection to Wild Orchid, but the rebranding probably helped give the film extra push, especially when it barely enjoyed a theatrical release in spite of being a more lush and dramatically sound drama – and possibly King’s best film as auteur.

But in the 1970s, a blue movie probably didn’t have the suburban-chic veneer of 1980s productions and beyond. When Toronto’s City TV was struggling to establish itself, its late night time slot featured the Baby Blue Movie – softcore naughties.

Alberto Cavallone’s BLUE MOVIE (1978).

Perhaps the most infamous film to use the name, at least in the realm of Eurotrash, is Alberto Cavallone’s Blue Movie, a 1978 arty / experimental / nutbar drama in which a rape victim is degraded by her saviour and degrades herself in scenes that are eruptive and grotesque (and maybe more than a little unhygienic).

Cavallone’s drama is a fusion of misogynistic shocks and experimental cinema, but it’s a grotty little monstrosity which uses its title to lure, promise tease, and just layer assorted psychological & physical torment.

Perhaps that’s why Blue Movie (1971) from Holland’s Wim Verstappen is the more satisfying container that delivers softcore sex, nudity, humour, absurdity, and social commentary that goes beyond the sexual revolution.

Aerial view of the planned Dutch housing community Bijlmer / Bijlmermeer.

There’s an important commentary (at least that’s what I think exists) by director & co-writer Verstappen and producer Pim de la Parra) on idyllic futurism as erected by the government in the planned community of Bijlmer / Bijlmermeer, a massive Brutalist creation which was pitched as a microsmic city of the future for young professionals, but went through some tough times in the coming decades.

Toronto’s early planned community Thorncliffe Park.

Toronto’s equivalent – smaller, but not exactly dissimilar – is Thorncliffe Park, a planned community of white apartment buildings and corporate headquarters on large sloping lands which also ran into tough times when the young professionals moved out, and by the 1990s, crime was leaving deep bruises before the area was revitalized into a rich multi-ethnic community.

Save for the nearby Ontario Science Centre and Leaside Towers, the architecture of the area isn’t Brutalist, but sleek mid-century designs of corporate headquarters, like Coca-Cola and Bata, which were later eradicated for urban banalities.

I stress architecture here because in the cited films, the domiciles, hotels, offices, photo studios, and leisure areas of the respective characters are connected to the worlds created by others, or co-opted as secret rooms for naughty or repugnant behaviour.

The term blue movie may have lost its edge because adult and exploitation works of all kinds are readily available online, but certainly in the 1971 and 1978 incarnations, the term didn’t disappoint. Verstappen’s film, newly released in a nice Blu-ray edition from Cult Epics, features a fine cast headlined by Hugo Metsers, and was an early credit of future Die Hard (1988) cinematographer Jan de Bont, king of the lens flares (and a definitive figure in the big budget action films of the 1980s and 1990s).

Coming next: Severin’s great new Blu of Jack the Ripper (1959), a deliciously sleazy account of the infamous serial killer.

Thanks for reading,



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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