ClassicFeature Film

10 Animated Sexploitation Features from the Sixties and Seventies (NSFW)

For a brief decade-long period in animation history, between the late-1960s and late-1970s, feature animation filmmakers cast aside their inhibitions and created films that aimed to titillate and shock audiences with the novelty of sexual cartoon imagery.

Some of the films incorporated sexual content tastefully as part of a broader narrative, such as the Swedish animation/live-action combo Out of an Old Man’s Head (1968), while others like Once Upon a Girl treated their erotic contents as might be expected of a pimply fourteen-year-old hornball. The diversity of graphic approaches was impressive: some of the films made pretensions to high art (Belladonna of Sadness) while others aspired to match the energy of underground comix (Dirty Duck, Shame of the Jungle).

By the early-Eighties, the West disavowed their experiments with this type of content and returned its focus to producing safe family-oriented fare. Japanese filmmakers, on the other hand, were just getting started, and they have continued to explore mature subject matter and themes to this day. The chasm between Western and Japanese animation has never been more evident than in the feature animation category of this year’s Academy Awards: the four Western nominees are unmistakably geared towards children, whereas the sole Japanese contender, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, tackles challenging subject matter that acknowledges the intelligence of adult viewers.

The films in this post remind us that there was once a time when Western and Japanese filmmakers shared a common taste for pushing boundaries and exploring the boundless possibilities of animation as a narrative medium. Below you’ll find clips, trailers, and in some cases, embeds of the entire films. Plenty more can be said about each of these films, and others from the period such as the works of Ralph Bakshi, but perhaps the first step is to simply acknowledge the existence of this period in animation history.

  1. Out of an Old Man’s Head (1968, Sweden)

    Directed by Per Åhlin and Tage Danielsson

  2. 1001 Nights (Japan, 1969)
    Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto

  3. Cleopatra, Queen of Sex (Japan, 1970)
    Directed by Osamu Tezuka and Eiichi Yamamoto
  4. Do It! Yasuji’s Pornorama (Japan, 1971)
    Directed by Takanori Miwa and Shinichiro Takakuwa

    No animated clips from this film exist online. It was based on the comics of Yasuji Tanioka. The most comprehensive English-language description of the film I’ve found is on the Fantasia Festival website:

    Japanese society, in the opinion of Pusu-o, “satisfies all the urges of hunger, but not the urges of the loins.” Then again, Pusu-o is scrawny, awkward and hardly the handsomest guy in town. More to the point, in matters of a romantic nature, Pusu-o conducts himself with an absolute lack of grace, restraint and general respect for women. Not surprisingly, his sex life is an endless succession of obnoxiously over-the-top come-ons and maniacal attempts to get some action, all of which culminate in total strike-outs. Pusu-o’s own father is soon on hand to add insult to injury (the injury being the constant, gushing nosebleeds Pusu-o endures—the nasal blood geyser being Japanese cartoon shorthand for sexual frustration), and the cock blockage continues at Pusu-o’s new job as a car salesman—until a trio of older women misinterpret his advances, intended only to make the pretty Yukiko jealous. The antics continue at a later date, when the married Pusu-o is cuckolded by an horny little birdie. When the humiliated surrogate dad witnesses the sexual prowess of the tryst’s offspring, matters culminate in a finale worthy of the most bombastic Japanese tragedy.

  5. Belladonna of Sadness (Japan, 1973)

    Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto
    Pre-order the Blu-ray from Amazon, coming July 2016

  6. King Dick (Italy, 1973)

    Directed by Giorgio Terzi

    kingdick_poster

  7. Shame of the Jungle (France/Belgium, 1975)

    Directed by Picha and Boris Szulzinger
    Order the DVD from Amazon

  8. Once Upon a Girl (USA, 1976)

    Directed by Don Jurwich

  9. Dirty Duck (USA, 1977)

    Directed by Charles Swenson
    Order the DVD from Amazon

  10. Historias de amor y masacre (Spain, 1979)

    Directed by Jorge ‘Ja’ Amorós

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