Director: Nick Phillips & ?
AfterHours Retro

Once again unleashing another Nick Phillips rarity, RetroSeduction’s hardcore branch AfterHours Retro presents the very obscure DR. CHRISTINA OF SWEDEN, another travelogue-turned-sex romp that will leave most viewers snoozing while waiting for a few of their favorite starlets to appear.

A beautiful Swedish reporter who publishes sex articles under the moniker “Dr. Christina” travels to Paris to research her latest article, and comes across various strangers having hardcore sex in badly lit apartments. DR. CHRISTINA began as a softcore film, actually shot on-location in Paris, but was abandoned and the remaining footage transformed into a hardcore outing. The film mostly plays as a travelogue, with our beautiful heroine wandering through the streets before encountering obviously inserted hardcore scenes. In any form, this is a snooze fest that perks up when familiar sexploitation faces appear. Uschi Digard appeared in a number of Nick Phillips films, most notably PLEASURES OF A WOMAN, one of her all-time best films. Of course her appearance here is softcore, but it’s also notable because she shares a lesbian scene with fellow drive-in princess Donna Desmond, a former girlfriend of director Don Edmonds (who he cast in WILD HONEY and ILSA SHE-WOLF OF THE SS) and who would go on to do semi-mainstream work in THE NAUGHTY STEWARDESSES and FUGITIVE GIRLS. And the voluptuous Scandinavian Viking queen, Die Uschi, looks positively monstrous, her body in peak form and the camera worships her every move. Both lovely lasses are missed today.

DR. CHRISTINA is culled from Nick Phillips’ personal 8mm elements, and looks just fine. Colors are sort of muted, but that’s due to the cheap production values of the time, and the dubbed narration is suitably tinny and muffled. Unfortunately the transfer is marked with a large RetroSeduction Cinema logo, much like SWV’s watermark except more intrusive. It’s there to prevent bootleggers from profiting from stealing the transfer, but it’s still a nuisance.

A complete feature film, SEX NURSE, is included as a special bonus. For those who think all smut is cheaply made and filled with ugly hippies grinding groins, you will find no proof otherwise while watching this one. Opening with fake credits created by the Seduction Cinema team, we begin in someone’s apartment posing as a doctor’s office (check out the wallpaper!). A group of twentysomethings in miniskirts and longhair swingers sign in to see the doctor, who looks like a member of The Guess Who. One female patient has a bird that keeps peeking out of her twat, so the doctor has her disrobe so he can coax the bird out with cunnilingus and good old-fashioned poontang. His various nurses indulge in nasty sex with patients as a form of undercovers therapy. Probably shot over 24 hours, with a cast made up of willing street urchins and unwashed Sunset Strip gigolos who approach sex like a job, meaning that all of the fuck scenes are mechanical and unerotic. It’s interesting to see such an obscure relic preserved here, with plenty of black lines, debris, and print damage present from maybe the last possible existing print, but it’s completely disposable after a single viewing, most of which will involve the fast-forward button. Thankfully it’s barely an hour. Unfortunately RetroSeduction screws up again by presenting this in a widescreen aspect ratio, when it was in all likelihood shot on 16mm, in fullscreen.

In addition to SEX NURSE, two brief interviews with director Nick Phillips and 42nd Street Pete are included. Phillips discusses the business-like reasoning behind DR. CHRISTINA’s production, its beginnings as a softcore film, his peculiar fetishes, and shooting sexploitation and hardcore in San Francisco. Unfortunately, no memories of Die Uschi or Donna Desmond. Pete basically recaps CHRISTINA, as he usually does in his interviews, but does provide some insight into how storefront theaters were set up. A liner notes booklet with even more 42nd Street Pete descriptions of the films and a brief essay about Nick Phillips caps off the disc. (Casey Scott)