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Relevant Films on DVD, Blueray, and Streaming Services

Dedicated to my friend Mermaid

In-Page Table of Contents

"Someone's playing a game with you. You are part of it, and you are getting to like it."
  - Emmanuelle Seigneur as the Girl
    The Ninth Gate
    wr. Enrique Urbiz, John Brownjohn, and Roman Polanski

Three Films About Sada Abe

Before getting to the main list, here are three films related by topic that require to be grouped together in their own table.

Sada Abe shortly after her capture.

Sade Abe is famous in Japan for the death and partial dismemberment of her lover in 1936. In her youth she was raped. As an adult she killed her lover by erotic asphyxiation and cut off his penis and testicles -- which she kept with her while she wandered through Tokyo for three days. After her capture, she explained that she murdered her lover out of love and a desire to possess him totally and exclusively. The crime was a media sensation. There was a lot of sympathy for her and she has since become a cultural icon of sorts. There have been at least three films about the incident.

Three Films About Sada Abe
Year Film
1975 A Woman Called Sada Abe: Soft core porn version directed by Noboru Tanaka and staring Junko Miyashita as Sada and Hideaki Ezumi as her lover.
1976 In the Realm of the Senses: An art film with explicit sex directed by Nagisa Oshima and staring Eiko Matsuda as Sada and Tatsuya Fuji as her lover. Explicit, erotic, and well made but this critic was bored.
1998 Sada: Very stylish and kinetic retelling of the story with less sex than the other two.

Back to Top

The List of Films in Ascending Chronological Order

Mostly mainstream films on BDSM, Leather, and Kinky Themes
Year Film
1948 Kiss Me Kate

A movie musical with a spanking scene.
1953 The Wild One

A terrible film that somehow become a classic. No S&M but Marlon Brando's performance as a biker has become iconic for the Leather community. (See also Old Guard? If You Say So by Joseph W. Bean for a more in depth look at the film and its significance to the Leather community.)
1954 The Caine Mutiny

For those of us curious about US Navy protocol. Writen by Stanley Roberts from the novel by Herman Wouk. Directed by Edward Dmytryk. Starring Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, and a host of other familar names and faces.
1961 Blue Hawaii

Another movie musical with a spanking scene. This time with Elvis (several decades before he wore balck leather.)
1965 The Collector

A psychological thriller based on a novel by John Fowles and staring Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar. A introverted man kidnaps and imprisons a woman in the hope of forcing her to love him. The influence of this story can be seen in several later films including Boxing Helena, Flower and Snake, and The Pet (2007), and Pet (2016).
1967 Belle de Jour

According to the English version of the "Datenschlag Chronicle of Sadomasochismus (DACHS)":

In France, Luis Buñuel picturizes the novel „Belle de Jour“ by Joseph Kessel (1929), starring Catherine Deneuve. The well-situated middle-class woman Séverine (Deneuve) secretly works in a luxury brothel to fulfill her masochistic wishes, which her husband Pierre is neither able to understand nor to fulfill.

1967 Venus in Furs (1967)
1969 De Sade (Das Ausschweifende Leben des Marquis De Sade)

American-German co-production and English language biopic about the Marquis de Sade staring Keir Dullea, John Huston, Senta Berger, and Lilli Palmer. Screenplay by Richard Matheson.
1969 Marquis de Sade's Justine

I haven't seen this. It's said to be an exploitation film by Jess Franco based on the novel by the Marquis de Sade. It stars Klaus Kinski, Maria Rohm, and Romina Power.

You can find the Marquis de Sade's Justine (1969) on Youtube.
1969 Venus in Furs (1969) by Jesús Franco (Paroxismus)

Despite the shared title, this films bears only a superficial resemblance to Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's novel. Masochism is not a theme, except in that the protogonist expresses an excessive love for an unattainable woman.

Staring Klaus Kinski, Maria Rohm, James Darren, and Barbara McNair.
1969 Venus in Furs (1969) by Massimo Dallamano (Venere in pelliccia, Venus im Pelz, Devil in the Flesh)
1973 Maîtresse

This French film was created with the advice of a professional domina and includes real footage of S&M. It is a convincing love story about the romance between a well well-intentioned -- if ignorant young man -- (Gérard Depardieu) and an emotionally guarded dominatrix (Bulle Ogier.) Vanilla audiences might be shocked by some of the scenes of S&M while today's generation of BDSM purists will be alarmed by the numerous scenes in which people in bondage are left alone for long periods. Directed by Barbet Schroeder.
1974 The Night Porter (Il portiere di notte)

The film is controversial because of its mix of sexual sadism and Holocaust imagery.

Directed by Liliana Cavani. Staring Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Ramplin.
1974 School of the Holy Beast (Sei ju gakuen)

An "Erotic-Grotesque" with a plot that seems lifted from the over-heated and uncensored imaginations of High Gothic novelists like M. G. "Monk" Lewis. Forbidden secrets! Murder! Betrayal! Naked Japanese Catholic nuns! Hot (softcore) Lesbian Sex between Japanese Catholic nuns! Naked Japanese Catholic nuns flogging themselves! Naked Japanese Catholic nuns whipping each other! A sex crazed Japanese Catholic priest! A sex crazed Mother Superior! Ravishment! Incest! This film has everything including the yummy Yumi Takigawa. It was released in 1974 but it opens with a scene of swinging Tokyo that seems lifted from an Austin Powers film. Director: Norifumi Suzuki.
1975 The Image

Full disclosure: I haven't seen this, so I can't offer a review. I've only read that The Image is a cheesy explotation film based on L'Image, the French novel by Catherine Robbe-Grillet (writing under the pseudonym "Jean de Berg.") The movie adapatation capitalize on the notoriety of film adaptation of The Story of O (Histoire d' O), which was released that same year.

The Image can be seen on Youtube.
1975 The Story of O (French title: Histoire d' O)

A tasteful (i.e., softcore) adaptation of Pauline Réage's classic French novel of sadomasochism, submission, and love. It's tasteful. Never vulgar. The emphasis is on the dream like nature of the erotic fantasy. The imagery is reminiscent of glamour and fashion photography. That is to be expected considering the film's director, Just Jaeckin, was a successful fashion photographer. The drama comes from an internal strugle as O (Corinne Clery) strives to submit totally to the whims of the men she loves. Lots of lovely nude actresses, simulated sex, and sadomasochism. The filmakers supressed the book's ending and subsituted a happier sanitized one suggestive of more traditional domestic bliss.

Just Jaeckin had directed Emmanuelle in 1974. It was another film based on an erotic Frech novel writen by a woman.
1980 Cruising

Cruising is the controversial motion picture partially set the New York gay leather bar scene of the 70s. It is about the search to find a serial killer (or perhaps multiple killers) preying on the leathermen. According to Tony DeBlase in the Leather History Timeline the film was the subject of vocal demonstrations by gay activists who objected to the portrayals. Some leathermen despise the film and still refuse to watch it.

While it's arguably homophobic, the police in this film are depicted in as bad a light or worse as the community they oppress, prey upon, and protect. William Friedkin, the director and screenwriter, has always sought to shock for the sake of shock in films like The French Connection and The Exorcist. He means to unsettle the audience with anything they would find unfamiliar or alien, whether the the US Secret Service, the police, or the Leather community.

Take for example "Popeye" Doyle, the police detective protagonist in The French Connection. He intentionally shoots a fleeing suspect in the back and later kills another police officer by mistake. Neither of those events take place in the non-fiction book on which the film was based. Unsettling the audience was more important than accuracy. In a deleted scene in the same film, a French assassin hires a dominatrix to flog him and then abuses her when it's time to pay her. It's not surprising the scene was cut in that it did nothing to advance the plot. It was pointless. It had been conceived and filmed only to be outré.

William Friedkin researched Cruising by visiting the New York leather bars of the time and observing leathermen. He attended one gay bar dressed in only a jockstrap --- the dress code for that theme night. (According to IMDb, Friedkin was asked whether that happend. He replied Yes, and I was the ugliest guy in the room. Nobody ever hit on me.) Yet, despite his in-depth research, the resulting film is certainly sensationalistic and arguable exploitative. Friedkin's direction, writing, and clever casting give an unavoidable implication that violence and murder are ingrained in the leather culture. The problem isn't a lone bad apple. The implication is that leathermen are as likely to be killers as a victims.

In his defense, that seems to be part of Friedkin's worldview, not just of the gay leather crowd, but of humanity in general. It's just that in this film, the setting he choose was the underground leather bars. I wonder if he had the story set it in the swinger community, the spanking community, or furry community, would the implication be the same?*

In a documentary about the making of Cruising, Friedkin defended his intention (27:16 - 27:59):

In hindsight, I realized that Cruising was not the best foot forward as an argument for acceptance by heterosexual people of the gay lifestyle. It was never meant to be emblematic of anyone's lifestyle, but it did exist. And to me it was a background for a murder mystery. Period.

Yet, it became a cause célèbre for others to try and show that certain insensitive people like myself were using the mainstream media to slander gay people, which could not have been further from the truth.


Despite its offenses, the film has some real historical value in that it contains scenes filmed in the leather bars of the day (such as the Ramrod, the Mine Shaft, and Eagle's Nest) and features real leathermen as background talent. Friedkin has claimed that he filmed those scenes in an unstaged documentary style. Those brief scenes are as close as we will ever get to filmed documentation of the New York Leather scene in the 1990s. If for no other reason, students of leather history would benefit from watching the film and learn how it was made.

German language movie poster for Cruising.  The black shadows of three leathermen cast on a white brick wall.

The Making Of Cruising (1980) - William Friedkin Documentary (43:37)

SEE ALSO: Cruising, in context by Brian O'Donnell (Feb 08, 2017)


1982 Cat People

The 1982 remake of Cat People is either an erotic horror film or an erotic film with moments of horror. It works as either. Of particular interest to us is Nastassja Kinski's bondage scene.
1986 9 1/2 Weeks

An erotic classic directed by Adrian Lyne and staring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. The terms S&M and BDSM never really come up and it's easy for mainstream audiences to see it as kinky but mostly innocent fun -- but D/s and S&M are still D/s and S&M not matter what you call them. The perfect choice for a date film when testing the waters with a vanilla lover or spouse. One night when selecting a movie to stream, say to your significant other "Gee, this looks like a interesting film honey."
1989 Marquis

Directed by Henri Xhonneux and staring François Marthouret and Valérie Kling. Another "Marquis de Sade in prison" film but in this one the story is performed by puppets.

1992 Batman Returns

Not really an adult film but it has moments of kinky fun. Michelle Pfeifer as the latex clad, single tail whip whelding Catwoman. Me-YOW! Also staring Michael Keaton as Batman. Tim Burton makes it look like a German Expressionism film. One expects Dr. Caligari and Count Orloc to turn up any time. Indeed one character is named Max Shreck (after the actor who played Count Orloc in Nosferatu, the first film adaptation of Dracula.)
1992 Tokyo Decadence (Topâzu)

This dark, cerebral Japanese film tells the unhappy story of a professional call girl in love with and rejected by a married musician. While it has been marketed in the U.S. as an erotic film, it is more a commentary on Japanese society by Ryû Murakami, a Japanesse novelist and social critic. S&M is a symbol for the troubles of Japanese society in the years of prosperity. As a professional domina explains wealth saying "It's wealth without pride. It creates anxiety, which drives our men into masochism." The film has erotic scenes of S&M play but it's really not worth watching unless your interest is more intellectual than carnal. Director: Ryû Murakami.
1993 Boxing Helena

Directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch and staring Julian Sands and Sherilyn Fenn. It's about sex, obsession, and possession taken to an extreme. There's an erotic scene featuring the song "Sadeness" by Enigma. It's somewhat reminscent of The Collector. To write more would be unfair to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.
1994 Color of Night

A psychological thriller and murder mystery in the format of Basic Instinct and Jade. What makes this movie relevant to this list is the sub plot about a kinky relationship between a psychologist played by Bruce Willis and a beautiful and mysterious woman played by the marvelous Jane March.
1994 Exit to Eden

Moderately funny comedy based on a novel by Anne Rice. Gives a positive but inaccurate presentation of the BDSM community. The production team meant well, but they just didn't get it. In the Leather History Timeline, Tony DeBlase writes It is very SM positive, but critics pan it. It is pretty silly, but so was the novel.
1994 Venus in Furs by Maartje Seyferth and Victor Nieuwenhuijs
1996 Dark Secrets

Directed by John T. Bone. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher. This is a shot on video erotic thriller featuring B-movie star Monique Parent and glammour models includeing Julie Strain and Doria Rone. It also stars Justin Carroll, Chanda, Tom Crowl, and Joe Estevez. If you're in the mood for an intelligent film with an intriguing story and nuanced acting keep looking. However, if you're looking for softcore erotica with beautiful women and nothing else you're more likely to be pleased. Some will be disapointed that most of the women were artificially --- and excessively --- augmented, but some of the S&M play --- some hot wax play, some plastic wrap mummification, some flogging, some verbal abuse, some violet wand play --- is interesting. More importantly the girl on girl sex scene between Monique Parent and Julie Strain is among the hottest softcore scenes of its kind. Here's the plot: An aspiring young female reporter goes undercover to investigate a handsome eligible bachelor Millionaire with Dark Secrets and she falls in love with him. But do his Dark Secrets include murder --- or just kinky sex? Alternate title Julie Strain's Dark Secrets. 91 minutes.
1995 Venus in Furs (1995)

Written, produced and directed by Victor Nieuwenhuijs. Starring Anne van de Ven and André Arend van de Noord.
1996 Fetishes: Eight Weeks at Pandora's Box

The author of this documentary, Nick Broomfield, is an ass. He continuously disrespects the staff at Pandora's Box and delignts in pushing their buttons. He starts out ignorant about the professional Femdom community an evolves into a pushy bottom.

The best scene is when a dominatrix interviews a new client and quickly identifies him as a wrestling fetishist. She swiftly decides he must be submissive. Their brief scene ends badly when she tries repeatedly to bite him and he storms off. The lesson here is to negotiate throughly and make sure all parties have the same understanding of the terminolgy they use.
1997 Crash

James Spader and Holly Hunter star in this film by David Cronenberg based on a novel by J.G. Ballard about a subculture of people who intentionally crash their cars for erotic thrills.
1997 The Game

None of the outwardly recognizable trapping of BDSM and not very kinky in an erotic way, but this critic argues that once seen in its entirety this is a dramatic depiction of a rigid, uncompromising man's journey of discovery of his repressed masochism and deep-seated need to submit.
1997 Preaching to the Perverted

An English commedy written, directed and produced by Stuart Urban about a Member of Parlament's attempts to prosecute group of perverts participating in consensual S&M. While a few of the scenes are a little contrived (e.g. presented to make a point on the film maker's behalf) and while I would disagree with a few of the pronouncements made by the perverts (i.e., "You're either a dom or a sub") the film is very well researched and constructed -- much better than Exit to Eden which it resembles somewhat. The dialog used in the court scenes are lifted from actual British trials. The usual arguments against consensual sadomasochism are presented by the forces or law and decency and suitably addressed by Mr. Urban. Many of the extras and performers in the Fetish club and party scenes were real participants and performance artists drawn from the British Fetish underground. Voyeurs will be pleased with the eye candy and drinking game enthusiasts are advised to drink everytime hot pink appears. Julie Graham is terrific as the head slave. She's convincing, engaging, and very, very sexy. (This critic has a weakness for beautiful, nearly bald headed women.)
1997 Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

This is a documentary directed by Kirby Dick. "Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis from a young age, performance artist Bob Flanagan shared his life and pain in his art, usually through sadomasochistic practices."
1998 The Bondage Master

Japanese "direct to video" film with a simplistic but positive presentation of the Japanese fetish community.
1998 Strangeland

A horror film featuring non-consensual sadism.

Dee Snider -- of the band "Twisted Sister" -- plays a "Captain Howdy", a sadist who frequents Internet chatrooms looking for vulnerable teenagers to abduct and torture. This critic hasn't seen this film but be warned: Other reviews are largely negative.
1999 Eyes Wide Shut

A film by Stanley Kubrick staring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Most of the film is a deadly bore made even more boring by the bland performance by Tom Cruise. But it picks up when Tom cruise's character sneaks into a lavish masked orgy hosted by rich hedonists. While it's there's no BDSM, the ornate rituals at the orgy and Catholic church influenced hierarchy might make it interesting to D/s enthusiasts and observers of high protocol.

1999 Fight Club

A great film that covers a lot of ground. One of the many plot elements that makes it relevant to the list is an underground club where men go to beat the c**p out of each other. The goal isn't winning. It's fighting. The movie is brutal and violent but a lot more. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt star. David Fincher (of The Game) directs. Based on the kick-butt novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk.
1999 Moonlight Whispers (Gekko no Sasayaki)

An erotic Japanese thriller in the style of Basic Instinct.
2000 Audition

A very suspenseful and disturbing horror film with a great underplayed femme fatale performance. A lonely aging widower seeks a new wife by staging auditions for a non-existing televison series. The winner appears to be a demure old fashioned girl, but she turns out of be an angry, preditory sort of later day Sada Abe. Think of "Isla the shewolf of the SS" as played by a geisha. Directed by Takashi Miike and staring Ryo Ishibashi as the widower and Eihi Shiina as the object of his affections.
2000 Sade

A French film inspired by the novel by Serge Bramly staring Daniel Auteuil as the Marquis de Sade and Isild le Besco as a spirited young woman who seeks pleasure at the hands of the Divine Marquis. While the setting is historical, the style of the film is blandly contempory with natualistic performances. Daniel Auteuil's Divine Marquis is unexpectedly passionless. Which must be the point. It's an acting style that puts the responsibility squarely on the audience to recognize what the characters and thinking a feeling. Those of us who were hoping for a larger-than-life style period film --- in the style of Dangerous Liaisons and Amadeus --- will find the film bland and slow.
2000 Quills

A very well done, wonderfully cast, and intellectually stimulating motion picture. It's a film adaptation of a play about the (somewhat fictionalized) final days of the Marquis de Sade The focus on the film is less on the eroticism of the divine Marquis's writing and more on questions of ethics and the politics of pornography and censorship. The most erotic scenes are more or less vanilla but they feature some lovely actresses including Kate Winslet. (yum!) Never has necrophilia looked so appealing.
2001 Beyond Vanilla

documentary
2001 Birthday Girl

Only relevant here because of an all too brief scene of Nicole Kidman nude in bondage.
2001 Gosford Park

For D/s fans. English peerage and servant protocol. It has little in a way of the erotic but plenty of first rate acting by a mix of British and American actors. Directed by Robert Altman.
2002 Irreversible

Horrible and extreme! Intensely and intentionally unerotic. An art film meant to shock and disgust --- and it succeeds even with this worldly critic. For those looking forward to seeing Moica Bellucci's sex scene be forwarned: It is violent, degrading, and repulsive -- in a bad way! The only reason for including this film on this list is because it includes a scene taking place in a French Leather bar. (But many Leather men will take offense at the implication that non-consensual sex is acceptable in their community.) Staring Albert Dupontel, Vincent Cassel, and Monica Bellucci. Directed by Gaspar Noé.
2002 Secretary

Arguably the best motion picture about an emerging consensual sadomasochist relationship. The stars of the film give well rounded, nuanced performance of individual characters, not types. Maggie Gyllenhaal's transformation from a shy, unhappy, and passive young lady to a happy, determined, and confident woman is marvelous. James Spader's performance of a conflicted dominant is pitch perfect and brilliant. People in the BDSM community have criticized it for not being an accurate representation of our lifestyle, but that wasn't the intention. It's a film about two damaged people who find each other and akwardly enter into what ulitmately becomes a mutually rewarding relationship.
2002 The Piano Teacher

Where Secretary shows how sadomasochism can be a positive element in a healthy relationship, this film illustrates the reverse. But the film's makers were not intent on bashing a lifestyle. Rather they were being psychologically truthful about a desperately unhappy woman in an untenable situation played by the marvelously subtle and expressive Isabelle Huppert. Against her better judgment, the title character gives into her repressed masochism at the hands of a persistent admirer. When she confides in him about her desires he's at first repulsed. Later he praticipates whole heartedly in her fantasies, but without concern for her health and safety. She doesn't recognize how extreme and costly it would be to act out her fanatsies, and he's clueless about the niceties of negotiation and safe words. The result is painful to watch.
2002 Swept Away

A vehicle for Madonna directed by her husband Guy Ritchie. D/s themes. The film was a financial bomb and critical failure. I haven't found the strength to watch it yet.
2003 Whole

Directed by Melody Gilbert. There are some people -- perfectly rational in every other way -- who feel a deep seated psychological need to be amputated. It's called Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID.) Are they insane? Is it socially responsible to allow them to mutilate themselves? Is it ethical for physicans to perform the amputations? See the IMDB listing for Whole.
2004 Catwoman

How bad can a film be if it has Halle Berry kicking butt and prancing about in a skimpy leather outfit? Pretty bad. But now with the wonders of technology, you don't have to sit through an inane plot, predictable characterization, and over the top direction. Just fast forward to the good stuff like Halle Berry licking cream from a shot glass.
2004 Flower and Snake (Hana to Hebi)

Flower and Snake is a highly erotic Japanese film following the "abducted repressed hotie" formula. That makes for fine fantasy, but it should not be accepted as an instructional video.

The story consists a tango dancer celebrity being sold by her dim husband to an ancient Yakuza crime lord. The camera dwells lovingly on her beautiful body. Some of the performers deliver over the top performances. It pushes the envelop of softcore. All that's missing are genitals. Strains credulity that the husband doesn't realize how hot his wife is.

WARNING: Includes crimes like abduction, rape, and murder.

Features:
  • Repressed sexuality
  • delightful perverse dream sequence
  • sexy acupuncture
  • rape
  • female on male watersports
  • aborted rape
  • sapphic rape scene which "becomes consensual"
  • Suspension bondage
  • Shibari (the Western term for Japanese rope bondage)
  • forced orgasm
2004 The Hidden Fuhrer: Hitler's Sexuality

Was Adolf Hitler gay? The documentary is fascinating and entertaining, but it ultimately fails to answer the question. With no definitive evidence that we was and no way to prove he wasn't, deciding which narrative to accept depends largely on which narrative is more acceptable to you.

In addition to was he or wasn't he questions, the film explorers the history of gay culture in Germany. Of particular interest to historians of Leather culture is a deleted scene in the bonus section of the DVD that covers the influence of Nazi uniforms on the art of Tom of Finland.
2005 Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Angelina Jolie poses as a dominatrix in one all too brief scene.
2005 The Notorious Bettie Page

Standard biopic about Fetish icon and 1950's American pin up model Betty Page. Screenplay by Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner. Directed by Mary Harron. As played (very well) by Gretchen Mol, Betty is an attractive woman and a sympathetic person but not an especially interesting character. She has no reservations about her choices seeing no conflict between posing nude for photographs and her devote Christian faith. While her views are enlightened and refreshing, they don't make for dramatic moments of introspection or self discovery. The story lacks dramatic tension: While her life is not without it's heartbrakes and difficulties, she emerges seemly unscathed from some really harrowing tragedies. What really saves the film are the depictions of the repressive America of the 1950s and the other historical figures from America's sexual history that Betty encounters such as Irwin & Paula Klaw, John Willie, and Bunny Yeager.
2006 Fetish: Pain or Pleasure?

A documentary. "An insight into popular practices!" On YouTube 1:13:26.
2007 The Pet

A young woman in dire financial straights accepts an offer to be a wealthy aristocrat's human "pet" for six months. (The book Fifty Shades of Grey begins with a similar premise: Attractive wealthy man seduces young woman into an alternative lifestyle.)

The experiment seems to go well until ruthless modern "pet-nappers" decide to kidnap the woman to sell her on the GSM (Global Slave Market).

The film was written and directed by D. Stevens and stars Pierre Dulat, Andrea Edmondson, and Summer Napoles. The directions and writing are pedestrian. The actors are not given much to work with in the dialog or character development. But Andrea Edmondson and Summer Nguyen deserve credit for their professionalism in enthusiastically performing pet play in the nude on camera. (It might seem like slight praise, but I mean it sincerely and I don't give it lightly.)

It seems like D. Stevens wanted to present both a sympatheic view of consensual pet play and a condemnation of human trafficing and organ harvesting, but he ended up conflating the three. The wealthy aristocrat strictly observes safe, sane, and consensual play in his private life, but he willingly associates with the Global Slave Market community. He seems oblivious to the contradiction until late in the movie. Even then, he takes no action against the cabal other than make an indignant proclamation at a GSM cocktail party and abruptly walk off (unhurriedly.)

The scenes of pet play are a bit extreme and nothing like the goofy fun I've seen at parties and leather conferences. Some scenes might appear comical to an audience unfamilar with pet play. Other scenes are over the top. The Global Slave Market concept is pure fantasy (or at least a sensationalized take on the real problem of human trafficing and organ harvesting.) The branding scenes in particular are dangerously inaccurate and misleading. (Here's a warning to aspiring slaver marketers or human pet owners: Do not brand a thin skinned human pet like you would tough skinned cattle! It's not something to take lightly.)

The movie was released theatrically in South Korea on 7 December 2007 and on DVD elsewhere (e.g., Japan) 2 March 2007. According to D. Steven's website, it was distributed in Asia, Europe, Australia, South America, and the United States. It's not clear whether is was shown theatrically outside South Korea and the Marché du Film in Cannes. Amazon Prime has it listed so apparently they have streamed it for sale or rent sometime somewhere, but it wasn't avaliable in America on their website in late 2022 when this review was originally posted.


2010 The Contract (Kontraktet)

IMDb describes this short (13 minute) documentary:

In 2005 Beverly Charpentier declared an oath of allegiance to French writer Catherine Robbe-Grillet. In doing so she gave up her freedom for the rest of her life. The Contract portrays two strong women's unconventional love story, two women who have chosen to explore their love in a unique way, without compromise.


Catherine Robbe-Grillet is the author of L’Image, a novel published in 1956 and which was adapted into the film, The Image in 1975.

The Contract was directed by Swedish filmmaker, producer and editor Lina Mannheimer, who featured the protagonist and their relationship in another film in the same year (The Five Senses) and who would feature them again in 2014 in The Ceremony (La cérémonie.)
2010 The Five Senses

Another short film directed by Lina Mannheimer covering the same ground as The Contract (Kontraktet) but in a staged scenario written by Catherine Robbe-Grillet rather than a documentary. It stars Beverly Charpentier, Catherine Robbe-Grillet, and Catherine Corringer. IMDb describes this film:

A woman in a dark blue burqa directs, without a word, four other women in a room. The Five Senses is a sensuous play with power and hierarchy where traditional roles and identities are challenged.

2013 KinK

KinK is a documentary about the BDSM website Kink.com. It was produced by James Franco
2013 Nymphomaniac

A film by Lars von Trier
2014 The Ceremony (La cérémonie)

IMDb describes this documentary:

The most famous dominatrix in France creates sadomasochist "Ceremonies" in her chateau. Catherine Robbe-Grillet, age 84, defies the relations between power and submission, sensuality and physical pain.


Directed by: Lina Mannheimer
Stars: Catherine Robbe-Grillet, Beverly Charpentier, and Dominique Corringer
1 hour 18 minutes

Catherine Robbe-Grillet is the author of L’Image, a novel published in 1956 which was adapted into the film, The Image in 1975.

SEE ALSO:
Movie poster for "The Ceremony"

2015 Diner Noir Istanbul

The short film Diner Noir Istanbul is directed by Tristan Bera with a screenplay by Catherine Robbe-Grillet based on Des Esseintes’ literary black feast in A Rebours (1884) by Joris-Karl Huysmans.

I don't remember any sadomasochism in Huysmans's novel, but it's been decades since I read it. I assume the film is kinky from the following promotional photograph and because Catherine Robbe-Grillet is involved.

A woman is lying on a dinning table set for a formal dinner.  All the guests are masked.  Everyone is in formal black attire.
2015 Fifty Shades of Grey

This is the film adaptation of the loathsomely bad novel Fifty Shades of Gray. The film makers made a heroic effort to making a decent film despite the awful source material. The production values of the adaptation are greater than the quality of the book justifies. In particular, the selection of music in the soundtrack deserves special praise. All the songs are effective and despite being by different artists from different genre, they complement each other. It's a shame this talented cast and production crew wasted their craft on this enterprise. I hope they were well compensated.

The negotiation scene (set in a business office meeting room) from "Fifty Shades of Grey." (2015) The image is cropped and mirrored.
The negotiation scene from Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
The negotiation scene (set in a dining room) from "The Pet." (2007)
The negotiation scene from The Pet (2007)
2015 The cover of FHM magazine featuring Charisma Carpenter standing in front of a Saint Andrews cross Bound

Not to be confused with Bound (1996)

Critics have purported Bound to be a knock off of Fifty Shades of Grey by the Asylum, a movie company that specializes in producing movies derrivative of recent box office successes. Other Asylum titles include Snakes on a Train, Paranormal Entity, and Transmorphers.

Stars: Charisma Carpenter and Daniel Baldwin

2016 Pet

Not to be confused with The Pet (2007)

Pet (2016) is a psychological thriller written by Jeremy Slater, directed by Carles Torrens, and starring Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, and Jennette McCurdy.

It continues the trope established by The Collector in 1965. According to the plot summary of Pet on IMDb: A man bumps into an old crush and holds her captive underneath the animal shelter where he works.
2017 Tom of Finland

A biopic about Touko Laaksonen, the erotic artist who became known to leathermen of the world as Tom of Finland.


2017 Professor Marston & The Wonder Women

This is a biopic about Dr. William Moulton Marston, Dr. Elizabeth Marston, and Olive Byrne. William Marston wrote the Emotions of Normal People (1928), contributed to the development of the lie detector, and co-created Wonder Woman.

Cast: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, and Connie Britton


Movie poster for the unmade "Cruising II: Electric Furry Boo Boo" staring Michael Cera.

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Literature, poetry, and film in a sadomasocistic context.

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