• Do You Believe In Swedish Sin? Swedish Exploitation Film Posters 1951 - 1984 (Klubb Super 8/Eken Press) Book Review



    Released by: Klubb Super 8
    Released on: April, 2021.
    Author: Rickard Gramfors
    Year: 2021
    Purchase From Klubb Super 8

    Rickard Gramfors’s 384 page full-color hardcover book, Do You Believe In Swedish Sin? Swedish Exploitation Film Posters 1951 – 1984, is a true thing of beauty. Written entirely in English, this weighty tome opens with two quick intros, the first of which spends two pages giving readers a brief history of Swedish exploitation cinema, and the second a quick one pager that gives us a quick overview of the poster design industry of the era that the book focuses on (noting that it wouldn’t be unheard of for someone doing the poster art for a Bergman movie to also do the poster art for a low budget sex picture).

    From there, we learn about the ‘Godfather’ of Swedish exploitation, Arne Mattsson, the man credited with creating the first ‘Swedish Sin’ movie, that being 1951’s One Summer Of Happiness, which contained ‘an innocent nude swim and suggested intercourse.’ A quick filmography fills us in on more of his work and then we’re treated to a gallery of twenty-four full color poster reproductions, all of which appear here in gorgeous quality (a trend that continues throughout the entire book).

    From here, we learn a bit about Swedish-American horror director Calvin Floyd and Swedish juvenile delinquent films (revolving around “raggare”), followed by seventeen poster reproductions, all of which are seriously cool to see. Chapters that follow go over ‘Sword And Clog’ films (historical movies, or Swedish peblums, if you prefer), the pop music films that followed in the wake of the success of The Beatles, an entire chapter dedicated to Mats Helge Olsson (the man who gave us The Ninja Mission (we get two different but equally amazing posters for this classic!), ‘Mixed Genres With Clothes On’ (a hodgepodge of thrillers, documentaries, warning films and even some more serious dramatic pictures) and then a fascinating section called ‘Sweden Heaven And Hell – Sweden From The Outside.’ This section documents posters for various co-productions made in Sweden, such as Haxan, Blonde In Bondage, Terror In The Midnight Sun (there’s a beautiful two-page reproduction of an awesome poster for this one included here) and The Devil’s Messenger.

    It would be impossible to cover Swedish exploitation without going over the contributions of Joseph W. Sarno, credited here as ‘The Bergman Of Erotica.’ We get thirteen reproductions of poster art for the work he did during his time in Sweden, all of which are gorgeous. The ‘Sweden Abroad’ section goes over the boom years of Swedish sex cinema in the sixties and seventies (some great stuff in here including a poster for A Touch Of Sweden starring Uschi Digard), and the ‘Ingmar Bergman – Smut Peddler’ and ‘Swedish Broads Abroad’ sections showcase some of the Swedish pictures that were exported to different markets to cash in on the popularity of Bergman’s name and popular Swedish actresses of the day.

    The ‘Sex Education’ section goes over posters for the sex education movies that Sweden was at one point fairly notorious for and which helped to pave the way for hardcore pornography. We learn here about the pioneers of the movement as well as how Swedish sex ed movies came to be known worldwide with films like The Language Of Love. From here, we move into the ‘Nude Or Prude?’ section which goes over the films that were coming out of Sweden around the same time as the advent of hardcore pornography that didn’t quite go all the way. Films like Eva (also released as Swedish And Under Age!), The Sensuous Sorceress, The Lustful Vicar and Hungry Young Women are covered her.

    Of course, the undisputed queen of Swedish exploitation films would have to be Christina Lindberg, so it’s only right that she gets her own section here. This chapter offers up beautiful international and domestic poster art for Maid In Sweden, Dog Days, Exposed, Young Playthings, Anita, Secrets Of Sweet Sixteen, Love In Three Dimensions, Journey To Japan and Wide Open. If you wondered why Thriller wasn’t included in that section, it’s because it’s covered in the next chapter, ‘I’ll Make A Shit Movie – Boarne Vibenius.’ We get eight variations on the poster for Thriller and we also get poster art in this section for How Marie Met Fredrik… and Breaking Point.

    The Legendary Mac Ahlberg, who not only pumped out some quality Swedish sex films but also became a well-regarded cinematographer in Hollywood, is covered in ‘How Mac Became Torn.’ Here we get some great poster art for I, A Woman parts I, II and III, The Reluctant Sadist, Fanny Hill, Nana, Around The World With Fanny Hill, Flossie, Second Coming Of Eva, Justine & Juliette, Bel Ami and Sex In Sweden. There are over forty posters reproduced in this section.

    Later chapters cover the contributions of Jorn Donner (the one time director of the Swedish Film Institute) and a mix of films from 1954 to 1981 that exploit full front nudity. Be on the lookout for posters for Baksmalla, Memory Of Love, The Flamboyant Sex, Love Mates, Anna My Darling, One Swedish Summer, Doctor Glas (which was released in North America by 20th Century Fox), Do You Believe In Swedish Sin?, Dagmar’s Hot Pants Inc., The Groove Room and quite a few more.

    The last sections, ‘Organs In Motion: Mixed Erotica’ and ‘The Last Enthusiast – Andrei Feher’ covers the XXX hardcore movies that came out of Sweden in 1973 and 1974 and the 35mm pornographic features that Romanian-born director Feher made in Sweden under the pseudonym ‘Andrew Whyte.’ Titles covered here include Prepared For Lust, The Keyhole, Happy Family, Week-End In Stockholm, The Secret Lives Of Housewives, Swedish Confessions, Crazy Swedish Holidays In Paris, Honeymoon Swedish Style, Swedish Sex Clinic, Call Girl and The Porno Race (aka World Sex Festival).

    The book ends with a quick note on how the Swedish film industry started to change once the eighties came around, and a list of titles that are available on DVD from Klubb Super 8.

    All in all, this is a gorgeous book that serves not only as a great selection of high quality poster and lobby card reproductions, but also as a primer to a lot of titles that maybe aren’t so well-known but which should certainly be of interest to anyone with an interest in exploitation films. The printing quality is great, the colors are beautiful and the whole thing just has this great ‘feel’ to it that you couldn’t get with a digital edition. There’s a lot great historical information in here as well, and overall it’s a fantastic package.