I’m gonna die if I don’t get into your Love Box…
This grubby anthology built around the antics of dirty Brits posting classified ads in a weekly magazine starts out with a burst of kaleidoscopic energy but quickly settles into a tired, cliche ridden auto-drive through smutty innuendo, listless fantasy segments and super soft-core sauciness.
First up is a teenage boy and his exploits seeking an older woman to take his virginity and teach him the ways of love-making. Greasy haired Paul Aston fumbles around with Maggie Wright for a while, jumps in the sack with a prospective tutor’s daughter and sells his remaining offers of a lesson to his mates.
The following “story” is probably the most exciting, visually at least. Dirty old man John Mattocks gets to roll around with two buxom beaus to thumping psych-rock and strobe-like editing which doesn’t reveal anything beyond an errant nipple, but remains arresting nonetheless.
From here on in though, the same weary joke gets rolled out time and time again until Billy and Teddy White‘s The Love Box resembles something of a sleazy Swiss Roll. A trading standards officer gets blown away by a German student, a stud gets more than he bargains for from an eager young wives club and the gag of people being “glad they came” is so overdone it begins to become quite meaningless.
As the film falls apart into a terrible act of dull repetition, the girls appear to become correspondingly and increasingly unattractive. An overweight trollop gets coated in whipped cream during an “orgy”, a particularly unfortunate looking woman “massages” an arthritic old man.
Now, granted, whilst patrons of the stale stenched sex cinemas of 1972 probably cared little for the formal qualities of such a film, or indeed it’s players’ acting credential, it is difficult today not to take overbearing issue with the profound banality and ugliness that takes place. In the absence of the sarcasm of Eskimo Nell, the inventive charm of Come Play With Me or the wafer thin narrative of a Confessions… piece, The Love Box exposes itself to the contemporary audience as little more than a meaningless and rather dull time capsule from a sex starved British period presumably placated by over grown pubic hair, lacksadaisical fidelity ethics and really bad soundtracks.
Yes, Mike Vickers‘ theme to The Love Box is bad. It is especially awful in fact. And yet it is probably the most memorable facet of a film that will, rest assured otherwise, disappear into the thick slime of an overflowing cess pool of tepid mess that, by and large, constitutes the British Sex Comedy genre.
Best seen as an insult to the exceptional achievements of the genre elsewhere then, The Love Box should probably be avoided like the plague. Or maybe crabs…