Double Feature #30: Madame Diana Dors

 Swedish Wildcats (1972)/What the Swedish Butler Saw (1975)

In addition to having "Swedish" in the titles, both of these films feature a well-past-her-prime Diana Dors as a whorehouse madame.  But that's where the comparisons end - these two flicks couldn't be more different. Let's have a look...

Swedish Wildcats (1972)

Time is a cruel mistress.  Was there anyone hotter than Diana Dors in the 1950s?  Here we are in the early seventies, and the years haven't exactly been kind... at least she didn't go the plastic surgery route, which is far worse.

Anyway, Diana is Margareta, the madame of an exclusive whorehouse, and hostess of a fetish show for rich perverts.

I'm sorry, but I do not find this sort of thing erotic - cringeworthy and stupid, maybe - erotic, no.

So, these two tigresses are Margareta's star act whom she calls the "Swedish Sisters".  They're actually her nieces, Susanna and Karin.

After the show, the guests are asked to catch the "animals" in butterfly nets then... well, you can probably guess what happens next.

Poor Susanna (the blonde) and Karin (the redhead).  Made to perform in a kinky stage act and pimped out by their aunt.  It's a tough life.

Susanna is played by Cia Löwgren whose main claim to fame may be "Herkules Jonssons Storverk", a Swedish TV show about a father and son who could switch places by uttering magic words.  She stopped acting in 1975, and only acting in a couple films which could be classified as exploitation.

Karin is played by Solveig Andersson.  She's been in the notorious Tarantino fave - Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973) which starred Christina Lindberg (who shows up in this film as well).  Solveig stopped acting in 1976, then turns up in a couple films in 2012 and 2014.

In an unexpectedly sad and touching scene, we learn that Susanna lives in a fantasy world to escape from this hell.  Today, she imagines she's a ballerina.... only to reawaken from her dream to be auctioned off by Margareta. In her mind, she's dancing in the court of Czar Nicholas, but in reality, she's sold to the highest bidder.

Another painful moment.  Karin's john isn't satisfied, and starts to insult her:

"This slut was lousy.  She couldn't satisfy me.  I could get more excitement from a piece of raw liver."

He wants Susanna instead.  When she won't kiss him, he smacks the hell out of her, while Karin looks on submissively.

The next day, Susanna meets a dapper young man in the park.  She throws him a barrage of lies: she's a professional ballerina named Natasha, her Russian parents died in a car crash, etc..

The dude is Peter (actor Peder Kinberg) who tells her he's a test pilot working on a secret project.

Karin starts to develop serious concerns regarding their effed up lives.  Being a passive nonviolent type, she's especially tired of the S&M schtick.

Susanna is okay with this mess because she has an escape.  Her fantasy world, now including Peter, is what she clings to, while the whore side of her life is just numb.

Susanna meets with the eternally-turtlenecked Peter, and their love blossoms.  Nevermind the fact that it's founded on a massive pile of lies.  Susanna is clearly not a professional ballerina and, as we find out, Peter is not a pilot.  He's a humble cargo handler.... whose boss is the douchebag who smacked Susanna.  This isn't going to end well.

Here's a picture for you: Diana Dors and Christina Lindberg.  Just take a moment to absorb that.

Their watching the nightly sex unfold; but little do they realize, Karin has met a rich fella and is getting the hell outta Dodge.

Then comes one of the more gut wrenching moments I've seen in film.  The douchebag convinces Peter to go to the whorehouse, knowing that he'll find Susanna there.

When the douchebag removes her veil, the two lovers stare at each other in disbelief.  The scene is executed well, and I'm not likely to forget this truly heartbreaking moment.

In the climactic scene, Peter leaves in disgust and the douchebag rapes Susanna.  Thankfully, the film's last few moments are very satisfying.  The douchebag is arrested for drugs (there's I whole subplot about this I haven't gone into), Susanna and Peter get back together, she leaves the whorehouse, and Peter gets a better job.

This film actually blew me away.  I expected a standard fare sexploitation flick.  I mean, what else should I expect from a film called Swedish Wildcats?  But this is the joy of scavenging through old, obscure pictures.  Every once and a while you find a true gem.  Aside from the ridiculous stage shows, the film had very little nudity - yet, impossibly, I didn't care.  The plight of Susanna was compelling, and I found myself emotionally invested.  Gilligan highly recommends.

What the Swedish Butler Saw (1975)

With so many exploitation films from the 70s to choose from, there simply isn't time enough in a lifetime to watch them all.  Thus, I choose them if there's a couple points of curiosity; bait, if you will, to lure me in.

In this case, it's a sex-farce involving of all people, Jack the Ripper.  Add to that, It was shot in 3-D, Diana Dors is in it, along with the smoking hot Sue Longhurst, and this flick quickly climbed to the top of my queue.

It stars Ole Søltoft [who you may remember from Double Feature #24 in Agent 69 in the Sign of Scorpio (1977)] as Jack Armstrong.  He's a sexually repressed barrister in Victorian England, eager to finally act out his lifelong inner-perviness.

The virginal Jack visits a whorehouse (nothing like jumping in the deep end straight away).  Madame Helen (Diana Dors) takes it upon herself to have her girls train Jack in the fine art of whoopee.   After much effort he receives his diploma.

Jack is now an expert in the sack, but he's still unfulfilled.

Of course, it's love that he's lacking.  But that emptiness is soon filled by way of a Miss  Alice Faversham (Sue Longhurst).

Unfortunately, Alice is your typical Victorian prude with zealously pious parents.  Getting her in the sack is going to take a miracle.

Jack proposes, but is coldly rejected.  Alice is already engaged to a rich geezer.

The lovelorn barrister is just about to kill himself when the good news arrives: he's inherited a ton of money... and her elderly fiance has turned up dead in Helen's whorehouse.  What luck!

Helen's advice to Jack:  Don't just go and propose again like some spineless wimp.  Alice's problem is she's still a clueless virgin like he once was... she needs to be shown the ways of love.  "Show her who's the man and who's the maid" says Helen.

So, Jack takes control of the situation and purchases a mansion with lots of hidden passageways and mystery rooms, perfect for sexual shenanigans.  But Alice is just too damn puritanical.  He tries hypnotism and an aphrodisiac to no avail.

As I mentioned, Alice is played by the stone cold fox, Sue Longhurst, whom you may remember from Double Feature #27 in Confessions of a Window Cleaner where she played Jaqui, a nympho housewife who takes Robert Askwith's virginity.  She was also in a personal favorite,  Lust for a Vampire (1971).

Also figuring into the story  is Charlie Elvegård as Samson, Jack's humble manservant, and Malou Cartwright as Penny, Alice's personal servant.

Of course, Samson and Penny shag like spring hares, while poor Jack continues to strike out with Alice the ice queen.  She'll eat his cucumber sandwiches, but that's about as far he gets.

The sexual frustration becomes more than he can take, and this is where things get particularly un-PC.  Jack takes her to his hidden sex room, and ties up Alice against her will.

And so, here we are, a full 57 minutes into the film before Sue Longhurst sheds her clothes.  For those who plan to watch this simply for Sue, should fast forward about an hour in.

Of course, there's a troubling element to all this.  I mean, it's a comedy, so we're not to take things seriously; yet, the fact is, Jack has tied a woman up against her will and now has stripped her naked.  At least there's not a laugh track to go along with it.

Just as Jack is about to get even more rapey, Scotland Yard arrives at his front door with a search warrant.  Who are they looking for?  None other than The Ripper.

Yes, Jack the Ripper has made a couple brief appearances already - as a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows of the vast estate.

Acting fast, Jack has Alice pose as a statue for the inspector.  This makes zero sense for two reasons: Why would she agree to it, and how could the inspector possibly believe it?  They should have at least made the inspector near-sighted.

Whatever.  As with most sexploitation flicks, overthinking is probably not a good idea.  Just roll with it.

With Scotland Yard out of the way, Jack employs his Chinese Tickler to pleasure Alice.  One day, I'll do a post about the most awkward, cringeworthy nude scenes in cinema, and this will sure make the top 5.  I can't help but think Sue Longhurst really needed to pay the rent this month.

Next, Jack straps her to a couch to violate her with yet another contraption (which I'm sure looked great in 3-D).  For a moment, he has a change of heart and says:

"It's degrading.  It's disgusting.  And in bad taste."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

It ends in the most un-PC manner imaginable: with Alice falling head-over-heels in lust with her assailant.  She can't get enough of ol' Jack now; and they live happily ever after, screwing like bunnies.

Sue more than makes up for her lack of nudity in the first hour.  She's basically naked from that point onward.  Once the clothes come off, they stay off.  Well done.

And what of Jack the Ripper?  Everytime he tries to stab somebody, they're shagging.  He's had enough of this decadent household, and flees for another Whitechapel hideout.

In the end, this movie serves no other purpose than to give you lots and lots of Sue Longhurst, and to that effect it succeeds solidly.  Beyond that, it's not particularly funny nor interesting.  Gilligan's recommendation: Fast forward to the 57 minute mark, get a firm handle on your pause button, and enjoy the show.


  1. K PencheMay 19, 2016

    Dors had brilliant comic cameos in other films of that era, like "The Amazing Mr Blunden" and "From Beyond the Grave". She'also Pamela Hayden's suicidal mother in "Baby Love".

  2. What the Swedish butler saw is based on the novel 'The way of a man with a maid', late Victorian erotica.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Jeez, poor Diana. How could she go from this to that?

  5. I saw this in 3D when it came out about 1979. The 3D effect was quite good, the scene I remember most was his dream. There was a girl on a black background hovering around. The 3D effect was very convincing, It looked like she was hovering over the audience.
    Anyway, the reason that scene is memorable is because as she came feet first to the camera someone shouted, "F**k me, I can smell those feet!"

  6. Wow thanks for this review, saves me watching it, although there is a small part of this in 3d online if you hunt for it, Oh yeah Dors had aged, Weirdly enough I never saw her elier stuff untill quite recently, I remember her being quite brilliant in the ATV series 'Thriller' and 'Hammer House of Horror', 'The Plank' (79 version) and that terrible Steptoe and Son film.