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Young Playthings

Sweden 1972
produced by
Sven Grankvist
directed by Joe Sarno
starring Christina Lindberg, Eva Portnoff, Margareta Hellström, Thomas Nervell, Britten Larsson, Gunilla Mattisson, Teddy Lundberg, Sinikka Karlsson, Björn Brenemark, Karin Genberg, George Harrisson, Marie-Louise Fors
written by Joe Sarno, music by Göran and Annette

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Gunilla (Christina Lindberg) is happily married to Janne (Thomas Nervell), but her best friend Nora (Eva Portnoff) warns her that he might cheat on her with another woman - and she would know, since she's the woman Janne has an affair with. Thing is though, Janne is still totally in love with Gunilla, he just loves Nora as well, and even Nora loves Gunilla as a friend and maybe more and doesn't want to do anything to hurt her - but all that said, Nora and Janne love each other as well. The only logical and sensible solution would be a menage a trois, but the problem is to convince Gunilla, who doesn't know about her hubby and best friend's affair, that this is a good idea.

Nora asks Janne for one week to persuade Gunilla, so Janne pretends to go on a business trip, and Nora asks Gunilla to move into an apartment with her where she wants to have sex with a boyfriend - and she always has sex with him in a way that Gunilla can hear them and possibly even join ... at least that's the intention, but Gunilla gets so confused by hearing the two of them shag that she runs away, right into the arms of Brit (Margareta Hellström), a reclusive downstairs toy collector, who invites her in - and makes her part of her pantomime erotic play performed to tape recordings of stories of her mad sister.

Gunilla gets totally turned on by Brit's play, so she asks if she can bring Nora along the very next day ... and soon more and more people join in the plays, which becomes more and more of like orgies. These plays really bring Gunilla and Nora close to each other, also sexually, and it eventually leads to Gunilla asking Nora (and not the other way round) is she wants to move in with her and Janne once he returns from his business trip, to have endless threesomes and the like.

Gunilla, Nora and Janne's menage a trois works perfectly well, and there is not a hint of jealousy between them. But still, Gunilla and Nora continue to visit Brit's plays/orgies, which eventually go out of hands when on one of the tapes recorded by Brit's sister, she tells the others to gangrape Brit, and since everybody is still into play-mode, they do so. This puts Brit out of commission for several weeks, and the participants in her play, who only later realize what they have done, decide to track down Brit's sister, but without any success. Gunilla though comes to the conclusion that Brit herself is the one who has made all the recordings and there is no mad sister, which puts her at odds with her theatre group, and at odds with Nora. Eventually, Gunilla is not only expelled from the group, but Brit even tells Nora to stab her, which Nora does, not knowing that she only stabs Gunilla with a theatre knife. By this, Gunilla is able to leave Brit's circle and continue a normal life with Janne, while Nora is forever lost with Brit and her friends and becomes the subject of a gangrape in the next play they are performing.


Probably the most unusual of director Joe Sarno's films: Sure, on the surface, this is another of his character-driven sex dramas, but at the same time it also chronicles a group of person's descent to insanity in a manner more disturbing than many horror films, and uses bizarre images and elements of performing arts to get there, all peppered with a healthy dose of eroticism. This all results in one of Sarno's best if not most accessible films, and an exquisite and very stylish piece of disturbing erotica - and there are not too many pieces of disturbing erotica to begin with, are there?


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD