Tuesday, March 11, 2014

'Seinfeld' Fans Rejoice! We May Have Found 'Rochelle, Rochelle'!: "Maid in Sweden" (1971)

The lead actress' acting skills are atrocious, but she is hotter than hell.

Inga (Christina Lindberg) is a buxom student who travels to Stockholm to visit big sister Greta (Monica Ekman). Inga is repressed back home thanks to her darn parents never letting her have any fun. Inga meets Greta's live-in boyfriend Casten (Krister Ekman, who looks like Dennis Cole) and Greta swears Inga to secrecy about their relationship.

Inga has some odd dreams, memories, nightmares, and fantasies, and the film makers rarely differentiate between the four. Her every thought seems to involve sex, and she is continually gawked at by strangers. For the record, any straight male would sit up and take notice of the often nude Lindberg in her first film (after she was discovered and did a few months of nude modelling in magazines). Inga is set up with Bjorn (Leif Haslund), an unsuccessful sculptor (his work is hideous), and he proceeds to make a good impression by raping Inga until she gives in to his pasty loving ways. Greta finally tries to be a good big sister, worrying about Inga.

Swedish dudes get away with so much! The film is awful, and its treatment of women borders on dangerous, if not at least misogynistic. There are three different rape scenes involving Inga, two of them ending with her giving in to the attacker. She rejects a lesbian, but likes getting roughed up by men.

The film was co-financed by some Americans, so everyone speaks in halting English. The direction is average, you don't need to do a lot with your camera when Lindberg disrobes. The acting is atrocious, and the script is mean. The most interesting aspects of the film, aside from Lindberg, is a psychedelic Beatles poster hanging in Greta's apartment, and a pop song score that hilariously describes what is happening to Inga.

"Maid in Sweden" was made for the sleazy grindhouse raincoat crowd, and does little to go beyond entertaining them. (*) out of five stars.