On the face of it most saucy British sex films of the 1970s look pretty harmless today. Movies like 'Keep it Up Downstairs' (1976) and the legendary 'Come Play with Me' (1977) were released to UK cinemas with only the merest flashes of nudity and simulated sexual shenanigans mixed in with a barrow-load of silly jokes. However, in their export versions these naughty classics showed just about everything - the sort of hardcore sex scenes that would have made the British censor choke on his cornflakes!
In repressive Seventies Britain it was commonplace for the X-rated movie makers to produce 'two versions' of all their sex film productions. The American and Continental markets demanded much more explicit action in their sex movies, but one infamous British skin-flick went much, much further than all of its contemporaries.
Released in Britain in 1976, Derek Ford's 'Sex Express' ran for barely 50 minutes, but in its re-titled export version ('Diversions') the movie featured a further half hour of some of the most degrading, shocking and perverted sex scenes ever shot in the UK. Director Ford had previously dabbled in some pretty innocuous hardcore 'extras' for his movies 'Commuter Husbands' (1972) and 'Keep it Up Jack' (1973), but he went beyond the pale for his latest sleazy epic.
The story follows the extreme sexual fantasies of lissom beauty Heather Deeley. Miss Deeley, who had been working in the adult industry since her late teens, had already appeared in a few sex comedies, but 'Sex Express' gave her a first bite at a leading role and the movie proves what an excellent actress she was. Her cute-pie acting is as enthralling as her palpable sexual energy. She really is a force to be reckoned with and had she stuck around longer would have really given British legend Mary Millington a run for her money.
Sadly, Deeley disappeared completely from the film business in 1977 (further details are found in Simon Sheridan's excellent book 'Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema', published in 2001) and never capitalised on her immense talents. Who knows where she is now?
The full version of 'Sex Express' shows just how far a British exploitation director was willing to go to crack the overseas market. Aside form the very explicit heterosexual and lesbian sex scenes, the movie is chock-a-block with horrifying overtones of violence. In one sequence (completely missing from the UK print) Deeley and her co-star Jacky Rigby are forced into nasty submission by a couple of gun-toting Nazis and in the film's most unpalatable scene Deeley plays a man-hating rape victim who castrates her Soho pick-up (the ever-reliable stud Timothy Blackstone) post-coitus, and then does unpleasant things with blood and his amputated member!
It's impossible to go into too much detail here on the IMDB, but needless to say if you get to see the complete unexpurgated version of 'Sex Express' you won't believe your eyes. Without doubt it is one of the most shockingly dirty movies ever shot. And its all the more surprising because it's British!
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