Directed by Paul Bartel [Other horror films: Eating Raoul (1982)]
I knew next to nothing when I started this one, and it ended up being a fairly odd film. The atmosphere was generally good, and I’d even say Private Parts can certainly be memorable, but I didn’t really enjoy a lot of it, and I’d place this below average.
The general story in Private Parts is decent, and at the very least, even if you don’t like the route it takes, you can tell it has potential. Ayn Ruymen did well playing a somewhat naïve young woman, but some of the things she does in the latter half of the movie sort of bother me. Lucille Benson did decent in her role, and was certainly threatening enough, and while Laurie Main didn’t really add that much to the movie, I did love every time his goofy character (a gay priest) was on-screen.
Problematically, John Ventantonio wasn’t memorable whatsoever, even with the surprising ending, which hurts as he’s the main antagonist in the film (if you don’t count Benson and her often standoffish behavior). Is he suitably creepy at times? Sure, but Ruymen’s character goes for him despite that (which is one of her decisions that rather bugs me), and I wasn’t really satisfied with where things went from there.
It could fairly be said that a lot of the plot happened due to sexual repression, and if some characters had been able to more appropriately express their sexual interests, none of this would have happened. I don’t think Private Parts was going all out in trying to make this a main message, but it’s something I certainly noticed.
All-in-all, Private Parts is okay, and for the early 70’s, it’s certainly an interesting entry to the genre. I didn’t love it, though, and while the atmosphere and setting (an old hotel with quite a few screwball characters) were solid, elements of the story, and the route they took in the conclusion, didn’t much endear me to the film.
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