History of Sex in Cinema:
The Greatest and Most Influential
Sexual Films and Scenes



The History of Sex in Cinema
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description

Note: There's definitely been a shift in the amount of nudity shown in theatrical feature films in the US. Most of the explicit nudity or sexuality has moved from the big screen to the episodic series on cable-TV (including shows produced by providers Netflix or Amazon). When you think back, films with sexual content such as Henry & June (1990), Sirens (1994), Showgirls (1995), Boogie Nights (1997), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), The Dreamers (2003), Lust/Caution (2007), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Blue is the Warmest Color (2013), and Bound (2015) have become very rare in the last half of the 2010s Decade. Nudity in the movies is now mostly found in inferior, third-rate, independent films, or obscure foreign-language films.

The Demonologist (2019)

Writer/director J.M. Stelly's independent, low-budget horror thriller featured the tagline: "THE BATTLE NEVER ENDS." The poorly-reviewed film was shot in only ten days, and was noted for its nudity, poor acting, slow-pacing, some cheap CGI effects, amateurish production, excessively-expository dialogue, and predictable (but very confusing) plot.

In the opening scene, a group of masked cultists wearing black cloaks held a female prisoner named Meredith Carr (Marion Pages) - bound in a chair. She was compelled to take into her mouth the black form of Abatu (Jeff Pearson), a supreme demon. After becoming a "vessel of flesh" for the evil being, she was stripped, and given a black cloak to wear, and thenceforth appeared as a vicious, villainous and seductive entity.

The cult's motivation was to worship and plan the return to Earth of the four King Demons of Hell ("the Four Horsemen") to commence the Apocalypse ("the dawn of a new age"). They structured the return around a series of brutal occult murders and mutilations, made to look like they were committed by a deranged serial killer. Abatu's henchman who committed the murders was the time-traveling monster Ian Parrish (Jared Bankens), a rogue cultish leader and sorcerer who was once known in London as Jack the Ripper. Ian was interested in appeasing his demonic father Terric Parrish (Keegan Macy).

In the police drama side-story, New Orleans Detective Damien Seryph (Brian Krause) was called upon to investigate the series of ritualistic, ceremonial, demon-related murders performed by a cultish group known as the Hellfire Club. He was accompanied by his partner Frank Garrison (Dane Rhodes) at the crime scenes. At the first murder scene in an abandoned warehouse, the tortured victim was found holding a Tarot card, with a bloody pentagram etched into his chest. The tension ramped up as Damien experienced insomnia, troubling visions of his childhood, startling visitations during sleep, and voices.

One of the many murder victims was Damien's potential future mother-in-law Joan Moore (Lara Grice), who also held a tarot card in her upturned hand. Damien received assistance from a blind, African-American psychic/tarot card reader named Esther (Rhonda Johnson Deets), but their session was cut short by disturbing visions and the selection of prophetic Tarot cards (The Devil, Judgement, and Death among others). A clue brought him to the 'House of Babel' where he came face to face with evidence that implicated the suspected killer, Ian Parrish.

As the story progressed, Damien became obsessed with his search, and his partner became concerned for his sanity and well-being and tried to discourage him. Damien appeared to have a haunted back-story involving inheritance of strange supernatural powers in his childhood from his exorcist father William Seryph (Jared Antoline). Damien's priest-friend Victor Manchester (Thomas Francis Murphy) provided some further leads for the detective, and then later in a shocking moment revealed he believed in the existence of Satan, and that Damien was "the direct descendant of Lucifer" to help defeat the forces of evil.

All of those in his lineage, including his father, were heroic Demonologists with special "gifts," and he had also inherited the same birthright and destiny - "Your time has come. It's arrived. Time for you to replace your father and accept your inheritance." Even his girlfriend Abigail Moore (Kate Tumanova), a bartender, had been chosen for him to groom him and show him his extraordinary gifts. In a flashback, it was shown that young Damien killed his father after he had been infected by Satan during a botched exorcism. Now as an adult, Damien was told that his time had come - he was "the earthly son of Lucifer himself. You are the last protector of this world." Damien was the only one who could stop the unleashing of evil upon the Earth by Ian, and send him back to Hell.

In the climax of the story, however, he was unable to prevent the murder of Victor. Meredith/Abatu also tricked Damien, confronted him, and prepared to sacrifice him as "the last remaining Seryph." He shouted back: "I will send you back to Hell." It was revealed that even his longtime partner Frank Garrison was part of the cult! During the torture ceremony, Abigail was sacrificed first - stabbed in the back. Enraged, both of Damien's forearms became enflamed - he rose up and proclaimed: "I am Damien Seryph, son of William, son of Joseph, son of Michael, and son of Lucifer." He destroyed the cultists (Garrison committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth), stopped Meredith/Abatu from spreading death, and sent them back to Hell. The film's last line was Seryph's voice-over - he resolved himself to become the Demonologist:

"I have come to accept destiny and my birthright. I shall protect this world from all the many dangers seeking to bring darkness to the light. I am no longer a detective for the living, but a seeker of justice for those that threaten the balance. I am the Devil of Devils. Whispers amongst the darkness have given me a name, one that all those who oppose me will come to fear. I AM THE DEMONOLOGIST."

About 25 minutes into the film, the most striking and sexy sequence was an Elizabeth Bathory-styled Satanic ritual involving bloodletting. Meredith disrobed, stepped into a large bathtub, and leaned over toward a pretty topless blonde (Tamara Brown) - a young blood sacrificial 'virgin' (with a nipple ring) held captive by two masked cultists. She told her: "Do not be afraid, my child. Your blood willl cleanse my body, and your name will forever be etched in darkness. We all have our purpose, and yours is to serve as a means to sustain this body." The female's throat was slit, and her blood was showered over Meredith, who luxuriated in the feeling of the warm red blood.

Meredith's Deadly Satanic Ritual (Elizabeth Bathory-Styled)

Meredith (Manon Pages) - Bound, Held Down, and Entered by the Demon Abatu - Then Disrobed in Opening Scene

Victim with Tarot Card at Scene of Ritualistic Crime

Meredith/Abatu Confronting Damien Seryph

Frank - One of the Cultists (After Removing Mask)

The Stabbing Murder of Abigail

Abigail - Sacrificed

Damien's Retaliation - Flaming Arms

Garrison's Suicide

The Destruction of Meredith ("The Magus")

I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu (2019)

Director/writer Meir Garchi's rape-revenge sequel was the fourth in a long-running series franchise, but this one was the only true sequel to the original, very controversial I Spit on Your Grave (1978). There was a remake in 2010 and then two sequels to the remake (in 2013 and 2015) before this official follow-up film. There was also an unofficial sequel, Savage Vengeance (1993). Here's a recap:

  • I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
  • Savage Vengeance (1993) (unofficial)
  • I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
  • I Spit on Your Grave 2 (2013)
  • I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance Is Mine (2015)
  • I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu (2019)

This new exploitational horror thriller was severely criticized for its length (148 minutes), very sloppy editing, and for many discontinuities in the characters' ages between the two films.

The violence-filled, exploitational film provided a simplistic and predictable story. The original character Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton) was now a successful author-writer 40 years later, and an anti-rape activist and counselor. She had written a best-selling account of her victimization many decades earlier (and her subsequent trial that ruled her not guilty). Her book was obviously titled I Spit on Their Graves. She was soon to suffer revenge by disgruntled family members of the redneck men that raped her and that she later killed. The four attackers that she slaughtered in the original film, and their relatives in this film are summarized below:

Original Attackers (Details of Death)
The Sequel's Attackers
Johnny Stillman (castrated in bathtub) Becky, Stillman's wife
Matthew Duncan (hanging) Herman Duncan (Matthew's father)
Stanley Woods (disemboweled by boat motor) Kevin Woods (Stanley's brother)
Andy Chirensky (axed in back) Scotty Chirensky (Andy's cousin)

Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton)

Best Selling Book

Mother Jennifer and Daughter Christy

During a media tour for the book, she and her high paid fashion supermodel-daughter Christy Hills (Jamie Bernadette) were assaulted and kidnapped by tattooed, long-haired and bearded Kevin Woods (Jonathan Peacy) (Stanley's brother), and scruffy Scotty Chirensky (Jeremy Ferdman) (Andy's cousin) after enjoying a mid-morning brunch. They were grabbed by the alleged 'autograph seekers' in the parking lot, where Christy was knocked out as she tried to defend herself, and the two were dragged to a white van (scrawled with the words "Enola Gay").

Leading the group of crazed religious fanatics seeking revenge was foul-mouthed matriarch Becky Stillman (Maria Olsen), the elderly wife of the gang rape leader in the first movie Johnny Stillman (Eron Tabor), the gas station manager, whom Jennifer lethally castrated in a bathtub. The family brought the two back to the Connecticut countryside town where Jennifer had previously survived her brutal gang rape, and there, they began their assault. A third assailant joined in - mentally-challenged Herman Duncan (Jim Tavaré) (Matthew's father).

After the two captives were separated, the plan among the degenerates was to hang Jennifer - the same way that Matthew had been killed, but she was able to escape and run off into the woods. During Jennifer's flight, she found herself at a church (the same one that she had entered 40 years earlier) with its adjoining cemetery. There, she looked upon the graves and markers for the four dead rapists from years past that were all buried together ("OUR BELOVED MEN. THEIR LIVES CUT SHORT BY THE MESSENGER OF SATAN! THEIR BLOOD CRIES OUT FOR REVENGE!").

In one of the plot twists of this film (a major spoiler), Jennifer was chased by Becky into a church where she had her throat slit - and then she was decapitated at the front entryway of the church.

Meanwhile elsewhere, Christy was able to trick Scotty and escape in the white van. She drove, coincidentally, to the church where she found, to her utter shock, her mother's brutalized and headless corpse. A few moments later, Jennifer's body parts were stolen by someone driving the van, and as Christy pursued the van into the woods, she was confronted by gang members Herman and Kevin. During a brutal rape scene, after Herman was found to be impotent, Kevin brutally raped Christy after knocking her out. There was excessive torture, humiliation, and brutality in the rape scene, although it wasn't as lengthy as the rape scene in the original film.

Gang-Rape of Christy by Herman and Kevin

Christy, now completely stark naked, was able to escape from the group and walked through the forest before spending the night in a hollowed out tree and evading her captors. The next morning, she found some clothes, and then started to take revenge against the gang members, one by one - a complete replay of the original plot ("deja vu"). This chart summarizes Christy's killings of her four assailants:

Herman Duncan
A sickle was thrust into the middle of his back, and then to finish him off, he was shot (with an over-the-shoulder shot) in the head
Kevin Woods
After being forced to strip down, he was given a hand-job, but then he was stabbed in the crotch with a broken beer bottle, and soon died from blood loss
Scotty Chirensky
He was shot in the crotch, then anally-raped with the gun and shot in the rectum. A bullet exit wound was seen through his forehead
Becky Stillman
Already wounded, she was smashed in the head with a glass beer bottle

Major Deaths




Ultimately, the plan was to bury Jennifer next to Johnny in the cemetery, where a deep hole had been dug. Another major spoiler revealed toward the film's conclusion was that Christy was the product of rape - her father was Johnny.

In the film's final moments at the cemetery, after all the other gang members had been eliminated, Christy's grandparents (the parents of Johnny), Henry and Millie (Roy Allen III and Holgie Forrester) and a third older woman Beady Eyes Duncan (Alexandra Kenworthy) (Matthew's grandmother) retaliated against her. The elderly woman kicked Christy into a hole dug in the ground for her mother, and the group hit her over the head with a shovel and tried to bury her alive. She fought back after climbing out of the hole:

Beady Eyes Duncan
She was stabbed in the back with a shovel and then suffered a death blow to the head from the shovel.
Millie Stillman
She was bludgeoned over the head twice with a shovel and then stabbed in the abdomen with the sharp edge of the shovel. Finally, she received a death blow to the head from a sawed-off shotgun.
Henry Stillman
He committed suicide by shooting himself in the side of the head.

As Christy drove out of town in her grandpa's white pickup truck, with her mother's wrapped corpse in the back, she passed by Becky Stillman's two grown children, Johnny, Jr. (Terry Zarchi) and Melissa (Tammy Scher), who were standing at the gas station and wondering to themselves who she was, in the film's final lines of dialogue:

Johnny, Jr: "That was really odd. That was definitely his truck, but who was that girl?"
Melissa: "I don't know. I've never seen her before."

Jennifer Threatened with Hanging by Becky Stillman (Maria Olsen), Kevin, and Herman

Jennifer's Throat Slit by Becky

Jennifer's Beheading

Becky Stillman

Christina "Christy" Hills
(Jamie Bernadette) - Her Naked Flight into the Woods

Becky's Death

Johnny's Grave

Midsommar (2019, US/Swe.)

Director Ari Aster had already established a name for himself in the horror genre with Hereditary (2018). Now, his second feature film (from A24), an R-rated folk horror tale with allusions to The Wicker Man (1973) (and to Modern Romance (1981)) was a spellbinding work about an impending breakup in a relationship amidst an environment of pagan rituals.

The main female protagonist, anxiety-ridden student Dani Ardor (Florence Pugh), was suffering severe trauma and lasting grief after the tragic death of her bi-polar sister Terri (Klauda Csanyi) and her parents during a murder-suicide involving carbon monoxide poisoning.

She was in a deteriorating, co-dependent relationship with her self-absorbed and indifferent boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor), another student, but agreed to accompany him on a trip to Sweden with his two male friends: seriously-studious, African-American anthropology major Josh (William Jackson Harper) and talkative, obnoxious and horny Mark (Will Poulter). They had been invited by another fellow exchange student, Swedish native Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren), to attend a unique, once-every-90 years solstice celebration (nine days in length) in a small remote village in Hälsingland, in an ancestral commune known as the Harga.

Main Characters

Dani Ardor (Florence Pugh)

Christian Hughes (Jack Reynor)

Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren)

After arriving, Dani and Christian ingested magic mushrooms (with psilocybin) and other hallucinatory substances and began to feel the disorienting effects of the endless summer days (land of the midnight sun). They met two others, an English couple: Simon (Archie Madekewe) and Connie (Ellora Torchia) invited by Pelle's communal brother Ingemar (Hampus Hallberg).

During various bizarre rituals, the Harga folk participants dancing in a field were clad in white robes adorned with flower patterns and crowns of leaves. There were creepy wall paintings and murals, and people began to mysteriously disappear (and ended up dead!). Christian was flirted with by red-headed young girl Maja (Isabelle Grill) (and unwittingly ate a pie containing her pubic hair!). And in one brutal ritualistic suicide at the Ättestupa, two elders (at the ultimate age of 72), Ylva (Katarina Weidhagen) and Dan (Björn Andrésen) flung themselves off a clifftop precipice. Ylva died instantly, but Dan severely broke his leg, and had to be put out of his misery with a large wooden mallet.

Shocking Images

Disemboweling a Bear

Elders Cut their Hands, Wiped Blood on Stone Before Committing Suicide from Cliffside

Ruben (Levente Puczkó-Smith)
- an inbred born of incest

In the strange mating ceremony sequence performed by the pagan cult at the lodge of Siv (Gunnel Fred), the Harga matriarch, Christian was given a hallucination-inducing drink, then lured to a location where a fully-naked Maja, reclining on the floor, was surrounded by a group of nude elder females. As he was having sex with her, he noticed the surrounding females in a semi-circle touching themselves and mimicking Maja's moans. One of the women assisted Christian's thrusting by pushing on his bare buttocks. At the same time, Dani was being crowned May Queen after a maypole dance. She peeped through a keyhole and witnessed Christian having sexual intercourse with the virginal Maja, and she had a nervous breakdown.

In the climax of the mysterious, highly-visceral film, as the May Queen, Dani was compelled to choose one of nine individuals to be sacrificed. [Note: The 9 individuals included two Harga elders (the cliffside sacrifices), four outsiders (Simon, Connie, Josh, and Mark), two living volunteers amongst the Harga, and one chosen by her.]

She selected the drug-paralyzed Christian, who was stuffed inside the belly of a disemboweled bear-skin, placed inside a golden teepee or yellow A-frame temple, and incinerated with the other eight individuals (some of whom were already dead).

A disturbing smile slowly formed on orphaned Dani's face, as she realized she was vengefully freed of Christian, and had found an approving cult family - and possibly a new partner, Pelle.

Dani and Christian - Communication Issues

In Sweden: Golden Teepee

In Sweden: Maypole Dancing

Creepy Wall Paintings - in Communal Sleeping Quarters

Mating Ceremony

Sex in Cinematic History
History Overview | Reference Intro | Pre-1920s | 1920-26 | 1927-29 | 1930-1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934-37 | 1938-39
1940-44 | 1945-49 | 1950-54 | 1955-56 | 1957-59 | 1960-61 | 1962-63 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969

1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985-1 | 1985-2 | 1986-1 | 1986-2 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992-1 | 1992-2 | 1993 | 1994-1 | 1994-2 | 1995-1 | 1995-2 | 1996-1 | 1996-2 | 1997-1 | 1997-2 | 1998-1 | 1998-2 | 1999-1 | 1999-2
2000-1 | 2000-2 | 2001-1 | 2001-2 | 2002-1 | 2002-2 | 2003-1 | 2003-2 | 2004-1 | 2004-2 | 2005-1 | 2005-2 | 2006-1 | 2006-2
2007-1 | 2007-2 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022

Index to All Decades, Years and Features

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