Year Released: 1974
Director: Roger Earl
Cast: Val Martin, Quave Dalton, Steve Richards, John Detour, Eric Lansing, Tiger John, David Andrews
Born to Raise Hell from Roger Earl is the standard, the ultimate classic BDSM, gay leather movie that all gay BDSM films are judged by around the world.
This classic S/M movie was filmed in 1974. A Marathon Film.
The cast is introduced not by the conventional credit lines, but by their names tattooed on various parts of their bodies.
The SM is authentic: whipping, pissing, beating, shaving, bondage, groveling, defiled asses, the men are very masculine, very real. Yes, there are hard-ons, but as SM devotes will attest, it's the scene, not the sex, that counts.
Sidney Charles of Drummer magazine wrote, "What can you say about a movie that's so hot it needs to be handled with asbestos gloves." and "Born to Raise Hell is the movie to see with someone you love to beat, or be beaten by."
Legendary filmmaker Fred Halsted said, "The best SM film I've ever seen".
Born to Raise Hell is in the New York's Museum of Modern Arts film collection. Roger Earl discovered and cast Val Martin in the lead in this incredible S/M film.
Born to Raise Hell brought Val Martin international prominence in gay leather communities around the world.
In 1980 Val was 2nd runner up in the International Mr Leather contest. In 2009 the Gay Adult Film Industry presented Roger Earl with the Life Time Achievement award at the Gay VN awards show in S.F.
Reviewed in Drummer, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1976 (see M04305).
One Bijou reviewer's take on this film:
Ah, those were the "old guard" days of BDSM, before the bywords "safe, sane, and consensual" came to define all play. But there is play here in the late 70s vintage orgy of beatings, fistings, and scathing rough verbal language: not safe by today's standard (no condoms, no apparent warm-ups before heavy floggings), and the overall character of the play appears, but please note, only appears to be, nonconsensual.
Leather top-daddy Val Martin's victims are routinely (and apparently) grabbed, roughed up, slapped, kidnapped, tied up in painful contortions, shaved, sworn at (and the verbal yelled at, is not the tamer, now cliched "pig," or "dog," but "mother fucker"), and then fisted.
There is a difference between a warm and moist masturbatory fantasy of these events and reality, the movie seems to be implying, but that difference is blurred in the last scene, which turns out to be dream. "Born in Hell" would perhaps be a more appropriate title, given Val Martin's darkly bearded Luciferian features (especially the prominent nose and sneering mouth in close-ups).
After viewing the flick and giving myself time to recover from the sensory overload, I finally was able to digest the action by dividing it into three parts. Part One is essentially two scenes occurring simultaneously in a leather bar; Part Two a swift, montage-like succession of dungeon scenes; Part Three turns out be a dream fantasy involving police brutality. Practically every form of S/M play occurs in these scenes with little warm-up in playing or sexual interaction.
Val Martin is on a rampage, abducting John Detour who looks like Brawny paper towel model. Another top strings up a young blonde Steve Richards, but that scene seems more supplementary to Val's punishment fest. He both strings him up and ties him to a table in a leather bar and subjects him to a multitude of cock and ball contortions, at one point pulling the undistinguished cock by a chain to the table and tying a boot to the hairy, dense balls.
The director adds some parody to these intense proceedings by every once in a while adding a sign that mocks the action (Le. suddenly the words Crisco appear in flashing neon letters). "Yield Why Fight It" is another interesting commentary on the abduction feel to the play. Val does know how to work a boot, slapping Detour in the face, while the youngman gets fisted. Rimming of course occurs, and some raunchy ball sucking.
The camera work is actually effective here at points despite the murky darkness of the setting, including a juicy, intense shot of both scenes in full roar simultaneously (Val of course uses his prerogative on Richards). The scene builds momentum in the next section, which includes an intense clothespin scene (in the nose as well, yikes!), some brief play with a single tail whip, and a beer perversion scene.
Detour dares to mention that he needs a beer, and Val obliges practically drowning him in beer and what looks like piss (Caution: Department of Water and Power). At one point a collared Detour grovels on the ground in a 69-position and the scene crescendos horrifically into a near strangulation involving beer, piss, the collar, and a boot on the mouth.
The next scene is a BDSM phantasmagoria of dungeon scenes, all of which maintain a frightening intensity level that lends one to think that these are takes of the ends of scenes, hopefully for the sake of the bottoms. It begins with what seems to be a pick-up outside. Val picks up a rather lumpy individual with a dorky face on the pretense of, perhaps, sex, telling him to relax, but instead brings him into a major hogtie bondage scene.
"Please no ... " he cries. Slapping, whipping, crying out, cussing ... a thin man is transformed into a hairless lump of groveling, fearful jello ... men are suspended, hogtied (among other contortionist poses) and swung around like pinatas ... another man is flogged over a horse with no warm up and fisted practically up to the elbow while he screams ... a wrinkled cock becomes spiky forest of clothespins ...
Val and his fellow "demon" pour hot wax over a writhing man in a cock and ball harness (an odd vertical position, viewer, you must see to grasp) ... and finally, a frightening scene where the second top with a sausage dick cums over a groveling bottom fisted until his hole could give birth, who begs, Give it to me ... " (Val of course wants him to say, Sir, the lack of such an appellation is usually the springboard for a beating or a slapping).
"Please ... " "Please what ... " " Please, Sir... " the bottom at the end of his limit screams as the dick explodes steaming cum. Val rough scene isn't over for the night, because he now dreams of more ...
Or does he remember an actual incident? He is seen reading a newspaper with the headline, Policeman's Son Brutalized by Sadists.
The lines between dream, reality, and fantasy blur and become confused as the scene shifts to a forest area where two cops tie Val to a tree and punch, pummel, and fuck their victim's firm tight ass with a nightstick. He tries to escape, alas, and chase scene in the woods reminiscent of Deliverance occurs.
Overall, some intense and effective close-ups, especially of the explosive physical violence, but the audio is cruder here than in the rest of the movie.
"I think I need a beer now."
The top straps him viciously with a belt.
"Want some beer, I'll give you beer, fucker!"
The bottom sucks the top's tit and licks the trickling beer off his chest before the top throws the beer on him.
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