This is a tricky movie to review.
First, it’s confused with German director Eberhard Schröder’s Die Klosterschülerinnen, aka The Convent Students, which also made the rounds as Sex Life in a Convent, but is also known as . . . Girls in Trouble.
Second, that film, and this Sybil Danning vehicle (well, not really) is not only co-directed by Schröder: both star German glamour model and Euro-sex kitten Doris Arden (1968’s So Much Naked Tenderness and 1972’s Nurse Report).
Third, while it’s a softcore skinflick (uh, not really), it ends up on “Christploitation” lists due to its anti-abortion and pro-life slant in its chronicle of several pregnant women on their way to get abortions.
Finally, while it played across Europe in 1971, it finally made it to America during the height of the “Golden Age of Porn”* on U.S. shores as The Joy of Love.
But this ain’t no porn . . . or the least bit golden. And there’s no joy in watching it. And it’s not a Christian flick . . . or the least bit saving. Everybody got duped with this one. No one was entertained by it and everybody hated it. But what else would you expect from a film that markets both the porn and God-believing markets?
Lacking a fluid narrative, the film actually plays as a series of documentary-styled vignettes. So what we really have here is an omnibus films of seven tales on the dangers and horrors of abortion. And now you see why it ends up on Christploitation lists.
In the first tale, two women are in court over a botched kitchen-abortion. Then, we meet a kidnapped and raped 13-year old girl forced to keep her baby because the law doesn’t allow abortions. In the third tale, a knocked up young lady has a miscarriage forced upon her. Then, we’re inside a mobile — and illegal — abortion clinic. Then a secretary is raped by her boss, who then send her to the U.K. for an abortion. We also meet a woman who visits an abortion doctor who drugs her and takes porn-pictures of her to make some pocket change. And in the final, seventh tale, a young, pregnant girl begs a doctor for an abortion; he calls in priest to read her the riot act.
So, what happened back in that opening court room scene?
Well, the old bag with the kitchen knife who almost murdered the young woman, gets three years. The girl — who was almost murdered, mind you — gets six months in jail because, well, she’s a “slut” that already had a child previously that she gave up for adoption.
As you can see, this West Germany ditty is far from being a skin flick. And it’s just one of those oddball flicks you spotted behind the green curtain* during the video store ’80s because Sybil Danning’s presence sells the tape — then you discover she’s only the wife of the judge from the first segment, she’s not an aborter or abortee, and she shows us no skin. And the whole movie is actually pretty disgusting and you start to wonder what the big deal was about you finally aging-in to get behind the green curtain.
Obviously, there’s no trailer to show you or links to stream it online. But make no mistake: this offensive lesson in tedium that would give Ed Wood pause, exists. Sybil Danning fans can skip this — we implore you, skip this — and go directly to Malibu Express or They’re Playing with Fire.
Oh, and beware of Eberhard Schröder skin flick rabbit holes. It’s a sexually twisted filmography you’d rather not know about. Trust us. Don’t do it. (But you know you will.)
* We delve into the “Golden Age of Porn” and “Behind the Green Curtain” eras with our joint review of Forced Entry (1973) and The Last Victim (1975), along with Spine (1986) from our “SOV Week” of reviews.