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'My reservoir of lust was filled to overflowing!' Babette (LINDA BOYCE) is a kinky, cynical, hipster-style, been-there-done-that sex kitten deeply entrenched in the New York underground scene. Needing some quick cash, she answers an ad and is soon posing for photographer Ramon, who is about 'to branch out into setting up unusual and bizarre entertainments for select clients that would run the gamut from plain old-fashioned orgies to the more perverse pleasures.' Sick kitty that she is, Babette wants in on the action: 'It was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for!'
After posing nekkid next to a giant stuffed bunny wabbit, Babette gets it on with Carla, an illegal alien who 'starred in stag films with some Mexican weight lifters' for some Sappho-flavored stills: 'Carla was such a dainty little morsel that I knew I'd eat her right up!' And, yes indeed, she does.
Babette then engages in a torrid threesome with horny hellcat Phyllis (UTA ERICKSON) and her happy hubby Max: 'The French have a word for this. Ménage à trois. Each giving, each taking....' On a roll, Babette helps initiate a new member into Ramon's 'secret society' (i.e: candles and people in masks) and gets aroused while watching the girl shackled while wearing nothing but black leather boots: 'I wanted to trade places with her! I wanted to experience the feeling of being used!'
Finally, Babette again meets with Phyllis for some 'female fun and games' at an all girl group called, appropriately, 'the Daughters of Lesbos....'
Despite their 'outlaw' status, sexploitation films of the Sixties were, at their heart, usually quite conservative. Made for middle-aged men, the average heroine of a skinflick may run around naked and do dirty things, but usually ends up paying for her sins in the last reel. The status quo -- specifically, a woman's place in a male society -- was never really threatened. Not so with Babette, a surprisingly subversive gem that aggressively celebrates sexual anarchy. Here, rules are made to be broken, standards are made to be shattered, and its leading lady is unencumbered by any guy telling her what she can or cannot do. Babette is, of course, everything that was scary about feminism back in 1968. No surprise then that the heroine -- and the film itself -- ends up in the female-dominated world of the 'Daughters of Lesbos.'
It's also no surprise that Babette was made back-to-back with Daughters of Lesbos (aka Dominique in Daughters of Lesbos) as both films share the same (phony) opening credits, the same narrator, the same two leading ladies, and the same director, 'Bob Woodcock,' who, according to the IMDB, is actually SWV fave ROBERTA FINDLAY, bless her. Sold as Babette in Return of the Secret Society and simply Babette, this and Daughters of Lesbos are such remarkably atypical sex fare that it's a shame Miss Findlay (and/or 'Mr. Woodcock') didn't turn out more like it. But, unfortunately, hardcore was lurking right around the corner and everything soon changed....
From a 35mm print with 'the charged scent of sex.' Frank Henenlotter