This text will be replaced by the player
The bluntly descriptive title 3 on a Waterbed certainly seems to suggest a simple enough story, and immediately conjures up a visual image of three people going at it atop one of those Seventies-popular water-filled mattresses, right? Wrong. This is Sexy Shocker territory and things aren’t quite what they seem. For starters, there are only two -- count ’em, two -- people in the entire cast and not a waterbed in sight. And the actual premise is... well... that’s the punchline. For while 3 On a Waterbed
-- which was originally released under the more accurate but less sensational moniker The Session
-- plays like standard sexploitation for most of its running time, the ending -- much like the film In Hot Blood
-- goes sailing off the deep end.
Movie-star stud Alan Burton hires a 25-year-old hooker named “Peggy, just Peggy” to spend three days and three nights in his large, red, Seventies-style bedroom complete with circular bed, a fully-stocked bar, but no windows. Her payment is a thousand bucks and Alan’s only rule is, “Once we start, there’s no leaving.” Fueling themselves on cigarettes and booze, they exchange tense bon mots (“Honey, you’re gonna be awfully sore before I’m through with you!” “Promises, promises!”) in between marathon screwings -- with the first sex scene lasting a full fifteen minutes. Soon, however, they quickly start getting on each other’s nerves....
Alan: “You’re a nympho!”
Peggy: “And what the hell are you? What’s the word for ‘nympho’ for a man?”
Alan: “The word is ‘whoremaster
In fact, the only time they’re not being nasty to each other is when they’re doing the nasty. Eventually, however, Alan seriously sours the mood when he casually asks her, “Have you ever been attacked?” Uh oh. He continues: “Would you like to know the real reason for this three-day event? In four weeks, I begin work on my new film. I had you brought up here so I could rehearse my new character. You see, the script for my new film is about a man who spends three days in an apartment with a prostitute. Except he rapes her. And then he kills the poor girl. Now you must cooperate....”
Double uh oh.
“Page 96... Ah, right here. ‘He stabs the girl in the chest and she falls to the ground... Then, placing the knife to her stomach, he plunges it in again....’”
Yeah, this is a strange one alright. With the entire cast of two completely naked for most of the running time, 3 on a Waterbed / The Session is sexploitation-as psychodrama that plays like a very peculiar off-off-way-off-Broadway theatrical piece. So what’s it all mean? That’s what you’ll be wondering long after the film is over as you find yourself staring at the blank TV screen dazed and confused while, overhead, geese silently fly through the evening sky....
From a 35mm hurray-for-Hollywood print. -- Frank Henenlotter
Regina WilliamsDirected by: