“My life was good. Perfect, really. Everything seemed fresh and exciting. I was happy with my father and my barnyard friends. Until...”
Here is the story of Jeannie (JOANNA CUNNINGHAM, “Miss Cavalcade,” who also appears in The Love Cult), a small-town girl, as told in her own small-town words. Beautiful Jeannie’s bucolic world is shattered by a lecherous farmhand, then taken advantage of by a local boy. Humiliated, she leaves her country home to seek a new life as a city sophisticate in the Big Apple.
There, she gets a job as a secretary in a theatrical agency, moves in with Vi (ROSE CONTI), a very protective roommate, and starts dating Jim (BIFF FIELD), a handsome actor. Intoxicated with her new surroundings, Jeannie is thrilled as she and Jim take on all that Manhattan offers: dancing at Roseland, dinner at a nightclub in Greenwich Village (where a sex stripper dances to a familiar soundtrack!), traipsing through Central Park, and visiting the Metropolitan Museum. But just the way it did back in the boondocks, her world starts to go bad...
Like those country boys, Jeannie’s boss also tries. Though Jeannie quickly gets a new career as a glamorous fashion model, her mental scars remain, and when Jim tries to take their relationship to another level, she freaks out and runs away. Realizing that she has some serious sexual issues to sort out, Jeannie asks Jim for forgiveness and, in a remarkably blunderheaded move, he takes her to the premiere of his Broadway play and the ultra-twisted cast party that follows.
What ensues is nothing less than an old-fashioned bacchanal complete with topless go-go dancers, musclemen posing, an S&M show, and an orgy involving what appears to be fruit jam! Jim gets all worked up and, once again, moves in on Jeannie but she politely excuses herself to go hide in the ladies’ room. Frustrated, Jim succumbs to the charms of the wealthy and wanton woman who’s hosting the party and, of course, Jeannie finds them in the throes of passion.
Hysterical, Jeannie races back home. True to her rotten luck, a prowler sneaks into her apartment during the night and sexually assaults her. It’s just all too much for her and, in the morning, Jeannie decides her life needs another big change and sets out to slit her wrists...
Diary of a Swinger is a masterpiece of Sixties sexploitation; a sordid snapshot of the times which captures the sights, sounds, styles, (and even the smells) of New York circa 1967. With a heavy emphasis on sleaze, it also makes great use of some priceless location footage of a New York long gone, and happily dwells on such ephemera as giant hairdos, black eyeliner, and white frosted lipstick. Director LEM AMERO was also involved in a number of Michael and Roberta Findlay projects including The Sin Syndicate, The Lusting Hours, and Satan’s Bed.
From a 35mm Manhattan-mauled print. -- Lisa Petrucci
Trailer views: 4878
Starring: Joanna Cunningham
Co-starring: Rose Conti
Other cast: Biff Field, Janet Banzet
Directed by: John and Lem Amero