All Hail Christina Lindberg!
One of the sexploitation world’s most famous Actresses WANTS to be disturbed!
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I am a fan of 60’s & 70’s exploitation films – an era of filmmaking that broke many rules, and opened the doors in America to provocative, adult content never seen before…
In the early 70’s, America was introduced to such international cult classics as “Lorna The Exorcist” and “Sinner”.
But the doors were first opened by Swedish “art shockers” such as the eye-opening and frequently-banned “I Am Curious (Yellow)”.
This was an entirely new category of exploitation film: the “ARTSPLOITATION” film – an arthouse film that includes lots of nudity and sexual situations, but with an international sophistication that didn’t exist at the time in the US.
“Last Tango In Paris” and “I Am Curious (Yellow)” were two iconic examples of this genre – and there are dozens of classic “exploitation”, “sexploitation”, “blaxploitation” and “artsploitation” films that came out of this movie revolution, but the most startling discovery I found was an Actress who became an iconic part of film history – in a very short period of time…and then was gone forever.
In the world of exploitation, there is perhaps nobody more iconic than Swedish Sex Kitten Christina Lindberg. Yet most of you have no idea who she is, and this post is an attempt to change that.
With the explosion of home video / DVD / blu-ray in the last two decades, many foreign “artsploitaiton” films have become available – thanks to cult collector labels like Mondo Macabro, Impulse Pictures and Synapse Films – and you can now see what all the fuss was about.
Christina Marinette Lindberg was born December 6, 1950, in Gothenburg, Sweden – internationally known for her work as an actress and glamour model in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Here is what wikipedia has to say: Lindberg has appeared or starred in 23 feature films. Her first movie was an American production (Maid in Sweden), filmed in Sweden with a Swedish cast.
Maid in Sweden – leave the best to the Swedes! Here is the story of Inga, a 16-year-old Swedish girl who leaves her rural home to spend a weekend in the Swedish capital. An innocent with no experience, but with prodigious physical attributes, she has a series of romantic adventures as she throws off the frustrations of her small-town environment.
Look at that tagline: “Inga At Sixteen, Her Coming Of Age.”
You don’t have to be Caligula to know what they are saying to you. In the late 60’s the Swedish busted down the door to sexual freedom in movies with “I Am Curious (Yellow).” A “SWEDISH” movie meant one thing and one thing only: sex, sex and more sex. And the iconic sex kitten of Swedish Cinema was Christina Lindberg.
Her third film, Exponerad (Exposed), was released with a lot of hype at the Cannes festival in 1971 and turned her into an international celebrity.
First of all, look at the poster: WARNING! If you are upset by total nudity and strong sexual content, we advise you not to view this DVD.” If that doesn’t get you watch, nothing will!
Here is the plot of “Exposed”: Christina is Lena, a young teen in need of excitement and sexual satisfaction. Torn between her meek and innocent boyfriend Jan and the sadistic party-goer Helge, Lena’s life turns upside-down when Helge takes some nude photographs of her. These photos can destroy her life and Lena must do anything to get them, even if that means having a sadomasochistic encounter with Helge to make him happy. Can she get the photos and hide all.
First of all, let’s celebrate any movie that revolves around an evil guy named “HELGE!” As I have said, this plot mirrors many of the “Artsploitation” classics: emotional turmoil amid a ton of nudity and sex.
A string of exploitation films for Christina followed, many of which were filmed in Germany and Japan. As part of the marketing campaign for “Exposed” she went on a publicity trip to Japan, which resulted in an invitation to appear in the Japanese sexploitation classic “Sex & Fury”.
Sex & Fury
This is one of the classics of the time – and of all time!
Reiko Ike stars as Ocho, a gambler and pickpocket in Meiji Era Tokyo. After sheltering a fleeing anarchist, Ocho runs into the three gangsters responsible for her father’s murder, and runs afoul of various yakuza who want her dead.
A European spy, played by Christina Lindberg, arrives on the scene and complicates matters.
Only twelve minutes into Sex & Fury, our badass heroine Ocho duels a dozen men in the snow with a samurai sword–stark naked!
As you can see, using Christina’s sexuality on a poster was key to the film’s promotional campaign…this is the kind of film that makes you shake your head and ask “how did they get away with making this?”
It was, of course, a huge success – and then, it was time for a little Christina revenge!
Thriller: A Cruel Picture aka They Call Her One-Eye!
I have posted about this several times already – it is the “Godfather of Sexploitation” movies…one of the most controversial as well! It was originally released on grindhouse screens in the US as “They Call Her One-Eye” or even “Hooker’s Revenge”, although she’s not a hooker!
Director Quentin Tarantino expressed his admiration for both the film and Lindberg’s performance, and she later served as an inspiration for Darryl Hannah’s character in Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” films.
Lindberg plays Frigga, who lives with her parents on their farm. Unable to speak after being horrifically raped by an elderly man when she was young, her parents spend the majority of their money on speech therapy classes for their daughter in the hope that one day, she will speak again. One day, Frigga misses the bus to get to her speech therapy class.
She accepts a ride off a suave looking gentlemen named Tony who pulls up beside her. Once they are in town, he takes her for a meal. Afterwards, he takes Frigga back to what appears to be his bachelor pad. He gives her wine that has probably been drugged, as she passes out after drinking it.
The man then takes no time in bringing a crooked doctor in to get her fixed on high class heroin.
But Christina escapes after being partially blinded in a brutal attack, and trains herself for the ultimate revenge!
Tarantino, who has called Thriller “the roughest revenge movie ever made’,recommended that actress Daryl Hannah watch the film to prepare for her role as the one-eyed killer Elle Driver.
A long standing rumor surrounding the film was that a real corpse was used for the scene where Madeleine’s eye is taken out with a scalpel. In a March 2006 interview, Christina Lindberg confirmed this. The body was of a young girl who had committed suicide. Makeup was added to the eye, and the shot was filmed in the hospital that had received the body.
While this poster is certainly lurid, Christina has a small role in this film, and was beginning to see the end to her film career…
Acording to Wikipedia, Lindberg did not like that nude pictures were getting more and more explicit and during the filming of Gerard Damiano’s Flossie in West Germany — she left the set and returned home to Sweden. Damiano (who also directed the infamous Deep Throat) persuaded Lindberg to leave because he knew that it was going to be a hardcore film. For several years the German producer tried to bring her back in an attempt to complete the film. According to Videooze (No. 8, 1996), about 1,000 meters of film had been shot by Damiano. Production stopped and never resumed.
Anita – 1973
As you can see below, exhibitors knew how to promote a Lindberg film – promising lots of sex and nudity, even if the movie was really more of a psychological drama like this one is!
A young girl named Anita (Christina Lindberg) suffers from psychological problems and sexual promiscuity due to her troubled childhood and uncaring parents.
She meets Erik (Stellan Skarsgard), a student at a local university, who tries to help her through her troubles by analyzing her past relationships. After revealing her most intimate and violent encounters to Erik, he determines that, in order for her to overcome her nymphomania, she first must experience a true orgasm!
Yes, this is with Stellen Skarsgard, who was most notably in “Breaking The Waves” and Mamma Mia!”
So while the movies were always sold as “sexploitation” classics, they were “artsploitation” – art-house films that carried a European sensibility, and a progressive attitude toward nudity, whcih was of course so scandalous at the time…
For all the sex and nudity – and yes, there is a lot – Christina Lindberg was about so much more than just that. She “acted” in these movies – they were “art films” in their soft-core sort of way – and they deserve respect for pushing boundaries while still attempting to tell stories with real characters and real psychological issues. All while naked.
In her introduction to Daniel Ekeroth’s book “Swedish Sensationsfilms: A Clandestine History of Sex, Thrillers, and Kicker Cinema,” Christina Lindberg explains that after leaving exploitation films behind, she has been busy with numerous other projects. In 1972 she met future fiancé Bo Sehlberg and later started to work for his aviation magazine Flygrevyn. When Sehlberg died in 2004, Lindberg took over ownership and the position as editor-in-chief of the magazine—which is the largest aviation magazine in Scandinavia.
Here is a link to a great indepth interview from 2006:
There is also a Facebook fan page as well – which includes updates on appearances and interviews…
Check out some of her iconic performances and learn to appreciate the “Queen of Artsploitation!”
Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Asian Cult Cinema, Books / Media, Camp Cult Classics, Christina Lindberg, Classic Action Films, Cult Classics, Euro-Sleaze, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, Japanese Exploitation, JRsploitation, Nudity, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites, Uncategorized