Back To School – John D Lamond’s ‘The ABC Of Love and Sex: Australia Style’ (1978)

1 Sep

Australian director John D. Lamond, fresh from having recently shot the mondo-style documentary Australia After Dark, found himself in the difficult territory of coming up with a second feature in the late 1970s. And so, having done the sexploitation documentary, moved directly onto the next logical step, in the guise of an ‘educational’ sexploitation flick. Step forward 1978 release The ABC Of Love and Sex: Australia Style, an adult softcore, sex-ed picture exploring every aspect of human sexuality.

And ABC literally is what it says on the tin. Opening with a sweet stop motion animation of a teacher running through sex education with his students, the picture goes from A is for anatomy through to C for contraception (‘the tool of permissive society’), H for homosexuality and even R is for rape. Each letter is followed up with a cutesy vignette exploring the scenario with some lightly erotic scenes and a few good-looking actors, through animation, naughty dialogue, situation segments and porn. Oh, and some large inflatable contraceptive pills, genitals and building blocks for good measure.

It’s a testament to the efforts of Lamond in trying to make the film a slightly different type of sexploitation picture that ABC manages to still feel fresh thirty years later. It does provide some sexy, if not softcore, moments whilst delivering some genuinely interesting facts and figures about human sexuality that, whilst may now be somewhat dated, are revelatory to people who maybe haven’t cared to look at sex with that much depth before. Throw in a Swedish professor providing some psychosexual insight and the odd, borderline hardcore scene (shot in Sweden when Lamond went there to blow up Australia After Dark from 16mm to 35mm and initially cut from the original release) and you have a tongue-in-cheek sexploitation documentary that has a really sweet charm to it.

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