The “Rape of the Christ” in The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971)
A film so controversial that it’s still very difficult to see it in its (existing) entirety, Ken Russell’s The Devils initially had such blasphemous sequences as the infamous “Rape of Christ,” which features possessed nuns masturbating with crucifixes and effigies of Jesus. Yes, we can count masturbation as sex, though in this film and in The Exorcist, which also includes masturbation with a cross, we might better classify the acts as rape. But the difficulty of distinction only adds to its controversial nature, doesn’t it?
Sweetback Loses His Virginity in Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (Melvin Van Peebles, 1971)
Considering Melvin Van Peebles actually performed most of the sex acts he’s seen engaged in in this seminal Blaxploitation film, it’s quite possible that young Mario Van Peebles’ sex scene was similarly unsimulated. Of course, that would have been illegal, since Mario was only 13. Even if there was no actual intercourse occurring, though, the scene is controversial for the boy’s nudity and energetic performance during the title character’s moment of sexual awakening with a prostitute.
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