News & Politics

‘The Devil in Miss Jones’ a ‘Fascinating Snapshot About Where We’re At’


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
March 8, 1973, Vol. XVIII, No. 10

by Howard Smith & Tracy Young

CUT JUST ONE “THROAT”… and the body grows another head. So it goes with Gerard Damiano whose million dollar porno-baby was buried last week and whose new picture, “The Devil in Miss Jones,” is bound to send Judge Tyler running for his thesaurus in search of another string of epithetical bombast.

My pet theory, however, having just seen “Miss Jones,” is that Damiano is an undercover worker for the Department of Decency, out to turn the unsuspecting and prurient public off sex.

This 74-minute foray into the hinterlands of erotica sets you up with a bathtub wrist-slashing as unnerving as the eyeball-slitting scene in “The Andalusian Dog”; and before your stomach can return to normal, embarks on a fellatio extravaganza between Harry Reems and a Linda Lovelace runner-up and current star, Georgina Spelvin. Etcetera.

Lest you think this movie is nothing but a lot of sex shots, let me tell you a bit of the plot. Miss Jones is a frump who does herself in with a razor blade and turns up for an interview in purgatory only to complain that she’s going to be sent to hell for nothing. She convinces the man in charge to send her back to life so she can at least commit a worthwhile mortal sin, her choice being to be “consumed by lust.” Miss Jones’s wish is granted, and consumed she is. By one man, by two men, by a cornucopia of fruit, by a few women, and by a hose that deposits a good 10 gallons of water up her rear — orifice of the year — among others. In the end, Miss Jones returns to purgatory, begs the guy to let her stay alive, but is finally sent to hell. There we leave her, masturbating, pleading with the devil to “get me off, I can’t do it by myself.”

“The Devil in Miss Jones” is more than repulsive, it’s a fascinating short of snapshot allegory about where we’re at, plugs into the notion that if we’re all going to hell anyway, we might as well go for a good reason. And it touches all the bases — an Alice Cooper snake bit, transvestite make-up, leaden-faced men being serviced by oral-compulsive and insatiable (liberation nightmare!) women, and the idea that hell is the inability to “get off.”

“The Devil in Miss Jones,” a Marvin Films release, is scheduled to open in about six weeks, and barring any legal hassles, will probably outgross its predecessor.

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 19, 2011


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