Lot in Sodom

Director: James Sibley Watson
& Melville Webber

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Lot in Sodom Opening on a very attractive model of the walled city & then cutting to expressionist sequences capturing the temple mysteries, consisting of homosexual dancers. In a length very overt invocation of a gay orgie, the camera lingers over naked male flesh & clinging bodies in ways that seem improbable for 1933, but this is before the Hayes Code banned homosexuality from the screen.

Lot in Sodom (1933) came out in the sound age & we do hear Lot praying & there's a contemporary musical soundtrack. But in the main this is a silent film.

When an angel (Lewis Whitbeck) visits Lot (Fredrich Haak) it's spooky as all hell. The coweled angel's unfriendly air doesn't keep a buff bare-chested Sodomite from trying to seduce him in the night near Lot's house. Lot intercedes, offering his daughter instead.

Although the Sodomites aren't exactly positive role models, compared to Lot they're not all that bad. He's one scary rat-bastard who seems more upset that the men of Sodom are happy, & he's not, than he is concerned with godly behavior.

Lot in SodomLot's attempt to pimp his daughter (Dorothea House) instead of sending the angel out to be buggered is accompanied with wheedling pandering salesmanship born as much from antisemitic stereotyping as from the admitted bizarreness of scriptures assertion that prostituting Jewish daughters is a good thing.

Lot's daughter seems quite eager & happy to get laid by the Sodomites, & laughs as superimposed passionflower blossoms are shown bursting into bloom, doves take flight from Sodom's temple, & a giant boa constrictor appears over the temple.

The amount of time given over to the orgasms of Lot's daughter, combined with the opening gay orgy, renders this little gem to great extent erotic in intent, & what better way to get away with it in 1933 than to be able to prove that it's all right there in the Bible.

Lest we forget the Sodomites don't usually pleasure girls like that, we get to see the men all buff in Physical Culture poses for each other, & even the Angel gets semi-nude & postures nicely before telling Lot & his family to hightail it out of the city.

There follows a rain of fire which Lot's wife (Hildegarde Watson) turns to see, for love of Sodom, & a pretty good little FX scene shows her turning to a pillar of salt. The story ends there so as erotica goes, the directors were willing to forgo Lot's final pleasures of getting roaring drunk in a cavern overlooking the smouldering city, & doing the nasty with his daughters.

A fascinating short film with the dirty bits separated by artful symbolist bits. It's by no means the equal of the directors' masterpiece, the radically expressionist Fall of the House of Usher (1928).

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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