Sound Eroticism (original title: Egészséges erotika) is Hungarian comedy film from 1986. Although the title indicates a Sex Comedy, and indeed there's a lot of sex-related humor in it, that's not the primary focus of the movie. Instead it's mainly a satire of the bureaucratic system of Hungary in the late Soviet era.
Falkay (Ádám Rajhona) is the manager of a crate factory that, apart from him, employs an all-female staff. The problem is, nobody wants to buy any crates from them. When the state sends the fire security officer Bozodi (Róbert Koltai) to install an alarm system, the solution comes in the form of modern technology: a hidden camera in the women's changing room. Each afternoon they invite potential customers, allowing them to ogle at the employees changing clothes in change for buying the crates. But the women, led by the sassy Hajdúné (Judit Németh), start to suspect something...
The film is considered a Cult Classic in Hungary for its unique visual style that includes scenes filmed backwards, witty dialogue (in broken Hungarian), and for perfectly capturing the zeitgeist of the declining Socialist system.
Has nothing to do with someone sounding erotic.
Tropes. In film.
- All Men Are Perverts: A major theme of the movie. All men in the movie take great pleasure in voyeurism and show downright creepy behavior towards women.
- Amazon Brigade: The women become one near the end of the movie, taking Falkay and Bozodi as hostages and demanding compensation for what the men have done to them.
- Brick Joke: The man who brought the polls about female sexuality in the first scene returns in the last minute of the movie, after the factory burned to the ground, asking Falkay where the polls are.
- Casanova Wannabe: Bozodi flirts with all the women he meets, especially Hajdúné. She's not impressed.
- Chekhov's Gun: The fire extinguishers in which Bozodi smuggles the gasoline bite him and Falkay in the back hard in the film's climax, when the other men are trying to put out the fire.
- Deadpan Snarker: Hajdúné doesn't hold back the snark to take jabs at her superiors.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The film is shot entirely in monochrome, presumably as part of the film's Stylistic Suck.
- Domestic Abuse: One of the factory's employees, Novákné, comes to work with a black eye, explaining to Falkay that her husband hit her when he found the sexuality poll. Falkay is more upset about Novákné not filling in the poll than about one of his employees being an abuse victim.
- Establishing Character Moment: The very first thing we see Falkay doing is using a hand mirror to peek under the skirt of the lady cleaning the window.
- Foreshadowing: Through the movie, various characters keep mentioning that crates, made of dry wood, are extremely flammable, so there is a huge fire hazard. Naturally, in the film's climax, everything goes in flames.
- Humiliation Conga: Falkay and Bozodi go through a well-deserved one. The women trick them into following them to the changing room, where they tie them to the showers and call them out for what they've done. Then the men who come to their rescue accidentally set the factory ablaze, which burns to the ground. Falkay and Bozodi escape from the ashes in their underwear in front of all their employees.
- Malaproper: The whole movie is full of malapropisms, as part of its Stylistic Suck.
- Naughty Birdwatching: Some of the men glare at the security screen with a pair of binoculars.
- Nipple and Dimed: Some of the women go topless in the changing room, but it doesn't look particularly sexy for the viewer due to the poor image quality. However, in-universe, the men find it extremely titillating.
- No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Falkay, Bozodi and the President are all annoyed by Ibike's obnoxious flirting.
- The Peeping Tom: All men in the film are this, watching the women undress on the screen of the security system. Earlier in the movie, Falkay also uses a hand mirror to peek under the window cleaning lady's skirt.
- Running Gag: Every time Falkay gets turned on by something, he vigorously shakes a box of kefir, which produces an annoying sound.
- Sex Comedy: From the sexology polls to the men's voyeurism, the film is full of sex-related jokes.
- Sex Sells: Once the factory's leaders start showing the undressing women to the customers, the crate sales skyrocket.
- Sexy Secretary: Ibike, Falkay's secretary, tries to play up her image as one to flirt with every man she comes across, but even though she is good-looking, her obnoxious behavior is an instant turn-off for said men.
- Shout-Out: To the Rock Opera Istvan A Kiraly, which was released just 3 years earlier and was insanely popular at the time. At the Constitution Day celebration, the management sing the chorus of the final song from the rock opera.
- Slut-Shaming: The President attempts to do this to break the protesting women's spirit. He says that by demanding financial compensation for getting their bodies shown off, they're selling their bodies like prostitutes. The women don't buy it, telling him that he had no issue with the men showing off the women's bodies without their knowledge.
- Something Else Also Rises: A variant - when seeing something titillating, Falkay excitedly shakes a box of kefir, which looks and sounds a lot like A Date with Rosie Palms.
- Stylistic Suck: The film is shot entirely in black-and-white, and many scenes are filmed backwards (i.e. the actors were walking backwards, which was then played in reverse so that it looks like they're walking forward), resulting in extremely awkward body movements and the occassional gravity-defying objects. Also, the dialogue is entirely in broken Hungarian, ignoring grammar rules like articles and conjugation, and mispronouncing certain words.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Falkay is rude, short-tempered and a pervert, but he's the lead character in the movie. He gets his well-deserved comeuppance at the end of the movie.
- Vocal Dissonance: Falkay's best friend, the veterinarian, is a tall man with a thick mustache who speaks in a falsetto voice.