The last known black-and-white roughie from the man who gave us such classics as The Touch of Her Flesh (1967), The Kiss of Her Flesh (1968), The Curse of Her Flesh (1968), A Thousand Pleasures (1968) and Take Me Naked (1966). This is some crazy stuff, and admittedly, not for all tastes. However, if your into this type of film, this is required viewing.
NOTE: the audio is not out-of-sync; that's the way it is on the dvd. The audio was dubbed in after filming on most of these 60's sex films.
"Blonde swinger Maria grows tired of strutting nude in front of a window for her voyeur neighbor and bumping uglies with her Hispanic lesbian lover, so answers an ad in an underground sex newspaper offering cash for an extended stay at the home of Spencer, THE ULTIMATE DEGENERATE. Spencer keeps his home well stocked with beautiful girls, and allows them to pursue their deepest fantasies while also forcing them to submit to his deranged desires. Maria indulges in lesbian sex with the girls of her choice, poses for stag pictures, watches multiple stage shows performed by the in-house strippers, and is injected with a powerful aphrodisiac to keep her horny at all times. Bruno, Spencer’s right-hand man, joins in the fun, putting a whipped cream can in his jeans and spraying nude girls through his open zipper with frothy white…er…cream. Spencer begins going off the deep end, electrocuting a nude girl after clawing her tits with pliers, and unless Bruno can intervene and rescue her, this may be the untimely end of Maria!" - DVD Drive-In
"Findlay fanatics usually don’t hold ULTIMATE DEGENERATE in very high regard, seeing it as a step down from the mad wonder of the FLESH trilogy and A THOUSAND PLEASURES, but as his apparent last black-and-white roughie, it’s an exceptional work. In addition to another perfect blend of jazz, garage rock, and classical music permeating the soundtrack and atmospheric footage of a dilapidated Coney Island and outdoor winter locations, the film features many token Findlay vignettes: an incredible strobe light whipped cream-and-nude dancing musical number (set to The Bit-A-Sweet’s “Is It On, Is It Off?”, also heard in A THOUSAND PLEASURES and performed live on-stage in BLONDE ON A BUM TRIP); the wild stage antics of monster-eyebrowed Cindy Freemont (notorious from the opening scenes of CURSE OF HER FLESH); Marie Brent masturbates with a corn cob before two other girls turn the corn cob thrusting into a stage act; and the most disturbing footage Findlay ever shot, a Vasoline lensed dream sequence, with Bruno donning a gas mask, whipping, strangling, and using a fire poker on tied-up girls while their screams echo throughout the proceedings. Truly bone-chilling stuff, even by today’s standards.
DEGENERATE is possibly my personal favorite Findlay film, and I think Uta Erickson’s starring role has a lot to do with that; she’s in just about every scene. One of the most underrated NYC sexploitation greats, Erickson (billed here as Artimedia Grillet, a play on her real name) always bore a striking resemblance to a fleshier Cameron Diaz, and in addition to looking great nude, was an exceptional actress. She dubbed her own voice in all her Findlay films, and was good friends with Michael off-camera as well. Not restricting herself to his insane motion pictures, Erickson worked with all the New York City greats: Doris Wishman (LOVE TOY), Barry Mahon (SEX KILLER), John and Lem Amero (BACCHANALE). Best of all was her work for Joe Sarno, who obviously saw great potential in her and cast her as the lead of two gritty soap operas, PASSION IN HOT HOLLOWS and the currently lost MARCY. Wherever Erickson disappeared to, on behalf of sleazehounds everywhere, I hope she is healthy, happy, and looks back on her film career with at least some fondness." - Casey Scott, DVD Drive-In