Allan Silliphant's THE STEWARDESSES 3D (1969, 3D Blu-ray, 93 min.) for the first time.Up until "Avatar" released in 2009, the most profitable '3D' movie ever made (approx. $30 million in profits) was this $100,000 softcore porn flick following the rather eventful evening of the crew of SGA Airlines' stewardesses on their free evening in L.A. before a return flight to Honolulu. In fact, a modified version of the portable 35mm tech used by these filmmakers is what gave 3D its brief early 80's resurgence with "Jaws 3D," "Friday the 13th Part III 3D," etc. Though there are corny jokes (including an 'I'm coming!' opening that's genuinely hilarious) this is first and foremost a late 60's softcore porn flick starring no-name actors, ranging from two chicks doing it after getting stoned to a wannabe actress (Christina Hart) letting an ad executive (Ronald South) have his way to her to get a part in an ad campaign. Personally I was more excited to see a billboard for the space flick "Marooned" in an exterior shot than a chick giving me the full frontal while performing weird yoga positions but hey, that's just me. :-P Though it ends on a downer dramatic note, "The Stewardesses" is mostly silly nude hijinks framed in 3D by professional adult filmmakers (no boom mic shadows or anything like that) to kill 90 minutes with a great immersion as thrusting feet, pool stick cues and boobs are shoved in viewers' face. What's not to love? Barf! :-( 3 MARCUS AURELIUS LAMP BUSTS TO MAKE OUT WITH (out of 5).
LA MOGLIE IN VACANZA… L’AMANTE IN CITTÀ / WIFE ON VACATION… LOVER IN THE CITY (1980, dir. Sergio Martino) When I saw the category for this day, one name came into my mind: Edwige Fenech. It has been a while since I watched something from the queen of the Italian sex comedy. Seeing that this particular film also starred Barbara Bouchet, another beauty of Italian genre cinema, I did not have to think twice about my choice. In LA MOGLIE, Barbara (as Valeria) is the wife of industrialist Andrea, who has Edwige Fenech (as Giulia) as his mistress. The trouble is that Giulia is not content to be the mistress; she desires to be Mrs. Andrea. Valeria in turn has become enamored of a young count, with whom she plans to spend her vacation away from her husband. The Count just happens to work for Andrea. The story becomes a complete farce when everyone ends up on the same floor of a hotel, going in and out of each other’s beds during the night. I had a lot of fun watching LA MOGLIE. With Edwige and Barbara to look at, I am not as likely to nit-pick some overly broad comedy.
Pretty Maids All In A Row (1971)Oooof. I had high hopes from this. Relatively high ratings on letterboxd and an intriguing premise combining a Twin Peaks style murder mystery with a baudy high school sex comedy. The negative reviews all mention how uncomfortable and disgusting the movie is re statutory rape portrayed without judgement as a super awesome fantasy come true... but isn't that part and parcel with this whole genre? If anything, I wanted this to be much more transgressive and weird and uncomfortable. It's a completely unfunny, bland and tiring movie with some baffling filmmaking decisions. The most glaring mistake of the movie is that there's a running gag that the 17 year old protagonist keeps getting boners and his teacher notices them and is all like "oh my, what a big boy you are"... but we can see his damn pants! And they are completely flat! It's so lazy, either do a gag by stuffing his pants or just don't show us his lower half. Weird decisions like this make me think no one had any clue what they were doing. This is a very poor man's They're Playing With Fire.
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Deadly Weapons (1974) dir. Doris Wishman Watched with Michael Bowen commentary on The Films of Doris Wishman: The Twilight Years [AGFA + Something Weird] Golden 70’s sexploitation that embraces its ridiculous hook without resorting to winking at the audience. I’m slotting this and Double Agent 73 in “sex comedies” despite them being played entirely straight (and both being the better for it).Way back when I was younger shittier goose I picked this up along with a bunch of other Something Weird DVDs leftover from a clearance sale at Tower Records, most of which ended up in playing in the background of late-night hangouts. I remember this being a particular hit in that context, and was probably one of only a couple I actually sat down and watched, though I’m sure even then any appreciation I had for it was seeped in irony. Barf. Look,I’m not trying to get too highfalutin about a movie centered on a heroine who smothers villains with enormous breasts, but the “so bad it’s good” line of faux-appreciation is a terrible, flattening lens to watch movies throughI am so happy then to rediscover Wishman’s work over the last couple years, and suddenly have a whole new sense of context for a movie and filmmaker I had so thoroughly underestimated at the time. It’s even more exciting to enjoy it as part of AGFA’s gorgeous Wishman collection.Double Agent 73 (1974) dir. Doris Wishman Sometimes you have to just take a moment and appreciate that you are watching a beautiful transfer of an exploitation cult-classic while listening to a commentary track by Frank Henenlotter. We have probably irreparably doomed ourselves as a society, but there's been some good parts along the way.
Doris Wishman is an acquired taste. I watched a bunch of her films through Something Weird DVDs, including Deadly Weapons. I prefer the 1960s films, but you definitely get a real exploitation experience with the Chesty Morgan films. Let Me Die A Woman is her strangest one, though.
Mr. Galactic (1984)Also known as Club Earth and Galactic Gigolo, this movie comes from a strange source: Gorman Bechard, who made Psychos In Love and a movie that has obsessed me since I saw it the first time, the telephone-based slasher Disconnected.Eoj (Carmine Capobianco, who co-wrote the movie with Bechard) is a game show winning sentient stalk of broccoli from the planet Crowak who is on an all expenses paid vacation to Earth, a place where he transforms into a man and discovers that he really likes to have sex with human women.Bechard has disowned this movie thanks to Charles Band(he also made Assault of the Killer Bimbos and Cemetery High for Full Moon), who got way too involved in the color correction and editing of the film.Debi Thibeault plays the reporter out to get the story of the alien, Ruth Collins from Lurkers and Prime Evil shows up as does LeeAnne Baker who is in Necropolis, a movie that more people should download directly into their brain.It’s not great, sexy or funny, but it is weird.
Hardbodies (1984)This is about some middle aged guys that go to the beach to get laid, and there is a cast of younger adults who they meet. Eventually, one of the older guys gets creepy/evil, but then everyone pranks him and it all ends well. This is 50% beach scenes and 50% party scenes. The beach scenes are just full of 80’s style swimwear, and the party scenes are mostly swimwear too. It had a fun jovial feeling throughout the run-time, and there were plenty of boobs. So many boobs. I want to visit this beach. Everyone looked like they were having a blast.Apparently this was originally made by Playboy to be a softcore porn movie on their TV channel, but it was deemed too soft, and was bought by Columbia who put it in theatres instead.
So Fine (1981, dir. Andrew Bergman)Shockingly terrible sex comedy where former academic Ryan O'Neal becomes a fashion designer and accidentally invents buttless jeans (which are a huge success and take the nation by storm). On top of that he is pursued by cartoonish gangsters led by the mob boss: Richard Kiel (who is not playing a human being, he's basically playing Jaws again for some reason). One positive is that Jack Warden throws out a couple funny lines here and there. Otherwise I couldn't believe how bad this one was. Only recommended for bad movie connoisseurs.
Percy (1971, dir. Ralph Thomas)Edwin, an unassuming and shy man whose wife is about to leave him, is walking down the street, minding his own business, when a nude man suddenly falls on top of him. Turns out, a serial philanderer was escaping his newest conquest's husband and fell out of a window. The impact kills the nude man and mutilates Edwin's penis, but fortunately a brilliant surgeon can help, and attaches the philanderer's (rather sizable, we're repeatedly told) penis to Edwin. After the surgery, Edwin gets an obsession of finding out who the previous owner was, but all he gets is a list of names of men who died that particular day, so naturally he decides to seduce all their widows to see if anyone recognizes it.You know, that old story.It's not especially funny (except whenever Denholm Elliott is on screen) or especially raunchy (maybe it was for its time?), it's just kind of... there. The quintessential 2½-star film. Not so good that I'd have anything particularly good to say about it, not so bad that I had trouble finishing it.
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982 – Woody Allen)Since this flick was listed in the linked primer for “sex comedies” (Wikipedia) I thought it would be a great fit, despite knowing about the skills that Woody Allen inherits in his craft of making beautiful looking, not really exploitive movies. While the movie is beautiful to look at and the dialogues are witty and the actors and actresses all are doing a superb job, it is surely not a great fit for this month. Beside the qualities this movie holds, the story itself is a bit flat and the characters seems to stem out of a high-class yet still sexist dream, where old men can die happily while having sex with young and explorative vixens. The lust that the male cast is portraying feels creepy, but maybe that is the point of the whole movie, that men have ideas about love and women, that they think that the latter won’t understand, discounting the free will and ideas, lust and desire of women themselves? I don’t know.
SOMETHING WILD (1986) An uptight businessman and a free-spirited artsy woman have a one-night stand, which leads to a road trip, which leads to all kinds of complications. This is like two movies at once, going back and forth from whimsical romcom to hardened crime flick. So in one scene, we get a slapstick dance number, and in the next we get guys being brutally pistol-whipped in the face. I'm guessing this is Jonathan Demme is doing his own take on the French new wave thing, but who can say? A lot of people consider this movie an all-time classic, but my reaction was just, "Huh, that was interesting." Bonus Lloyd Kaufman-sploitation, day 10: TROMA'S WAR (1988) Plane crash survivors on a tropical island must become action heroes after discovering the place is overrun by terrorists. I know the intent is to satirize the likes of Rambo and/or Platoon, but these politics are still iffy from a 2022 perspective. Much more interesting is the branding. By putting the Troma name right in the movie's title, Kaufman is establishing certain expectations from the viewer, for good or ill. Also, I couldn't help but notice similarities between this and the famous first episode of Lost. Are Lindelof and co. secret Troma fans?
Little Darlings (1980)If you tried to place Little Darlings somewhere on a spectrum from goofy sex comedy to hard-hitting coming-of-age drama, it would bend the spectrum into a loop and come to rest right at the joint.Both trying-to-lose-my-virginity arcs were handled in a pretty nuanced, textured way, and felt dramatically superior to the vast majority of entries in the "losing it" subgenre. Even the romantic opposites got some dimension to their characters--especially Matt Dillon's cool guy camper-from-across-the-lake. I can't really speak from firsthand experience here, but the way that the girls talked and gossiped together about boys and sex felt very authentic and natural, without the polish and shine that can sometimes make you very aware that you're watching a capital-F Film.The comedic sections were really strong, too. I found the cast of girl campers to be completely charming, and I really liked the way that this movie changed it up from the usual jocks/nerds/etc. cliques that typically populate school/camp movies, opting instead to have the clown, the dork, the shy kid, the hippie, the heroes, and even the bully all hang out together. I'm not saying the clique thing can't also be entertaining, or even that it doesn't reflect reality. I just think this particular scenario, where a friend group contains a wider variety of characters, also exists in the world, but isn't represented as often in movies, so it's refreshing to see it on screen.
LA VERGINE, IL TORO E IL CAPRICORNO / THE VIRGO, THE TAURUS, AND THE CAPRICORN (1977, dir. Luciano Martino) Edwige Fenech plays a wife of a chronic philanderer. When she catches her husband fooling around with her best friend, she decides to get away from the situation by taking a vacation to the lovely island of Ischia, near Naples, to clear her head. While her husband frets about her, she accepts the advances of several men on the island, eventually succumbing to the charms of a handsome young man. With only a limited knowledge of Italian, there are many small details that I missed. As with many Italian sex comedies, the men are portrayed as buffoons controlled by their lust. The women tend to be the smart characters. In LA VERGINE, the husband is a hypocrite and all-around jerk. You wonder why so many women go for him. As for Edwige, she is on full display, clothed and unclothed, taking back her life in a limited way. This is not one of her best films.
A Dirty Shame (2004) dir. John WatersI’d been wanting to revisit this for a minute- I only saw it the one time right after it came out- so todays theme seemed like the perfect excuse, especially since Screen Drafts this week is a John Waters draft!I’m so glad I did! This was way better than I had remembered- I don’t know if it has just aged particularly well thematically, or if I was swayed by the bad reviews at the time, but my tepid memory of it seemed like a totally different movie than the one s watching today.The writing is just so damn good- there’s countless standalone quotes, and the rhythm of it all is so sharp, thanks to some pretty inspired delivery by a great cast. Knoxville especially feels like someone perfectly suited to the John Waters’ sensibilities. Like Waters, it’s seemed like Hollywood has never quite understood how to use him effectively, but here he is such a perfect fit for that trademark combination of stagey and sincere the director excels at– in an alternate timeline kinder to independent filming, I could imagine Knoxville as a later period Waters regular.This movie playing so well today is of course a bit bittersweet, knowing it’s likely Waters’ last. By all accounts, he seems to be having a grand time settling into his self proclaimed “filth-elder” status, and just focusing on writing and speaking, but it’s hard not to wonder what we might have gotten from him had he not gotten disillusioned with the filmmaking process after this was so poorly received. I also couldn’t shake the feeling that of all his later movies, this one felt the most like it ought to have Divine in a role... not that there is really any movie that a Divine appearance wouldn’t improve if we're being honest. Dang, didn't mean to end this on a sad note! Hope there's an angel kicking up their Cha Cha heels in heaven right now. <3 .
Hardbodies (1984)First time viewing. I almost can't believe this is an actual movie. I mean, it's not a sequel or based on any existing IP! It's also such a weird approach to the material. Rather than making a movie about young, good looking people at the beach, it's a movie about three middle aged guys who hire a surfer to teach them how to hook up with young, good looking people at the beach. Not only is it creepy, but it also begs the question: Who, exactly, is the target audience here?
It definitely is creepy. Though I like these kind of films, there are scenes in Hardbodies that get unpleasantly sleazy, especially that photography scene.
Flesh for Frankenstein (1974) dir. Paul Morrissey If you don’t walk away from Flesh for Frankenstein ready to fuck life in the gallbladder, than I just don’t know what to tell you. Good Catholic boy Paul Morrissey’s foray into 42nd St ready Italia horror is, like its director, awash in contradictory impulses that it has little interest reconciling. It’s a gleefully obscene b-movie riff on gothic horror that’s better looking than most of the genre fare it sets to rip-off. Flesh in all it’s forms is fetishized, from taut to torn open, resulting in a presentation equal parts hyper-sexualized and sex-repulsed. It’s not hard to imagine how this ended up on the Video Nasty list, and it’s hilarious to think of government employed censors trying to measure the societal risk of audiences seeing Udo Kier reach completion with a soon-to-be reanimated corpse’s open wound… hope that scene made it into the sizzle reel they showed the Thatcher during DPP’s video smear campaign.
Private School (1983)An outtake from last June's line-up slots in perfectly today. Sometimes things just work out.A disarmingly tacky comedy from a simpler and much more sexist time, when all that mattered was pranking each other and catching a glimpse of some boobs (there's more than a glimpse available to see in this movie, btw). The comedy is as broad as possible, most of the jokes are gross, idiotic or both, but there's also a Phoebe Cates/Matthew Modine storyline which actually comes across as sweet and innocent. It probably helps that the movie catches Phoebe Cates at her most adorable.In a truly epic case of stunt casting, the legendary Emmanuelle herself, Sylvia Kristel, plays a quirky sex ed teacher called (ahem) Ms. Copuletta.
ZETA ONE (aka THE LOVE FACTOR -1969)Did you say an alien queen is sending her earth-female drones back to our plant to harvest women to expand the ranks of her all-female society? They travel back to their planet in a magic truck? Sounds pretty neat!There seem to be two stories at play. The framing piece concerns a British secret agent named James who talks to a foxy blonde for awhile. He tells her all about how his mission went; a mission he wasn't actually on. Now let's get something clear. I never watch a film with the intention of crucifying it. The fact that this effort has a pretty low rating almost poses a challenge to me. It turns out the real challenge was getting through the first half of ZETA ONE, which is almost as boring as the first 20 minutes.The goods: the women are surrounded by low-rent psychedelia & dress mostly in exotic-looking nightclothes. The warrior-women fight in panties, boots, some kind of rope thingy with matching pasties. There's an absurdly low nipple count because of this, so be warned or rejoice.The not-goods: the funniest thing about this sex-comedy is the lack of funny & sex. There are jokes. There are aspects of sex. The lead character, James Word, is extremely tedious.The bottom line is that you should watch the second half.I wish this movie had been directed by Jess Franco.IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT DVD
Trouble in Paradise, dir Ernst Lubitsch, 1932I went for a Pre-Code. Cause sometimes you need a little Miriam Hopkins in your life. Lubitsch was the Master at the sex comedy, even after the Hayes Code was enforced. Everyone is constantly having sex in his movies, and it's fantastic. It's a Con Movie, a Love Triangle, where everyone is flirting, even Miriam Hopkins and Kay Francis. The three leads are super sexy and being amazing. What is not to love. Tonsils
Miriam Hopkins was in some very uninhibited roles at that point in her career. Her work in Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde completely surprised me when I saw the film last fall. Another pre-code film that would be suitable for today is Red-Headed Woman with Jean Harlow.
Old School (2003)Shameless plug for The Vince Vaughn-a-thon. Wherever you find your podcasts, we're watching every Vince Vaughn movie. This one happened to be our next episode and it aligned with Sex Comedy! Day, so here we are.Much funnier than I thought it would be (but not quite a sex comedy in the obvious sense) and didn't age as horribly as most Frat Pack comedies. One of the better Vince movies so far, believe it or not.
The Sweetest Thing (2002)It's not good but the sheer enthusiasm of Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate and Selma Blair is commendable.
Porky's Pimpin Pee Wee (2009)A DTV Porky's movie that was rushed through production so that the production company could hold onto the rights. I expected it to be pretty bad, and it was, but it did surprise me with a few chuckles and it at least resembles an actual movie. I had tried watching the 1997 Haim/Feldman "comedy" Busted but only made it through 5 minutes of that.
The Seven Year Itch (1955)Had to class things up a bit after the previous movie, and this did the job nicely.
Did a 1982 double feature of The Last American Virgin and The Beach Girls, making this one of the best days of the month for me. Love both of these movies.