Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Giant Gila Monster

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching too many movies, it’s that animals are often giant, and usually want to kill you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rabbit, a praying mantis, an octopus, a tarantula, or a bird, there’s a good chance it will be large and have a casual disregard for man’s strident desire not to be torn apart by Brobdingnagian fauna. 
And yes, The Giant Gila Monster (1959), is just one such film. Our story begins with a couple of teenagers cuddling in a car to the sound of some pretty swingin’ sax music, when...WHAM! The titular gila hits them like a freight train, sending their puny vehicle careening down a cliff. Not a bad beginning, right? Don’t worry, it’s all downhill from there.

Turns out these two kids are part of a particularly harmless “gang” of youths led by a cat called Chase Winstead, who works at the garage. The gang spends most of their time at local diner in front of the jukebox, doing a dance step I like to call “the awkward white kid shuffle.” They also obsess over their (admittedly bitchin’) hot rods, though they never drive a mile over the speed limit. Chase won’t let them, you see. Despite the fact he’s from the wrong side of town, he has a heart of gold and a moral compass not even the magnetic field of satan himself could fuck theory. But we’ll get to that later.
It doesn’t take too long until everyone in town realizes a couple of kids have gone missing. Understandably, the father of the boy, Mr. Wheeler, is pissed and gets on the dopey sheriff’s ass. Wheeler is the human villain of the film, because he’s rich and cranky and isn’t particularly interested in worshipping the ground Chase walks on.

The sheriff rallies himself to conduct a rather lackadaisical search for the missing couple. In the process, he finds a wrecked car with no one inside. It doesn’t belong to the missing teens, either. The evidence suggests something large and not terribly car-like is to blame. Now, I’ll admit that I’ve never been a small-town sheriff in a black and white B-movie, but it seems to me a circumstance like that deserves some investigation. Nope. The sheriff encourages Chase to take one of the wrecked car’s headlights to repair his own, then tells him to haul it off. So much for clues and all that jazz. (Chase later steals the tires from the same car. The Sheriff’s response is basically “Oh, you little dickens, you!”)

From there, the film progresses much as you’d imagine. The gila monster repeatedly shows up, bumps cars off the road, and meanders off. Really, bumping into things is about all it can do. Sure, it’s giant, but it’s a gila monster; stumpy and low to the ground, it’s not exactly agile. The townspeople scratch their heads and wonder what it all means. The car of the missing teenage couple it discovered by Chase and his gang. He promptly tows it away, destroying any chance of useful evidence. The sheriff continues to be painfully incompetent, and covers up Chase’s mistake in his official police report.

Chase runs across a drunk jerk who has driven into the ditch, and tows him back to the garage. When you think about it, a lot of the action in this film revolves around the main character towing stuff. Riveting. Instead of taking this guy, who is so plastered he can hardly move, to the sheriff, Chase lets him crash at the garage while he fixes the dude’s car. You know, so he can presumably drive off again to run over schoolchildren or whatever. 
But you see, it’s perfectly alright, because the guy turns out to be Chase’s favorite DJ! Not only does he give Chase $40 and agree to appear at the record hop the kids have been planning, but he also offers Chase the chance to record a song. You see, when the DJ awakens from his stupor, he hears Chase singing to himself while purposelessly beating a sheet of metal with a hammer. Now, I’ve blocked out the exact words to his little ditty, but it’s complete steam of consciousness nonsense. Just repetitive stacks of rhyming words. Something to the effect of this: “My baby swings, she sings, she swings whenever she sings, she pings and dings...she bops, and rocks with a wok at the dock in her socks...she swings.” Boy, this DJ knows a real chart-topping talent when he sees one. 
But it’s alright. Destroying crime scenes, dismantling the cars of gila monster victims so he can tune up his hot rod, cheerfully encouraging an impaired driver...none of this matters, because Chase has a sickly little sister who can hardly walk, and he, uh, pays attention to her sometimes. In a tender scene, Chase returns home to his rather uncomfortably touchy-feely mother, to discover that his ever-thoughtful French girlfriend has bought little Missy some leg braces. (Chase claims he was totally just about to do the same thing. Uh huh.)

To cheer the little girl up, Chase whips out what appears to be a really tiny banjo, and sings probably one of the worst songs ever recorded, on this planet at least. Well. Now that the family stuff has been taken care of, it’s off to the hop! But not before Chase is informed by the sheriff that people have in fact seen the giant lizard, and now they know what’s been causing all the chaos and destruction. The boy responds with petulant disbelief. Yeah, sheriff, why you gotta be such a downer right before a party? And here’s what’s interesting: this is a teen monster film where the grown-ups and authorities believe in the creature, and the kids are skeptical!
At the record hop, held in a barn, the kids are really goin’ wild! In other words, still dancing the “shuffle,” but this time at the direction of the DJ, whose nickname is Steamroller. Did I mention that? And his station is KILT. Kilt. I’d come up with some joke about radio friendly Scottish alternative rock, but this film has sapped my energy. Steamroller plays a mystery tune and everyone goes crazy. When it’s revealed that the song was recorded by their very own Chase Winstead, the crowd reacts with derisive disbelief. 
Chase won’t stand for that, and whoosh, out comes the tiny banjo. He serenades the crowd with the same song he subjected his poor little sister to, but to make it even worse, sings only one verse, over and over again. “And the lord said laugh, children laugh, and the lord said laugh, children, laugh, and the lord said laugh, and the lord said laugh.” Into infinity. It’s like Doris Day singing “Que Sera Sera” in The Man Who Knew Too Much, only that ended eventually. Clearly tired of this shit, the gila monster crashes through the wall of the barn, and everybody scatters. 

      Chase, realizing he’s the star of the picture, decides everything is up to him. So, he races back to the garage, and rounds up the nitroglycerine. Wait, what? Yes, earlier in the film, his boss had for some reason purchased nitroglycerine. Now, I will admit to being perfectly ignorant of the ways of auto mechanics...but is it normal for them to keep around large quantities of dangerous explosives?

In a thrilling act of heroism, Chase loads his car with the nitroglycerine, and sends it smashing into the bloated reptile, which does everyone a favor by promptly exploding and heralding the end of the film. The sheriff and Mr. Wheeler congratulate him for his bravery. Does he humbly say “Aw shucks, it was nothing,” or rhapsodize over the fact that his fine girlfriend and charming sis and all the people in the town are safe? No. He whines about the fact he no longer has a car. Ladies and gentlemen, Chase Winstead!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Teenagers from Outer Space

It’s a special kind of movie that has the word “teenager” in the title. Not only does it inform you of the intended audience, but it also practically guarantees that all the on-screen youths will look at least 42. Teenagers from Outer Space (1959), certainly doesn’t deviate from this formula. 
Formula is probably the right word to use, because we’re firmly entrenched in 50s B-movie Sci-Fi territory here. As often happens, a spaceship lands in the the desert, carrying a cargo of alien lifeforms. Conveniently enough, all these aliens are distinctly humanoid. As it turns out, the only way to tell an earth teen and an alien teen apart is the latter’s stupid jumpsuit. Oh, and the bright white shoes that give off an unsettling Pee-Wee Herman vibe.

The aliens have landed in search of a planet where they may raise herds of Gargon, their primary food source. It’s worth noting here that Gargons are lobsters. Not similar to lobsters; exactly lobsters. And really, isn’t that a little decadent, choosing lobster as your staple foodstuff? I suppose after they finish with earth the moon will be utilized for foie gras production.
But these are some feisty space crustaceans; apparently the atmosphere will cause them to grow to enormous size and wipe out all life on Earth! All the aliens except young Derek (oh, really far out name for an alien there), think this is just peachy. Derek’s main facial expression is suggestive of constipation, and he has the biggest ears you’re likely to ever see on a leading man. Derek objects to this global genocide, and deserts. Thor, a trigger-happy space-cadet with a pretty sweet disintegration ray is sent to bring him into custody. The rest of the aliens depart, but not before leaving a gargon behind in a cave, just, you know, because.

And this is where it really begins to get good. Derek finds himself renting a room altogether by accident. The house in question belongs to a relentlessly jovial old man, and his granddaughter Betty. Betty is an interesting character. She has the pensive eyes of Clara Bow, and the voice of Minnie Mouse. The fact that all her lines are of the “Gee, whatever will we do now?” caliber doesn’t really help her on that front. But gramps is my favorite, he’s really the tops. Oblivious, rotund, wears his pants practically around his nipples...the man doesn’t have a suspicious bone in his body. 

I mean, look at it this way. If some dumbo-eared dope in an unfamiliar jumpsuit who speaks in halting, mumbled phrases and seems to have no grasp on simple, everyday culture arrived on your doorstep, would you immediately suggest he move in and encourage him to spend a lot of alone time with your (supposedly) young granddaughter? Oh yeah, and he has no money. Well, gramps is convinced! Derek’s practically part of the family now. 
Oh damn. Gramps can’t be my favorite character, because that leaves out Alice. Alice is Betty’s best friend. She lives in what appears to be a replica of the White House and spends all her time onscreen in a swimming pool. Betty and Derek go over to take a swim with her, and I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that every word she says to the pair comes off like she’s suggesting a threesome. My kinda gal. We never see her out of that kicky black swim suit, because as soon as the interstellar jughead and his new girlfriend leave, Alice is skeletonized right in the water by grumpy old Thor.

Betcha forgot about him, huh? While I was obsessing over the best characters in the film, Thor has been zapping people all over town. While it would undoubtedly be going overboard to call Teenagers a “good” movie, I will say that it doesn’t have the same pacing problems endemic among it’s ilk. This flick is almost disturbingly watchable. 

Whether it’s a shootout between Thor and the police, aliens who seem entirely incapable of using contractions (“Let us do this. I will go there. I do not like that!”), gramps managing to stay perky throughout a hostage situation, Betty letting Derek drive everywhere, even though he just learned that morning, a giant lobster rampaging towards town, or Derek’s first fumbling attempts at romance (“You make me angry...but I like you.”), Teenagers From Outer Space delivers. Sure, you may want to throw in an intoxicant of your choice to enhance the experience, but I can honestly say that this film ain’t bad. Aw, what the hell. Let’s give it two Gargon claws up!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Night of the Demon

What makes a film good? Is it a unique plot? Brilliant direction? Snappy editing? Oscar-worthy performances? Could it be a combination of perfect costuming, breathtaking locations, and a bombastic, sweeping score that tugs on your heartstrings like a hunchback on a bellrope? Does it make you cry or laugh or feel inspired? At the very least, did it make a lot of money?
Well, these are the things that make a movie conventionally good. And lucky for us, that means they’re all totally irrelevant. Because Night of the Demon (1980), our flick du jour, is anything but conventionally good. Of course, this doesn’t stop it from being amazing in every other way.
Night of the Demon begins with the impressively mustachioed Professor Nugent proposing an optional extra credit trip to his mostly bored students. Seems like a decent enough idea...except for the fact that the purpose of this little expedition is to go in search of a particularly violent Bigfoot which is supposed to be responsible for a number of grisly murders. The few students stupid, er, intrepid enough sign up, and they head off into the mountains.

and oh, what marvels await them. In these tall forests of ancient pines lurks a hairy horror with a chip on its shoulder the size of Iowa. Now, you would probably predict the plot to go as follows: group gets lost in the woods, and everyone ends up picked off one by one under circumstances of extreme stupidity. However, that’s where you’re in for a surprise. Instead, the prof and his followers discover a cult of mountain people with questionable breeding. These wacky rednecks worship the Bigfoot as a god, and perform strange rituals deep in the mountains. After a bit of detective work, it becomes apparent to our heroes that the only person who really knows what’s up with this sassy Sasquatch is an insane, mute hermit aptly named “Crazy Wanda.” So, the game is a-bigfoot, and the search is on to find Wanda and the yeti that’s been mutilating the local yokels. 

Really, I can’t bear to reveal much more than that. Plot is truly one of the strengths of Night of the Demon. There are plenty of delightful little moments you simply won’t see coming. Watching it for the first time is like unwrapping a series of decidedly unusual Christmas presents. A hypnosis inspired flashback to an abusive childhood? Why, you shouldn’t have! Let’s face it, the script is just plain better than average. the structure is interesting. Aside from the truly breathtaking finale, almost all the gore scenes take place in a flashback. The usual format is, someone will begin telling the sordid tale of yet another hapless Bigfoot victim, and we’ll fade to the actual killing. It’s brilliant! The best stories are always told by Professor Nugent, because afterwards he gets lines  like “By the time they found him, he’d bled to death. Well, we’d better get to bed!” He’s such a charmer. 
But naturally, the real star of the show is the sinister Sasquatch. He’s not just psychotic, he’s emotionally complex. In the course of the film we see him go through a vast range of emotions, from the aforementioned furious killing rage, to disturbingly amorous, and even filled with a wistful melcholy as he contemplates the extinction of his species. It’s apparent that he possesses some level of intelligence; this bigfoot is a tool-using animal.

And the killings, oh the killings. No one ever dies the same way twice. If you meet this beast, hey, at least you’ve got options! You could be torn limb from limb, violently divorced from your genitals, hacked up with an axe, impaled on a tree branch, stabbed with your best friend’s knife, get your face burned off on a hot stove...oh, the ways you can go! So, let’s recap, shall we? A sinister cult of rednecks performing weird rituals. Protagonists who are certainly hapless, yet manage not to be too offensively stupid. And an endless series of creative violence. Honestly, what else do you need? In short, if you only see one film starring a dick-rippin’, gut-slingin’ yeti this holiday season, make sure it’s Night of the Demon. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bride of the Gorilla

A sweltering South American jungle is the setting of a torrid love affair tainted by a heinous crime of passion, and a pitiless voodoo curse. Man, that sounds promising, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, in Bride of the Gorilla (1951), the action is more tepid than steamy. 
Our story begins with a narration by Lon Chaney Jr., who plays the role of a superstitious yet canny police commissioner. As a general meditation on the folly of man, his opening speech is decent enough, but it’s kind of a weird way to start a film. Anyway, nearly all the action of the movie takes place on a rubber plantation owned by a fairly dapper old gent called Van Gelder. He just happens to have beautiful young wife (played by the truly appealing Barbara Payton). And it just so happens that Barney Chavez, a young, virile worker on the plantation, is coveting the hell out of her.

As you may well have predicted, Barney decides that the best way to make a play for the fetching Dina Van to bump off her husband. He does this with the assistance of a particularly cute and harmless looking baby python...standing in for some dangerous poisonous snake, of course. (why do films always cast constrictors as vipers or something? Do they really think no one will know the difference?) The murder is ruled as an accidental death, but both Dr. Viet, an old friend of Van Gelder’s, and the aforementioned Commissioner Taro, are suspicious.

Unfortunately for Barney, his killing was observed by an old native woman, Al-Long, and she places a hideous curse on him with the help of some leaves from a mysterious voodoo vine. Despite her husband being laid low by a serpent mere moments before, Dina Van Gelder is pretty quick to shack up with Barney, and they drum up an immediate wedding ceremony. But all is not well as the nature of Al-Long’s curse becomes clear. Let’s just say the film is not inaccurately titled...

So, what’s good here? Barbara Payton, for certain. I’m not saying she’s the best actress, but she holds her own in strictly B-movie fashion. Mainly, she’s just a joy to look at. The tiny waist, the modestly sized yet delightfully pointy boobs...and those eyebrows. It’s official, I’m in love with her eyebrows. Two dark, perfectly sweeping little curves, arched just so as to make her seem perpetually shocked and a little bit quizzical. Must be fun talking to her; she can’t help but look interested. But enough with my objectification of women...though I’m not kidding when I say she’s really the films only highlight.

“But, But...Lon Chaney Jr.! A Vindictive voodoo curse! The classic theme of man’s struggle against his primitive nature, illustrated in the most literal sense! Um, a really goofy gorilla suit!”
Yes, I’d be lying if I said Bride of the Gorilla did not contain these things. Unfortunately, they don’t make the movie any good. Chaney seems more embarrassed to be there than anything, and delivers his lines in a awkward, stilted mumble. I’ll grant you that the scenes taking place in the (impenetrably) dark jungle, and Barney’s maddened ranting on the freedom being a gorilla allows him verge on effective. However, they never quite make it to good. As much I I deeply love voodoo curses, this is one plodding, poorly paced, drawn out voodoo curse. Really, that’s the main problem I have with Bride of the Gorilla; it’s a very short film, but feels like a two and a half hour mess. 

Ultimately, Bride of the Gorilla is an hour of your life you’ll never get back, but all things considered, you might as well. Be honest with yourself, you would’ve spent the time on facebook, anyway.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Terror of Tiny Town

First of all, a friendly warning. there is no polite, politically correct way to review this movie. To be fair, the words I use or don’t use really do not matter, because this flick is The Terror of Tiny Town (1938). Which, if you’re not already aware, is a western with an all midget cast. Oh, and it’s also a musical. And if that weren’t enough, you may remember most of the actors from The Wizard of Oz! Ding dong, the witch is certainly dead.

The plot is really your average 30s western. Nefarious rustler and all-around bad guy Bat Haines has managed to turn Pop Lawson and Tex Preston, two honest ranchers, against one another...while secretly stealing cattle from the both of them. This feud threatens to become a full-on range war, and is only intensified by the arrival of Preston’s niece Nancy. After a few scenes straight out of Romeo and Juliet, Nancy falls madly in love with young cowboy Buck, Pop Lawson’s son and the good guy of the picture.

What follows is a vaguely rollicking cavalcade of warring families, thievery, shoot ‘em ups, cold-blooded murder, saloon girls who really can’t sing, poorly choreographed fight scenes...and a single, unexplained shot of a penguin. I won’t be spoiling much to tell you that all turns out as expected. Bat’s dastardly schemes have a good run, and he gets Buck into a tight spot or two, but nothing can change the fact that he’s wearing the black hat in this flick. And that means no matter how cunning you are, you’re gonna get it somewhere in the last ten minutes. 

Now, I have yet to really address the reason any of you would ever even consider watching this film: the midget factor. Yes, the cast is entirely made up of them. And there’s no polite way to say it, but that turns Tiny Town from a dull western sporadically speckled with songs into a surreal nightmare. It’s the whole problem of scale. It changes wildly, from scene to scene. And frankly, it doesn’t make very much sense. The citizens of Tiny Town, have managed to set themselves up with a midget sized stagecoach, which can’t have been easy. And yet, they persist in using axes and rolling pins as long as their entire bodies. Wouldn’t it be easier to make small tools than an entire coach?

The houses are boggling as well. Huge on the outside, sporadically midget scaled on the inside. There’s always the occasional unreachable cabinet or two. Why do the people of Tiny Town uniformly live in houses that are too big for them, when they seem to have the capacity to construct smaller buildings? Perhaps this was originally a ghost town, and the midgets a horde of eager emigrants, fleeing the uncaring sideshows of the East to arrive in this new land full of hope and the desire to carve out a tiny corner of the West where they could finally be free.

Either way, they must have some contact with the outside world. In the opening (and supremely annoying) song of the film, a burly blacksmith is shown shoeing a horse; all the townspeople ride Shetland ponies. And none too well, I might add. Bat Haines in particular always looks about an inch away from eating dust. So, why these puzzling proportions? Why? Ok, ok, of course I know the answer. It’s a string of lousy sight gags cynically exploiting the unfortunate size of the actors. We’re supposed to get big laughs out of seeing a miniature gunslinger march underneath the swinging doors of a saloon. But I’m not laughing. I’m profoundly unnerved. What can I say, this one got to me.
I can’t help but ask myself, who was the intended audience for this movie? Children? Very simple adults? Is it some secret dadaist art project intended to cause waves of nausea and babbling in the streets? I don’t know. I can’t really recommend it to anyone except stoned people, to be honest. But don’t watch it lightly; 5 minutes in, and I could feel the drugs I hadn't even taken beginning to turn on me. The shrill voices raised in song, the childlike faces with ancient eyes peering out from under cowboy hats, all that walking right under fences and hitching posts...damn, I’m feeling those bad vibes all over again. Perhaps the film itself is a powerful narcotic. Midgets: the opiate of the masses. And now if you’ll excuse me, I think I require a drink...or twelve. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Godmonster of Indian Flats

For Halloween, I knew I had to review a film absolutely guaranteed to send chills up and  down your eager spines. Unfortunately for you and your spines, I got lazy, as did director Fredric Hobbs. Well, maybe Hobbs wasn’t exactly lazy when he made Godmonster of Indian Flats (1973)- stoned out of his everlovin’ gourd is more likely. what else could possibly explain a film that alternates being about the dangers of racism and mutant sheep?
Yes, your eyes do not deceive. Our tale begins out west, when dangerous gas seeps out of an abandoned mine and begins to affect a young shepherd’s flock. A ewe gives birth to a decidedly misshapen lamb. This homely creature catches the interest of Professor Clemens, the local college-educated type who just happens to be investigating this precise phenomenon, and is only too happy to open his laboratory to the wee ungulate. 

Now, you would think that a freaky sheep would be enough to carry the plot, but for the next hour or so, the movie violently disagrees. In fact, most of the story deals with a jaunty developer attempting to buy real estate in the small, wild-west obsessed town outside the mine. The conflict? The developer is black, and eeeeeeveryone else is white. Really white. And really racist. Instead of just saying “no, we’re not gonna sell you our land”, they frame him for a crime. When that doesn’t work to their satisfaction, they actually round up a lynching posse. Yeeee-ha!

This stand-off just happens to disrupt the sheep creature who has been incubating in prof Clemens’ lab. (Bet you’d almost forgot about our monster!) The beast escapes and goes on a wild tear through the countryside. The rampaging ruminant terrifies a pack of picnicking children and somehow manages to blow up a gas station before being lassoed by a crowd of cowboys. But really, the fun is just beginning; the endgame here is genuinely explosive.

To be honest, much of Godmonster can be pretty hard to sit through. The problem is, it feels like two very different movies smashed together at high speed. Is the damn thing a meditation on the destructive nature of prejudice, or is it about a marauding sheep monster? These seem like two subjects which should not be sandwiched together. 
Needless to say, the best parts of the film involve the sheep. (What exactly makes it a “godmonster” is never really explained). It’s just plain hilarious to look at. Dopey-eyed and hunchbacked, it shambles around on two stumpy little legs. One of its forelegs is particularly long. In fact it looks quite a bit like a horse’s...nevermind. Basically, this is one non-threatening, goofy ass monster.

Our wooly friend shows his true colors shortly after he escapes from the lab. Mariposa, local hippie chick and Clemens’  helper, catches up with the beast and...dances with it. Yes, that’s right. Together they shuffle and sway and twirl about a sunlit canyon. Really, that’s about as menacing as a fluffy little kitten snuggling in a basket of warm laundry.

So, to sum up: When the sheep is on screen, you will laugh. When just about everything else is going on, you will probably be confused and bored to the point of looking for ripe scabs to pick. Still, if you find yourself in need of some truly lanolin-soaked horror this Halloween, there’s pretty much just one flick you can pick. That reliable ol’ hunk o’ mutton, Godmonster of Indian Flats. Because sometimes, you just have to spell “boo” with a couple of As. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Touch of Her Flesh

For eons, movie makers have struggled with the eternal question: how the hell do I get the audience to pay attention to the opening credits? Well, in The Touch of Her Flesh (1967), director Michael Findlay (alias Julian Marsh)  solves that problem pretty neatly by projecting the credits directly onto the bodies of nude women. You won’t be able to tear your eyes away from the spectacle. Er, is that a mole dotting that “i”?

The plot begins with Richard, weapons expert and distinctly unloveable loser, leaving for a convention. His pouty wife Claudia stays behind. She lolls on the couch, ever in danger of smearing her perfect eyeliner on a pillow. After Richard’s been gone about 2 and half minutes, Claudia’s boyfriend shows up, itching to dance the horizontal mambo. The two engage in some serious softcore petting, and all seems well...until Richard realizes he’s forgotten his speech.

Naturally, he catches them in the act. Overcome with horror, Richard flees the scene and is struck by a car, leaving him minus an eye and temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. He’s depressed, as anyone would be in the situation. But then, most people wouldn’t swear a vendetta against womankind in general. That’s exactly what Richard does however, and sets his murderous sights on a hapless go-go girl, a sinuous stripper, a desperate hooker, and finally Claudia and her bosom-buddy Janet.

All this sounds pretty exciting, and for a few very brief moments, it is. The methods of murder are all pretty far out. Most sexploitation films don’t come equipped with a buzzsaw. However, if you’re looking for graphic violence, don’t expect to find it here. Death is pretty much indicated by falling over and going “Aaaarggh!” It must be said that by and large, the boobs in this film are lovely to behold. Only Janet has a wonky pair, and she’s supposed to be an artist’s model, oy. The unlucky go go dancer who is offed by a rose with poisoned thorns wins the tit trophy, in my opinion. Big yet perky, they wobble to and fro like...what was I talking about again? Oh yeah. 

Probably my favorite part of the film would have to be the moment Richard decides he’s going to kill off chicks who use their bodies for personal gain; that is to say, all women. He goes on a fantastic misogynistic rant full of pantingly lurid sexual metaphors. It feels like it lasts for an hour! The whole thing is played over scenes of decidedly hallucinogenic nudity. (Is that flower stuck where I think it is?)  For this brief segment, the film approaches art.

The biggest problem with the Touch of Her Flesh is that by and large, it’s pretty damn dull. In my opinion, there’s only one sin a sexploitation film can commit, and that’s being boring. Touch needs to get to confession on the double. Breasts and crossbows alone cannot save a film. What did keep me watching? The clothes. The hair. The makeup. Yes, if you’re like me and love to perv on vintage styles, this film will do more than satisfy. The stripper’s kicky fringed thong! The prostitute’s intriguing stripey stockings! And best of all, Claudia’s absolutely to die for leopard print ankle boots. If I had those, I could perish happily at the hands of a one-eyed dude called Dick. Say, wait a minute, one eyed dick? I do believe there may be a joke in there...