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...

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