You would think that a movie that bills itself as the "laugh riot of the century" and features "daring nudes on the loose" while filmed in "Nudiscope" would be one incredible piece of 1960s-era cinema.
You would be horribly wrong.
While working on my upcoming film review book, I came across this gem, and had to watch it. It was only about 55 minutes. How bad could it be?
Automobile accident bad. I could not look away from the wreck. No onscreen dialogue. A narrator who seemed to be making things up on the fly. A plot that made little sense. What it did have was plenty of female nudity. Why? Because it was the only way people would see this thing.
The nudity starts at a burlesque show in a scene that goes on for far too long. From there we are introduced to a nudist colony of three that has taken up residence in a strange hotel and a camera that takes pictures of people in the raw (unless they are already nude -- then it somehow puts clothes on them). The possession of that camera is the film's driving factor.
I'm all for female nudity. The female form is nature at its finest. To put it in such a film, however, does a total disservice to women everywhere. The one good thing I can say about the movie is that the women featured are real looking women with curves. Compare that to the nudity in films today, and you can see what a difference fifty years makes.
Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I did not get this film for free. Thank the Gods.
I recently watched Bug, and based on the talent involved I was really expecting something much better. William Friedkin directed it. Ashley Judd and Harry Connick, Jr. star in it. Those aren't bad names to have attached to a project. So why I did I think this failed so badly?
I have two opinions when it comes to that. First, and this irritated me to no end, it was promoted as a horror movie, and it is anything but that. It does have horrific elements to it, but it is a primarily a movie about paranoia and mental illness. Yes, these can be elements in a horror movie, but here they aren't handled that way. That was annoying, but it didn't sink the picture. I put little stock in how a movie is promoted, other than to say when it is promoted like this one the studio obviously doesn't know how to handle it.
What really annoyed me is that by the end of the film I had to ask myself what was the point behind it. It seemed like a lot of nothing to get to nowhere. The end left me shrugging and wondering what else I could've done with my time.
If you read the comments and reviews on IMDB, you'd get the idea that this film is "not for the faint of heart." I'm pretty sure the only people who would find this disturbing are those whose only viewing material prior to this film was QVC. There is nothing truly bothersome in it, and while one character does do some self-dentistry, it is nothing that hasn't been seen before ... and better.
Bug ends up being a wonderful premise done very poorly. If lesser-knowns were attached to it, I think it actually may have been better as more risks would've been taken. Instead, it is a project that has "movie of the week" written all over it.
Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: The studio did not send me this film, but a co-worker did lend it to me.
1966 was a fucked up time in America. Hippies were everywhere, dumping LSD into water supplies and bringing dirty feet into stores from NJ to CA. If there was one thing more out of place than a square in a suit it was The Girl From S.I.N., a thoroughly perplexing bit of filmmaking from a script that could only be written by the thirteen-year-old boy in all of us.
Agent 0069, Poontang Plenty, is a female vixen who gets nude at the drop of a hat and knows all kinds of poisons and martial arts. She works for this guy who is supposed to look Asian, and he's having her get the formula for invisibility. None of that really matters, though, as this film is just one big excuse for women to get naked. That "plot" and lack of clothes is not what makes this film seem like a fish out of water, however. It's the fact that it is 1966 and this is shot in black and white and is entirely narrated. That's right. There's not a bit of onscreen dialogue. Just music and narration. Call me old fashioned, but I like my characters to actually speak.
How director C. Davis Smith convinced Joyana (Poontang Plenty) and the other females in the film to strip down is beyond me. I'm even more stunned that he convinced Joyana to suck on some guy's toe in the opening sequence. Sure, she's got a mouthful of champagne that she dribbles down it, but still. It seems kind of out of place in the movie and a bit gross. Hygiene was not a big deal in the 1960s, otherwise Woodstock would've never happened.
I can't think of one reason one would have to watch this. Nudity is found in abundance on the Internet and by peeping through your neighbor's window. Deadly female agents are in far better movies and television shows. Nobody cares to see movies entirely of narration, either, unless you are a shut-in bothered by people's "talking voices." So why did I watch it? I am including it in a book I'm writing, so I had to. Was it worth it? Hell no, but it will make for a fun write-up.
Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I did not get this movie for free, and if you are bold enough to click on the link, I may actually make a commission off it. Don't say I didn't warn you, though.