As this reviews concerns such matters
as nekkid wimmin
, it is, of necessity, suggested
for mature readers only
. We would therefore also like
to steer our younger readers in the direction of more wholesome
fare, like Story
Gates of Hell.
These only contain violence, which
is much better for you than the sight of titties.
a writer, ideally you wish to shed new light on subjects or write
about things no one has yet illuminated; so it's particularly
sigh-worthy when you find that
sentence, that one line of description you wish you had
written. That you cannot possibly improve upon. So you
wind up either appropriating it (not very sporting) or quoting
it. I'll quote it, from Frank Hennenlotter's typically excellent
liner notes for the Something
Weird Video DVD of this flick:
were called Nudie Cuties and they were undoubtedly the stupidest
films on the face of the earth. ...Seen today, the average
Nudie-Cutie looks like a dirty movie made for little boys."
suppose some background is in order, just in case you don't follow
the same strange movie subcultures as I do.
should start in the 50s, with the curious creature called the
burlesque movie. Burlesque houses were perhaps the
last, wheezing vestige of vaudeville - they featured (sometimes)
daring striptease acts interspersed with baggy-pants comedians
spouting jokes that were ancient in Shakespeare's day. Burlesque
movies attempted to replicate an evening at one of these fine
establishments. The best-known examples these days are Striporama
and Varietease, mainly because they include an understandably
popular young model named Bettie Page.
back on these movies, it's hard to determine the allure, especially
from the lofty heights of 2001, when it is nearly impossible to
open your e-mail's inbox without at least one instance of "Come
See The Teeny Sluts!" briefly appearing on its way to the
recycling bin. In accordance with the law of the land at the time,
you see in these movies little that the WB or Fox couldn't get
away with on an average sitcom; G-strings and pasties hardly cover
less than the bikini Cameron Diaz wears in Charlie's Angels.
sorry for the pause in writing there. Having mentioned Bettie
Page and Cameron Diaz in practically the same sentence, I had
to go take a cold shower. Where was I?
yes. Burlesque. Though there were burlesque houses operating through
the 60s (possibly even the early 70s), their movie counterparts
did not last nearly that long. Just as the Crusaders brought back
spices and notions of mathematics from the Holy Land, returning
veterans of WWII's European theater brought back some strange
Continental notions; distributors imported movies featuring notable
ladies like Bridgette Bardot and Sophia Loren. Though not featuring
significantly more skin than the existing adult cinema, they dealt
with sexuality in a much franker fashion, and the art
house movie subculture was born. The Angry Young Man
movement was slowly mutating into the Beat Generation, and the
influx of European movies, examining life with a more unvarnished,
unflinching attitude than any Doris Day/Rock Hudson vehicle, provided
much grist for the conversation mill, daddy-o (Bardot and Loren
were really keen to look at, too. Still are, as a matter of fact).
an equally frank avenue with which to compete with the Euros,
the American contingent revived the nudist
movie, which actually dates back to a few occurrences
in the 30s. Semi-documentaries about nudist colonies (frequently
masquerading as propaganda for the nudist way of life),
these featured seemingly endless scenes of naked people playing
volleyball, sunbathing, picnicking... all with their backs to
the camera, or wearing shorts, pubic hair and genitalia still
being a no-no. In short, they are boring, even for "adult"
films (we'll get into the boring aspect later). Nudist films are
historically important because one of them, Garden of Eden
(by all accounts, particularly boring) was the center of
a 1957 Supreme Court decision that determined that nudity, per
se, was not obscene. Though the floodgates did not open, it
was the thin end of the wedge for the adult film community.
sales for the nudist movies started declining as folks figured
out how boring they were, and about 1959, somebody had the brilliant
idea to combine the burlesque movie with the nudist
film and came up with the nudie-cutie.
Apparently, this person was none other than Russ Meyer, who created
The Immoral Mr. Teas, in which the titular (huh! huhhuhhuh
huh!) character recovers from anesthetics only to discover
he has the ability to see women naked, which undoubtedly leads
to hilarity (of a sort). This gimmick was appropriated by heaven
only knows how many other producers, in a trend that would last
the next six or seven years.
rules of the nudie-cutie are simple: Show as many women as naked
as possible, within the no pubic hair constraint. Include one
or two men to ogle them, serve as audience substitutes, and crack
lame burlesque jokes. Do NOT let them interact.
Though they may speak to each other, physical contact of any sort
is verboten. Males and females are hardly ever seemingly
in the same room, and when they are, it is as if a force
field separates them. The operative word here is naughty,
not explicit. Explicit would come later, and that is a
tale for another time. Given the objectifying treatment of women
the nudie cutie entails - and the men hardly come off any better,
they just keep their clothes on - there is never a real human
Like the man said: The Stupidest Movies On The Face Of The Earth.
And one of the most kindly considered of these stupid movies is
Kiss Me Quick.
Me Quick begins with a voice-over by the "Fantasy Films
Fantasy Girl", who reads the opening credits over footage
over women's faces(of these ladies we shall be seeing much
more in the near future). They are all moving their heads about
in a sultry fashion, exuding mock rapture (no, Robert Palmer videos
did not invent this sort of thing). Whenever the name of the movie
crops up, the lady in question opens her eyes, stares at the camera
and moans, "Kiss me quick!" Meanwhile, all I can do
is think how about how Truffaut totally ripped off this
movie for the beginning of Fahrenheit 451.
not missing much by not having written credits to read. Strippers
usually employed stage names, and the credits which are not nom
de guerres are perceptibly fake: Witness "Directed by
is a swish-pan across some out-of-focus Christmas tree lights
on a wall somewhere and science-fiction sounds... wait! We must
be in space! And thus we find ourselves in the Council Chamber
of the Great Glom. To continue the Christmas theme: do you remember
those floodlights that had a wheel attached to it - the wheel
had four different colored gels in it, so as it turned, your tree
was bathed in different colors, making you ooh and aah?
You don't? Young punks! Hmph. Anyway, the Great Glom has
one of those, so he's all futuristic and stuff.
Great Glom is the ruler of the Buttless Galaxy, and currently
he is lambasting Sterilox, one of the inhabitants of the planet
Droopeter (these are the jokes, folks). Sterilox is played by
Frank Coe (billed as "Fatty Beltbuckle") doing a very
good Stan Laurel impersonation, which will soon become rather
tiresome. The Glom is giving Sterilox one last chance:
tired of doing everything themselves, the single-sexed Buttless
people are looking for servants. So Sterilox is being teleported
to Earth, where there are two sexes. The Glom is particularly
interested in the sex known as women, as he understands
that "These women make ideal servants if you train them properly!"
should pause in our breathless recounting of the Buttless Conference
to point out if you are looking for anything approaching Political
Correctness, you are not only in the wrong genre, you are
in the wrong year. Over in the world of legitimate cinema,
James Bond was rescuing Pussy Galore from the dark side by exercising
his Superior Scots Manhood. Hell, there was a major character
named Pussy Galore! This is the cauldron from which Women's
Rights would eventually emerge; things will not improve as the
any case, Sterilox is tasked with teleporting to the laboratory
of a certain Dr. Breedlove, there to study this phenomenon of
femininity and find "a perfect specimen" with the goal
of bringing it back to Droopeter to "perpetuate a servant
class". Accepting his mission, the sappily smiling Sterilox
vanishes, leaving behind only a puff of smoke and a boom mike.
in the lightning-illuminated (and patently cardboard) castle of
Dr. Breedlove: we receive a slow pan of his laboratory:
a shelf holds a skull and a human hand, among other odds and ends.
And just to prove that this is a mad scientist's lab, there is
also a Jacob's Ladder zzzzz-ing away and many flasks full
of colorful liquids. Someone doing a fairly good Peter Lorre imitation
exposits for us:
in the mountains of Broadislavia, in the secret castle retreat
of Dr. Breedlove, a strange experiment is taking place!
Something so strange and so terrifying that it could rock
the entire world! Every master spy and secret organization
is trying to steal this fantastic device- THE SEX MACHINE!"
sex machine is in use at this point, by one of the Doctor's creations
- Kissme (Jackie!), a blonde, um, bombshell (I guess). While the
sex machine's lights flash and sci-fi noises are made, Kissme
writhes on a tabletop and takes off her clothes. This should not
be boring. Yet it is, as many of the strip numbers in the movie
will prove. As the scene progresses, and Kissme becomes progressively
nuder, the lights flash more quickly, the meep moop sounds
become faster. Yet, I yawn. Perhaps it is because the only audio
accompaniment is the sci-fi sounds. It's certainly not the creative
camera work by future Oscar winner Laszlo Kovacs, which fills
the screen with great vistas of flesh. I dunno. Where's the fast
the skull on the shelf pivots on its stand to regard the squirming
Kissme, and intones in that Lorre voice, "Cool it, baby!"
(Hey! The skull was doing the narration all this time!) Enter
Dr. Breedlove (Max Gardens, billed as Manny Goodtimes). Breedlove
is based somewhat on that year's Dr. Strangelove (the movie's
original name was Dr. Breedlove, or, How I Learned to Stop
Worrying and Love, but that was judged lawsuit bait). The
Doc wears dark glasses, a neck brace, and his left arm is a black
leather-garbed limb seemingly with a mind of its own. His makeup
is a simple layer of gray greasepaint with lines drawn in eyebrow
pencil! (Watch the lines change from shot to shot!) And Gardens
plays him with a marvelously consistent Lugosi imitation. Something
is fiercely wrong when I find this guy a whole lot more interesting
than the nearly naked woman on the slab.
Breedlove is angry that Kissme is once again using the Sex Machine
without his supervision. "One day you're going to sex yourself
out of this world!" Kissme puts on a bra (allowing me to
make screen caps) while Breedlove prepares for his next experiment.
This involves handing a bubbling dry ice cocktail to his "Sex
Bombs", three topless women named Boobra (Natasha!), Barebra
(BeBe!) and Hotty Totty (Claudia!) (What, no Mumm-Ra? No, wait,
that's a good thing). Supposedly the drink will tranquilize
them, but at Breedlove's command to "Mix it up!" all
three grab flasks and begin dancing to wanton 1964 go-go music!
Dancing. Uh huh. Let's see. Natasha, as Boobra, is in the center
and is the featured dancer for this segment. As she does not dance
so much as strike poses, I had thought she was more likely a photographer's
model than an actual stripper; come to find that she was a stripper
of some popularity. Then, there's no evidence that the girls actually
had this or even any music on the set... The two
ladies flanking Boobra dance to the extent that they move their
torsos, causing their breasts to flail about in all directions.
This is disconcerting - it looks painful, but there is
no mistaking their enthusiasm. Barebra, the redhead, gets to take
center stage after Boobra's act, and she does the go-go act well.
Hotty Totty, the blonde, however... well, she frequently looks
confused as to what move should come next, then simply goes back
to bouncing her boobs. None of the ladies ever quite manage
to avoid looking at the camera.
this is somehow my favorite part of the movie; it is deliriously
stupid. Breedlove commands, "Boobra! Put your feathers back
on before you catch cold!", and she complies - but it's one
of those strange stripper items of "clothing" that looks
like a hula skirt made out of feather boas. Yep, that'll keep
her warm. The frantic library rock music continues to wail as
the women gyrate and Boobra loses her feathers again. "It
seems to be having the opposite effect!" muses Breedlove.
"Perhaps I shouldn't have used so much sex fizz!"
this - um - idyllic - setting appears Sterilox. Kissme takes an
instant liking to the alien, embracing him and commanding him,
"Kiss Me Quick!" "Kiss your what?"
is the clueless alien's reply. Sterilox relates his mission to
Breedlove: to study this phenomenon known as Women, and to seek
the Perfect Specimen. "You mean, you have no women on Buttless?"
queries the incredulous Breedlove, before looking directly into
the camera and asking, "And we're trying to beat the Russians
the first possibility of a perfect specimen, Breedlove activates
one of his more advanced experiments, a robot-like lady who comes
to life upon the activation of the Sex Machine and (predictably)
takes off her clothes. I don't know if it's because the lady seems
more mature than the others, or her hairstyle, or the gray sweater
she's wearing, but the effect is like that of watching somebody's
mother strip off. This is at the same type creepy and remarkably
alluring. Not helping is Breedlove revealing his manifesto during
am seeking a formula that will transform an ordinary obnoxious
woman into the perfect specimen - a female who is kind,
considerate, and capable. A gorgeous creature whose only
love and concern is for her master - a woman who lives to
take orders and do whatever her man tells her..."
told you it wasn't going to get any more PC. (Note from
the portion of my brain in charge of maintaining testosterone
levels: Goodness, this woman is certainly
well-endowed! End of message.)
is unimpressed by this, and at this point who should crop up but
the Frankenstein Monster. Or, in keeping with tradition, simply
Frankenstein. Or, as Breedlove insists, "Fannie Stein,"
a sex change experiment. The Sex Bombs have at it again, with
Breedlove's approval. "Dance, my little Sex Bombs! Whirl,
you little dervishes!" The monster stands in the middle of
the gyrations, letting out with the occasional "Rar!",
until Hotty Totty climbs up him and commands, "Kiss Me Quick!",
causing the monster to flee in terror.
teleports the Sex Bombs to the pool (says the Peter Lorre skull:
"Hey! Bring back the broads!"), so they can "cool
off before they explode!" He and Sterilox then turn to the
castle's closed-circuit Peeper Vision to check out the prospective
experiments in "Catacombe (sic) 69". "Looks
like a school for gladiators," exclaims Sterilox. Considering
that what we see is a dimly lit room with a swing and a bunch
of those passive exercise machines that were popular in the 50s
and 60s, the Buttless version of Spartacus must be very
the set-up, and what follows is Sterilox and Breedlove watching
different women disrobe in different venues, while they exchange
witty... well, while they exchange banter, anyway. The
boredom sets in seriously for me again; the music becomes the
more typical piano bar white noise you usually hear in the background
of these things, and not even the return of the Sex Bombs (frolicking
in an obvious kiddie pool) can re-engage my interest.
It is far too easy to walk into the kitchen and make myself a
sandwich. I can hear Sterilox and Breedlove's stand-up routine
from the kitchen, after all.
been said that after watching pornography for five minutes, you
want to have sex immediately; after watching it for ten, you never
want to have sex again. Rutting is repetitious, therefore
the triggers also tend to be repetitious. We have to assume
this was hotcha-wow-wow hot stuff at its time of release, otherwise
no tickets would have been sold and no strip films would have
been made past the first few. Each woman's act takes about five
minutes - the movie itself is barely over sixty minutes, yet it
all seems twice that. It's not because the women are of a far
more zaftig demeanor than is the cultural demand these
days (I was never really a fan of the stick figure supermodel
look), but everything is so languid, it only serves to
point up the sheer pointlessness of the proceedings. No
wonder the Sex Bombs' opening number is so fondly ensconced in
my mind's eye: madly wiggling and smiling, they're only ones who
seem alive, to actually be having fun.
other fun to be had is rarely, unfortunately, from the girls;
Dracula crops up (and breaks a tooth on Sterilox). One of Breedlove's
creations dresses like the Mummy and is called "Selfish -
because she's all wrapped up in herself!" ("I have to
bury all my possessions every night just to get her to go beddy-bye!")
And Sterilox eventually finds his Perfect Specimen: The Duz-All
Vending Robot Butler, which shines shoes, makes coffee, dispenses
beer and heaven only knows what else - all for 25 cents a pop.
Disgusted with the Buttless creature, Breedlove returns to his
lab. Sterilox pops in one last time to say good-bye, before he
leaves with the Duz-All, and the service representative of the
Duz-All Corporation - no other than Kissme. Knowing that the wily
Kissme will straighten out the Buttless race - though undoing
millennia of evolution is gonna take divine intervention - the
smiling Breedlove wishes them farewell. And to end on an even
happier note, just before they teleport, Sterlilox grabs Kissme
and says straight into the lens: "Well, how damn dumb did
you think I was?"
likely the memories of these sequences which has held Kiss
Me Quick! in high regard for all these years. Produced at
the height of the monster craze engendered by the Shock Theater
TV syndication package, which exposed a new generation to the
joys of the Universal horror cycle, the movie has a novel blend
of monsters and mammaries unmatched by even its closest relative,
The House on Bare Mountain. The movie still looks pretty
good, thanks to Kovacs' slumming camerawork and a general level
of professional competency. Producer Harry Novak had worked with
RKO in its glory days, and Breedlove/co-director Max Gardens owned
and ran several burlesque houses. These men knew the ins and outs
of entertainment. Novak and Coe, in fact, are still in the production
a week or so, heaven, hell and my work schedule permitting, I
hope to examine the aforementioned House on Bare Mountain,
and contrast its approach to the subject matter. Another week
of watching naked women over and over again. How will I manage?
times have most certainly changed since 1964, and Kiss Me Quick!
is best examined with the same cocked eye and wry smile used when
watching World War II propaganda films with their subhuman Nazis
and Japs (you don't even have to go back that far - watch Rambo
and note that the Viet Cong are actually W.W.II Japs and the Soviets
are Nazis). We can't claim that the belittling second-classing
of women is strictly a relic of the time, though - that's a fight
that's still being fought. Ten years or so after this,
ABC showed a pilot film called Planet Earth, Gene Roddenberry's
second unsuccessful attempt to market Genesis II. John
Saxon played a 20th century man adrift in a significantly different
future earth. The civilization he encountered that week had -
gasp! - women as the ruling class! Of course, Saxon and
his cohorts had, by the end of the movie, returned things to their
proper "natural" order. I would have been only about
fifteen or so at the time and I still knew that was bullsh*t.
almost 40 years after the movie's release, there is an unintended,
creepy undertone to Breedlove's comments; most, like the one quoted
above, make him seem either a dittohead, a fundamentalist that
has read The Surrendered Wife one too many times, or a
serial killer. When he says to the Sex Bombs, "I had you
abducted here forcibly, to my castle, but you will see it is for
your own good," it's hard not to shudder and recall Kiss
brings us to the final jaw-dropper offered by Kiss Me Quick!
After the departure of Sterilox and Kissme, Breedlove becomes
morose, wondering when? When will he ever find his Perfect Specimen?
The Peter Lorre skull informs him that the new shipment has arrived,
and opening a nearby hatch, naked woman after naked woman is wheeled
out, as Breedlove affixes labels on each: Prime, Choice, Reject
(and, in the case of the sole woman wearing panties, Kosher)!
It is the very antithesis of the Politically Correct. And it could
be shown at meetings of militant feminists as a meeting closer,
as it would work the troops into a lather and send them out into
the streets to Kill! Kill! KILL!