February 09, 2004

Like I threatened promised

Oooo goody, a movie review! Well, it's a DVD review, because besides the two movies here, there are some extraordinary extras included on the disk. Besides lots of gratuitous boobage. And by boobage, I'm talking gratuitous! This go-round, I'm talking about a double-feature from the shlock 'nudist camp' genre of the mid-60's.

In The Beast that Killed Women, the setting is a nudist camp for no discernable reason other than it gives the opportunity to show lots and lots of topless women. The concept here is to keep trotting out the boobs, in hopes that you'll never notice weaknesses in the movie, like plot, acting, dialog, acting, directing, continuity, believability... you get the idea.

How bad is it? Solidly in the "so bad it's good" category, long stretches focus on a tree or steps in the background while naked women repeatedly walk by, "enjoying nature" as nudists do. Mostly, people stand around until joined by someone else, at which point they improvise a conversation that tries to advance the story. But hey, as long as they're naked, eh? Actually, it's fun picking the movie apart, because silliness abounds.

The beast is a guy in a really tacky gorilla suit, and the total body count by the end of the movie is one. Yep, one lousy dead girl, and she was dressed. But most every other girl is naked. Did I mention the gratuitous boobs?

The second movie on the DVD is The Monster of Camp Sunshine. Rats play an important role in this movie, since one of the characters works in the lab at the hospital and is very sympathetic towards her little friends. This flick uses the pretext of warning about the dangers of runaway science to quickly move the story from the hospital lab to - you guessed it - a nudist colony. But first, the nurse accidentally drips an unknown chemical on a cage full of rats, and "their killer instinct is unleashed!" The rats jump at the nurse, causing her to fall out of the window, where she manages to hang on long enough for a doctor to come to her rescue. She's so upset that her roomate decides that they should visit the camp to cheer her up. Oh yeah, her roomie is a nude model. Big surprise, that.

Back to the plot, and from here on out just assume that any actual story is sporadically interjected between lengthy stretches of naked women and men (sorry ladies, it's butts-only on the guys). The doctor in charge of the lab figures out what happened and in a stroke of genius decides that the best way to dispose of the killer chemicals is to put them into a jar and throw them into the bay! But fate has different plans, and the jar is found the next day, upstream at the camp (we know it's upstream because they helpfully tell us so).

The stream running through the nudist camp becomes contaminated with the contents of the jar (in the most hilariously contrived and convoluted set of circumstances possible), and the simpleton camp gardener takes a drink from the stream, which "unleashes his killer instinct!" This time, they just say the hell with all restraint and go for it. The army is called in, and we're treated to stock war footage from the Civil War to World War II. I laughed out loud as a troop of US Cavalry from the old west rode by, followed by clips of troops coming ashore on D-Day. While the doctor buries the softball-sized remains of the gardener (all that was left, and he was actually kicking dirt over it with his shoe), the rest of the characters decided that it was too nice a day to be sad. So they get naked. Once again it's so bad it's fun (zero body count this time, though one girl did get her arm cut by an axe).

One of the funniest lines in the movie is where the nurse explains her love for the nudist movement. She says "I spend all day at the hospital around sick bodies. The nudist camp is my chance to be surrounded by healthy bodies." Of course, as she says this she's puffing on a cigarette, as does most everyone throughout the movie.

Like with the first movie, great fun can be had watching for the assorted silliness, especially the contortions the actors go through so as not to show anything frontal below the waist. Warning: Zither alert!

Now on to the DVD itself, which is a gem. It's put out by Something Weird Video, and besides the two (crappy but nudity filled) movies, you get all kinds of extra goodies, and this is where it shines. Three different sets of drive-in intermission features chock full of those snack bar teasers, local business commercials, and more. Notable is Ed McMahon in a Budweiser commercial, and a reminder to sign the petition in the lobby against "pay TV" and that evil "cable TV".

That's not all. There's also a gallery of trash movie posters accompanied by remastered original radio spots. These are cool as hell.

But there's more! The original theatrical trailer for The Beast that Killed Women is included, as are the trailers for the nudie flicks Eves on Skis, Goldilocks and the Three Bares, Nudes on Tiger Reef, Nudist Life, and Pussycats Paradise. Be still my heart.

And there are 'short subject' features dating as far back as the 1920's about nudists, done up in semi-documentary style. It's interesting to see what each era considered racy for the day, although each contains nudity. I especially enjoyed the variety of music used.

Finally, there's "Let's Go to the Drive-In!" - an interactive selection on the DVD that allows the uninterrupted playback of hours of content, just like being at the movies. Nifty neat-o keen.

Boobs and drive-in atmosphere. It doesn't get much better than that. Pass the popcorn, because this one was a pleasant surprise.

Posted by Ted at February 9, 2004 06:18 AM
Category: Cult Flicks

Of course, rats magically transform any Grade B piece of schlock into Fine Cinema.

Something Weird has a catalog online, at somethingweird.com, which I discovered many moons ago (my workplace filters consider it "Adult Content" so beware). I discovered their site trying to find mental health films--you know, those "Know Your Body" things they showed me in school in the Sixties, and started to fade out in the Seventies.

Man, those were some good movies.

Be that as it may,
that should give you many hours of enjoyable websurfing at home, as well as put a major dent in your movie budget.

Posted by: Victor at February 9, 2004 09:20 AM

Let me see if I've got this right: boobs, rats, and zithers? I'm all over this one. I've got to find my calendar and block out a weekend.

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