December 12, 2004

A couple of movies starring Scandanavian lovelies

Ursula Andress in Dr. No

Ursula Andress will be forever remembered by me as Ursula Undress, thanks to Mad Magazine and one of their most accurate parody monikers ever. She starred in Dr. No, the first James Bond movie, and became the prototype Bond girl.

When Ursula is in a movie, you just know that at some point she's gonna get naked, right?

Slave of the Cannibal God was a pleasant surprise. Costarring Stacy Keach, there's a lot of plot going on, the acting was better than average for the genre and Ursula manages to stay dressed through more than half the movie. That last might not seem like a plus, but by not taking the easy copout (who needs plot when we can distract the audience with breasts?), the movie manages to sustain interest and when she finally does get naked, well, that just makes it better.

To wildly oversimplify the story, Ursula hires explorer Keach to lead her and her brother in a search for her missing husband, who disappeared on an expedition into the jungle. Shit happens.

There are uncomfortable scenes in the movie. It's about cannibals after all, and what would a cult flick be without some gruesome, eh? A lot of the jungle atmosphere is achieved by stock wildlife scenes, and we're not talking Bambi nibbling grass in a meadow. These are mini-vignettes of mother nature at her most violent and vicious, very in-your-face and disquieting.

Overall, I recommend this movie, especially if you like the jungle/cannibal sub-genre. It's done better than most, and it's got Ursula Andress naked.

Anita Eckberg. Say it slowly, let it roll off your tongue. Ah-neet-ah EK-berg. Sweeeeeet. The second movie unmistakably demonstrates that beauty overcomes talent (or lack thereof) every time.

Anita Ekberg

This time the title is Fangs of the Living Dead. Originally made in Spanish, the half-assed dubbing done here adds to the charm and unintentional hilarity. As good as the other movie was, this one isn't, which is not to say it isn't worth seeing if you love crap movies. Since it is set in Italy and Transylvania, brunette ladies abound, which is worked into the story when the conspicously blond Ms. Ekberg arrives in the village.

You get a double-shot of Anita as she plays both the main character Sylvia and her mother (in a brunette wig) in flashbacks. Sylvia, as far as I could tell, is a fashion model who inherits a castle from the mother she never knew. Or something like that. She travels to the castle to find that she has a creepy and mysterious uncle still living there. He might be a vampire, and the women chained up in the dungeons below probably are too. Her boyfriend follows her across the continent and tries to rescue her until the uncle foils his plans with, of all things, a locked gate. Yep, true love is no match for a good fence.

You can tell that this was meant to be a serious film because there's additional (some would say redundant) comic relief in the character of the boyfriend's best friend, who tags along for the adventure and bumbles his way through the movie.

"I knew your mother. She was very blonde." - Fangs of the Living Dead

One more thing, in a cherry on top kinda way, is the background music. Here's a sample:

That's the sound of an organ chord in some minor key, signifying suspense. You hear it about 600 times during the course of the film.

The acting is melodramatic and overwrought (especially Anita Ekberg's) and the dialogue doesn't help matters at all. On the other hand, we get mondo cleavage, vampire women cat fights, shirtless guys chained up (for you ladies), and cheesy special effects. In other words, Fangs of the Living Dead earns Rocket Jones' highest recommendation!

Posted by Ted at December 12, 2004 08:31 AM
Category: Cult Flicks

Not related, just wanted to say it was a bummer you didn't make it out to the launch Saturday. Frank's AT Mirage lawn darted, it was ugly.

Posted by: Maelstrom at December 12, 2004 07:36 PM

I've been fighting a cold since getting back from Michigan and it was raining Saturday morning when I got up. Hated to do it, but just wasn't up to fighting the mud and wet.

Posted by: Ted at December 13, 2004 06:03 AM

My kind of movie!

Posted by: Liz at December 13, 2004 04:39 PM
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