Counting down the bare and the beautiful from movies weird and wonderful.
Skinspired by Mr. Skin’s Top 100 Celebrity Nude Scenes of All Time, here are the first 10 of my picks for the Top 100 naked moments from “cult” movies – a term which, I recognize, is open for savage debate.
Alas, I must paraphrase the oft-cited quote attributed to multiple Supreme Court justices regarding obscenity: “I know a cult movie when I see it.”
And I also must even more directly dip into Mr. Skin’s skintheon in terms of individual scene evaluation when it comes to what makes this list:
•Star power of the naked actress.
•Quality of nudity (i.e., what gets shown, how long it lasts).
•Overall impact on weirdo culture and cult movie history.
•One movie per actress (i.e., for often–nude stars, we chose just one best scene from her entire body of work).
•One nude scene per movie (i.e., in a film that contains many nude scenes, I picked my favorite)
•The star/movie’s degree of “cultiness”.
And, now, off with the freaky costumes, and on with the kooky countdown….
The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968)
Mixing media and mammaries most admirably, we enjoy an up-close tour of Jayne’s blonde bombshell’s 1963 Playboy layout to promote Promises! Promises!
•Released a year after Jayne was famously decapitated in a car accident, this Wild, Wild whirlwind of bad taste is narrated, apparently from beyond the grave, by Carolyn De Fonseca, a Jayne Mansfield impersonator who breathlessly reminisces on the blonde bombshell’s life and adventures in the first-person.
•Among the European and Hollywood sensations that Jayne’s Mondo documentary exposes our shocked eyes to are transvestites, lesbian dancing, a beauty contest for boobs, Parisian striptease lessons, and a topless female rock combo, The Ladybirds.
•The whole Wild, Wild World crashes to a halt – literally – at the end when Jayne’s auto-wreck is dramatized on-screen, leading to real footage of the crack-up’s aftermath and even shot’s of Jayne’s corpse. Most wildly, her muscleman husband, Mickey Hargitay, leads us on a posthumous tour of the couple’s famous Pink Palace as his means of mourning. Godspeed, Mick.
•To catch Julianne charmingly break character, watch this moment in slow motion. Throughout the movie, Julianne’s Maude Lebowski is perpetually stone-faced and dour, but in freeze-frame there is an unmistakable ear-to-ear grin lighting up her delighted kisser.
•As great as Julianne looks naked in her farkakte art-rig, her Valkyrie get-up during the Dude’s “What Condition My Condition Was In” trip hits me like a perfectly-stirred White Russian every time.
•Another swell pause-button moment occurs at the 1:37 mark when Tara Reid, as Bunny Lebowski, hops out her clothes in the background outside. Nice shot of her pre-implanted right boob and bunny-tail.
Demon Rage (1981)
Lana lies helpless in bed as a force of Sexual Black Magic, here represented by pulsating pink light, pulls off her covers, revealing massive milk-balloons topped by Frisbee-sized areolas and even a hint of muffala.
•Lana is the kid sister of Natalie Wood and, given her natural flotation devices, would have had far greater chances of not drowning than her tragic elder sibling.
•Plenty-o’-topped Lana plays Plenty O’Toole in Sean Connery’s first James Bond comeback vehicle, Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
•Running throughout the early 1970s at New York City’s Elgin Cinema (seven nights a week, no less) and championed by John Lennon, El Topo – which mean “The Mole” in Spanish – is the first real midnight movie.
•As with so many other later favorites, I first came across El Topo in author Danny Peary’s indispensable 1982 reference book, Cult Movies. The idea that the movie’s hero (played by writer-director Jodorowsky himself) would be cool with his woman engaging in lesbian sex immediately struck 13-year-old McBearo as a lifestyle to which one should aspire. And I did.
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Mythological MILF Vida pumps the Food of the Gods out of her Mount-Olympus-like dairy-deliverers into the hungry maw of a lucky little sucker. Then, flashing forward a few years, she strolls bare-butted along a beach hand-in-hand with junior.
•Crawling with amazing creatures, Clash of the Titans is the final film to showcase the wizardry of stop-motion animation legend Ray Harryhausen (Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts, the ’70s Sinbad movies, and many others).
•Clash is also one of the final jewels of the days when PG-rated family fare could matter-of-factly include awesome female nudity. In fact, Harryhausen’s Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) boasts naked tits from both Jayne Seymour and Taryn Power (Tyrone’s daughter) and that was rated G!
•Voluptuous Vida Taylor’s other nude career highlight occurs as she floats in an alien beam and gets impregnated with an extraterrestrial superman in Larry Cohen’s sci-fi mind-blower, God Told Me To (1976).
Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)
As a kidnapped-and-brainwashed ballerina, topless Viju puts her years of muscle training to powerfully productive use as she kicks a restrained New York Times critic to death on-stage – for an audience that doesn’t believe the execution is real. Way to “sock” it to The Man!
•With more nude women than it’s almost possible to count in Bloodsucking Freaks, why elevate Viju above, say, above the schoolgirl in the guillotine or the poor thing who has all her teeth extracted with pliers and then her skull drilled open so the dentist can insert a straw and suck out her brains?
Because Viju really is the most radiant beauty in the movie, and because the vehicle of her body is used for revenge against establishment tastemakers – every wallop of her mighty dancer’s feet against the smarmy Paper of Record’s entertainment reviewer is a blow for creative freedom. As is, in fact, the entirety of Bloodsucking Freaks.
•The final, never officially released issue of the legendary culture journal Sleazoid Express is publisher Bill Landis launching a volcanically relentless character assassination against Bloodsucking Freaks director Joel M. Reed, based on their shared history involving Z-level movie production and its tangential turpitudes.
•Anyone who ever had personal dealings with the recently deceased Landis – the biggest loss in the history of zine publishing, bar none – can attest that his version of any set of facts comes colored with odd, illogical, and even impossible arguments as to his virtues versus the rest of humanity’s sins against him.
•What gives the lie to the all Joel M. Reed edition of Sleazoid is not that Landis gave a Bloodsucking Freaks a rave review when it hit 42nd Street anew in the ’80s, it’s his claim in the farewell issue that he watched it with a Deuce audience that was “bored.”
Still, all we can do is shake our heads, genuflect in his memory, and quote former Sleazoid contributor turned master biographer Jimmy McDonough and say: “To Landis, Arriverderci.”
•What Pam Grier is to blaxploitation, Reiko is to Japan’s Pinky Violence film genre, i.e. – the living embodiment of the movies’ commingling of carnage and carnality.
•Among the other Pinky Violence flicks with Reiko in the raw are the memorably monikered Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition and Torture (1973), Criminal Woman: Killing Melody (1973), and Girl Boss Guerilla (1972). Each is worth hunting down.
Hitcher in the Dark (1989)
Skinny-sexy Josie snoozes nude on a camper bed while RV-driving psycho rape-man snapes Polaroids of her titlets, tiny heinie, and tightly trimmed ya-ya.
•Josie starred as Jane Mancini on TV’s Melrose Place from 1992-1999. For a while, that show was Gland Central Station.
•Hitcher in the Dark was directed by Italian splatter-meister Umberto Lenzi, who also gave us Nightmare City (1980), Eaten Alive (1980) and the one-and-only Cannibal Ferox (1981) aka Make Them Die Slowly.
•By the time Josie followed up by whipping out her knockers one last time in All-American Murder (1992), she had already poisoned them with silicone. Death to False Funbags!
•Jane was married to Barbarella director Roger Vadim and claimed in her 2006 autobiography that she scored French chicks for them to ménage-a-trois with, and that she wasn’t really into it herself.
•In 1994, in my office at Hustler, I watched – with my own two baby-blues – a videotape of Jane Fonda power-noshing live vagina and banging the fuck out of her then-bitch-spouse Ted Turner with a strap-on. Twice. On the tape, Ted wails: “MY DICK IS AS BIG AS A HOUSE!” The entire episode is brilliantly chronicled in the memoir Prisoner of X: Twenty Years in the Hole at Hustler Magazine by my then-boss and permanent bosom pal, Allan MacDonell.
•When I eyeballed Jane in action on that video, MY DICK WAS AS BIG AS A HOUSE!
•Individually, Lynn Lowry and Mary Woronov rule as two of cult filmdom’s most ferocious femmes fatale. Just lust for Lynn in I Drink Your Blood (1970), Score (1972), Shivers (1975), and Cat People (1982). Then marvel at Mary in Death Race 2000 (1975), Eating Raoul (1982), Angel of H.E.A.T. (1983), and Scenes From the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989). Sugar Cookies combines their savory treats in close, wet quarters for one salacious confection.
•Sugar Cookies played theaters emblazoned with an X-rating, despite being devoid of hardcore penetration. It’s plenty steamy, and perhaps the full-frontal exposure of porn chic superstar Jennifer Welles further fogged up the judgement of the ratings board.
•For years, stills from Sugar Cookies taunted me via multiple issues of Celebrity Sleuth. I finally got to see the movie in 1997 while I worked at Troma for two weeks. A screener video was lying around and I swiped it.
Unlike Mr. Skin’s ongoing and awe-inspiring Top 100 Celebrity endeavor, I’ll be plowing through my Top 100 at a pretty brisk pace.
My next 10 will go up on Wednesday, June 24, 2009.
Don’t miss one single dollop! Tell your friends! And your enemies! Especially your enemies!
Any questions, outrages, or fights to be picked should be done so in the comments section. Have at me.
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