Numbers 30 to 21
Here we go: The Dirty Thirty.
As we inch ever closer to Numero Uno, the movies become more timeless and their nudes become more iconic.
Melinda Clarke goes modern-primitive-zombie in Return of the Living Dead III. French dish Beatrice Dalle blows away all comers. Paloma Picasso turns a blood bath into genuine hot, wet fun. Dina Meyer bares Starship boopers. Cookie Mueller will have you choking chicken. Plus: The Night Porter, I Spit on Your Grave, Caligula, The Wicker Man, and Asia Argento showing her naked tits to her dad, Dario.
The clothes come off, as the cuntdown continues….
Bewitched by black-magic sewer voodoo (really), Melinda goes all zombie-a-go-go/mordern-primitive, piercing her nude body all over, and with all kinds of rough-looking stuff, as she transforms into one of cinema’s most indelible goth-gore goddesses.
• Return of the Living Dead III is a sequel in-name-only to the punk-zombie classic Return of the Living Dead (1985) and Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988).
For as many times as I’ve seen (and loved) Return of the Living Dead – which is many – I have somehow never gotten around to watching Part II.
Nobody I know likes it, but I probably should catch up. It’s got James Karen (aka “The Pathmark Guy” if you grew up around NYC in the ’70s), even though he hilariously incinerates himself in the original.
Plus Part II was written and directed by Ken Wiederhorn, whose remarkable filmography also boasts Shock Waves (1977), King Frat (1979), Meatballs Part 2 (1984).
• Melinda Clarke is a real revelation in RLD III. Even prior to her self-mutilating makeover, her beauty and screen-presence is, at once, both otherworldly and threateningly feral.
Of course, after she uses glass, nails, mud, body fluids, and other found objects to painfully remake her own image as Queen of All Hot Monster Chicks, countless blood-red lightbulbs went off in the developing minds of countless danger-bent young ladies and, presto, a generation of Suicide Girls and Burning Angels was born.
• Melinda’s follow-ups to RLD III are pretty interesting. She starred in Return to Two Moon Junction (1994) and, on TV, appeared as Velasca on Xena: Warrior Princess.
She didn’t really hit the big time, though, until her role as troubled teen Mischa Barton’s hot, slutty mom on The OC.
Betty Blue (1986)
Lush-lipped Beatrice peels to reveal her big, round butt, her big, hard-grip-inviting hips, and her bouncy, almost cartoonishly buoyant boobies as she and her dude suck each other off – right there on camera. Live! From France!
Betty Blue was an immediate a worldwide hit and Beatrice, with her atypical bombshell body and larger-than-lust erotic presence, became one of the most intriguing international sex symbols ever.
Much was made of the Betty’s explicitness, especially in regard to the oral sex scenes. But what audiences really responded to was the movie’s unique love story between a handyman who hopes to publish a novel and Betty, who loses her shit most emphatically every times he faces an obstacle.
• Post-Betty, Beatrice became one of France’s most esteemed thespians, and she has remained at the vanguard of her nation’s cinema.
In 2001, she starred as a cannibal opposite Vincent Gallo in director Claire Denis’s transgressive Trouble Every Day (2001), which figured as one of the central films of what Artforum dubbed “New French Extremism” of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Other taboo-annihilating NFE titles include Pola X (1999), Intimacy (2000), Catherine Breillat’s Romance (1999) and Fat Girl (2001), and Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible (2002) – arthouse outrages that combine hardcore sex with blood, guts, incest, rape, and other points of impolite arousal.
• An ongoing onslaught of Gallic shockers such as Haute Tension (2003), Frontier(s) (2008), and especially Martyrs (2008) have turned contemporary France into what Italy was in the 1970s and ’80s - the world’s premiere wellspring for way over-the-top (and off with the body parts) horror films.
And, once again, Beatrice leads the pack.
Inside (2007) stars Alysson Paradis as a nine-and-a-half-months pregnant widow and Beatrice – all done up like a witch straight out of Dario Argento (more on him in a bit) – who shows up on Christmas Eve to cut the baby out of the expectant mom’s midsection.
I never believe stories about people fainting or having seizures in theaters, but Inside presents a plausible possibility.
Inside is my favorite horror film of the 2000s, and Beatrice’s black-clad, all-slaughtering character deserves to become a Halloween costume for the ages.
Paloma portrays the legendary Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who kept a castle full of naked, nubile teen virgins in order to A) girl-homo fuck them and B) bathe in their blood afterward. This highlighted moment is an orgy of sweet Euro-teen nakedness by the dozens, replete with mouth-watering mountains of16th century pubic hair stylings.
Of course, Paloma’s papa happens to be a famous painter and sculptor who, according to Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers (as well as Burning Sensation on the Repo Man soundtrack), was never called an asshole.
• For Youngman McBeardo, the publicity still of Countess Paloma disrobing a tiny-titted concubine in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film by Michael J. Weldon led to wang injuries more severe and more frequent than even those incurred by the same book’s photo of Marie Liljedahl being bathed by Maria Rohm as her aunt in Eugenie … the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion (1970).
• Immoral Tales is arguably the masterwork of Polish erotic film visionary Walerian Borowczyk. It is an omnibus of four dirty stories, although the only one anyone remembers is Paloma as Countess Bathory.
There’s a reason for that – it’s maybe the most beat-offable shit you’ll ever see in your life.
A fifth immoral Tale got spun off into its own movie, La Bête (1975), a one-of-a-kind romance between a noble maiden and huge-dicked, power-splooging bear-ape-thing that lives, shits, and fucks in the woods.
• Countess Elizabeth Bathory reigns as the female Dracula in numerous cultures, but especially at the movies.
Among the other feorcious femmes who have embodied some incarnation of this sanguine psycho are Delphine Seyrig in Daughters of Darkness (1981), Ingrid Pitt in Countess Dracula (1971), Lina Romay in Female Vampire (1973), Christine Ferrare in Mary Mary Bloody Mary (1975), and Monika Malacova who drains the life out of Heather “Wiener Dog” Matarazzo in Hostel: Part II (2007)
It began shooting with the largest starting budget in history and – regardless of the Dutch master’s blockbuster success with RoboCop (1987), Total Recall (1990), and Basic Instinct (1992) – studio execs sweated bullets in the aftermath of Showgirls’ initial critical and commercial lambasting.
And they were right to: Starship Troopers bombed at the box office as well. Not to the Hiroshima-like proportions of its predecessor, but enough to make cable and home video an absolute necessity if investors ever wanted to see their money back.
• Alas, just as the public was coming to understand the declarations of cineastes, homosexuals, and homosexual cineastes as to the monumental greatness of Showgirls, so too did the masses warm to Starship Troopers.
On TV screens and at midnight showings, each previously reviled Verhoeven effort found its following quickly and profoundly, with one servicing the other as audiences watched and said: “A-HA! I get that! It’s irony! It’s sick humor! It’s barbaric social commentary! It’s… it’s … it’s FUCKING AWESOME!”
• Queens, New York native Dina Meyer has specialized in genre-based entertainment since her breakthrough in Johnny Mnemoic (1995).
After Starship Troopers, she played Batgirl on the TV series Birds of Prey, a Romulan in Star Trek: Nemesis (2001), and Detective Allison Kerry in the first four Saw movies.
She also shows her ass after getting Santino’d by James Caan in Poodle Springs (1998).
Pink Flamingos (1972)
Crackers (Danny Mills) slits the throat of a live chicken, places it between his own naked body and Cookie’s, and all involved embark on a ménage-a-trois kinked up with the bloody essence of lethal bestiality.
• In his invaluable memoir Shock Value, writer-director John Waters assures readers that the infamous Flamingos chicken was cooked and consumed by the cast and crew after its one-and-done snuff-porn career highlight.
• Unlike Baltimore loyalist Waters, multitalented Cookie relocated to New York City’s East Village in the 1970s, where she was active in the art world and punk-rock scene until her death from AIDS in 1990.
She penned a health column for the East Village Eye and published three beloved books: Ask Dr. Mueller, Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, and Garden of Ashes.
• Although most famous for her work with Waters, Cookie collaborated with other underground filmmakers until the end.
Check her out in Amos Poe’s Subway Riders (1981), Susan Seidelman’s Smithereens (1982) and Bette Gordon and Kathy Acker’s Variety (1983).
The Night Porter (1974)
Lean, spindly Charlotte performs in room full of Nazi decadents wearing an SS officer’s hat, leather gloves, dress pants, suspenders, and nothing else. Her perfectly pointy nerps pack the firepower of twin Panzer tanks. Oh, and this is happening in the staff lounge at a concentration camp.
• Italian writer-director Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter flipped out the upper-crust cinema cognoscenti with its unbearably arousing saga of a death camp survivor (Charlotte) who embarks on a post-war S&M affair with the SS guard (Dirk Bogarde) who once sexually humiliated and brutalized her behind barbed wire.
What’s not to sig heil?
• The Night Porter also made grindhouses safe for that most “only-in-the-’70s” of B-movie subgenres, Nazisploitation.
For even with Lee Frost’s long-running Love Camp 7 (1969) continuing to bounce around trash-pit theaters, without Cavani’s high art and the luminous, daring sensuality of Charlotte, lowbrow throngs may have never had the chance to goosestep into the likes of Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1974) and her noxious progeny – Elsa Fraulein SS (1977), Gestapo’s Last Orgy (1977), The Beast in Heat (1977), etc.
Without a doubt, Tinto Brass could not have mounted the righteous Third Reich whorehouse epic, Salon Kitty (1976).
• Nutsy-sexy broads everywhere have been dolling themselves up in variations on Charlotte’s Night Porter Nazi drag for decades.
And it’s never not the hottest thing you’ve ever seen in your life. Every time.
In her 1992 music-video “Erotica”, even Madonna paid homage to The Night Porter with a suspenders-clad quasi-National-Socialist muff-diver strutting about to that completely inconsequential grunge-era disco beat.
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
While one of her rapists relaxes in a bath, Camille nakedly preps herself to join him. She then slips into the water and surprises him with a very point flick of a very sharp knife. Right in the ding-ding.
• There are all other rape-and-revenge movies, some might even say that there are even better rape-and-revenge movies but, really, in the realm of rape-and-revenge, I Spit on Your Grave is king – or, more appropriately, given its ultimate climax, Queen.
• Filmed as Day of the Woman and released with a lurid poster and a title that, once heard, can not be forgotten, I Spit on Your Grave exploded at the grindhouse box office and sent cultural morality guardians reaching for their cutlery and hoping to get the film itself into a bubble bath.
• As I Spit on Your Grave ran for years in drive-ins and dive theaters, constantly getting re-released, the otherwise heroic S&E responded to the movie’s July 1980 Chicago debut by devoting an entire episode of Sneak Previews to pretty much just freaking the fuck out about it for a half-hour.
Siskel expressed grave alarm at the presence of teenagers when he saw I Spit, while Ebert was skeeved by everyone around him, writing: “When I saw it at 11:20 a.m. on Monday, the theater contained a larger crowd than usual. It was not just a large crowd, it was a profoundly disturbing one. I do not often attribute motives to audience members, nor do I try to read their minds, but the people who were sitting around me on Monday morning made it easy for me to know what they were thinking. They talked out loud. And if they seriously believed the things they were saying, they were vicarious sex criminals.”
• I lucked into catching this legendary edition of Sneak Previews when it first aired but, aside from clips on Elite Entertainment’s I Spit on Your Grave DVD, I haven’t seen a minute of it since.
Anybody got a copy?
• Radiant redhead Camille Keaton is the granddaughter of silent-movie comedy giant Buster Keaton. She gets raped four times in I Spit on Your Grave before rising, Phoenix-like, to de-penis the guilty. It is the definition of a committed performance.
After filming, Camille married I Spit writer-director Meir Zarchi. That also brings to mind the word “commited.”
The couple did not last, and Camille to play “Girl in Toilet” in the 1981 obscurity Raw Force, and then get nakedly raped anew in the Women in Prison flick, The Concrete Jungle (1982).
Camille Keaton thereafter quickly disappeared from show business. God love her.
Anneka Di Lorenzo and Lori Wagner
Anneka, as Emperor Caligula’s third wife Messalina, hardcore-lesbo-porno-style conquers the cooze, casabas, and open asshole of Penthouse Pet Lori Wagner, who’s playing Roman noblewoman Agrippina. And you’ll be Agrippina yourself!
• What can be said about Caligula that is not already said in the 3-disc “Imperial Edition” Blu-Ray version of the movie that comes with a feature-length documentary, multiple making-of videos, extensive liner notes, all sorts of additional footage, and separate commentaries from director Tinto Brass, star Malcolm McDowell, and leading lady Helen Mirren?
Nothing, that’s what.
Caligula rules. Forever. I have a tattoo of its poster image on my body, for the love of Little Boots!
• That stated, the exquisiteness of Anneka and Lori going at it can occasionally be underappreciated in a film of such singular wonders and grotesqueries.
Teresa Ann Savoy is a taboo vision of virginal blonde incest dreams-come-true, complete with a golden haystack of pubic yum, and Helen’s topless three way cooks like Mount Vesuvius, too.
And, for that, these ladies get the laurels.
• Anneka’s previous nude scene takes place in the 1974 charmer, Rape Squad, a vibrant curiosity that led to my having some very unusual (but, fret not, legal, consensual, and crazy-fun) sex after about 15 minutes of watching it.
Lori pops her big-screen bareness cherry in Caligula, but she busts out her bosom again in the 1996 softcore suckeroonie, Dark Secrets. By then, she had destroyed herself with breast implants.
More proof: every empire falls.
The Wicker Man (1973)
Up in her bedroom, Britt sings a groovy tune and dances a nudie dance. The breasties are all hers but, reportedly, the butt belongs to a body double.
• I know, I know – Britt’s bumcakes are bogus here. Look, I even wrote it in the scene description.
But(t), besides seeing Britt’s tits, who didn’t fall down ga-ga after witnessing this Swedish siren’s bewitchingly hot-as-folk musical number while, in the room next door, Edward Mulhare has to pretend there’s no wood in his pajamas?
She even hosted the awesomely pornographic early-80s pay-TV newsmagazine, Electric Blue.
So why did Britt employ a stunt butt for, of all things, The Wicker Man?
Because she was pregnant at the time of filming and thought her ass looked big.
I’m sure it did. And I weep for all the onanistic affection I never got to pay to Britt Ekland’s big, pregnant ass.
Here’s a shot to remind you. Permanently.
18-year-old Asia takes off her shirt in front of a bathroom mirror, for the loving cinematic eye of Trauma director Dario Argento, the man who made her - for real.
• Although Asia had been acting since childhood (notably in spaghetti-splatter favorites such as Demons 2 and The Church), it is only right and natural nude debut came at the hands of her proud papa, horror maestro Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno).
Dario’s camera lovingly, and for a long time, showcases, studies, and almost seems to caress his teenage daughter’s large, supple breasts in Trauma. And daddy is right to do so.
• On the topic of being naked and banged while her father watches, Asia said: “In The Phantom Of The Opera, I lose my virginity in front of my father. It’s the Electra complex to the maximum! Although there is also a bit of the Oedipal, because my father was a mother figure to me in many ways, perhaps even more than a father figure.”
• In keeping with the mythological motif, Asia properly goes Narcissus-like in Scarlet Diva (2000), where she directs herself in the greatest nude scenes of her extremely nude career. She even lesbo-rapes a chick!
Come back to McBeardo.com on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 to see numbers 20 to 11 revealed in all their birthday-suited magnificence.
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