Sunday, November 23, 2014

Polyester (John Waters, 1981)

Judging by the way the harsh light of day cascaded off her legs as she sat on the pavement outside the entrance of the Crockfield Mall in suburban Baltimore, I'd say they were sheathed in a pair of tan pantyhose (legs in hose shimmer, legs not in hose... well, they... um... I think I'm going to be sick... ugh... let's try not dwell on hose-free gams, shall we?). Grabbing the foot that had just been stomped on by Dexter Fishpaw, a.k.a. The Baltimore Foot-Stomper, Shirley Evans (Susan Lowe), a.k.a. "The Mall Victim," cries out for help. But no assistance is forthcoming. Instead, she must sit there and watch as Dexter dances around her in a frenzied manner; his outward expression of arousal no doubt pressing tightly against the fly of his jeans as he danced... frenziedly. Later that week, Dexter is in the supermarket combing the aisles for a pair of feet worthy enough to stomp. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he spots a vision of foot-based loveliness in a tartan skirt and a snug-fitting burgundy sweater. Following the unnamed "Supermarket Victim" (Marina Melin) as she enters the aisle that contains products that boast water-soluble cleansing agents, Dexter can hardly contain his excitement, as her feet are simply sublime.

Overwhelmed by the erotic potency her feet are putting out there (the firmness of her black tights causes her feet to excrete a pungent odor that only he can smell), Dexter begins to fall over. Luckily for him, a shelf stacked with nothing but roll after roll of paper towels manages to break his fall.

Composing himself, Dexter approaches the supermarket victim and stomps of her left foot with all of his might. However, unlike the foot stomping that took place outside the mall entrance, two men come to the supermarket victim's aid almost immediately. Meaning, just as Dexter's outward expression of arousal was about to press tightly against the fly of his jeans, he's thrown into a giant stack of canned peas.

Oh, hello. This site hasn't, believe or not, turned into the place to satisfy all your Dexter Fishpaw fan fiction needs. It's still the place to read overlong essays about "cult movies." That being said, I felt compelled to start off my review of John Waters' Polyester with a piece that focuses primarily on the two instances in the film where Dexter Fishpaw is shown doing what he does best. And that is, stomping on women's feet.

The reason I felt compelled to do is easy, I admire the heck out of Dexter Fishpaw (Ken King), the combat boot-wearing, foot-obsessed rapscallion who also inhales solvents and does angel dust. Why? It's simple, really, he's passionate about something that doesn't exactly gel with mainstream society. Yet, at the same time, he doesn't seem to care what this so-called "mainstream society" might think about his varied interests.

Of course, a lot of you are probably wondering why I didn't start off my review with a tangent about Mink Stole in black stockings (attached to a black garter belt, no less). Well, I thought about doing that, but Dexter Fishpaw's plot line was impossible to ignore.

I know, the sight of Mink Stole, one of my favourite people in the known universe, prancing about in black stockings and cornrows(!) is impossible to ignore as well. But Dexter Fishpaw's plot line has so many ups and downs. And not only that, Dexter's foot stomping, if you think about it, actually prevents outside forces from destroying the Fishpaw way of life.

And what exactly does this way of life entail, you ask? Well, for one thing, it doesn't involve being humiliated by your porno theatre-owning husband on a daily basis. Poor Francine Fishpaw (Divine), all she wants to do live a normal, semi-productive life. Unfortunately for her, civil society has gone to shit.

The smut peddling antics of her husband, Elmer Fishpaw (David Samson) are bringing unwanted attention to her quiet cul-de-sac, her son Dexter is the Baltimore Foot-Stomper, her daughter, Lu-Lu Fishpaw (Mary Garlington), is a trampy Farrah Fawcett wannabe who's dating a scumbag named Bo-Bo Belsinger (Stiv Bators), and her mother is in cahoots with a shady Lothario named Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter). So, as you can see, Francine has no choice but to start drinking heavily.

To make matters worse, Lu-Lu is learning about her cervix at school and she's driving around Baltimore with Bo-Bo hitting non-wasp pedestrians with a broom. As terrible as the latter sounds, Bo-Bo meets his match when he stumbles upon Jean Hill while she's waiting for a bus. Remember when Jean Hill said in Desperate Living that she doesn't want no white man lookin' at her Tampax? Well, in this film, she doesn't want no white man hitting her in the ass with a broom, so she hijacks a bus, chases Bo-Bo down, bites one of his tires and beats the crap out of him.

At any rate, if that wasn't enough, Lu-Lu tells her mother that she's going to get a job as a go-go dancer at The Flaming Cave.

While having a lunch with her friend Cuddles (Edith Massey), a woman her mother describes as a "retarded scrubwoman," Francine gets a phone call from Susan Sullivan (Mink Stole), her husband's "secretary."

Sitting on Elmer's desk, Susan Sullivan hangs up the phone and begins to giggle while jiggling... or is she jiggling while giggling?!? Either way, Mink Stole is in black lingerie and I couldn't be more pleased by what is transpiring onscreen.

I don't know what it is about John Waters and heterosexuality, but like Mink Stole and David Lochary's relationship in Pink Flamingos (as Connie and Raymond Marble) and Mary Vivian Pearce and David Lochary's relationship in Female Trouble (as Donald and Donna Dasher), the pairing of Mink Stole and David Samson (as Susan Sullivan and Elmer Fishpaw) in Polyester depicts heterosexuality in a positive light.

Most movies look down on heterosexuality, but the films of John Waters seem to embrace it.

Suspecting that her husband is having an affair with his "secretary," Francine asks Cuddles to spy on them. However, before Cuddles can report back Francine, Lu-Lu tells her that she's two months pregnant. Which leads to this little nugget of scripted sunshine: "I'm getting an abortion and I can't wait." Just for the record, that particular passage is my second favourite line in the entire movie.

What's that? You wanna know what my favourite is. As luck would have it, it's coming right up.

Tracking Elmer and Susan down at a sleazy motel, Francine and Cuddles burst into their room to discover them sitting on the bed together. While that sounds innocuous, if you look closely, you'll notice that Elmer is drinking champagne out of one of Susan's red pumps. And you know what that means, right? Exactly, Mink Stole's nylon-ensnared feet are exposed for the world to see. And the world agrees, it's a beautiful thing.

Huh? Oh yeah, my favourite line. After the word divorce bandied about, Francine asks about Elmer's commitment to Dexter and Lu-Lu, Susan chimes in by saying: "Children would get in the way of our erotic lifestyle." I know, it's not quite up there with " I wouldn't suck your lousy dick if I was suffocating and there was oxygen in your balls! or "Tell your mother I hate her! Tell your mother I hate you!" as far as Mink-isms go, but I like the idea of people foregoing the drudgery of child rearing to live erotic lifestyles.

Putting aside the novelty that is "Odorama" (numbers appear on the screen periodically instructing you to sniff, using your Odorama card, a series of foul-smelling odors), Polyester was turning point for John Waters. The amateur, do-it-yourself aesthetic of his previous films has been replaced with helicopter shots, steadicam shots and professional stunts. The biggest change, however, comes in the form of Divine, who, for the first time in his career, is playing a part not associated with his Divine persona. At the time, this was seen as a bit of a gamble, but Divine, channeling his beloved Elizabeth Taylor, is pretty convincing as a stressed out housewife.

Mixing the crude humour and the social satire of his underground movies and combining it with classic Hollywood filmmaking techniques (think Douglas Sirk meets Russ Meyer), John Waters's Polyester is the best of both worlds. Competently made filth.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Run Like Hell (Robert Rundle, 1995)

Like any sane person, I love Robert Z'Dar (Samurai Cop and Killing American Style). But even a die hard Z'Darian from the mean streets of Z'ha'dum like myself should have run like hell away from Run Like Hell. Just a second, let me read that opening line one more time before I continue. Ugh, that's pure hackery. Let's start over, but let's keep the opening line there as a gentle reminder of how things could have went. Now, I've seen plenty of women in prison movies in my day. And one of my favourite things about the genre, besides the fact that they usually feature tough-looking chicks locked behind bars, and, not to mention, lot's of lesbians, is that moment when they reveal the outfit the women will be wearing during their stay in the pokey. As I've said many times before, the grey smocks paired with the dark charcoal grey hold-up stockings ensemble worn by Laura Gemser and co. in Bruno Mattei's Women's Prison Massacre is hands down the best of all the women in prison get-ups I've seen over the years. Maybe so, but I would most definitely place the black thongs the ladies wear in Robert Rundle's exceedingly incompetent Run Like Hell in the top five.

Oh, and if you're wondering what else they wear with their black thongs, don't bother. In this women's prison, all you're given is a black thong.

In other words, when Elsa (Dree Lange), a feisty blonde with short blonde hair; Darla (Colleen Corrigan), a trailer park brunette with long brunette hair; Shotgun (Liz Davies), a flat-chested brunette with medium-length brunette hair; and Sally (Elizabeth Prince), a clueless brunette long brunette hair, break out of a prison designed specifically to house "single women," they do so wearing nothing but black thongs.

The reason I put "single women" in quotes is because the year is 2008, and being a single woman is now illegal. Unmarried women are routinely rounded up by bounty hunters and brought to a prison run by–wait for it–Robert Z'Dar.

When the four escapees, who are armed with shotguns and pistols, began roaming the wasteland beyond the prison walls, I thought to myself: These chicks aren't going to spend the rest of the movie roaming the desert in nothing but black thongs, are they? Of course, part of me hoped that they would. But the other part of me, the more sensible part, realized that it was somewhat impractical to have them prancing around in black thongs for the entire movie.

Either way, the amount of time they spend wearing nothing black thongs once outside the prison walls is rather lengthy. Which makes sense, as there's no Gap in this universe.

Nevertheless, the scene where the four escapees do eventually put some clothes on is pretty harrowing. Seriously, think about it, what if they end up changing into puke green muumuus?

Except for Shotgun (who is named so because... uh, she loves shotguns?!?), all the women of section 44A put on jean shorts, after their thong-raising escape. Wait, did I say, "thong-raising"? I meant to say, hair-raising. But now that I think about it, thong-raising is rather apt. In fact, you could call the film, Four Thongs and a Shotgun Funeral.

You can tell right away that Elsa is the one you shouldn't mess with out the four former thong wearers. Though, I suppose they're still wearing their thongs. I mean, I don't see why they wouldn't just slide their newly acquired jean shorts over their already thong-ensnared undercarriages.

Anyway, I liked way Elsa told one of the creeps at the division outpost to stop calling her "Shortcake."

While Elsa is clearly the one you don't want to mess with (there's nothing short or cake-like about her), Elizabeth Prince, the actress who plays Sally, is the one you don't want doing anything. What I'm trying to say is, she's a terrible actress. I don't know if I was seeing things, but I could have sworn she was running in place while firing her shotgun.

You would think that Robert Z'Dar's warden character would be stressed out over the escape. But judging the way he's hosting group sex parties in his office, I'd say he's pretty relaxed. That being said, Z'Dar does hire a bounty hunter and his droid sidekick to bring back his escaped prisoners. If anything, he desperately wants to shoot his hearty z'wad all over Shotgun's non-existent z'tits.

Convinced that the prisoners will be headed to "Paradise City,"* Robert Z'Dar tells the bounty hunter to inflict as much pain as possible on them if he can't capture them alive.

If you thought the shoot outs were poorly staged, you should see the fight scenes. I don't think I saw a single blow come anywhere close to making contact during this movie. I know, you're not supposed to really hit the other actors. But missing by five feet? C'mon, you can get a little closer than that.

Realizing that Elizabeth Prince is beyond horrible, the plot conveniently kills off her character soon after the women team up with Jag (Henry Olvera), a friendly ninja. Oh, and don't let his friendly demenour fool you, he will straight-up karate chop anyone who as much as looks at him funny.

If we didn't have enough to contend with as far as subplots go, two new characters are added to the mix. A bounty hunter named Steel has been hired to transport a young woman in torn jeans back to her parents. Only problem being, the wasteland is filled with gun-toting mutants, slave traders and murderous cyborgs. Meaning, good luck getting your cargo to safety in one piece.

In case we weren't paying attention the first time around, a second all-girl prison brawl is staged  for all us absentminded losers out there. It was during one of these brawls that it dawned on me that this film must possess the record for having the most black thongs onscreen in a single shot.

Speaking of thongs, yet another subplot is introduced when we meet a thong-clad (duh) inmate who excepts drugs and money as payment from a guard to have sex with him. The great thing about this scene is that the thong-clad inmate's thong wasn't black. Uh-uh, it had a floral bent to it. Of course, the other great thing was the pleasing shape of her boo-tay.

Even though I've written plenty about it, I feel I should stop typing words in correlation with this movie. It doesn't deserve all this attention. You would think Run Like Hell was on the same level as Robot Holocaust or Things judging by the amount of time I've spent going on about it. But trust me, despite its thong-friendly pedigree, it isn't. Run Like Hell is just plain awful.

* It's not that I'm above making a Guns N' Roses reference, it's just that I'm not comfortable making one so obvious. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Killing American Style (Amir Shervan, 1990)

We have leggy floozy adjacent black pantyhose being adjusted. I repeat, we have leggy floozy adjacent black pantyhose being adjusted. In the opening scene no less. I couldn't help but notice that your eyes lit up when I mentioned that the adjustment-worthy black pantyhose was adjacently attached to a leggy floozy. And you know what it means if a film boasts a leggy floozy right from the get-go, right? Yes, it usually means there will be more leggy floozies to come. But it also means that the leggy floozy boasting motion picture in question was probably directed by the great Amir Shervan, the writer-director of classics like, Samurai Cop and Hollywood Cop. In the annals of sleazy exploitation cinema, there are Andy Sidaris women, Russ Meyer women, Tinto Brass women and Jess Franco women. But none of these so-called women can hold a candle to the Amir Shervan woman. Sure, their parts aren't as big (and by "parts," I mean the size of their roles, not the size of their tits) and some times they're not even listed in the credits, but Amir Shervan's talent for casting attractive women is second to none.

We get a taste of this talent almost immediately, as Killing American Style opens with a group of haphazardly assembled leggy floozies that are all vying for... Now, I'm not quite certain what exactly they were all vying for. But I do know this, these leggy floozies definitely want to impress John Lynch (John Lynch), who is giving them the once over in the dank backroom of some sleazy nightclub.

After giving it some thought, I've come to the conclusion that the leggy floozies assembled for John Lynch are auditioning to be strippers at his club. But, in a way, they're also auditioning to be his girlfriend, as John Lynch wrangles up a busty blonde with killer thighs in a new wave leotard and takes her into the ladies toilet to give her test run.

Oh, and don't let John Lynch's gay porn star good looks fool you, he's a heterosexual man, and don't you forget it.

I don't know where the busty blonde with the killer thighs came from (she wasn't in the initial flock of leggy floozies when the audition began), but when she saunters onto the makeshift stage, the other leggy floozies must have been shaking in their non-designer pumps.

Using a chair as a prop, the busty blonde with killer thighs destroys the competition with her flirtatious dance routine. Well, actually, I wouldn't call it a "dance routine," it's more a series of sultry floozy-friendly poses. But nevertheless, the look on John Lynch's face as the busty blonde with killer thighs crawled around on the stage said it all.

However, that doesn't mean there's no room for the other leggy floozies to move in the John Lynch's floozy-centric organization. In fact, the two women who went on before the busty blonde with killer thighs, the petite blonde in the black pantyhose and lithe brunette in the cut-off jean shorts, are both seen sitting at Jon Lynch's side later on in the movie.

I loved it when John Lynch says, "Can anybody do what I want 'em to do?" To which the busty blonde with killer thighs responds, "I can."

I don't know what the leggy floozies that auditioned before the busty blonde with killer thighs did that was so off-putting, but the manner in which John Lynch dismisses Casey, a blonde with a knack for impromptu pantyhose adjustment, and Lonnie, a lithe brunette in a torn jean jacket and cut-off jean shorts, was quite cruel.

While John Lynch and the busty blonde with killer thighs are getting to know one another better in the ladies room, Tony Stone (Robert Z'Dar) shows up to do some hardcore cock -blocking. You could say that Tony is doing the same to the busty blonde with killer thighs, as she wants to get fucked just as much as John Lynch does. But instead of using the term cock-blocking, I think clam-jam is the more appropriate term.

Anyway, he better have a good a reason for pulling John Lynch away from a sure thing like that. Playing out like a Grand Theft Auto V "Strangers and Freaks" side mission, Tony Stone, John Lynch and two other criminals, plan to rob a trucking company.

Except for the fact that they end up killing some guards and some cops as well, the heist goes pretty smoothly. Unfortunately, the guard they thought was on their side blows his cover and gets caught. Rolling over on Tony and John Lynch, the guard fingers them without hesitation.

To make matters worse, the cops try to arrest Tony just as he's pounding his super-hard cock into the excessively moist pussy of his platinum blonde lady-friend. And even though a shirtless Tony makes a valiant effort to escape, he's arrested on the front lawn of his safe-house. In a way, it serves Tony right, as he now knows what it feels like to have his cock cock-blocked by outside forces beyond his cock's control.

Meanwhile, at a local eatery, John Lynch, who is surrounded by a bevy of gorgeous women, including the busty blonde with killer thighs and Casey (who is wearing a teal zebra print leotard), is confronted by the cops and arrested on the spot.

Just like the truck depot heist, the scene where Tony's brother (Alexander Virden) and his uncle Loony (Jimmy Williams) rescue Tony and John Lynch while they were on their way to prison plays out like a video game side mission.

When Tony's brother is shot in the abdomen by one of the guards, Tony and John Lynch decide to hole up in a house located on a horse ranch. Arriving while Jenny and Doris (Veronica Paul) are lounging by the pool, Tony and John Lynch would have got the jump on them had it not been the latter's proclivity for hot chicks.

And believe me, Jenny (pink bikini) and Doris (red bikini) are hot chicks.

They eventually get inside the house, where Tony tells Jenny to take care of his brother (she's apparently a nurse or something) or else he'll kill Doris.

I think I speak for almost everyone when I say the leggy lady cop in the short skirt deserves more screen time.

The world's of Amir Shervan and Andy Sidaris briefly collide when Harold Diamond shows up. An "actor" best known for being in Andy Sidaris' Hard Ticket to Hawaii and Picasso Trigger, Harold Diamond plays the so-called man of the house and is none-to-pleased when he finds out that his wife, his sister-in-law and his annoying blonde son are being held captive by a bunch of ruthless criminals.

Directed to a Nevada cat house called "The Gay Paris" located just outside of Mosquito Springs by one of Tony's associates, Lt. Sunset (Jim Brown) is hot on the heels of Tony and John Lynch. I know, you're wondering why he's directed to a cat house and not Harold Diamond's ranch. Well, it's simple, really. You see, Tony's stepmother works at "The Gay Paris," and Lt. Sunset knows for a fact that she is in possession of the money from the truck depot score.

Figuring that Tony will try to contact his stepmother, Lt. Sunset, along with Choo-Choo, a cop who looks like a pimp, head over to "The Gay Paris" to have a chat with Tony's stepmother.

Did I really say the busty blonde in the new wave leotard had "killer thighs"? Don't get me wrong, they're still killer. But if her thighs are killer, then how would you describe the thighs attached to the organic structure belonging to the blonde in the red short-shorts at "The Gay Paris"?

Either way, the blonde with the more killer than usual thighs is the first to greet Lt. Sunset and Choo-Choo when they arrive at "The Gay Paris."

Informing her fellow floozies that a man is coming, the blonde with the explosive thighs (yeah, explosive thighs, I like that) immediately starts pawing at Choo-Choo the moment he walks in the door. Say what you will about Choo-Choo's fashion sense, the way he gravitated towards the blonde with the explosive thighs was one of the sanest decisions I've ever seen captured on film.

I don't mean to imply that choosing any of the other leggy floozies would have been crazy. I'm just saying, the blonde with the explosive thighs is in a league of her own.

If you remember my review of Amir Shervan's Hollywood Cop, I was forced to flesh out the leggy floozies in the film's prerequisite leggy floozy scene myself. Giving each leggy floozy her own back-story based on the leggy or not-so leggy way they sat on the couch, I struggled to come up something interesting to say about each leggy floozy.

This was not the case with the leggy floozy scene in Killing American Style, as each leggy floozy is given a liquid-based innuendo to spout at Jim Brown, whose fully-engorged black genitals must have been aching to break-free from their navy chino prison after this scene was over.

Swarming around Jim Brown like a pack of wild animals, each leggy floozy takes turns propositioning him with a liquid-based innuendo.

The first, a blonde in a short skirt and black pantyhose, says to Lt. Sunset: "Hi, I've got champagne... everything inside me bubbles."

Seconds later, a floozy with reddish hair, approaches Lt. Sunset from the other side and says: "Hi, I've got some soft drinks... everything about me is soft."

Another floozy with reddish hair (her tight dress has these cool coloured squares down the side), holds up her drinks and says: "I've got the hard stuff... 'cause I love it hard."

If you think that's it as far as floozies go, think again: A brunette in blue says: "Honey, they say I'm backward because I like it in the back." Okay, now they're not even trying anymore. Not only is what she said not liquid-based, it was barely an innuendo.

Finally grabbing a drink from the tray being carried by a blonde with a white fur boa, Lt. Sunset tries to get down to business, but a racially ambiguous blonde in pink, who calls herself, "Heavenly," insists on sticking her tongue in his ear.

When Choo-Choo, the floozy in the coloured square dress, the blonde with the explosive thighs, and the bubble-laden vagina chick see this unorthodox ear cleaning taking place, they all laugh. And with that, ends one of the greatest scenes in cinema history.

Much to my chagrin, the action soon returns to the ranch house (noooo!). It's too bad the whole film couldn't have been about Jim Brown and Choo-Choo fending off the advances of an armada of leggy floozies, because this home invasion plot isn't scratching me where I itch anymore, especially since Jenny and Doris have changed out of their bikinis. Yada, yada, yada, things spiral out of control, and Harold Diamond shows his Asian doctor friend how to kill... American style. The end.