Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Curse Of Her Flesh (Michael Findlay, 1968)

He's back! Everyone's favourite eye-patch-wearing, misogynist, spurned weapons expert turned deranged serial killer is back. What's that? You say he was killed with a crossbow at the end of the previous chapter? That can't be right. Oh, wait a minute. Come to think of it, I do recall a woman with substantial junk in her trunk wielding a crossbow during the film's climatic showdown. Well, the crossbow arrow to the chest clearly had little effect on his ability to stalk and kill strippers, go-go dancers and prostitutes, as he's up to his old tricks in The Curse of Her Flesh, the Michael Findlay-directed film that guarantees to have thick, not even close to being malnourished thighs encased in stockings or your money back. Sure, you're going to have to wade through a heck of a lot of softcore groping in order to be exposed by these stocking encased delights, but trust me, the hardship you endure is well worth it. As a reward for your patience, there's even a third act pantyhose moment that sort of just comes out of nowhere. Almost as if to say: Hey, all you perverts out there. We're terribly sorry for all the softcore groping you have had to experience over the past seventy or so minutes. And to show our appreciation for your Herculean brand of stoicism in the face of so much softcore groping, he's a quick shot of Eve Bork removing her tan pantyhose. I know, you would probably much rather see Sally Farb removing her tan pantyhose, but Miss Bork's the best we could do on short notice. Enjoy!

Now, the scenario I just created most likely never happened. However, that doesn't mean that every sleazy moment that occurs in this, or any of the films in the Flesh Trilogy, wasn't meticulously thought-out in advance.

It's true, The Curse of Her Flesh features only one instance where a garter belt is removed from a go-go dancer's waist and tossed gingerly to floor. Whereas, The Touch of Her Flesh boasts a total of four instances where garter belts are tossed gingerly to floor. That doesn't mean the film is deficient when it comes to women in garter belts. Far from it. In fact, the garter belt worn by Sally Farb gives off tiny flashes of light. Meaning, it possesses the power of four garter belts!

I'm well aware that what I just said might not make a lot of sense, but once you see what kind of damage Sally Farb can cause while wearing a garter belt covered in sequins, you will agree that I'm right.

When I saw the opening credits for The Touch of Her Flesh projected onto the naked body of Roberta Findlay, I thought to myself: That's how you make people pay attention to something as stuffy as an opening credits sequence. The question on everyone's mind as The Curse of Her Flesh gets underway is not the number of garter belts they will be basking in over the course of the film, but how will they (the Findlay's) top the opening credits from the first chapter?

Since there's no way they can top them, they can still make them memorable. And boy are they... memorable, that is. Crudely written in black marker on the wall of the men's room of a strip club, the camera slowly pans across the wall (stopping to reveal credits every now and then) to the sound of a man urinating. I don't know 'bout you, but I think these credits perfectly sum up the trashy nature of these films (check it out, someone crossed out a swastika and replaced it with a hammer and sickle). This might come across as odd, but I can't wait to see what they (the Findlay's) come up with, credits-wise, for the third and final chapter.

If you remember correctly, when we last saw Richard Jennings he was chopping his cheating wife's head off with a table saw. Well, after a brief recap of the events from the previous chapter in the Richard Jennings saga (one that is factually inaccurate), we learn that everyone's favourite woman-hating psychopath is now hiding out in a threatre. In fact, I think he might even own the theatre. But he also wears a fake beard and pretends to be the janitor on occasion. It's complicated.

I don't know 'bout you, but I think the decision to open the movie with a scene that features Sally Farb dancing erotically in vivacious lingerie was the correct one. Sure, her character has nothing really to do with the plot, but I could watch her bump and grind for hours. I hope we see more of her as the film progresses (fingers crossed).

Okay, now I know why Jennings is wearing a fake beard and pretending to be a janitor, that's his public persona. You see, he doesn't want anyone to know that he's "Richard Jennings," the man wanted in connection with over a dozen gruesome homicides. And he definitely doesn't want Steve Blakely (Ron Skideri), a struggling actor who shows up at the theatre for an audition, to know his identity, as he's the guy, if you remember, he caught groping his voluptuous wife. As Steve is in the men's room, a bearded Jennings pulls out a sword from the handle of his cane and is about to stab the unsuspecting actor in the back. But he doesn't, as he's got something especially heinous planned for Steve.

In the meantime, Steve recites a bizarre monologue in the vicinity of a fall-out shelter while two curvy chicks dance to rhythm and blues music in stockings and g-strings made out of money. I'm still trying to get my head around the scene, as it doesn't seem to make any sense. Are the curvy chicks in the fall-out shelter the women Steve's character is looking for? Ah, you know what? It doesn't matter.

One of the curvy chicks, Adele (Jane Bond), is approached while sitting at a bar by a... Oh shit! Run, curvy chick, run! That's Richard Jennings! Of course, she doesn't know what Jennings looks like, and politely declines his offer to buy her a drink. Her attitude changes, however, when Jennings introduces himself as Joe Davidson, the owner of the theatre she was just performing her strobe light-assisted lingerie dance.

And before you know it, the two are having drinks back at her place. Look at the way Adele sits with her legs crossed while chatting with Jennings/Davidson, it's absolutely sublime.

At any rate, you won't believe the manner in which Jennings decides to dispatch Adele. I'll just say three words: Poisoned cat paws.

The next scene is rather long, but since it boasts Linda Boyce in black lingerie and black boots whipping a bound Uta Erickson on a smoky stage, I'll let its excessive length slide.

After she's finished whipping her, Linda Boyce, or I should say, Stella, begins to lick Uta's whip marks. After removing her black bra with a switchblade, Stella proceeds to hike down her zebra print panties. As she's doing this, Uta would periodically cry out for more.

When the shows over, Stella heads backstage to hang out with, you guessed it, Jennings. (Hang out?) You're right. What I should have said was make out, as Stella straddles Jennings (who she knows as Davidson) for quite some time.

"Do you know what a dildo is?" And with that question, Stella is sent on a secret mission, a secret lesbian mission. Remember Adele's co-star in the strobe light-assisted lingerie dance? Well, Jennings sends Stella over to her apartment to seduce her. After taking a bath together, the lesbian action quickly moves to the bedroom. Getting on top of her, Stella begins to prod the cunt attached to Adele's co-star with a dildo. Looking down mid-prod, however, Stella is horrified when realizes that this is no ordinary dildo. You could say, it's an Armageddon dildo.

In order to take care of Stella and her co-star, Jennings laces their g-strings with a substance that unleashes a poison when mixed with vaginal secretions.

Giving new meaning to the expression, "leggy tour de force," Sally Farb continues the perform the routine we saw her giving at the beginning of the film. Utilizing her stocking-encased legs in ways I didn't think possible, Sally knows exactly how to work an audience into a psycho-sexual frenzy. If I had my druthers, the whole film would have been nothing but Sally Farb stripping from start to finish.

To complete his masterpiece, Jennings sets in motion an elaborate plan to kill Steve Blakely by employing the help of his new wife Paula (Eve Bork). It's a complicated plan, one that involves squash porn, tan pantyhose, a spear gun, a cheap room divider and a machete. (Wait, did you say, "squash porn"?) Yep, you read right, squash porn is an integral part of Jennings' plan. While the squash porn definitely came out of left field, the machete fight on the back of a moving truck was the film's biggest surprise.

Despite the fact that Jennings' eye-patch seems to disappear randomly during the melee, the machete fight on the back of a moving truck was an unexpected treat. I mean, up until this point, the film has already given us everything one could want from a motion picture. But to give us a machete fight on the back of a moving truck as well? Bravo, Michael Findlay. Bravo!


  1. These screen-caps are rather brain melting.

    Bye-the-bye, have you checked out "The Red Queen Kills Seven Times" (or "La dama rossa uccide sette volte" as it is known in Italio-disco)? Made by Emilio Miraglia in 1972, who did "Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave." Has a much tighter plot than that and is far eerier. Extremely good gothy-giallo featuring Barbara Bouchet, Marina Malfatti, Pia Giancaro, Sybil Danninng (pre-silicon invasion), gobs of atmosphere, boots, fashion dripping everywhere like hot sweaty sex, perfect 70s giallo soundtrack, enough red herrings to fill a non-kosher deli platter, and more J+B bottles than a your neighborhood liquor store. Probably not as much panty-hose as you would like. But it has ancient family curses, creepy paintings, wanderings in the night (w/ nighties), bitter festering resentment, and repulsive panic in dungeons. So I was excited.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation... I've been going through a bit of a giallo drought as of late.

      Ooooh, The Emilio Miraglia Killer Queen Box Set comes with a toy!!!

    2. Huh. Didn't know about that. I saw the uncut version in Italian with subbies. Is it like an Barbara Bouchet action figure? Now with special cringing action!!! A toy of the killer would give away the plot and be sort of... lame.

    3. The toy has a cape.

      Speaking of lame, the new version of Richard Kern's Hardcore Collection doesn't have Lung Leg on the cover anymore. Commence hissy-fit in 3, 2, 1....