Monday, August 30, 2010

The Babysitter (1969)

Movies like this one easily get labeled “male sexual fantasies”, and it’s not as if that’s an unfair assessment- after all, this is the story of a hot young girl who screws the middle aged father of the family for whom she’s a babysitter, who in reality she’d likely have no interest in, and he’d likely have prostate problems anyway; and the old fart screwing the hot young girl wrote and produced the film. Okay, actually, it’s exactly like a male sexual fantasy! On the other hand, how about those romantic comedies in which a neurotic, asexual, irritating twit finds a hunk who willingly sacrifices any hope of future happiness to, instead, spend the rest of his life putting up with the sort of behavior that white, wealthy westerners call “quirky” and the rest of the world calls “entitled”? You see anyone calling Julie & Julia a “female sexual fantasy”?

The Babysitter was put out by Crown International, who specialized in drive in exploitation fare. Luckily for them, a story about a turned-on, groovy, love generation, far out, way out, hip etc etc slut having sex with an older dude was not exactly anathema to the drive in crowd. An obvious influence here was Lolita and what really saves The Babysitter is that Patricia Wymer in the title role really is very fuckworthy: likeable, cute, and endearing as she delivers ridiculous dialogue like “If you want me, then take me.” The old fart, played by George E. Carey, is a district attorney in a chilly marriage with a lesbian daughter and a baby girl who everyone forgets about after the first scene. A subplot involves a drugged out biker chick trying to blackmail him in order to get her beau out of jail, which gives the director (Tom Laughlin! That’s right- Billy Jack himself) a chance to film the lesbo daughter screwing her hot friend in the family steam room. Yes, the family has a steam room.

Meanwhile, the groovy slut has proven herself to be not such a great babysitter by inviting over an acid rock band- The Food (really, that's their name. The name of their side project band is The Beverages)- to play in the basement while her cute friends dance around naked, instead of actually watching the baby. Dad decides he's okay with that and she, in turn, decides to teach the dad about the turned-on, way out love generation by screwing him. They have a love affair and after that ends, the babysitter beats up Dad's blackmailer with some friends. Meanwhile, his boss and wife find out about the affair with the babysitter and both decide that they're okay with it. A man's got to do what a man's got to do. And besides, his wife needs to be nicer to him.

So, like I said, a bit of a male fantasy, but plenty of entertainment value (i.e. nudity).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Piranha (2010)

Okay, let’s clear this up: Jaws (1975) was a big budget major studio version of a Roger Corman Beast at the Beach B-Movie; it made a lot of money, so in response, Corman produced Piranha (1978), a low-budget Jaws rip-off that was more entertaining than it ever deserved to be thanks to director Joe Dante; and now, we have a big-budget major studio remake of Piranha that will, inevitably, be ripped off by Roger Corman for the Sci-Fi network. It’s the cinematic cycle of life my friends.

The tag line for this movie should be the Pieces classic: “It’s exactly what you think it is.” The scenario is dumb beyond belief- Mesozoic era piranha that survived under the earth in a subterranean lake surviving through cannibalism- yes- for millions of years. How did they manage that? I have no idea? Why do various characters in the movie disappear for no apparent reason? No idea there either. How do our heroes get dragged underwater through rocky shoals via powerboat without dying slightly? No clue.

But you go to see these films for gore and nudity, and the film delivers a ton of both. The third-act massacre is one of the bloodiest things I’ve seen outside of war films. The director has compared it to Girls Gone Wild meets Saving Private Ryan, and that’s about accurate. Dozens of idiotic partying half-naked teenagers go from drunken to eaten in about twenty minutes. Eli Roth shows up and plays a douchebag- really most of the kids in these movies are like the “bad guy” in wrestling- they show up, annoy the shit out of the audience, and get triumphantly massacred. It’s a formula that works.

And, goodness, do they get massacred! The levels of nudity and gore in the film make me wonder if the MPAA was given blow before rating it. I can’t tell you if it’s better in 3-D. I hate 3-D and saw it in 2-D because this was the format playing at our drive-in. This is the sort of movie you should see at a drive-in.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Devil Times Five (1974)

Probably a Leif Garret horror movie is weird enough in itself, but Devil Times Five really goes the distance for weird shit. The film starts with a van transporting mental patients going off the road and a group of kid psychopaths going on the lam. One thinks she's a nun, a black kid thinks he's a soldier, Leif Garret thinks he's an actor, and so forth. Anyway, they run smack dab into the A storyline, in which some people who are related but don't much like each other are meeting at a Lake Arrowhead family home to finalize plans for a mental institution.

The A storyline is more like a soap opera and weirder/sleazier than the psycho kids story. You have Papa Doc, the rich family patriarch who's basically a dick, his hot young slut wife Lovely who tries to seduce the mentally retarded servant Ralph right before getting into a great roll-on-the-carpet cat fight with Papa Doc's daughter Julie, whose husband Rick she's previously fucked. Then there's Ruth, a drunk, and her husband Harvey, who's played by the fellow who was Boss Hogg.

Soon the kids show up and beat a guy to death with hammers in a demented slow-motion sepia toned scene for about five minutes. Apparently, Leif Garret was made for more than dancing! Then they head to the family home and ingratiate themselves with all the screwed-up characters we've already met. It's sort of like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof-meets- The Little Rascals- meets escaped mental patients. Mayhem ensues.

Mayhem extends to the plot, which unravels into a number of unfulfilled storylines. The bickering adults are less fun to watch than the crazy kids. The movie's a bit of a mess and apparently so was the production. But the acting's decent, and there's plenty of 70s funk music and a bit of bloodshed and nudity. So it's worth the weirdness.