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 An Impossible Dream of Babes and Monsters
Ian McDowell
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 07:54 PM


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The other week I had a date with a lovely woman who is both a professional makeup consultant and an amateur (although she's starting to make some money at it) retro pin-up model (of the classic rather than rockabilly variety, meaning that she has no tattoos). She's also quite a film buff and a fan of exploitation and ballyhoo in general (she's not only read Gypsy Rose Lee's THE G-STRING MURDERS but owns a first edition).

She asked me what I thought was the ultimate "boobs, beasts and blood" movie, but although she was using a phrase coined by Joe-Bob Briggs to rate exploitation movies in the 1980s, further conversation revealed that she was really thinking about the 50s and 60s and early 70s, and that "blood" wasn't necessarily the most important part of the equation. "Name a movie that features a really sexy curvaceous va-va-voom babe in revealing or cleavagey attire AND an awesome monster. Bonus points if it has some great gothic atmosphere, either Bava style color or noirish black and white."

It turned out, and she was pretty much aware of this from the start, that she was imagining something that doesn't really exist. "Sure, I love THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, he's my favorite scaly monster, but imagine an alternate universe verison of that film in color, shot by someone like Mario Bava on a studio jungle set, and, no offense to Julia Adams, who was gorgeous and filled out a swimsuit, but with a heroine who looks like Sophia Loren in her diving scenes in BOY ON A DOLPHIN or Jane Russell in UNDERWATER." She then said that CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF was her favorite "wolfman movie," mainly because she had a crush on Oliver Reed and she really liked Roy Ashton's makeup (yes, she's an attractive woman who can namecheck Roy Ashton), but part of her has always been disappointed that it's not the film promised by the famous publicity stilll of a snarling Reed threatening a bosomy Yvonne Romain (since her character dies giving birth to him, and spends her brief part of the film as a tragic victim). She said that she'd long dreamed of a gothic horror film that balanced monsters and T&A as well as Hammer's ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. balanced the visual marvels of Ms. Welch and Mr. Harryhausen, or an atmospheric vampire movie with a heroine as hot as Anita Ekberg in SCREAMING MIMI (one of her favorite trashy thrillers), rather than the matronly Anita of CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and a vampire at least half as awesome as Christopher Lee's Dracula. She loves Hammer, but thinks the hottest (or at least most bosomy) Hammer babes and the best Hammer monsters are never in the same film ("imagine a mummy movie that combined Chris Lee's Kharis and Valerie Leon's Tara!"). She loves the women and the gothic atmosphere in the various 60s Euro-horror films she's seen, but doesn't think they have particularly good monsters (when they have them at all). And she loves Edwige Fenech and the look of her 70s giallos, but those aren't monster movies.

I'm pretty sure that nothing that meets her very stringent standards exists. Can you guys think of anything? Or would this be a better quesiton to ask on the Cult and Exploitaiton and Euro-Cult boards than here?
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Brian Camp
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 08:55 PM


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Something with Ingrid Pitt, maybe? I've never seen THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, but that's what came to mind.

Your friend should check out CURUCU, BEAST OF THE AMAZON, with Beverly Garland encountering a monster on location in the Amazon--in color! Not quite the movie she'd specified, but it's one that I thought of also.

And, while we're at it, why not BRIDE OF THE GORILLA (1951), which, like CURUCU, was directed by Curt Siodmak and set in the Amazon. It stars Raymond Burr and sultry Barbara Payton. There's definitely something there for her.
user posted image

Anything with Irish McCalla? SHE DEMONS?
Mamie Van Doren? THE NAVY VS. THE NIGHT MONSTERS?
What about Diana Dors?
Too bad Rhonda Fleming never made a monster movie.

You can always go to Hong Kong for a variation on this. Again, not quite the movie she's looking for, but it certainly has a babe and a monster--and very little else:
THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN (1977, aka GOLIATHON).
user posted image

This post has been edited by Brian Camp on Feb 19 2012, 09:08 PM


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Marty McKee
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 08:56 PM


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QUOTE (Ian McDowell @ Feb 19 2012, 07:54 PM)
Or would this be a better quesiton to ask on the Cult and Exploitaiton and Euro-Cult boards than here?

Science fiction, horror, and fantastic cinema from all countries are welcome topics here, and movies with monsters seem most appropriate for this board as well.

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON is actually what came to mind first. It seems to be the perfect description of what you were asking for.

What next comes to mind is SAMSON [actually Santo] AND THE VAMPIRE WOMEN, a Mexican black-and-white movie set in a Gothic castle populated by hot vampire chicks in either lingerie or low-cut gowns (I can't remember which). Santo runs around shirtless for the whole movie, so it has a little somethin' somethin' for the ladies in the audience too.


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Ian McDowell
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 09:50 PM


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Brian, she actually namechecked Irish McCalla, saying something like "yes, Julie Adams was hot, but Irish McCalla would have been even hotter, especially if she wore a two-piece." But really, I think she's ruling out CREATURE not because Ms. Adams isn't sufficiently babelicious or because it doesn't have a great monster, but because it's not Gothic enough. Similarly, she said that she shares my big crush on Mara Corday, but her movies have more of a science fiction rather than horror feel, and her hot-girl-next-door scientists are never allowed to be as sultry and seductive as Mara was in GIRLS ON THE LOOSE.

CURUCU, BEAST OF THE AMAZON doesn't really have a monster (a fact that greatly disappointed me as a kid), and BRIDE OF THE GORILLA has a fairly standard gorilla suit. THE VAMPIRE LOVERS is ruled out because she said that, while she really likes movies where a beautiful woman IS the monster, that's not what she's looking for here, which is why she also ruled out Barbara Steele in BLACK SUNDAY and NIGHTMARE CASTLE, even though she loves Babs (and Martine Beswick in DOCTOR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE). I think that would be her "problem" with SANTO VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN, even though it's marvelously atmospheric and offers some great bosomy babes (I put "problem" in quotation marks because I'm pretty sure she'd love the film, it's just not quite whas she was looking for with that particular question). The CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN might work, though.

See, I think the problem is that she really likes two things that generaly didn't appear in the same movie. She loves busty exotic looking bombshells in films that show off their physical assets (rather than making them look like prim and proper heroines). And she loves male monsters with grotesque faces that are achieved by classic makeup effects. But how many movies in the 50s and 60s actually combined those two?

There are some amazing looking women in 60s Euro-horror, but they're more often menaced by mad doctors, sadistic psychos, and rather undistinguished male vampires who don't have Christopher Lee's stature or menace, than they are by supernatural or laboratory-created terrors played by actors in latex. Or, as is the case with Barbara Steele and Ingrid Pitt and Santo's Vampire Women, the sexy female lead IS the monster. The women that she idolizes realy came into vogue in the late 50s and early 60s, and by then the age of the classic monster make-up was over, or nearly over.* I think she's imagining something like WEREWOLF IN A GIRL'S DORMITORY with a better werewolf makeup, or THE PLAYGIRLS AND THE VAMPIRE or THE VAMPIRE AND THE BALLERINA with Christopher Lee rather than Walter Brandi.

*I actually asked her if she considered Christopher Lee's Count Dracula a "classic monster make-up." She said, yes, when he was baring bloody fangs and had red eyes, but really, it was more than Lee had a "great monster face" even when he wasn't wearing makeup in a way that other vampires of the 50s and 60s generally did not. Which makes me wonder what she'd think of German Robles, whom I think also sports a really cool classic vampire look.
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Ian McDowell
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 10:03 PM


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We were just talking about this in email and she said "Have you seen the Russian film VIY, based on the same story as BLACK SUNDAY? [Yes, I have] I used to date this Ukranian guy who had been scared by that movie as a kid, and he showed it to me. It's really great & the monster mash at the end is one of the very best things ever. But while I think the Russian actress playing the witch is really hot and actually gives an even better performance than Barbara did in BLACK SUNDAY, the movie doesn't play up her hotness enough for my taste. Don't get me wrong, it's a great film and she's great in it, but if it had showed off her body more, and had her try to seduce the priest rather than just scare him, if it had taken more an Italian approach to her character, it might be my favorite movie in the world."

She also agreed that she needs to see SANTO VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN and CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN, and that she googled German Robles and likes his vampire look a lot better than the various male actors she's seen in Italian vampire movies. And she asked if Allyson Hayes made a movie with a "cool looking" monster in it.
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Marty McKee
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 11:13 PM


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QUOTE (Ian McDowell @ Feb 19 2012, 10:03 PM)
And she asked if Allyson Hayes made a movie with a "cool looking" monster in it.

Nope.


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John Black
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 11:52 PM


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Has she seen Jim Wynorski's THE LOST EMPIRE (1985)? It has gorgeous warrior babes, and a character who becomes a monster at the end. It's no classic, but it's really fun as a spoof of "tough women" fantasy films.
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Ian McDowell
Posted: Feb 20 2012, 01:13 AM


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She's a big Russ Meyer fan and knows Raven Delacroix, so I imagine she's seen it. It is, of course, not particularly gothic or even monsterific, despite the zombie that Angus Scrim turns into at the end (and the horny gorilla). But I expect she likes it.

In her most recent email, she disclosed that she shares my irrational fondness for THE SHE CREATURE, although this doesn't prevent her from envisioning an even more "ideal" version of the movie, one in which "you get a better look at the monster costume, including the tail and the scaly tits, and which stars Mara Corday instead of Marla English (and includes a scene of her in a bikini)."
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William S. Wilson
Posted: Feb 20 2012, 09:33 AM


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QUOTE (Ian McDowell @ Feb 19 2012, 10:03 PM)
We were just talking about this in email and she said "Have you seen the Russian film VIY, based on the same story as BLACK SUNDAY? [Yes, I have]  I used to date this Ukranian guy who had been scared by that movie as a kid, and he showed it to me.  It's really great & the monster mash at the end is one of the very best things ever. But while I think the Russian actress playing the witch is really hot and actually gives an even better performance than Barbara did in BLACK SUNDAY, the movie doesn't play up her hotness enough for my taste.  Don't get me wrong, it's a great film and she's great in it, but if it had showed off her body more, and had her try to seduce the priest rather than just scare him, if it had taken more an Italian approach to her character, it might be my favorite movie in the world."

You should mention to her that the big budget Russian remake of this is hitting theaters this month. Here's the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gno8XsmEEEQ

Back on topic, the first thing that popped into my head was KISS ME QUICK, but that completely fails when it comes to an impressive monster. I did a marathon of the Hammer Frankenstein films a couple of years ago and those definitely fit the bill as each one had a busty co-star (and the woman was even the monster in one of them). Actually, you know what is a great one is HELL NIGHT (1981). Yeah, it's 80s, but it has that great monster Andrew (although he is human), lots of spooky atmosphere in the old dark house and Linda Blair in this dress.

user posted image


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Yi Lee
Posted: Feb 20 2012, 12:40 PM


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Hola Ian (and everybody else),

I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the beasties and bosoms body of films but I've got a little anecdote that might be useful in tracking down a lot more of these pictures, particularly recently(!) produced ones.

When I lived in England, I used to frequent all the major European film festivals. Owing to the many discount air carriers in the UK such as Easy Jet and Ryan Air--just to name the two most well-known--it wasn't too difficult to score some totally obscene steals at certain times (pre-tax costs of under a quid!; international flights cheaper than inter-city rates for American Megabus!) Although I'm not a terribly big fan of Cannes--Venice is clearly the class of the European fests; Berlin and Edinburgh along with Venice are generally more friendly towards the non-industry, general fan--if you can snag passes to the Cannes market (Marche du film), the industry trade show running concurrently alongside the prestige screenings at the main Palais, a wealth of the very films you seek are on display every year (and subtitled in English to boot.)

Picking up the free festival dailies produced by the likes of _The Hollywood Reporter_ and _Variety_ along various points upon the croisette, all manner of awesomely garish full page posters are on display for pulpy fantasy films produced by "minor language" film industries around the world. Nubile, full-bodied damsels in distress (as opposed to the hard-bodied, casual pole dancing look favored by Hollywood) are terrorized by Old World monsters whilst hirsute, real men heroes (as opposed to the waxed, coiffed "u mad, bro" d-bags that Hollywood seems intent on plying the public with) fight evil with a trusty steed and a big-ass battle axe. Nordic amazons serving darkly erotic high priestesses for long forgotten pagan gods do battle against swarthy adventurers who look like they can actually handle the massive weaponry they wield on screen. With minimal ropey CGI--either simply cannot afford any or just enough to hire part-time those infamous Eastern European hackers who specialize in identity theft worms and corporate espionage cracks--and casts of thousands, some producer's home village dressed to look like they're extras in some painterly Old World production. I'm thinking a lot of Turkish and Hungarian pics here along with the usual suspects of Greece, Italy, Russia, the countries comprising satellites of the former Soviet Union.

I was always too busy waiting in long lines for "Un Certain regard" and "Cinefondation" screenings (and the occasional show at the tony Lumiere) to ever partake in the Marche's cornucopia of minor language industry gems but suppose you and your ladyfriend can take an upcoming May holiday, a surfeit of riches surely awaits. Of note, I think the process for free "Cinephile" accreditation is taking right now and if you have any industry contacts, you can hit them up to snag some Marche accreditation proper.

BTW, do you still catch Desi cinema on a regular basis? Oy vey, if you don't! Manly men like Salman Khan, John Abraham, and Hrithik Roshan doing their thing on screen. More former Miss Worlds and Miss Universes than any one film industry should be legally allowed to have (are you familiar with the work of Miss "Piggy Chops" Priyanka Chopra, Miss World 2000? Something tells me you two might really enjoy gothic thriller "7 Khoon Maaf" and Chopra's smoldering turn in that film) not to speak of more casually sultry "sexpots" like Mallika Sherawat and Katrina Kaif. Sherawat's "Hisss/Nagin: the Snake Woman" (directed by David Lynch's daughter) is absolute rubbish, but when she walked the red carpet at Cannes last year, she was wearing a live 22 ft. long python the way most women might wear a feather boa(!) That's something you don't see everyday.
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Ian McDowell
Posted: Feb 21 2012, 02:27 AM


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Hola Yi Lee,

Those certainly do sound like fertile fields for this kind of thing. I was really disappointed once the word started getting out that HISSS was awful. Mallika Sherawat is a stunning lady, and I thought she was charming in her film with Jackie Chan. And the initial stills seemed to promise some gloriously old school makeup effects.
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William D'Annucci
Posted: Feb 21 2012, 05:48 AM


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Wrong era, I know, but From Beyond seems to tick off all the categories. Or how about Paul Naschy's Night Of The Werewolf?
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Yi Lee
Posted: Feb 21 2012, 05:58 AM


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Hey Ian (and everybody else),

"Hisss" has a neat trailer. I'll give it that. But the full film itself has some pretty jarring shifts in tone, some wildly uncalibrated performances (including by Irrfan Khan himself toward the final reels, no less), and was preceded by immense hype and heightened expectations that no movie, no matter how spectacular, should ever have to face. Unintentionally risible for large chunks of its playing time--and not in the so bad it becomes meta-good as connoisseurs of "le bad" cinema are wont to champion--the review at Twitch is pretty spot on (the talk-back comments are well worth reading too):

http://twitchfilm.com/reviews/2010/10/hiss...a-mea-culpa.php

Trailers for reference purposes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgkD-lHCZ4M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnzyfqTKXGQ

As for the Marche du film, it's the metaphorical candy store that any diehard film kid can get lost in for ages. The global recession has made everybody extremely tight with their investments. I was having dinner with some European producers awhile back and they were estimating there's a backlog of a good 5-10K films--already shot and put away in the can, so to speak--that are competing in various global film markets to secure that extra bit of funding in the final stages to cover the costs of distribution and publicity. I'm not exaggerating the large numbers of old-fashioned genre pics in minor languages that feature copious breasts and beasts; and unless you catch them at events like the Market or other industry bazaars (or if you personally know the filmmakers themselves who have a cut of it on their hard drive or something), you're never going to see said pictures via normal (or otherwise) distribution channels.

(To everybody): Considering how easy it is to score free cinephile passes, the Cannes experience is one that can be had by all (though once you do Venice, Berlin, Toronto, you'll realize how sub-standard that vaunted Cannes experience actually is.) A quick handy write-up:

http://www.bestofniceblog.com/2011/04/19/h...ithout-a-badge/

And the cinephiles' complex has a nice, comfy cafe without the long pointless lines that plague the main festival (in place just to make people with VIP badges feel special?) Nonetheless, how can I hate you, oh Cannes?; after all, no other film festival has a film that celebrates/lampoons you the way <<La cite de la peur>> (Fear City: A Family-style Comedy, 1994) does:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CItygwB9mfY
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Victor Boston
Posted: Feb 22 2012, 03:25 PM


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I'm sure HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND is the perfect movie?
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mark rollie
Posted: Feb 25 2012, 09:30 AM


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LADY FRANKENSTEIN came to mind, but it also might depend on how you define "awesome" in regards to the monster.

If gothic atmosphere isn't important, the Filipino Blood Island movies might work.
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Brian Camp
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 08:04 AM


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QUOTE (mark rollie @ Feb 25 2012, 09:30 AM)
If gothic atmosphere isn't important, the Filipino Blood Island movies might work.

I think TWILIGHT PEOPLE (1973) is part of that cycle. That's the loose remake of ISLAND OF LOST SOULS in which Pam Grier plays the panther woman. Can't go wrong there.

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Domenick Fraumeni
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 10:34 AM


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A few Paul Naschy movies come to mind that could fit the bill.
DR. JEKYLL AND THE WEREWOLF, WEREWOLF SHADOW, a.k.a. WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMAN, or even better it's bugger budgeted remake by Naschy NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF. Also, COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE is dripping with Gothic atmosphere, blood and erotica.
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Ian McDowell
Posted: Feb 27 2012, 12:28 AM


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Thanks, guys. The Naschy and Blood Island suggestions seem particularly apt, although I still stand by my contention that the films with the most va-va-voom women don't generally have the best monsters, and vice-versa. I do like HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND for what it is, even if the monster is kind of lame.

There's also MATANGO, which has some great atmosphere (the colors are positively Bava-esque), the genuinely weird looking mushroom people, and Kumi Mizuno.

Still, I think my lady friend is looking for some kind of alternate world "if only" film in which the Gill-Man menaces Anita Ekberg or the titular creature from CURSE OF THE DEMON is summoned by Barbara Steele rather than Nial McGinnis.
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