"Lizard in a Woman's Skin"

Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971) is a Giallo from Lucio Fulchi, and is considered one of his better films. Florinda Bolkan is the daughter of an important lawyer, married to his junior partner, and disturbed, especially by nightmares. After she has one such nightmare, where she murders the debauched and noisy neighbor, Anita Strindberg, Strindberg is found murdered in exactly the same way. In good Giallo fashion, the suspicion keeps shifting.

In a daring for its time scene with a suggestion of lesbianism, Bolkan and Strindberg show breasts. There is a slide show in the special features with full frontal of both women. IMDb readers have this at 6.6 of 10. It take place in England, and was, I believe, originally released in English. I didn't really care about any of the characters, and eventually tired of the plot twists. There was some interesting imagery, and rather disturbing animal mutilation, which caused a stir at the time. This is a C+, a good Giallo.

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  • Anita Strindberg (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
  • Florinda Bolkan (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)


    • Charlie's French Cinema nudity site has been updated. Big update this week.


    Paradise Lost (1999):

    A brilliant adaptation of Milton's epic poem.

    Counselor Troi IS Satan.

    I'm kidding. Milton had nothing to do with this.

    It is really a no-budget eco-parable. And when I say there was no budget, I'm not kidding. They show a crop-spraying plane flying far overhead, then they show two people from the waist up, dusting themselves off, apparently shaking off the crop spray. We know this because they tell us, with witty dialogue like "what about that pesky crop spray, eh? Here, let's shake it off." The production values are exactly the same as those mid-1970s Saturday kid's dramas like Mighty Isis, Electra Woman, and Shazam.

    William Forsythe plays a mega-developer who wants to place the world's greatest resort in the middle of the jungle. His plan is to spray a super-duper new defoliant which will instantly clear the jungle. Marina Sirtis plays a biologist/archeologist/chemist/physicist/physician, Mrs. Wizard, who is working in the jungle studying ...  um ... important jungle stuff that involves microscopes and Bunsen burners and numbers scrolling on computer screens. She has an inquisitive little kid who hangs around and asks her questions ("Gee, Mrs. Wizard ..."), and that is the clumsy way in which the script handles off-camera exposition and pseudo-scientific explanations.

    Marina teaches Forsythe that science must be evil, and that progress is bad, and that we would all be happy if we could just hold hands and sing that "teach the world" Coke song and live in harmony with nature as the Toltecs did ... well, at least until nature kicked their asses and made them disappear forever.

    And while she's at it, Marina also teaches Forsythe to love.

    And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say ...

    ... that Forsythe's small heart grew three sizes that day.

    The love part gave the movie its only redeeming feature - Counselor Troi's bare chest. She had exposed the girls in several movies way back before she got the Star Trek job, but this is the only time she exposed her breasts on film after playing Counselor Troi, and the only time she did a nude scene as a mature woman. She went 14 years in between topless scenes, making Death Wish 3 when she was 25 and this movie when she was 39. In addition to her grainy, dark topless scene (which is further marred by the fact that she is in motion), she also has a lot of screen time standing still in a white t-shirt, and those scenes were shot outside in sunlight.

    Did I mention that the film also has some silly looking monsters that are about half human, and they are always shown in shadow, holding their hands aloft to look more impressive. Actually, that's not completely true. There are also some close-ups of their eyes. Well, anyway, it turns out that they are not monsters at all and that their DNA is quite a bit closer to human than William Forsythe's. You see the moral, kids? If the evil Forsythe had gone ahead with his project, he would have destroyed an entire unknown species - people who are just like us, except hairy and scary like your Uncle Mike after he has too many drinks at your family's Fourth of July beach party.

    Not to mention, as Counselor Troi reminds us, Forsythe might also have destroyed that elusive plant she has been looking for - the one which might cure cancer, AIDS, and Republicanism.

    If you take away Marina's topless scene, the film is really just a preachy, G-rated episode of Mighty Isis without the superpowers. Think about it. Looks like it was shot on video tape; female archeologist; kid around to ask her questions; science and respect being taught though the plot; special effects which consist of shaking the camera a little (at best); important moral lesson learned at the end.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Now that I think about it, if Joanna Cameron had taken off her top once in a while, Mighty Isis would have been pretty cool.

    This movie, however, is not.

    This flick is not available in North America on tape or DVD. The Scandinavian DVD is out of print, but purchase info can be found here. The U.S. distributor's home page can be found here. If you are thinking of buying DVDs from outside your region, read this first.

    • Marina Sirtis (1, 2, 3). Did you know that her last name is supposed to be pronounced "sir-tay"? I had no idea, but that's what her IMDb bio says. I'm pretty sure this is some kind of bullshit, because on the Blind Date DVD commentary, Nico Mastorakis refers to her as "Greek Cypriot Marina 'sear-teece'"  Nastorakis and Marina are both Greek, and both their names end in "-is", so you'd think he'd be able to pronounce it right. Something doesn't add up here.


    Soldier Blue (1970):

    Soldier Blue is a forgotten film about the Western battles between whites and Indians in the West in the 1860s. The movie had high-minded good intentions and might be remembered now, except that it came out at the same time and covered almost the identical ground as Little Big Man, and was markedly inferior to that film. Both films came out in 1970, in the height of the anti-establishmentarian cultural revolution which paralleled the Vietnam War. With the My Lai massacre fresh in everyone's mind, both films invoked certain unflattering parallels (racism, the killing of women and children) between America's conduct of the war in Vietnam and war to win the West. Both films tried to show a more dimensional picture of the Wild West by allowing the Indian side of the story to be told, and by portraying the Indians as sophisticated, complex human beings rather than as the whooping savages normally portrayed in traditional Hollywood Westerns. Both films showed ordinary white people who had lived among the Indians, and who participated in memorable historical events with the perspective of having seen both sides.

    The two films are connected in another, more unusual way. Both of them focus on a massacre of a village where the famous chieftain Black Kettle resided - yet they were two different massacres. Yup, amazingly, Black Kettle was on the receiving end of two famous massacres, Chivington's attack at Sand Creek and Custer's attack on the Waushita. Somehow, Black Kettle managed to survive the Massacre at Sand Creek. He was one of the few. Chivington himself hated Indians and his volunteers were basically lowlifes, not professional soldiers. This massacre happened during the Civil War when the real soldiers were fighting Johnny Reb. Colonel Chivington's brigade slaughtered men, women, and children indiscriminately, and the colonel was reprimanded severely by the Army.

    It's amazing enough that the same chief was involved in both massacres, but what makes it truly astounding is that he was a peaceful chief. Black Kettle was a sensible and compromising man who, in both cases, was flying the Stars and Stripes as well as a white flag of peace. Despite what he had seen in his own experiences including the Sand Creek event, Black Kettle continued to believe pragmatically that the Cheyenne should make a partnership with the white men who seemed to possess overwhelming force and technology. Sadly, that belief did not help him to create such a partnership. After the Civil War he was attacked a second time, this time by the regular Army, the 7th Cavalry, under the command of the famous Custer himself.

    Bottom line, I guess you might say that Soldier Blue, although it was released some months earlier, is the grade-B version of Little Big Man. Little Big Man was among the top ten grossers of 1970 and a critical smash. Soldier Blue came and went virtually unnoticed and unappreciated. Soldier Blue obviously features a much smaller star, Candice Bergen, as opposed to Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man. The greatest difference between the two is the sophistication of the point of view. The star of Little Big Man lived as an Indian and as a white man, and saw the good and bad and the humor in both sides. The star of Soldier Blue lived as an Indian and as a white woman, and really only sympathized with the Indian point of view, so the script ends up being preachy rather than observant. While Little Big Man is art, Soldier Blue is merely counter-propaganda. It merely substitutes the traditional one-dimensional view of the struggle with the opposing one-dimensional view.

    There was a lot of that going on in 1967-73.

    The film pretty much ignored historical accuracy in general. 

    • Soldier Blue exaggerates the facts of the Sand Creek Massacre, despite the fact that there was no need to do so. The simple truth was horrifying enough to begin with.

    • Early in the film, Candice mentions Custer's regiment being wiped out at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, even though that event would not happen until 12 years later.

    • Candice Bergen talks in 1970-speak, delivering lines like "get your ass up here."

    • The Indian extras all look like the same Italian extras from The Untouchables

    When the film is not portraying massacres, it is a typical example of one of those "incompetent man and competent woman" adventures, like The African Queen. Only two white people escape an Indian massacre in the first scene: an army private and a woman. It turns out that the woman was once married to a Cheyenne chief, can survive in the wilderness, and speaks several Indian languages. The guy is pretty much of a complete douchebag, the kind of jungfrau who makes Gilligan seem to have the survival skills of Conan the Barbarian. Needless to say, the mismatched couple eventually falls in love, and he comes around from his foolish naiveté to a complete understanding of the fact that the United States totally sucks. Subtle stuff!

    Soldier Blue was revolutionary in one respect. It portrayed violence graphically. The white soldiers are shown chopping off the heads of Indian women on camera, ripping off all their clothing and raping them, and mutilating their bodies by cutting off their breasts with knives. After the battle, the soldiers were dancing around, waving Indian body parts impaled on sticks. I can assure you this was considered profoundly shocking material in 1970, not just because it represented a new level of violence in mainstream cinema (this was a Candice Bergen movie, fer chrissakes!), but also because it portrayed whites mutilating Indians, rather than vice-versa.

    For 90% of the film, it's pretty lame, lightweight, lowbrow stuff in general. The bickering love relationship is almost on an Ozzie and Harriet level, right down to the sitcom style music, and the major villain is dotty (Donald Pleasance) rather than menacing. That sort of fluff is followed by a horrific and graphic massacre. Imagine if F Troop had done its usual schtick for 20 minutes, then had turned into a serious drama in which O'Rourke and Agarn had massacred the Hakawis brutally on camera, including graphic rape and mutilation.

    I feel guilty being so harsh and making jokes about a film which takes on such serious themes as genocide. After all, this subject matter is basically the Native American equivalent of the Holocaust, and it is difficult to attack the film because by doing so one seems to lack sympathy for the victims. Oh, well, I've said it before and I'll probably say it again many times in the future when Oscars go to crappy films about weighty topics - an important topic does not make an important film.  

    I did learn something important from this film, however.

    From the fight scenes in this film, I managed to learn why white men won the West - the Indians went into hand-to-hand combat wearing headgear so large they could not turn their necks. As a result, they could not win a fight unless they were attacked directly from the front. Look at it this way:

    • In the event of a 180 degree direct attack, the Indian held the advantage. In all other cases, the white man held all the cards.

    • To make matters worse, the highest ranking Indians wore the most cumbersome headdresses, and were thus most vulnerable to being killed. The only way they could survive to old age was to keep from getting promoted to large hat status, thus allowing them to fight naturally. Unfortunately, since the same logic dictated that their chiefs were likely to be killed, there were all too many opportunities for promotion. "Listen, Soaring Eagle, we have good news and bad. The good news is that you are now chief, since Mighty Bear was killed when unable to move his head in a knife fight. The bad news is that you now have to wear the headdress that got him killed in the first place. Good luck, son."

    When you look at it that way, it's a wonder the so-called Native Americans survived as long as they did.

    • Candice Bergen (1, 2, 3)

    • various women (warning: there is some graphic violence) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)


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    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Jr's Polls
    Ok...once again I am revising the poll and chosing a category that is much easier to define...

    Best All Time Television Comedy

    This is one we did a while back, but I thought it would be fun to see what, if anything, has changed.

    I did leave out some wonderful sketch comedy shows, as well as one of the best shows ever..."The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", but that leaves this poll more focused on traditional TV formula comedies. Any exceptions (like MST3K) were added in because they were featured in the poll last time.

    A quick note...a few people have asked "Why are shows like "Sanford and Son", "Cosby Show", "Jeffersons", "Good Times", etc. not included in the poll".

    A good question with a simple answer...the last time we ran this poll, "Sanford and Son" and "Cosby Show" were both included but no one voted for them. (they earned 4 and 2 votes respectively out of the 1018 total votes cast).

    Here are the final results and comments for last week's poll Who has the best bum in Hollywood?

    Here are the results of our most recent other polls...
    The Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2004

    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 80s

    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 90s

    Which actress has been the most convincing playing a stripper.

    Please Email Scoopy Jr. with more nominees, comments or suggestions.

    Crimson Ghost
    NOTE: We currently have to do all of our movie files in zip format. Instead of viewing them online, save the zip files to your hard drive in the directory of your choice, un-zip and play from there.

    Today from the Ghost...a few video clips of former Heffer Rebecca Ferratti (June '86) in scenes from an episode of the late night series, "Erotic Confessions".

    We see her robo-big'uns in all 4 clips, plus all 3 B's in #1.

    • Rebecca Ferratti zipped .wmvs (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Courteney Cox The "Friends" star briefly showing off a rare bit of toplessness in scenes from the 1997 movie "Commandments".

    Joanna Going Exposing a single nipple in an uncredited role from "Commandments".

    Elizabeth Gracen The former Miss America turned actress topless in a dark love scene from "Final Mission". Of course most of us will probably remember best as "the Miss America Bill Clinton had sex with".

    Jolene Blalock
    (1, 2, 3)

    The sexy Vulcan babe from "Enterprise" showing some partial/side breast views in dark scenes from "Diamond Hunters".

    Linda Fiorentino The husky-voiced "Men In Black" star topless and also tied up in scenes from the 1985 Martin Scorsese movie, "After Hours".

    Liv Tyler
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Rachel Weisz
    (1, 2)

    Scenes from the Bernardo Bertolucci film "Stealing Beauty" (1996).

    Rachel Weisz sunbathes topless and shows a bit of pubes. Tyler is topless in a couple of scenes (her first film nudity).

    Jennifer Garner Garner looking great in a bikini in scenes from the Season One DVD set of "Alias".

    Jane Krakowski
    Sienna Miller

    Coming to DVD March 15! LC gives us a sneak peak at the Jude Law movie "Alfie". Miller is topless and shows a thong view. Krakowski is baring keeping the twins contained. In fact it looks like part of a nipple may have escaped.

    Erica Durance
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    The Canadian actress showing off some serious pokies while playing Lois Lane on "Smallville".

    Natasha Henstridge
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

    Flautista 'caps of the "Species" star topless in scenes from the 1996 Jean-Claude Van Damme movie "Maximum Risk". This was the second JCVD movie (out of 4 so far) to feature him in a dual role. This was also one of the last of the theatrical releases for the 'Muscles from Brussels'.

    C.J. Fidler
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Señor Skin 'caps of the stuntwoman/actress exposing a boob in scenes from the 1998 stoner comedy "Half Baked", written by and starring David Chappelle.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Where's His NEA Grant? - In Boise, Idaho, an artist asked if he could get in free to the Erotic City strip club to sketch the dancers. That's when owner Chris Teague discovered that the city law banning full nudity exempted nudity with "serious artistic merit." So he started "Art Club Nights." For $15, each patron gets a sketch pad and pencil, and the chance to draw fully nude dancers/"models." They've had capacity crowds with no arrests for two months. Teague says some of the patrons have actually drawn some very good pictures, which he's posted around the club.

  • In fact, it's now considered the best art museum in Boise.
  • The most frustrating part for the artists: the models WON'T HOLD STILL!
  • Most of the patrons are only there to appreciate the art of the plastic surgeon.

    Where Are They Now? - This week, the first issue of "American Idol: The Magazine" hits the stands. The bi-monthly will include mini-profiles on the top 75 contestants who made it to Hollywood (51 of whom have already been axed), score cards so readers can rate the singers at home as they watch, a lengthy profile of Ryan Seacrest and a column by last year's runner-up, Diana DeGarmo.

  • Who?
  • Good to know she has her writing talent to fall back on.
  • And of course, Ruben Studdard's Diet Tips.
  • Simon Cowell personally designed the score cards...The scores range from "Horrible" to "Abysmal."

    Sumo Wrestling Could Be Big - A lot of Americans may not care that the hockey season was canceled, but it's a disaster for 'round-the-clock cable sports channels, who say they're rushing to fill the void with "compelling" programming. They are lining up Pee Wee hockey games, sports-related movies, English soccer, poker tournaments, dog shows, strong-man bus-pulling championships and curling events for cash.

  • They pay the viewers cash to watch it.
  • They could combine them...How about "dogs playing poker"?
  • All the NHL fans will be watching C-SPAN, for the video of Asian legislators brawling.
  • How about a sport the viewers could participate in, like competitive eating?