The Panic in Needle Park


There's good news and bad news. The good news is that the film really takes the time to develop its characters, so that you really feel that you know them. The bad news is that you'll wish you didn't. They're junkies, so they spend their time doing what junkies do: hustling anything for dope, ripping one another off, shooting up, and nodding out.

I'm not finished with the bad news. It's one of those ugly slice-of-life films made in that brief window of time after the studio system era but before the blockbuster era. It was an epoch when filmmakers felt obligated to have as little plot and structure as possible, and as much gritty realism as they could possibly create. Back in that era we felt that slick technical filmmaking was selling out to the man (whoever he was, probably Dick Nixon), and that a coherent narrative structure was the cinematic equivalent of your father's Oldsmobile.

So ... the film has a film verité aesthetic, has no beginning or ending, and features Manhattan junkies acting exactly like real junkies. That had some merit in 1971 because we suburban types didn't know what the lives of real junkies were like, and this film laid everything out in painstaking detail, including close-ups of needles entering veins. It was shocking then and its realism could cause people to turn from the screen. Watching it now can be a painful experience in a completely different way. We've seen it done better so many times since 1971 that this pioneering film seems tedious, obvious, painfully limited by the clichés and mannerisms of its time. It was probably hip back then, but now it's about as hip as the Keystone Kops.

And a lot less fun.

There are some interesting aspects of the film, primarily personnel related:

The film was entered at Cannes, and the young female star, Kitty Winn, got a heady welcome to the world of cinema when she was chosen as the festival's best actress in her film debut. It was her first movie, but she was no stranger to the acting profession. Like Annette Bening some years later, Winn had been discovered by a film director while she was performing with the American Conservatory Theater group. She starred with that troupe from 1967-1970, and it was her performance in Saint Joan that attracted the attention of producer Dominick Dunne, who invited her to California for a Needle Park audition. She got the part and the kudos at Cannes, but her career never took off. She married in 1978,  and never worked in another film after her wedding, committing to family life instead.

Fortunately for film nudity historians and aficionados, the political mandates of the counter-culture produced more than just meandering scripts. An important corollary of the anti-establishment attitude was that nudity was de rigueur in the era. It was another way of thumbing one's nose at society's uptight and hypocritical conventions. Right on, man. Power to the people.

Thus, Kitty Winn's first film also provided her only screen nudity.

Kitty's young co-star didn't get any special attention at Cannes, but he went on to a somewhat more impressive career than Ms. Winn. I think you've probably heard of him. Guy named Al Pacino. His performance in Needle Park made an impression on a young director named Francis Ford Coppola, and the two of them would soon enter the A-list together as the director and star of The Godfather, Pacino's very next film.

A few captures



  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.








Virtual Encounters


Virtual Encounters is a softcore with a premise rather than a plot. Amy (Elizabeth Kaitan) is an executive dating a nice guy, but hesitant to get sexually involved. He gets her a special executive package at a VR sex clinic for her birthday present, and we get to see what she sees -- a whole bunch of sex scenes lifter from other films and/or out-takes. Of course, she eventually sees the light.

There are naked performances from Michelle Barry, Roxanne Blaze, Sindee Coxx, Elizabeth Kaitan, Jill Kelly, Jacqueline Lovell. Lori Morrissey, Cathleen Raymond, Taylor St. Clair and Tricia Yen.

IMDb voters show little respect rating it 3.5 with 94 votes. I agree. There is no plot, the sex scenes are tepid, the photographic style is all over the place, there is no character development, the sound track is irritating, and we do not see enough of Elizabeth Kaitan.


Michelle Berry


Roxanne Blaze


Sindee Coxx



Elizabeth Kaitan



Jill Kelly




Lori Morrissey


Cathleen Raymond and Taylor St. Clair


Jacqueline Lovell and Tricia Yen 24











Well folks, I have a nasty Bug which has all but knocked me out, so I decided to do "Bug." Ashley Judd gets all naked in this totally weird flick. To each his own, but not my cup of tea.







Notes and collages


Season 3, episode 1

Cynthia Watros


Ms. Watros is a talented slapstick comedian who also happens to be gorgeous.

The reason her breasts are extra large in the first few episodes of this tv show's 3rd season is pregnancy.

The tone of her body is no accident of nature; in her youth she gained 100 pounds while fighting cancer so she fought her way to who she has become. I respect her for that.

...and in an interview, Ms. Watros explained that she was a stoic child who decided to laugh a lot more after surviving cancer. Good for her (and us.)









Like yesterday's girl, Nicole McAuley, Tamie Sheffield has been reconstructed by Dow-Corning.


Film clips here. Sample right >>>>  








Film clips of four women from In With Thieves:

LC's collages for these clips are in the Wednesday edition (Feb 27), along with 28 of his other recent collages.






Here's the spectacularly beautiful model Angela Lindvall again. This time a couple of collages.

Anne Parillaud in Innocent Blood. These are about the best work I've seen on this movie. It's a difficult one to work with because the lighting is both dark and funky.

Audrey Munson in Inspiration. According to Señor Piel, this is the very first nude scene in a full-length film. Ever.
Phoebe Price upskirt


Film Clips

Andrea Edmundson in The Pet

Fern Dorsey in Love Crimes

Laetitia Casta in Gitano

Laura Murdock in Timecop

Mimi Lazo and Nartia Garcia in Perder es cuestion de metodo

Veronica Sanchez in Las 13 Rosas