"Valentino" revisited

I received this in the mail:

"Tuna, loved your caps from the DVD of Valentino. One request - another popular actress who had a nude scene in that film is Linda Thorson of Avengers fame. According to The Bare Facts, she was briefly topless in the first 15 minutes of the films. As she did little nudity in her career, I would appreciate seeing that when you get a chance."

Sure enough, her nipple was briefly visible near the start of the film.

  • Linda Thorson (1, 2)

"Strip for Action"

Strip for Action (1996) -- There is a veritable epidemic of strip-sploitation films being released next week, and I have the dubious privilege of capping them. If all of them are the same caliber as this one, it is going to be a very long weekend indeed. The most interesting thing about Strip for Action (called Hot Ticket at IMDB) is the name of the DP, Harry Box. Unfortunately, that is the only box we see. The exposure is limited to breasts and butt-floss g-strings from female leads Maria Ford and Nikki Fritz, and also from a few anonymous strippers. This is supposed to be a crime thriller, and had very modest aspirations. It fell way short of its goals.

We start, naturally, in a strip club, where armed men enter, shoot a whole bunch of guards, strippers and patrons, hold the owner at gunpoint until the time lock on the safe can be opened, then kill him, and leave with lots of cash, Maria Ford (niece of the owner), Nikki Fritz (handy stripper), Maria's ex, who happens to be a manager at the club and brother of the bad guy, and Maria's current boyfriend and manager of the club. Maria is also a manager of the club. Actually, the club seems to have more managers than strippers or patrons. We find out that ex-boyfriend is the brother of the bad guys, and is in on the robbery. Now, get this. The bad guy was sent by the mob to collect a huge gambling debt from his brother. Bro told him that the owner of the strip club laundered huge amounts of cash for the mob. So bad guy decides to rip off the mob, rather than collect from them. The plan is to fly to Vegas, with an injured assistant bad guy as the pilot, and Fritz, Ford and Ford's new boyfriend as hostages. Naturally the pilot dies of blood loss, the plane crashes, and we have a lengthy trek through the wilderness.

IMDB readers have this at 3.6 of 10, which is very generous. Both comments there complain about the body count, but appreciated the breasts from Ford and Fritz. I also appreciated the breasts, but would have been much happier if neither had any lines. The DVD quality is abysmal. So, to sum it up, bad plot full of holes and excessive violence, dark nudity limited to breasts, and not much of that, terrible acting, and an embarrassing 4/3 transfer. F.

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  • Maria Ford (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)
  • Nikki Fritz (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
  • Strippers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Women and Filmmaking:

    Yesterday, I asked "what is the best film ever directed by a woman?". I decided to research the issue.

    Women generally aren't in the three key filmmaking jobs (writer, director, cinematographer) to begin with. Year after year, the percentage of films directed by men hovers around 95%. Writers: 88%. Cinematographers: 100%. Not only are the female numbers minimal to start with, but they are also trending negatively! Martha M. Lauzen, a San Diego State professor who studied the issue, found that women directed seven percent of the 100 top-grossing films released in 2000. That dropped to four percent in 2001. The situation is slightly better for screenwriters, but even there, women maxxed out at a mere 14% in 2000, dropping to 10% in 2001. The most dramatic exclusion is in cinematography. Professor Lauzen's study shows that men were the cinematographers on 100% of the top 250 films in both 2000 and 2001. Well, I guess establishing the bar at 0% at least prevented a negative trend.

    No unquestioned masterpiece has ever been directed by a woman. The IMDb Top 250 includes no film which has been directed by a woman, although the acclaimed kiddie film Shrek (#111 of all time) was co-directed by a woman and a man. No woman has ever won the Oscar for best director, and only two have been nominated: Lina Wertmüller for "Seven Beauties" in 1976 (7.5 at IMDb), and Jane Campion for "The Piano" in 1993 (7.3 at IMDb), both of which are basically art house films.

    Other female directors with successful recent films:

    • Kathryn Bigelow: Strange Days (6.9), K-19 (6.6), Point Break (6.5)
    • Julie Taymor: Titus (7.3) and Frida (7.5)
    • Martha Coolidge: Rambling Rose (6.7)
    • Nora Ephron: Sleepless in Seattle (6.7)
    • Agnieska Holland: Europa Europa (7.5)
    • Marleen Gorris: Antonia's Line (7.5)

    None of these films are truly chick-flicks by our objective definition, which requires that the rating from females at IMDb be at least a point higher than the male rating. Each of the films mentioned above is rated at least 6.4 by men, but none is rated more than 7.4. It takes 7.7 to make the all-time top 250 at IMDb.

    Although the overall ratings indicate a dead heat for first place between Seven Beauties, Frida, Europa Europa and Antonia's Line, all  at 7.5, a look inside the numbers shows that Frida is clearly ahead of the others. Female voters alone would place Frida into "classic" status at 8.2, and it is also rated as high or higher by men than any other film on the list.

    Film (director) Male Score Female Score
    K-19 (Bigelow) 6.6 6.7
    Strange Days (Bigelow) 6.9 7.2
    Point Break (Bigelow) 6.4 6.6
    Titus (Taymor) 7.3 7.3
    Frida (Taymor) 7.4 8.2
    Antonia's Line (Gorris) 7.2 7.8
    Rambling Rose (Coolidge) 6.7 6.6
    Sleepless in Seattle (Ephron) 6.6 7.1
    Europa, Europa (Holland) 7.3 6.8
    Seven Beauties (Wertmuller) 7.4 5.7
    The Piano (Campion) 7.2 7.7

    I guess the answer to my original question is "Frida".

    All of the films on the list above are good, but it seems strange to be discussing them as the best of all time. After a century of filmmaking, it is not at all unreasonable to argue that last year's Frida is the best film ever directed by a woman. I think Frida is a good movie, and I think Taymor's own Titus might be even better, but there's never been a better one? Wow. That's staggering.

    Filmmaking is the last boy's club.


    La Belle Epoque:

    It's about damned time they got this charming Spanish film, winner of the best foreign film Oscar in 1992, on Region 1 DVD

    The thing I admire most about the filmmakers of Spain is that they seem to have the ability to invoke a highly developed aesthetic sensibility without descending either into maudlin sentimentality or pretentious, arty bullshit. They just work the art into the story. Francisco Trueba, the director of La Belle Epoque, is a perfect example. One of his other films, The Girl of your Dreams, is one of the most consciously styled films I've ever seen, practically a 1930's stylistic wet dream, yet it uses the art only to support the characters, and never allows the aesthetics to overpower the humanity of the story.

    This movie, Belle Epoque, is not as stylized, but is just as effective in blending the aesthetics with the storyline. Similar in joyful hedonism to "Sirens" and  "Stealing Beauty", it is an ode to a special hopeful time in Spain, the brief Republican dream that stirred the imagination of the entire world in between the death of the Spanish monarchy and the rise of the fascists.

    "La Belle Epoque" means "The Beautiful Age", and usually refers to the peaceful time of artistic flowering which took place in France at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, the period in which the modern world of art began. Spain's Belle Epoque was a shorter one. The republic lasted only from 1931 until 1939, but it gave Spanish intellectuals hope that the old bastions of repression, the Church and the monarchy, would finally lose their joint death-grips on Spanish thought. During that period, many celebrated their ability to cast off the repression, to think as they chose, to embrace sensual lives, to choose agnosticism, and to speak their convictions freely in public. This film uses one large, intellectual, free-thinking Spanish family to show how the new attitudes in Spain affected various lives.

    Jorge Sanz plays a deserter who ends up in the countryside home of an elderly painter. When the old man's four daughters arrive, they all compete for the attentions of the handsome and eligible stranger. In a sense, they all succeed. Even the lesbian! The best part of the lesbian episode is that the director actually found a way to make that sexual encounter believable, by letting it occur during a masquerade party in which the lesbian is attracted to the man because he is quite an attractive woman in his costume. The lesbian sister dances the tango with him, she dressed as a soldier, he as a maid, her leading of course. Then, aroused by her command of the situation, she forces him to get on his back, and mounts him.

    This film is a pure pleasure to watch from start to finish. American filmmakers seem to have to choose between humanity and art, and their films seem to have one or the other, never both. The most "artistic" films of America seem to renounce life, not celebrate it. They could learn a lot from this film, and from director Fernando Trueba.

    • Ariadna Gil (1, 2)
    • Penelope Cruz (1, 2)



    • New volumes: Tilda Swinton
    • Updated volumes:
    • Charlie's French Cinema Nudity site is updated.  With respect to new films not yet in his update, Charlie reports, "Charlotte Rampling has her clearest full frontal ever in Swimming-Pool, in which youngster Ludivine Sagnier is naked half of the time!"


    Other crap:




    Maybe I'm behind the game, but what's interesting here is every story about Larry Wachowski mentions the "well-known" dominatrix Karin Winslow, yet she's nowhere on the web. WENN sent a story last night identifying her as ILSA STRIX. Punch that in, and
    she's everywhere...make that WAS everywhere ... you know how when somebody's "everywhere" and  all you get are "404s" -- Karin/Ilsa is in the middle of a -- who knows -- 100, 200 million divorce settlement. It must be in somebody's interest to get her off the web.

    Here's the story in The Mirror, which says, " Sporting dangly earrings and a knitted cap, he was accompanied by 36-year-old
    Karin Winslow - a well-known sado-masochistic dominatrix, who had just left  her trans-sexual husband and taken on Wachowski as her "slave". Karin first experimented with S&M after leaving school and by then had become one of the most famous dominatrixes in the city.

    In one interview, she said: "My favourite activities range from worshipping my stiletto heel to piercing, rope-suspension bondage and bullwhipping." At the time, she was happily married to Jake, who, although born a girl,  underwent a sex-change operation in 1995, three years before he married Karin.

    I've found exactly ONE picture of her, and I had to go a non-Google search engine ( and I'm not even positive it's her.

    Scoop's notes: Ilsa's own sites are disappearing faster than liberal Republicans, but here are some other sources of info.

    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • 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 Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick Locke, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Graphic Response
    • Isabelle Adjani, baring a single breast in the infamous "comedy", "Ishtar".

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    'Caps and comments by Hankster:

    Today I offer up a plate of leftovers.

    First up Jennifer Love Hewitt in "I know What You did Last Summer", wearing only a towel. Sexy.

    • Jennifer Love Hewitt (1, 2, 3)

    Then it's on to TV land to visit the Pam Anderson show "V.I.P.". Here we have Leah Lail with some pretty decent cleavage. Now maybe I am crazy, but I have always thought Leah is the hot one on that show.

    • Leah Lail (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Mr Grundy
    'Caps and comments by the G-man:

    First up, Meridith Haze's name is spelled "Merideth" at the IMDb, but I went with the version on the credits of DEATH WISH CLUB from 1983... also known as CARNIVAL OF FOOLS, written by Philip Yordan. She handled herself well with two meaty roles, a porn actress whom our hero becomes obsessed over, and a male split-personality... a Cagney-like tough guy. The quirkily weird film was edited as part of a horror anthology in 1985 film entitled NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR. The film evidently marks Ms. Haze's only screen appearance to date.

    Theresa Jenson is the good, stable girlfriend to the hero of DEATH WISH CLUB... as opposed to the wacked-out woman he is really in love with. Ms. Jenson apparently has never shown her skin on any other set of sprockets, since.

    Ella Raines plays the good, stable girlfriend to the hero of 1949's releatively well made film noir, IMPACT... Brian Donlevy, the victim of attempted murder by his wife and her lover. No nudity, but Ms. Raines came across as a very attractive and appealing person of the feminine persuasion, and I wondered why I had never heard of her before (trying to suppress the glaring answer: gross ignorance).

    Here's an unknown in the recent "controversial" TV mini-series, HITLER: THE RISE OF EVIL. Why was it controversial? Not long ago, in an April TV Guide look, the film was named HITLER: RISE TO POWER. The producers wanted to make sure to appease the voices of concern that Adolf will NOT come across as a glamorized, sympathetic hero (what would the possibility of that have been anyway, in a mainstream media outlet like a major television network?), so they hammered the point home by re-titling the title. In that very interview, the executive producer wished to take the heat off by explaining the film could be interpreted as a cautionary tale to today's America, where bad things can happen if we give into our fears and paranoia... and where especially people are becoming afraid to offer counter-opinions. For his views that may not have fallen in line in what should be more popularly accepted, the executive producer promptly got fired! At any rate, any glimpse of nudity on American prime-time television is still something to marvel at, and the film featured a moment from a model in the teen-aged Fuehrer-to-be's art class. (Julianna Margulies, as the aristocratic wife Hitler expresses an attraction for, came across as very sexy in this film... with her clothes on, of course.)

    Lesley Milne plays the blond, innocent heroine in 1988's VAMPIRE AT MIDNIGHT. The vampire, Gustav Vintas, adopts a can't fail Eastern European accent that might have made Lugosi envious, as a hypnotist who mesmerizes the young lady... to the point where she no longer becomes shy about showing all. It seems Ms. Milne has not adorned the silver screen since she kindly allowed a peek at the intimate details of her personage.

    Esther Elise is an Italian policewoman in VAMPIRE AT MIDNIGHT who has the hots for the film's hero, a fellow cop played by Flesh Gordon himself, Jason Williams. She expresses her desires by showing up while he slesps in his bedroom, handcuffing his wrist to the bedpost, then making some none-too-subtle moves. If I only had a nickel for all the girlfriends who showed their sexual affection for me so blatantly, I don't know what I would do with all that money. Ms. Elise, whose name is "Alise" in the movie, has also shown her charms in the same year's HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS; Uncle Scoopy has already done the backbreaking work to let you in more of her bare details, if you run a search.

    As alwaysm Mister Grundy invites you to visit his yahoo group at Sick Sexy Sinema Shots

    Annie Jouzier
    (1, 2)

    Topless in the 1987 French comedy "Club de rencontres".

    Jeanne Balibar Breast exposure in scenes from "Intimisto" (2001).

    Juliet Berto
    (1, 2)

    Breast exposure and also a sex scene from "Sex-shop" (1973).

    Juliette Mills Also baring breasts in "Sex-shop".

    Marlène Appelt Full frontal nudity in even more 'caps from "Sex-shop".

    Sabine Glaser One last collage of toplessness from "Sex-shop".

    Marie-Hélène Breillat Very impressive cleavage, and a great breast view in scenes from the 1974 movie "L'Ironie du sort".

    Scorpion's Skinemax
    Today's batch of late night goodies feature the ladies of "Erotic Obsessions".
    • Flower Edwards, pseudo-sex and frontal nudity. (1, 2)

    • Skinemax regular Griffin Drew shows off her robo-hooters, and even lets us have a look below the equator in link #2.
      (1, 2, 3, 4)

    • Susan Hale, gettin' it on of course. (1, 2)

    Franziska Petri The German actress topless in an outdoor scene from "Tage des Sturms" (2003).

    Eiko Matsuda
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    From the controversial, 1976 Japanese movie that pushed the "is it art or is it porn" boundry, "The Realm of the Senses". Matsuda shows it all, including a gyno view in link #6, penetration in #1 and giving oral in links 2 and 4.

    Jane Birkin
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    More 'caps by Señor Skin from the 1973 movie "Ms. Don Juan". The UK actress is seen topless and almost full frontal.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Sounds Like A Dog - Oprah Winfrey's "Oxygen" cable TV channel for women will air a special called "Meow TV" sponsored by Meow Mix cat food. It will be aimed at cats and cat lovers, with such segments as film of squirrels running up and down a tree and Sandra Bernhard reading "Cat Haikus." But not everyone is pleased: Meow Mix CEO Richard Thompson revealed at a New York premiere party that his butt was swollen and bandaged because he'd been walking near his home when a dog viciously bit him.

  • Apparently, dogs have more taste than Oprah.
  • Usually, dogs like Sandra Bernhard...They think she's one of their own.
  • Is he sure that was a dog and not a TV critic?
  • Sandra Bernhard reading cat haikus? I'LL bite him!

    We're No Angels - "Charlie's Angels" director "McG," real name Joseph McGinty Nichol, said he's so comfortable with his friends Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz that when they attended the Super Bowl of Motocross together, they all stripped naked and hung out in the back of a limo van, listening to Motley Crue records in the nude. He said, "They're all very free with their physicality...That's how we get down." He added, "It's sort of fabulous the way we all trust one another, most particularly Drew. Drew is very into the body, very natural. It's a splendid thing."

  • Is he sure this isn't just a dream he had?...Because it's a lot like the dreams I have.
  • Yes, they totally trust each other...not to blab to the press.
  • I think we have a new frontrunner for the title of "World's Best Job."
  • In fact, they shot the entire movie naked, and clothes were added digitally.
  • They should forget the stupid movie and just film the breaks.