Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

Inserts (1975)

In reviewing all the DVD releases each week, I have had the privilege of rewatching many of the classics from the late sixties and early seventies, and I have been also able to watch some of the forgotten films of that era for the first time. It has been an edifying process, because I have been able to watch those films with my eyes stripped of the cultural blinders of the times. I have realized that the films of the early 1970s are not often good. In fact, they are almost all failures. Many films which I loved back then now seem clumsy or pretentious. Many others seem to be prisoners of the 70s zeitgeist and the fashionable counter-cultural ethos, and almost all of them seem quaint and naive and totally one-dimensional. It often embarrasses me to think how much I once loved those films, just as it sometimes embarrasses me to think about some of the things I believed and did in those reckless, free-thinking days.

And yet, although I have concluded that the films of the 1970s were nowhere near as good as I remembered them, I have also come to realize that I miss the era even more than I ever dreamed. Looking back from today's more Puritanical climate, it is refreshing to see the sexual and conceptual freedom in those films. Looking back from today's era of cookie-cutter films designed by marketing committees, it provides the ultimate nostalgic pleasure to go back and wallow in an era when no popular films had a number in the title. In fact, the spirit of individuality was embedded so deeply into the consciousness of that era that it is almost impossible to picture the era's signature films having sequels. Harold and Maude II? Easy Rider 2? The lionization of individuality in those years really represented an oasis of original, personal filmmaking in between the last gasp of the studio system in the early sixties and the onset of the blockbuster mentality in the late seventies. Those movies from 1967 to 1975 may not often have been good,  but they were often passionate and inventive. The most appealing characteristic that they possessed is that they were not corporate. Many of the films of that era expressed the feelings and bared the creative souls of the auteurs. They were made to please their creators, as opposed to the films of the most recent era, which seem to be made entirely to please popcorn-oriented audiences. Yes, the films of that era were often failures tainted by closed-mindedness, amateurishness and pretension, but they were truly noble failures. As opposed to most of today's popular films, they at least aspired to be art. They were daring, they were provocative, and they were unique. Though they were not so very good, I miss them.

Which brings us to Inserts, which may be a perfect symbol for that entire age. Its star, Richard Dreyfuss, has two 1975 films on his IMDb resume, and the difference between them truly represents the passing of eras. In turns quirky, erotic, poetic, sleazy and articulate, Inserts represents the ultimate in provocative, non-commercial early seventies fare - a film in which mainstream female stars not only refer to their "cunts", but actually expose them on camera. The other film Dreyfuss made that year is one with which we are all familiar, because Jaws is considered the grandfather of the summer blockbuster, the very symbol of corporate filmmaking, the film which not only dominated the 1975 box office with a total which was then a record, but did so in convincing fashion, taking in more than the 1974 and 1976 winners added together! Jaws was not just a movie, but a cultural phenomenon which spawned amusement park exhibitions and several sequels. Inserts, on the other hand, inspired no sequels and was barely released. And I'll guaran-damn-tee you there ain't gonna be no Inserts exhibition at the  Universal Studios Theme Park.

Inserts is basically a two act play which takes place entirely on a single set - the "home studio" of a once successful silent film director who fell upon hard times when he was unable to adapt to the industry's shift to sound films. This is not an original premise, but this film is definitely not "Singin' in the Rain," as you will quickly determine during the opening credits when you see a naked Veronica Cartwright spreading her legs on camera. Yes, this is the same Veronica Cartwright who once played Ethel Kennedy, and the same Cartwright you saw in The Right Stuff and Aliens, except you didn't see quite as much of her there as you are going to see here, because this is a movie which takes place inside the early world of porno films. The director (Dreyfuss) is now an impotent, agoraphobic, and alcoholic stumblebum using the last vestiges of his brilliance to make silent porno reels for the mob. Cartwright plays a former silent film starlet who was unable to cross over to talkies, and has now joined her former mentor in the porn world. The male star is simply called Rex the Wonder Horse, an aspiring actor like just about everyone else in Hollywood, but currently paying the bills as a porn star by day, a gravedigger by night.

The first act of the film basically consists of Dreyfuss's attempts to get his porn film made despite his junkie female star, his unmotivated and simple-minded male star, and the sudden appearance of the mob boss (Bob Hoskins in his early 30s, near the beginning of his career), who is accompanied by his ostensibly virginal girlfriend. The act basically ends with the death of the female star from an overdose, after which the gravedigger and the mob boss disappear to dispose of the body, leaving the washed-up alkie porn director with the virginal Midwestern girlfriend (Jessica Harper).

The second act is virtually a self-contained play on its own, as the two remaining characters, comparably manipulative and intelligent people, banter and engage in verbal foreplay, then decide that the two of them could finish the porn film despite the fact that the leading lady has died, simply by virtue of the fact that the girl from Chicago has a similar body to the deceased star, and can therefore supply body parts for close-ups.  (These are the "inserts" of the title.) The great dramatic challenge is for the impotent Dreyfuss to somehow supply the "cum shot."

The truly astounding element of the film is that the all of the explicit action is shot directly, showing just about everything on camera except erections and penetration. The characters talk dirty, Rex the Wonder Dog flashes his manhood, Veronica Cartwright flashes her womanhood wide open, and Jessica Harper is undressed for just about the last hour of the film (although she never does show the "cunt" she talks about so often.) The film was rated X in its day, and the DVD is rated NC-17. R-rated versions have also been available on VHS from time to time. Beware of these. The full running time is 115 minutes. The R-rated version is 20-30 minutes shorter. I have not seen the expurgated version, but it could not be any good, because the dialogue continues during the sex scenes. Without the sex scenes, the true value of the film would be lost because that dialogue is an important element of the character development, the wit, and the offbeat eroticism of the film.

The dialogue is written entirely in the appropriate slang from the early 1930s, although the director is obviously a self-styled intellectual who uses plenty of poetic phrases and fancy vocabulary. The banter is witty, and the characters exit and enter dramatically, as if the film really were a 1930s stage play rather than a 1970s film. The cast handles the stylized dialogue admirably and, despite the single set, the entire film has a lot of energy and exhibits a lot of intelligence. It plays out as if Eugene O'Neill had written a play about the people who make porno reels. The final mutual seduction between Dreyfuss and Harper builds and builds to a ... well, I guess the word is "climax," in more sense than one ...

... all of which made me wonder who the film was made for, until I realized that I am now thinking like a person from the year 2005. Back in 1975, films were not made "for" anyone - they were made "by" someone who was true to his vision and hoped there was a large enough audience of like-minded individuals. As it turns out, there was no audience for Inserts. Except me. OK, I admit that not many people will want to see Richard Dreyfuss in an X-rated film with aspirations to be an Oscar Wilde play but, dammit, it worked for me. I found the film very funny at times, and both intelligent and erotic. You may as well.

Jessica Harper

Veronica Cartwright

Pennies from Heaven (1975)

I guess I may as well cover the rest of Jessica Harper's topless career while I'm at it.

Pennies from Heaven is a truly odd pseudo-Brechtian musical about a sheet music salesman who tries to eke out a living during the Great Depression. The songs he peddles are also the songs sung by the characters, although the actors do not actually sing, but simply lip synch along with actual period recordings. The point of the film, if there is one, seems to center on the contrast between the syrupy songs and the stark living conditions of the time. When there is no music, the almost colorless scenes picture grim lives filled with infidelity, prostitution, dire poverty and even murder. When the songs begin, the film transforms into a surreal Hollywood confection, and the realistic cityscapes are replaced with gloriously pastel sets, David Mackie costumes, and fantastical Busby Berkeley choreography. When the songs end, the grey faces and grim brown streets return. As you may well guess, this point is firmly established after about ten minutes, which leaves another two hours or so of lip synching to forgotten songs, seemingly with no additional point to make.

I really had to struggle through this film, but you may have better luck if (a) you are a fan of Bertolt Brecht, or (b) you enjoy the saccharine popular songs of the depression era, or (c) you just want to see Christopher Walken steal the movie by lip synching and stripping to a falsetto song while dancing his heart out. 

Jessica Harper

'Caps and comments by Brainscan:

First up, here are the four best views of the no-longer future Mrs. Scoopy Jr (I hear Jessica Alba is thrilled to hear that Jr is available again).

Eva Longoria

Moving on to today's feature presentation:

"Close Your Eyes and Hold Me" (1996) will not be everyone's cup of green tea. All of the positives are a matter of style and art, and all the negatives are a matter of substance and narrative. You watch this and wind up feeling about Tokyo the way I feel about Needles, CA--why would anyone choose to live there?

The story is one weird puppy about a sex worker, played by Kumiko Takeda, and a soon-to-be-wed couple of office aparatchiks. He is infatuated with Kimiko's character at first sight whereas she takes some convincing. Soon everyone is doing everybody and along the way there is a gender-bending twist or two. If you like your movies odd and appreciate the technical skills that go into making a stylish film you will appreciate Close Your Eyes. If your thing is a good story and clever dialogue you are best advised to look elsewhere.

What you see are Kumiko's breasts in a few dark scenes. She is a real babe with a tiny but exuberant body. The other actress, Natsue Yoshimura, is standard Japanese fare--slender in all dimensions with a face so delicate it appears made of porcelain. Very nice standards.

Kumiko Takeda

Natsue Yoshimura

Because this movie and Zero Woman: Assassin Lovers, the other Kumiko Takeda film I capped a while back, are so dimly lighted when her body gets nekkid I went ahead and dug out some scans of Ms. Takeda from a book featuring nothing but her naked. From them you can see that even in bright light she is a doll.

Kumiko Takeda

'Caps and comments by Hankster:

Today we took the old Time Machine a little further back to 1971 for another southern comedy "Preacherman".

This flick gives us a topless Sheila Gibson and Ilene Kristen playing what else but the farmers daughter. Ilene gives it all up in a bath tub scene.

Sheila Gibson

Ilene Kristen

Next we go back even further in time to 1965 for "The Touch of Her Flesh", this one's in Black & White (yes for you young folks they used to make them that way).

We have Suzanne Marre cheating on the husband in a lovemaking scene (nice toplessness). Also for you young folk, you'll notice they kept their pants on back then.

Suzanne Marre

Crimson Ghost
Today's featured lady of late night is Jessica Sobel. Here she is in scenes from the series "Pleasure Zone".

If her IMDb is correct, she may very well be the only Skinemax babe with a degree from Harvard.

Jessica Sobel

Great toplessness from Caren Kaye as she shows off her goodies in scenes from 80's teen-coming-of-age flick. "My Tutor" (1983).

New this week on DVD! Here is "Spy Kids" mom Carla Gugino topless and wearing a thong in scenes from "Sin City".

From Dragonscan, here is one of the most oddly named Euro-actress I've ever come across, Anuk Ens. In these 'caps we see her topless in scenes from "Maria Magdalena"

Señor Skin was brave enough to sit through latest "in theaters for a week and now on video" chick flick "The Wedding Date". What did he get as a reward? Well how about a little bit of partial breast exposure from "Will & Grace" star Debra Messing. While clearly not intentional, it looks like there may even be a slight bit of nipple in #1.

Also from the Skin-man today, some assorted lesbian lovin' in scenes from "Girl Play" (2004). Robin Greenspan, Lacie Harmon and Lauren Maher are all topless. Harmon and Maher also show some rear nudity as they get it on.

Robin Greenspan

Lacie Harmon

Lauren Maher

Movie Reviews


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 Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
  • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

Other Crap

John Irving talks to Jon Stewart about his new book 'Until I Find You.'

The Daily Show's Ed Helms takes a look at the fucking awesome job Supreme Court nominee John Roberts might score.

The song of Beowulf, as translated to match Christopher Lambert

Several clips and a new music video from Ten 'til Noon, a new indie thriller

The French trailer from Francois Ozon's new film, a Time To Leave


Here's that picture of Jude Law nekkid, for those of you interested in the reality behind the stories.

Six new clips from The Man with Eugene Levy and Samuel L Jackson

VIDEO: CNN interviews Steve Carell about The 40 Year Old Virgin

"An Indian firm has launched a vitamin-rich beer which it says protects the body from the harmful effects of alcohol"
  • Those Indian dudes seem to have the science aspect under control, but they may need a little work on the marketing side of the beer business, especially if they believe that hardcore beer drinkers will be seen ordering a tall frosty "Ladybird Bio Beer."

Photo in the News: Gas Thief Escapes on Tricycle

The Daily Show determines that the number one threat to America today is Justice Kitty.

Weekly World News: "Incredible New Study Proves... GALS WHO GO TOPLESS LIVE LONGER" ... "And the more they display them out in public, the longer they live."

Parents sue Christian Camp because their son got subjected to wedgies. ... and, of course, the dreaded rear admiral. The suit alleges that their son Ezekiel suffered "disruption of his faith in Christ and loss of his camera," not necessarily in that order.

Have we learned nothing from Jurassic Park? Scientists hope to re-introduce extinct predators to North America.

Sarah Silverman Roasts Pamela Anderson (and Jimmy Kimmel, while she's at it)

V of Vendetta will NOT make its November release date. It has been knocked back to March 2006.

Here's the scoop on Chris Guest's new project! (This time he takes on independent films.)

Four clips from THE CAVE
  • "Deep in the Romanian forest, a team of scientists stumbles upon the ruins of a 13th century Abbey. On further inspection, they make a startling discovery - the Abbey is built over the entrance to a giant underground cave system. Local biologists believe the cave could be home to an undiscovered eco-system, so they hire a group of American cave-explorers to help them investigate its depths. Jack (Cole Hauser) and his brother Tyler (Eddie Cibrian) are thrill-seeking professional cave explorers who run a team of the top divers in the world. They arrive in Romania with all the latest equipment, including a new type of scuba tank allowing a diver to remain submerged for up to 24 hours. The crack unit, which also includes Charlie (Piper Perabo) and Buchanan (Morris Chestnut), immediately begin their exploration. But what they find deep inside the caves is not just a new eco-system, but an entirely new species altogether...

Paparazzi catch Jude Law in the nude

You still have two months to make plans for the 5th Annual Texas Bigfoot Conference

Conan looks far, far into the future - all the way to the Year 2000 - with Mr. T

Texas Gov. Hopeful Kinky Friedman Wins at Casino

SCIENTISTS CLONE MADONNA ... World Tour to Proceed as Planned

One of the larger asteroids has two moons of its own.

Chain of Command author Seymour Hersh has a bridge he'd like to sell Jon Stewart

The Daily Show's Ed Helms takes a look at a renegade bass fishing pro who's ruffling some gills.

The Daily Show's Senior Presidential Gastronomist Stephen Colbert weighs in on the new White House chef.

Milky Way's Central Structure Seen with Fresh Clarity

Pat Reeder
Pat's comments in yellow...

It's More Of Me To Love! - Playgirl surveyed 2,000 readers on what's sexy in a man, and were surprised to learn that the toned, waxed playboys who pose nude in the magazine apparently aren't it. 47 percent like chest hair, 42 percent think love handles are "kind of sexy" and 73 percent want a guy who is "rough around the edges," not a metrosexual. Editor Jill Sieracki said it shows her women readers prefer an average Joe to a Hollywood hunk. So they're now asking average Joes to send photos to to apply for a shot in a future pictorial.

  • Unretouched!
  • Next month's centerfold: Homer Simpson.
  • This finally explains how Gerard Depardieu became a sex symbol...And how Ron Jeremy became a porn star.
  • Women like a man with a six-pack IN his stomach, not ON it.
  • Of course, the average Joes still only look at toned, waxed Playboy Playmates.

    Porn Stars Last Longer - Australian scientist Fabiano Ximenes dug through two dumps in Sydney to see how long it takes different types of trash to decompose. He found that wood and paper last longest, with some magazines thrown away up to 46 years ago still in almost perfect condition. And the ones that last longest were pornography and glossy men's magazines. Ximenes said it's ironic that porn is the thing that is best preserved for future generations. He found a 1979 Playboy in near-mint condition, possibly because of the thick coating of wax on the pages.

  • Uh...that's not wax.
  • Or maybe because porn is made to withstand a beating.
  • Of course, the Playboy didn't decompose: it's full of silicone.
  • The entire study was paid for by selling that 1979 Playboy on eBay.

    Wow, What Hang Time! - Norwegian golfer Odd Marthinussen teed off from the 14th hole of Harstad Golf Club and not only shot his first hole-in-one, he set two other records. The national border runs through the green, so he hit the ball in Norway, but it landed in Finland. And since Finland is in a different time zone an hour ahead of Norway, the four-second shot technically took an one hour and four seconds to land in the cup.

  • When I watch golf on TV, this is how long everything seems to take.
  • Just his luck, next week, Tiger Woods will break the record by teeing off in Georgia and getting a hole-in-one in Greenland.

    Broken Bond - Pierce Brosnan will not be returning as James Bond. Brosnan told Entertainment Weekly he has mixed feelings, since 007 started his movie career, but he feels liberated to be able to do other things. He said 007 had "these stupid one-liners, which I loathed, and I always felt phony doing them." The producers called out of the blue to tell him he was finished as 007. He said, "One phone call, that's all it took."

  • He thought they'd at least throw him into a shark tank or try to cut him in half with a laser beam.
  • He has mixed feelings...He's shaken, not stirred.

    Sitting Under A Shady Tree - Citing exhaustion after two months on the road in America, Eminem has canceled his European tour, and possibly, his solo rap career. London's Sun tabloid claims an inside source told them Eminem wanted to kill off the rap "character" he'd created and had planned to retire after the tour, but his exhaustion forced him to do it now; and he's giving up tens of millions of dollars in future revenues to concentrate on being a dad to his eight-year-old daughter, Hallie.

  • He'll have to spend 24 hours a day for the next ten years making sure she NEVER hears any of his records.
  • He was farting into the microphone at every concert, and that really takes the wind out of you.
  • I always figured if he ever killed himself off, he'd do it in the most violent way possible.
  • Funny, he never struck me as the retiring type.

    Unconscionable - Bruce Kuhlman, a former personal assistant to Carlos Santana, is suing for wrongful termination. He claims Santana's wife Deborah brought in a man called "Dr. Dan" to help employees grow closer to God, develop a deeper lever of consciousness and become better workers. He says he was fired because Dr. Dan "calibrated" his consciousness, found it too low, and declared him not "spiritually evolved" enough.

  • fetch coffee and donuts for Santana.
  • Plus, there was no money for a personal assistant after they paid Dr. Dan.
  • So now, he's Ted Nugent's assistant.
  • Well, now we know who inspired the song "Black Magic Woman."

  • Tuna

    Currently on disability. If you'd like to get in touch with him, his email address is

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