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"The Perfumed Garden" (1998)

The Perfumed Garden is a lovely bit of erotica filmed in India. Not really a hard core, it is a good film to watch with your significant other. It is the story of a young couple, he an archeologist specializing in artifact restoration, and she a buyer for a garment manufacturer. They are deeply in love, but have one small problem -- he is impotent. He decides to accept an assignment in India, partially to run away from the problem, but she finds out and goes with him. They meet a mysterious Indian woman, who tells them a story about the Kama Sutra. The story ends up explaining his condition. To say more would be a spoiler. There is enough nudity to make this erotica, but even the non nude scenes are sensual. The art direction, lighting and photography are amazing. The acting is good enough.

Don't get me wrong ... this will never win an Oscar, but it is a lovely bit of erotica that can be enjoyed as such by both sexes. Amy Lindsey is a virtual unknown, but Rajeshwari Sachdev has six credits. The US title is Tales of the Kama Sutra. Release was this Tuesday. It took them two years after production to find someone willing to distribute.

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  • Amy Lindsey (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
  • Rajeshwari Sachdev (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
  • Unknown (1, 2, 3)

    "Bye Bye Birdie" (1963)

    Bye Bye Birdie is an adaption of a Broadway musical comedy of the same name spoofing Elvis, most especially the outcry among teenaged girls when he was drafted. Dick Van Dyke stars as a trained chemist who has been trying to make it as a songwriter because that is what his mother wants. Janet Leigh is his secretary and finance, who is trying to get him away from his mother. When the news hits that Conrad Birdie has been drafted, Rosie (Janet) gets a brainstorm. She visits Ed Sullivan, and convinces him to put Birdie on his show, and have Birdie give a good bye kiss to one lucky symbolic female fan. Her angle? Birdie will sing a song her boyfriend will write, which will sell 2 million copies, and make them enough to get married. Ann-Margret is the lucky girl, but her boyfriend who has just pinned her, and her father (played by Paul Lynde) is not real happy either after he sees the pelvic motion when Conrad Birdie sings. Remember, Elvis was known as Elvis the pelvis in some circles before he joined the army.

    This is a cute musical, and Ann-Margret never looked sweeter or more appealing. Janet was also very attractive, and Dick Van Dyke was perfect in the role, which called for singing, dancing and pratfalls. Sorry, no exposure, but this one balances out with The Perfumed Garden.

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  • Ann-Margret (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Janet Leigh (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Group Picture (1, 2)
  • Johnny Web
    "The War Zone"

    Well, I wouldn't use this as a date movie. And you might forget about taking the family, unless you are a member of the Manson family. This is a movie about a severely dysfunctional family. How dysfunctional? Well, dad takes sis to an abandoned machine gun bunker on the seaside cliffs of Devon, where he fucks her in the ass while junior films it.

    And that's a family picnic. You should see what they do when they're mad at each other.

    Kind of an unusual project from the Disney folks. Probably the most sodomy in a Disney flick since that one where Tigger nailed Eeyore. (Bouncy bouncy, bouncy bouncy. Fun fun fun fun fun. Who-hoo-hoo-hoo). And you thought Eeyore had a negative attitude before!

    All right, it isn't a Disney flick, and they aren't on a family holiday.

    It is the first time directorial effort from actor Tim Roth, and is a project close to his heart, as he admits in the commentary that both he and his dad were victims of child abuse. I think it is possible to argue that this is the best rookie directorial effort ever. Offhand, I can't remember a first time director making such a universally lauded film.

    In addition, the two kids were also first timers. Lara Belmont went into acting when she finally determined that her family would never get back together with Dion.

    All joking aside, it is possibly the most relentlessly grim movie you will ever see. It is powerful, and depressing. The subject matter is stark enough, but it is filmed in the minimalist style of Tarkovsky and Bergman, with sparse dialogue, empty interiors and exteriors, limited background music, and slow pacing. The sun never shines. Nobody ever smiles. It's a horror movie where the horror is real.

    This storytelling economy also applies to the details of the characters. Why does dad do it? Why does sis let him? Does mom know? If so, does she ignore it? Why did they have that strange incident in London? We don't know.

    The incident I referred to: sis takes brother to a friend's flat. Sis persuades the friend to take her brother's cherry, but at the last minute she interrupts them and prevents the act from being completed. Sorry to say I didn't understand this sequence at all, and I didn't see the need for it.

    Actually, I didn't understand the ending either. After striking back at the dad, sis and brother are in the bunker together. She asks what they are going to do, and he goes to shut the door of the bunker, while the camera pulls off to a helicopter shot.

    I thought, given their location, this meant that the legacy of abuse had been passed on, and that the brother was going to do the nasty with sis. But Tim Ross says in his commentary that they were simply shutting off the world, and shutting out our prying into their lives.

    Well, whatever. These minimalist films are meant to leave some blurring along the edges, anyway.

    Consensus review: Critics averaged pretty damned close to four stars. Apollo gave it 90. Four from Ebert, Four from Berardinelli. I suppose you might say that Berardinelli did more than merely give it four stars. He picked it as his best picture of 1999.

    There is considerable nudity from the father and sister (Lara Belmont), some from the mother (Tilda Swinton)

    IMDB summary: expert moviegoers liked it, but didn't like it as much as critics. 7.7 out of 10 at IMdb, and 77/100 from Apollo users. I guess the average was approximately three stars from members at these two sites.

    Box Office: pretty much nothing. $237,000. Never made it to more than seven screens. No matter how many critics praise a movie like this, it isn't going to head for the top of the box office lists. Tuna told me that most of the people who have seen it have not paid, but have seen it at clinics, schools, and therapy sessions that deal with incest and other forms of child abuse.

    DVD info from Amazon. Includes full-length commentary from Tim Roth, and a great deal of information about intervention techniques and opportunities in child abuse cases.

  • Belmont (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Swinton

    "Illicit Lovers"

    From the sublime to the ridiculous. Illicit lovers is a new release, but not my kind of movie. It's a Helcrom/ScoopyJr/Skinemax kind of thing.

    So let me evaluate it according to genre standards, and not my usual criteria.

    1. How good is the sex? Not very. One star out of four. Two reasons: (1) No pubes, very little below the waist. One of the most inexplicit softcore movies in my experience. (2) The women are not spectacular at all.

    2. How good is the writing? Very good. Four stars by genre standards. It compares with I Like To Play Games and the very best in the genre. With a real cast and some script polishing, it is not a bad premise for a real movie. Guy gets laid off. His wife doesn't want to go to a party that night, because she fears humiliation. So her best friend asks to rent the husband. She agrees. That eventually leads to a wide range of activities for the husband, since he can't find a real job. All of the characters are written with realism - the husband at first thinks it's a way to get paid for living his fantasies, but then he realizes that it is exhausting and tense work, especially when he starts to "entertain" strangers. He fears he'll get emotionally involved eventually. He really loves his wife, and wants her to stop being so greedy about the money she's making from renting him out. They have to figure a way out of the trap that is making them successful in business, but is completely screwing up their lives.

    3. How good is the photography? Competent. Three stars. No great imagination involved, but the basics are solid. The scenes are clear, the lighting is good, the colors are vivid.

    4. How good is the acting? I guess barely adequate. Not good enough to make you think it's a real movie, but not unusually bad by genre standards. Nobody really stands out, although the kid who plays the husband shows some raw, if unpolished, potential. About two and a half stars, I suppose.

    IMDB summary: 5.1 out of 10. That's bad for a real movie, but pretty good by genre standards. It is unlikely that a softcore will score much above 6. I think that "I Like to Play Games" is probably the Citizen Kane of this genre, and that is rated 6.0 at IMDb. So don't think of this flick as 50% of Shawshank. Think of it as 85% of "... Games". I just can't recommend an erotic movie that isn't erotic enough, but I would have liked the movie if the sex scenes were better.

    It was made for cable, and is not even in general video release. It is available only at Blockbuster and only for rental. Surprisingly, it is available on DVD as well as the usual video. (Most Blockbuster exclusives have been on VHS only)

  • Suzette Andrea
  • Gabriella Hall
  • J.J. Mantia
  • Zoe Paul
  • Michelle Perry (1, 2, 3)
  • Graphic Response
  • Ursula Andress Excellent full frontal images from 1974's "Loaded Guns".
  • Brainscan
    Brooke Burke
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Catherine Zeta-Jones

    Comments by Brainscan:
    A couple of items 'bout Wednesday's Funhouse.
    1) Kate Hudson IS related to the Hudson brothers; she is the daughter of Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson, although Kurt Russell did the daddy duty when Goldie came to her senses and divorced Big Bad Bill.
    2) Oz's post of El Condor caps is not Melissa Hill. She enjoys cult status here on the Brainscan farm since she was the first actress I saw nekkid (Skinemax ran El Condor while I was still a youth). Did you know she was a guest star in the original Khan episode of the Star Trek series? Didn't get killed or nothing but served as something of a love interest for Khan... which is close enough, I guess.

    Now for new things. A friend who is usually reliable in these matters sent me some scans from a lingerie catalogue; he swears they are of Brooke Burke. So I cleaned up those scans and send them along with the fervent hope he is right.

    And I ran into the original source of the Catherine Zeta-Jones, pre-Michael Douglas paparazzi pics. Here I thought the scans ate the big green weenie and it turned out the damn pics were to blame. Spent a while with them, glued the scans together into a montage and here it is. I know you and half the Funhouse visitors are disappointed with CZJ's bod, as if anyone with that face should by all rights have a killer set of hooters. But Gentlemen, there is one and only one Laetitia Casta; to expect a second is to be very, very greedy.

    Mr. Skin
    Catherine Bach
    (1, 2)
    Daisy Duke Topless! Plus #1 has Daisy doing some minor Lesbo action! These vidcaps are scenes from the movie "Nichole". A fantastic find by Mr. Skin!
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
    A great rare find. These topless (and two bikini) collages of Apollonia are from the 1980 Spanish movie "Amor ciego".

    Speaking of washed out, 80's pop icons...Apollonia is teaming up with Tubbs! Yup, Philip Michael Thomas is "acting" again. The movie is "Vampirates". Actually there is potential for it to be not so bad. It's being directed by one of my heroes, Tom Savini. Probably best known to the laypersons as "Sex Machine" in "From Dusk Til Dawn". For the B-movie geeks like myself, Tom is a legend. He is the "The Godfather of Gore", and king of B-movie special effects...make-up in particular. you've seen his work in such classics as "Friday the 13th", "Dawn of the Dead", "Creepshow", "Day of the Dead", "Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburgh", and "Killing Zoe" to name a few.

    Jessica Alba
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    The hot young actress from the latest Maxim.
    Leslie Bibb
    (1, 2)
    Actress from the TV show "Popular".
    Piper Perabo The "Coyote Ugly" babe all in leather.
    Tyra Banks Another "Coyote" babe.
    Sarah Michelle Gellar Nothing revealing, but's Buffy!
    Jodie Foster An interesting head shot.
    Sandra Bullock Dressed up in rustic wear.
    and ...
    Natalie Uher
    (1, 2, 3)
    Excellent 'caps of the Austrian actress as the leading lady from, "Emmanuelle 6". This is one of the 'old school' Emmanuelle movies. Beautiful babes, exotic locations, and plenty of soft core porn. A far cry from the "Emmanuelle in Space" crap.

    I caught parts of "Emmanuelle 6" on cable about 2 months ago, and I thought it really was a beautifully filmed movie. Probably a soft core that women and couples can enjoy. Thanks to Dann for the images.

    Josephine Baker
    (1, 2, 3)
    For the oldies fans...Here are 3 topless scans of the classic star.
    Esther Arroyo
    (1, 2, 3)
    Star of the Spanish TV series "Periodistas". Here she caught topless on the beach by those nutty paparazzi.
    Lynette Walden
    (1, 2, 3, 4)
    The very cute minor league actress from 3 of her films. #1 and #2 are from "Almost Blue", #3 from "Mobsters" (pre-boob job 'caps), #4 From "Silencer"
    Leilani Saralle Images and Comments by C2000:
    A full frontal of Leilani from the Harvest. There is interference with some frames as I had to use slow-mo to capture all the nudity. My site has been updated with more captures of Leilani and others.
    Julie Graham More of Julie in "Dirty Tricks". Vidcaps by Watty.
    Olympics Roundup

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