"Spanish Fly"

Spanish Fly (1998) is a Spanish drama/romantic comedy written and directed by, and staring Daphna Kastner. It was not well received anywhere, and most reviewers point to her choice to cast herself in the lead and the thing that sunk the film. I kind of enjoyed the film, and liked and believed her character, which probably accounts for my enjoyment of the film.

Kastner is in Spain to write a book about Spanish machismo, after a short article on the subject was a success. She arrives to research without knowing the language, and far from a relationship expert. She doesn't get along with her mother, is hung up because her father abandoned them, and has had nothing but bad relationships with men, as she kept choosing the wrong men. Enter her new interpreter, Toni Canto. They fight like cats and dogs at first, a sure sign that they are destined to end up together. She eventually learns the truth about her father, and finds herself.

Kastner shows one breast in bed . IMDb readers have this at 4.8 of 10. Critics panned it horribly. I sort fo enjoyed it, because I enjoyed her. Everyone agrees that it is well shot, and gives the flavor and excitement of Spain. This is a C-.

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  • Daphna Kastner (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)


    • Charlie's French Cinema Nudity site is updated.


    Mailbox - a challenge:

    • Scoop- Here's an extra credit type of question for you, your researchers and all of  the dedicated scoop-o-philes out there:  Who is the hot blond in the Sam Adams commercial House of Beer?  The one that speaks w/the tough German accent but looks sweet as strudel?


    The Machinist (2004):

    Critical opinion was sharply divided on The Machinist. The reviews generally focused on some combination of these four things:

    1) A brilliant performance by the 190 pound Brit Christian Bale as a 130 pound American. Bale looked frighteningly skeletal. He's is a good actor to begin with, he's very good with accents, and he actually lost 63 pounds on a daily diet which consisted of one can of tuna and one apple.

    2) Plot similarities to Memento and Fight Club

    3) Explicit ugliness and gore. The Philadelphia Daily News said, "The movie is ingeniously designed. It is also repulsive and I wish I hadn't seen it."

    4) The fact that the double secret probationary ending was too obviously foreshadowed and/or revealed earlier in the film

    There's plenty of truth in all three of those statements. I did catch on to the secret (or at least a big chunk of it) early in the film, but that didn't keep me from enjoying the way in which it was revealed. In fact, when I looked back on the film, I felt that the film's author had done quite a clever job at showing how the machinist's insane delusions reflected the horrible secret he was running from.

    The machinist, you see, is a man who has not slept in a year, and his mind is disappearing as fast as his body. His lack of sleep also makes him dangerous on the road and on a job filled with enormous machines. His life is unraveling. We know that there must be something that happened a year ago to start this snowball down the hill, but we don't know what it is. We are allowed looks into his subconscious in the form of his delusions, and within those imaginary episodes are clues to the events which precipitated his instability. We can't see everything clearly. The mystery is shrouded by the fact that we are trapped in his point of view, and don't really know when he's thinking clearly and when he's deluded.

    The one part of the film that seemed clumsy to me was "Ivan", an imaginary person seen only by the Machinist. As many reviewers noted,  that portion of the secret was obvious, a bit clumsy, and quite derivative of Fight Club. On the other hand, the identity of "Ivan" was only part of the mystery, and I thought the rest of the details were handled quite cleverly.

    The director, the cinematographer, and the composer also managed to do an excellent job on the look and tone of the film, allowing the audience to share the machinist's delusional world, allowing the audience to understand more about the delusion than the machinist himself, yet never fully pulling away the veil of madness so that the mystery could unravel.

    It is an interesting story, and is performed well, especially by Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Michael Ironside. Of course, it's a cult film for lovers of dark psychological mysteries, and it may stretch a thin premise out a bit too long, but it's a keeper. If you are curious about it, bear in mind that it's a grim and depressing movie, and is certainly not a wide-audience popcorn kind of experience. In fact, it is fundamentally a very arty episode of The Twilight Zone stretched to feature length, or rather it's the kind of thing Serling and Hitchcock would be doing today, given the current levels of screen explicitness which those two men never knew. 

    This film is not as good as Fight Club, nor as original as Memento, but overall I admired it, and was quite solidly hooked into the mystery.


    Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993):

    I have been wondering for two days if there was anything nice I can say about Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and I just keep running into dead ends. I could say that it has a pretty good cast in a film made by a good director (Gus van Sant) from a novel by a respected author (Tom Robbins), but that would not really be a compliment at all, would it? It would just raise the question of "how did all that result in such a complete waste of time and eight million dollars?"

    I just don't know the answer to that question.

    • I could point to an egregiously bad performance from Rain Phoenix, who managed to get none of the looks nor any of the talent in her family gene pool. It doesn't seem possible to imagine a movie in which Angie Dickinson, Buck Henry and Udo Kier all appear, yet none is the worst actor in the film. (Although God knows they tried.) You need to imagine no longer That seeming impossibility takes shape right here. According to her biographers, Rain Phoenix can sing any kind of music and has even studied opera. Apparently all that musical education left her without the time for acting classes.

    • I could cite the fact that the film is weird and eccentric just for the sake of weirdness and eccentricity. Somebody needs to tell the people who made this film that weirdness and eccentricity are not, in and of themselves, valuable or entertaining. Several actors embarrass themselves in this film. John Hurt wears lipstick and whiteface throughout the film, as a queen whose advertising agency specializes in products deodorizing women. To imagine what he looks like, picture The Joker, then replace all the green with red. Lorraine Bracco plays a whip-cracking lesbian cowgirl with a foul-smelling crotch. Mr. Myagi plays some kind of a mountain-dwelling guru named The Chink. Uma Thurman plays a woman with giant thumbs which look so fake that she simply seems to be wearing gloves. Keanu Reeves plays an asthmatic Native American who seems to be wearing Doc Severinsen's hand-me-downs. Roseanne Barr is on hand as a fortune teller. Several familiar faces appear in crowd shots, yet have no lines (Edward James Olmos, Heather Graham, River Phoenix). I think I can summarize this point by saying that Carol Kane and Crispin Glover are in this film and, compared to the rest of the cast, they provide a fresh breath of down-home normality.

    • As for the dialogue, James Berardinelli summed it up eloquently: "The dialogue, especially the Tom Robbins-supplied voiceovers, is grating. There's too much pretension and posturing here, and a typical conversation consists of characters trying to one-up each other in the number of meaningless profundities they can spew."

    • The book was written in the hippie era, and the ideas were never updated to reflect the advancement of ideas past that point. As a result, the script was referencing some ideas and mocking other ideas that, for the most part, no longer existed.

    Those factors all contributed to the problem, but I don't think those bullet points are ultimately capable of explaining the abysmal depth of the sucking done by this film.

    I think that there are just some kinds of writers whose work doesn't translate well to the screen.

    The guys whose books do work on screen, like Mario Puzo, fill their pages with juicy sex, gossipy details, lurid violence, and hard-driving plot. One reads their books for their plots and characters. The authors' own voices are virtually absent from their books.

    On the other side of the fence, men like Tom Robbins, Kurt Vonnegut, Fred Exley, Vladimir Nabokov, and William Thackeray write books where the author's voice is ubiquitous. Reading their books is an encounter with their minds and their techniques, not with their plots or characters. On paper, the fact that they embrace the eccentric and cherish the outré seems gentle, charmingly dotty and life-embracing. Their cynicism toward the bourgeoisie seems arch and insightful. None of that works in movies. Those authors just seem to come off as weird, naive, catty, unsophisticated, and possibly even mad. (Excepting Kubrick's films, of course. He did a great job at catching Thackeray's exact tone in Barry Lyndon, and he did well with the comical elements of Nabokov's Lolita, although not so well with the greater complexities of the story.) 

    I have all but abandoned hope that we will ever see a great interpretation of a Vonnegut film. The Slaughterhouse Five and Mother Night films, although flawed, seem to be the best we will ever get. After the raw sewage that was Breakfast of Champions, we may not see any filmmaker try Vonnegut again for a long time. After Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, a movie that makes Breakfast of Champions seem in comparison to be The Godfather, Part 2, Tom Robbins may never get another chance at a cinema legacy. That's something of a shame, because his books, including this book, are fun to read, if anyone could figure out how to translate that fun to film.

    The studio knew how bad this film was. Horrified by the screenings, and then by the audience reaction at the Toronto Festival, they asked Van Sant to re-cut it. The release, originally scheduled for 1991, was postponed and delayed until 1993, at which time it was snuck it into a minimal distribution schedule, where it grossed between one and two million dollars and quickly disappeared.



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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.


    Words from Scoop.

    .avi's from Shiloh.

    .wmv files made by Scoop from Shiloh's .avi's.

    NOTE: because of a unique combination of circumstances with the Windows media player and some substantial bandwidth theft, we will have to do all of our movie files in zip format. Left click on the files as you normally would to view a picture. When you get a choice, click on "save", and put it on your hard drive in the directory of your choice. UnZIP and play from there.

    I know this is not especially convenient, but it allows the film clips to continue. I can protect .zip files from hot-linking in the same way I can protect still images. For some reason, if I protect .avis and .wmvs from hot-linking, they will not play in the Windows media player, and I can't get a satisfactory work-around. Perhaps I will find a better solution, but for now this new policy allows you to continue getting the movie clips you want to see, which is much preferable to my abandoning the clips altogether.


    Hello-Goodbye (1970): Day 1

    Scoop says: "Frankly, I don't know a goddamned thing about this movie or this actress. IMDb doesn't know a lot either. She appeared in this movie and one episode of Mannix. If nothing else, that means these clips are real rarities! The rest of these words are Shiloh's comments."


    Notes from Shiloh:

    Talk about obscure movies, the Fox Movie Channel shows a lot of them.  Watched a couple scenes in this movie and Michael Crawford couldn't act his way out of a paper bag, plus he's ... um ... not the most masculine guy in the world. Hard to believe he transformed himself to appear in Phantom of the Opera. He had a bit part in "The War Lover" 1962, which I watched a couple times in the 60s - maybe the only movie where Steve McQueen played a bad guy.

    BTW, responding to an earlier discussion on the page, Undertow was not direct to vid, it was a made-for-Showtime movie I awaited eagerly 'cause I knew Mia Sara had a couple of nude scenes.

    Also, Scoop, your favorite movie, The Sweet Ride (Jacqueline Bisset's first topless scene) is shown again on FMC next Fri at 2 pm and Sat at 4am.
    • Geneviève Gilles (.wmv zipped, .avi zipped)
    • Geneviève Gilles (.wmv zipped, .avi zipped)



      Perhaps these tips will help if you have trouble with the codecs for these movies:

      Shiloh says:

      FYI when I hypercam vids to make the file size smaller I use DivX MPEG-4 Fast-Motion for the video compressor, then I use virtualdub to compress the audio. The properties for the vids says the video codec:  DivX Decoder Filter & audio codec:  Morgan Stream Switcher which I'm not familiar with. When I compress the audio with virtualdub I use MPEG Layer-3.  A friend of mine told me about compressing the audio about (6) mos. ago. Like I said previously, only been capping for a year & a half & I'm no expert. Hopefully this info will help members with the proper codecs for my vids.
      When I cap big brother's I use hypercam mostly & sdp & asfrecorder if the set up allows me. I stopped using camtasia cause the file sizes were always too big, could never figure out the process, over my head lol, plus it cost too much to buy in my opinion.

      A reader says:

      You mentioned that some users were having trouble with the videos on your site. There is a tool designed to determine what codec is needed for a video. Hope this is useful to you or your users.

      Scoop says:

      I made the .wmv versions of each video. The codecs for these: Windows Video V8, Windows Audio 9. The upside of these is that you know the codecs, and they'll play in the Windows Media Player. The downside is that they are slightly larger, and slightly lower quality.


    Words, pictures, and vids from ICMS

    WET (1995)   --- Day 1

    Hello Scoopy !
    Today and tomorrow we can see how a fully nude Cynda Williams cons a bathroom salesman into giving her a new bathtub for free in the short film "Wet" (1995). The poor sucker thinks Cynda fancies him and he quickly falls prey to her scheme. You see, he doesn't know he's being videotaped and if he doesn't give her a new tub for free then she'll send the tape to his wife or his boss OR Uncle Scoopy's Fun House...
    That's all for today, please come back tomorrow for the two final clips.
    Yours faithfully,


    Asia Vieira New on is the Canadian babe going topless and showing rear nudity in scenes from the Colin Farrell movie "A Home at the End of the World" (2004).

    Vahina Giocante Also new on is the French actress topless and showing rear nudity while riding a dude in scenes from the Juliette Lewis movie "Blueberry" aka "Renegade" (US DVD title).

    Mimi Rogers
    Carole Davis
    Stephanie Menuez
    (1, 2)

    Scenes from the 1991 movie "The Rapture". Rogers briefly bares her mega-breasts as she gets out of the shower and in a 2 girls and a guy scene with Mulder. Davis shows off a fully airbrushed backside, as well as some side/rear breast views. Menuez is topless in both.

    Tara Reid
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    For those who may have doubted that Reid recently had implants, she proved once and for all that she did have some after market boobs installed at this week's Puff Daddy Birthday Ball. (or is that "Birf-day") He we have some excellent high quality paparazzi pics of a single breast (and it's Franken-nipple) escaping Reid's dress.

    Joely Richardson
    (1, 2, 3)

    The UK babe and "Nip/Tuck" star going full frontal in scenes from the 1993 Ken Russell adaptation of "Lady Chatterley".

    Eva Longoria The "Desperate Housewives" star stopping by the Tonight Show. Nothing exciting to report in the skin department, but good lord this woman is beautiful.

    Elle Macpherson and Kate Fischer
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Tara Fitzgerald
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Fitzgerald goes topless and full frontal, Fischer is also topless and mega-model Elle Macpherson is topless and full frontal (link #4). Scenes from the movie we have talked about and loved since the beginning of the Fun House..."Sirens" (1994).

    Scoop pretty much summed it up in his review with this comment...

    I have to say that on a scale of 1 to 100, rating beautiful nudity from famous women in non-sex movies, this is 100. "Sirens" is the Holy Grail of naked famous women.
    Click here for the full review.

    Rachel Bilson

    Mischa Barton
    (1, 2, 3)

    Barton and Bilson

    From Thursday night's season premiere of "The OC". Both babes show some bikini cleavage.

    Amanda Righetti
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Emmanuelle Vaugier
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Also from Thursday night, here are two of the "North Shore" babes. Righetti is sorta wearing a bikini and Vaugier starts off soaking wet, then strips off some of her clothes.

    Jessica Alba
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    If you saw the trailer for "Honey" you probably told yourself that it would suck and that you didn't need to watch it. Let me just confirm that yes, you were correct on both counts. The only positive thing about this movie is that Alba is possibly the sexiest woman on the planet and does some seriously hot dancing while wearing very little. Thanks to the Skin-man for these 'caps of Alba showing off her often sweaty abs.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Dangling Chad...Off A Balcony - It's a bad week for Michael Jackson. His judge rejected his lawyer's request to remove the district attorney that Jackson thinks is gunning for him.

  • His lawyer replied, "Okay, then how about making it legal to sleep with 10-year-olds?"
  • Thank God the election is over and we're finally back to news about what's really important: Michael Jackson!

    Keep Repressing It - Michael is also facing a new lawsuit by a New Orleans man who claims Jackson made sexual contact with him, cut him with a razor blade, cut his chest with steel wire, bit him and made him consume mood-altering substances in a limo 20 years ago, when the alleged victim was 18. The suit is based on repressed memories which he claims he recently recalled.

  • ...When he realized how low his bank balance was.
  • Well, that is the type of thing that tends to slip your mind.
  • It was either Michael Jackson or he was abducted by an extraterrestrial...hard to tell.
  • This story is ridiculous! Michael would never touch anyone as old as 18!

    It's A Little Bit Funny - Elton John told the German magazine Gala that he wants to marry longtime boyfriend David Furnish. He didn't say what country they'd do it in, adding, "We haven't set a date, and it surely won't be a public ceremony, but I would like to place my life in his hands with a wedding vow."

  • Every other part of Elton has been in his hands...
  • I don't know what country they'll do it in, but it won't be America.
  • He's found the person who shares his greatest passion: shopping.

    Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza - Elton also announced that he's developing an ABC sitcom about an aging rock superstar and his long-suffering entourage that he calls "an up-market 'Spinal Tap.'" Elton said it's not about him, but everybody he's known over 30 years, from Rod Stewart to Mick Jagger to Freddy Mercury. He said he's met every star and seen every misbehavior.

  • Maybe he should forget ABC and pitch this to HBO.
  • If it were about Elton, it would be called "The Odd Couple."

    Not Just Cold Feet - Sad news for "Star Wars" fans: Natalie "Princess Amadala" Portman got cold feet about playing a stripper in the upcoming movie "Closer" and asked director Mike Nichols to cut all her nude scenes. He agreed. Portman told Entertainment Weekly that Nichols is as protective of her as her parents and "he wants to see my bare ass much less than even my father would."

  • Apparently so, since her dad let her play a stripper.
  • When this gets out, Mike Nichols may need protection.
  • The script was rewritten; she'll now play a furniture stripper.
  • Too bad: this could've been a lot of "Star Wars" geeks' only chance to see a naked woman.