Monday, Boxing Day

Cinderella Liberty (1973)

I have no goddamned idea why this film has never come to DVD. It was a respected film in its day, and was nominated for five Golden Globes, including Best Picture (drama), winning one (Marsha Mason, for best actress). Miss Mason was also nominated for an Oscar, and the film received two other Oscar nominations for its music.

And it features a pretty sweet topless scene from Marsha Mason's own award-winning Golden Globes.

Here's the VHS version:

Marsha Mason

  • Marsha Mason Film Clip


    Shopgirl (2005)

    This is Steve Martin's script adapted from Steve Martin's novel about a love triangle between a rich businessman, a pretty young retail clerk, and an aimless young slacker.  Claire Danes does a full rear nude scane, and looks quite good in the process.

    Claire Danes

  • Claire Danes Film clip


    The Lost Angel (2004)


    The Lost Angel is a grim police procedural about the investigation of serial killings which seem to have profound religious, perhaps satanic, undertones. Like SE7EN, it uses the police story as a vehicle to carry a morbid character study of the life of the demented killer and some of the others in his sphere of influence. It isn't a great movie, even by the reduced standards of straight-to-video fare, but unlike most of the formulaic films which get churned out for the home video market, this one is not a write-off. It is not predictable trash from the assembly line, but rather a film with some very good ideas offset by others not as good, and with some solid parts which do not cohere.

    The lead character is the usual tough renegade cop who doesn't play by the rules. We've seen that in hundreds of earlier films and TV productions, but what makes this different is that this maverick cop is much farther from the rules than usual, and is also a beautiful woman. The gender switch gives a new power to the usual scenes. During what she considers to be an unfair interrogation by an internal affairs guy, she beats up the investigator, after provoking him into throwing the first punch. There's nothing so daring about the concept, but the scene is very powerful because of her gender. The film also has the guts to go beyond the usual familiar scenes. During one particularly intense interrogation, she tells the other cops to turn off any recording devices, and goes in alone with the suspect. At gunpoint, she makes him strip, then she gives him a complimentary lap dance complete with dirty talk. His reaction (or, um, lack thereof) tells her that he is not the man they're looking for.

    The ultra-tough lady cop could have made for a very effective device if the screenwriter had managed to make those scenarios believable. Unfortunately, he did not. The suspect I described above was innocent, mind you, yet he was not only subjected to that brutalization in front of several other police officers, but he was also framed with planted drugs. What do you suppose he and his lawyer will be discussing when he is released? Oh yeah, and the cop just happens to keep a locker full of heroin and unregistered firearms, all to be used to frame suspects or to bribe desperate junkies into becoming informers. It's bad enough that all of those activities are done while the police captain winks and looks the other way, but they are also done during the course of an ongoing IA investigation!

    Oh, by the way, the IA guy was investigating an incident in which she allegedly shot an unarmed suspect and planted a gun on him to vindicate her action. Not only did she really do those things she was accused of, but the suspect turned out to be obviously innocent when another murder was committed while the suspect was getting his gunshot wound treated in the hospital. She later offers the rationalization that the second murder may have been a copycat! Think about that - a copycat who just happens to know details which have not yet become public, and who just happens to share the real murderer's ability to write comprehensible messages in the cuneiform pictographs of ancient Sumeria. Yeah, that's a plausible theory.

    Did I mention that during the first investigation a priest suddenly appears on the crime scene from nowhere, and that he's carrying an FBI ID? The amazing thing is that if the copycat theory had been even remotely possible, the only possible copycat would have been the fed/priest, who knew the details of the first murder, and who could read the cuneiform. Although the lady cop was imaginative enough to conceive of the bizarre copycat idea, she was not able to see the obvious and inevitable conclusion forced by that theory!

    The rogue cop was actually plausible compared to one of the material witnesses who was also briefly a suspect. That happened to be a deaf priest who refused to provide the investigators with information supposedly obtained during confession. If you were a trained investigator and a natural skeptic, wouldn't you be curious to know how a deaf priest can hear confession? Such a scenario is technically permissible, if both the priest and penitent agree, but confession traditionally takes place in a small room where the anonymity of the sinner is protected by darkness as well as by a screen separating him from the priest. Given the customary privacy of that ritual, do you think that many Catholics are going to come voluntarily into a well-lit room and allow the priest to see their faces so that he can lip-read their sins? The inspector is not curious about this, nor even vaguely suspicious that the priest is claiming the confessional privelege improperly. She's simply pissed off that a priest would withhold any evidence that might save people's lives, sacred vows be damned!

    In addition to the script's credibility problems, it simply tries to incorporate too many familiar and hackneyed elements.

    • There is a sex scene which comes completely out of left field. Hey, I loved looking at Alison Eastwood nekkid, but this specific scene in this particular context seemed to be inserted as an afterthought because somebody said, "Hey, we should have some sex and nudity in this film, and maybe a romance between the male and female cops. Where can we stick it?"
    • And then there is the cop's troubled younger sister, who is used predictably by the policewoman's underworld enemies.
    • Then there is the inevitable flashback to childhood incidents which caused the lady cop to become an ornery cuss.


    Some of the reviewers and IMDb commenters also objected to the seemingly illogical surprise twists at the ending of the film. The first of these two twists did not bother me so much. I was not surprised to find that one of the police's usual stoolies, who was supposedly completely unrelated to this particular crime, was the murderer. There are three reasons why I suspected that might be the case. (1) He had a lot of screen time, thus invoking the rule of economy of characters. (2) The police officers mentioned many times that he seemed to have almost supernatural insight into the case, and were constantly arguing about whether to bring him in and make him reveal the source of his uncannily accurate tips. (3) The stoolie mentioned that he was raised in an orphanage, and the deaf priest finally confessed that somebody might be trying to harm him, and the killer might be a son he fathered in violation of his vows, and subsequently abandoned to be raised in an orphanage.

    The second twist, I must concede, took me by complete surprise. Not only was the homeless stoolie the murderer, and the son of the deaf priest, but he didn't even exist!


    You see, the stoolie was simply the product of the deranged mind of one of the cops - in fact, the lady cop's partner (and her lover in the gratuitous sex scene). It turned out that one of the investigating cops was actually the killer, as well as the son of the ever-cryptic deaf priest, and the other cops eventually had to gun him down.

    There was nothing in the script that led me to suspect that the stoolie was imaginary, or that the cop had mental problems, or that the cop committed the crimes, so in a sense I can see why other reviewers found the final epiphany bewildering and annoying. But I forgave that operatic plot twist for one reason. I thought it was really cool, and not entirely impossible. In the context of a better overall script, that could have been one of the great surprise endings of all time!


    Bottom line, I do not share the general low opinion implied by a 3.6 score at IMDb. Scores that low should be saved for completely formulaic and/or incompetent crap. This film is neither. It has some good ideas, and even has some good execution from time to time. I believe that if the writer/director had brought in a collaborator to smooth out the rough edges, The Lost Angel could have been a good film within the dark legacy of SE7EN, rather than a forgotten straight-to-vid which looks like an underlit SE7EN wannabee.


    The Hyphen World (straight-to-vid and direct-to-cable) has its own familiar cast of characters. I'm sure many of you know Eric Roberts, a former mainstreamer exiled to the hyphenated demimonde. The prolific Mr. Roberts is not in this film, but some other familiar faces from Hyphen World appear here.

    John Rhys-Davies is a good actor, in fact a very good actor in his native realm - a respected Shakespearian on stage who has also appeared in some of the most popular and respected film and TV productions of all time. His name may not sound familiar to you, but I absolutely guarantee that you know his face. He played Gimli in the Lord of the Rings films (although he is actually 6'1", with a very commanding presence), was Macro in the PBS series "I, Claudius," and was also in the first two Indiana Jones adventures. For some reason, probably financial, he always seems to turn up in crappy movies as a king or a high priest or some other authority figure with a powerful and resonant speaking voice. I don't know if any actor on the planet, not even Jurgen Prochnow, can claim to have reached both the heights and the depths to which Rhys-Davies has traveled.

    Check this shit out:

    The Good

    The Bad
    1. (9.30) - "I, Claudius" (1976) (mini)
    2. (8.90) - The Return of the King (2003)
    3. (8.80) - The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    4. (8.70) - Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    5. (8.70) - The Two Towers (2002)
    6. (8.28) - "Shogun" (1980/II) (mini)
    7. (8.15) - "Reilly: The Ace of Spies" (1983) (mini)
    8. (8.10) - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
    9. (7.89) - "War and Remembrance" (1988) (mini)
    1. (3.99) - Dragon Storm (2004) (TV)
    2. (3.98) - Scorcher (2002)
    3. (3.84) - Sahara (1983)
    4. (3.79) - The Double 0 Kid (1992)
    5. (3.77) - Ring of the Musketeers (1992) (TV)
    6. (3.72) - Cyborg Cop (1993)
    7. (3.70) - Chupacabra: Dark Seas (2005) (TV)
    8. (3.62) - Bloodsport III (1997)
    9. (3.32) - Sabretooth (2002)

    The Rhys-Davies achievement of nine projects rated below four is nothing to sneeze at. Eric Roberts only has eight, Prochnow has nine, and even the great grade-B demigod Corbin Bernsen is not so far ahead with twelve. But the achievements of Mr. Rhys-Davies in this domain are totally eclipsed by those of one of his co-stars in The Lost Angel. I am referring to Mr. Ponyboy Soul Man himself, C. Thomas Howell.

    Here is the bottom end of Howell's filmography:

    1. (4.02) - The Lost Angel (2004)
    2. (3.99) - Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1995)
    3. (3.96) - The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting (2003) (V)
    4. (3.87) - Hourglass (1995)
    5. (3.85) - Last Lives (1997)
    6. (3.79) - Far Out Man (1990)
    7. (3.75) - Nursie (2002)
    8. (3.74) - Avalanche (1999)
    9. (3.73) - The Poseidon Adventure (2005) (TV)
    10. (3.65) - Crimson Force (2005) (TV)
    11. (3.50) - Hot Boyz (1999)
    12. (3.47) - Glass Trap (2005)
    13. (3.38) - Killer Bees! (2002) (TV)
    14. (3.26) - Treacherous (1994)
    15. (3.25) - H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds (2005/I)
    16. (2.92) - Shepherd (1999)
    17. (2.86) - Jailbait (1994)

    That kinda says it all! He's worked on 16 projects worse than The Lost Angel, four of them in 2005 alone! All sixteen of them are rated below four. I don't mean to disparage Mr. Howell with this list. In fact, quite to the contrary. I thought he did a good job in this film in a crazy over-the-top role, and I'm sure he gets so much work (32 credits since 2000) because he can always be counted on to bring professionalism and reliability to his efforts. While he is not Johnny Depp, he is a substitute within most people's budgets.

    The Lost Angel also includes a third regular denizen of Hyphen World, Judd Nelson. Judd is a smart fellow with an excellent education who seemed to be quite the up-and-coming star in 1984-85, with a resume from that era which included Making the Grade, Fandango, St Elmo's Fire and The Breakfast Club. Those were his first four films, and they seemed to promise a substantial career which never materialized. Frankly, I don't really know how he ended up going from the Brat Pack in the mid 80s to his current career in Hyphen World. I don't think he had Downey Syndrome or anything like that. I lost track of him in the intervening period. He just seemed to disappear from my radar.


    Alison Eastwood
    - maybe the coolest thing about this film is that she is essentially playing Dirty Harry with a vagina!

    Andrea Runge


    Best Nude Scene Balloting:

    Other Crap:

    "It's a Wonderful Life" - Excerpt from the classic movie

    WTF??? Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols sings that ol' Sinatra stand-by, My Way

    Merry Christmas from The Family Guy

    Film Jerk's Early Report for December 25

    • This week's Early Report covers the 41 known new movies opening in theatres or expanding their runs between Wednesday December 28 and Friday January 27

    Men and women are equally likely to get lost, and equally likely to ask directions

    • This is bad news for women, because it ruins the only joke they know, thus rendering them completely humorless.

    No smart-ass stuff here, just a touching, evocative little animation: The Piano

    Is there an evil message hidden inside of Jingle Bells when you reverse it?

    • NOTE: this is VERY nasty. Do not play it at work or if there are people who can overhear what you are doing.

    Very cool Merry Christmas animation



    Movie Reviews:

    Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.




    "Pacific Banana"

    Pacific Banana (1980) is an Australian sexploitation film written by Alan Hopgood (Alvin Purple) and staring Graeme Blundell (Alvin, in Alvin Purple) and Robin Stewert. Robin is wildly successful with the birds. In fact, he is engaged to both stewardesses (Deborah Gray and Alyson Best) on the Banana Airlines plane he pilots. They willingly share him on alternating nights, but neither appreciate his constant cheating. Graeme is fired from his normal pilot job after he is caught having sex with the owner's wife in the air. This was not his fault, however, as she virtually attacked him, leaving him impotent. The boss understands what happened (it is not the first time), and sends him to be a co-pilot for Banana Airlines, a run down company that flies to Tahiti.

    The boss' daughter, Helen Hemmingway, keeps stowing away with them, as she wants Graeme. Meanwhile, Robin and his two betrothed keep trying to solve Graeme's problem with a succession of women. He gets interested at first, then sneezes, and loses his erection, as indicated by a wind sock that collapses. There is plenty of opportunity for comedy within this plot, and they go for all of it, even a pie fight in the air with a group of swingers on a charter flight to a discount version of Club Med run by Luan Peters. Luan supplies an endless parade of naked women to help Graeme with his problem.

    Luan Peters shows breasts, Helen Hemingway shows breasts and buns, Deborah Gray and Alyson Best do full frontal and rear, Manuia Taie also shows everything, and several unknowns also do varying amounts of nudity.

    IMDb readers say 5.5 based on only 27 votes, indicating that the film aged well. Sexploitation is normally in the mid 4 range. Director John D. Lamond (Felicity) was and is pleased with the film. Writer Alan Hopgood feels there was too much script deviation, killing what he feels could have been as good a premise as the Carry On series. Of course, he said the same thing about Alvin Rides Again. The film premiered at Cannes in 1980, and had a general release the next year in Australia. Interestingly, IMDb gives 1981 as the year of release. This is a C+, as a great example of sexploitation sillyness with a never ending supply of attractive naked women who love sex.

    Alyson Best

    Deborah Gray

    Helen Hemingway

    Luan Peters

    Manuia Taie



    Comments by The Ghost...

    Answering a Fun House reader request...Here are some captures of Natasja Vermeer from the incoherent disaster called "Emmanuelle vs. Dracula". This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and I own "Billy the Kid Vesus Dracula" on DVD!

    I may do something for the Fun House with this movie someday, but probably not. The editing and lighting are horrible, most of the nudity that includes faces is unnamed European actresses. The actress that play characters with names (like Beverly Lynne) are seldom seen with face and body parts in the shot at the same time. Natasja Vermeer

    Next is Asian-American adult actress Avena Lee doing the softcore thing on an episode of "Hollywood Sexcapades".

    I hope everyone has a good and safe Holiday!

    We go back to work with a look at a very low budget horror movie called "Psyclops". It's not great, but it's not the worst I have ever seen. Diane Di Gregorio shows a little bit of boob in the first couple of caps and then becomes a "Babe in Bondage" and you just might spot a nipple and maybe a hint of bush thru the panties.

    Diane DiGregorio

    We throw in one of Katy Jordan (they look like bad VHS caps and the really are as it a movie within the movie scene). Boobs and just a hint of bush.

    Katy Jordan

    'Caps and comments by Spaz:

    That's it. Now I have capped all the Hunger DVD collections!

    "The Hunger"
    From "The Hunger: Strange Bedfellows" DVD collection...Amanda Ryan bareas boobs and buns in episode "The Swords". Karen Elkin, three-timer topless in "But at My Back I Always Hear". Marie-Josee Croze shows all three Bs in "I'm Dangerous Tonight". Lastly, Audrey Benoit bares boobs in "Clarimonde".

    Amanda Ryan Karen Elkin Marie-Josee Croze Audrey Benoit

    "The Hunger"
    From "The Hunger: Wicked Dreams" DVD collection...Kim Feeney, three-timer near full frontal in "Room 17" having sex with Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. Then we have some various uncredited porn actresses also in "Room 17". Doris Milmore has a very nice topless scene in "Plain Brown Envelope". Frazier twins, Candace and Cynthia Frazier are both seen in sheer dresses with Doris Milmore. Angeliki Lakouras (a future Miss Canada International) shows partial boob in lesbian scene with Doris Milmore. Then we have Simone-Elise Girard baring all three Bs plus a view from the gyncocam, but with the genitalia of a Barbie Doll in "The Lighhouse". Finally, Amanda De Cadenet shows boobs and gets her cameltoe copped in "No Radio".

    Kim Feeney unknowns Doris Milmore Frazier twin

    Angeliki Lakouras Simone-Elise Girard Amanda De Cadenet

    "The Intruder" (1999)
    Charlotte Gainsbourg shows the only nudity while Marianne Therien has a catfight with Charlotte in her panties. Molly Parker still looks sexy in a leg brace and the Frazier twins are shown in bed after an incestuous threesome.

    Charlotte Gainsbourg Marianne Therien Molly Parker Frazier twins

    "Free Money" (1998)
    An off-beat comedy starring Marlon Brando as a very nasty prison warden and Mia Sorvino as an FBI agent packing some serious heat up her skirt. Also stars one-timer twin sisters Holly and Christin Watson (Holly shows her boobs while Christin has the sex scenes). The Frazier twins also have a brief but sexy appearance.

    Mira Sorvino Holly Watson Christin Watson Watson twins Frazier twins

    "Bizarre" DVD collection update
    The topless actress in the very first Bizarre sketch "Driving without a bra" is Toronto model S.J. Fellowes aka Jane Fellowes who graced the cover of the "Girls of Canada" hefmag issue back in 1980. She is not to be confused with Lady Jane Fellowes who is the Royal sister of the late Princess Diana Spencer.

    S.J. Fellowes

    'Caps and comments by Oz:

    Merry Christmas from the Antipodes!

    "House of Fools"
    Starting off with a European movie (in Chechen and Russian!) we have House of Fools aka Dom durakov (2002). There's breast exposure by Yuliya Vysotskaya and Yelena Fomina, and an unknown shows a bit of bush.

    Yelena Fomina Yuliya Vysotskaya Unknowns

    "Friday Night"
    More breast exposure in the French film Friday Night aka Vendredi Soir (2002). The actress concerned is Valérie Lemercier.

    Valérie Lemercier

    "The Great McGonagall"
    Still in Europe, we have The Great McGonagall (1974). When you know it was written by Spike Milligan you will realise why the comedy is so weird. There's completely gratuitous full frontal nudity by an unnamed woman dancing in a prison cell and a breast exposed by a woman having sex with Lord Tennyson.


    "Fierce Creatures"
    Another British film, but a more conventional comedy, is Fierce Creatures, the pseudo-sequel to A Fish Called Wanda (same actors, different characters). No nudity but plenty of cleavage by Jamie Lee Curtis, Carey Lowell and Lisa Hogan.

    Jamie Lee Curtis Carey Lowell Lisa Hogan

    Across the Irish Sea, we have Headrush (2004). Brief nipple exposure by Laura Pyper and plenty of cleavage by Jacinta Pilkington.

    Laura Pyper Jacinta Pilkington

    "The Graham Norton Effect"
    The Graham Norton Effect (2004) is the American version of Graham Norton's chat show. Cleavage by a seemingly regular guest Jennifer Tilly, and brief pokies by Julie Delpy.

    Jennifer Tilly Julie Delpy

    "Do the Right Thing"
    Some lovely breast exposure by Rosie Perez in Do the Right Thing (1989), although it could be a body double but I don't think so.

    Rosie Perez

    "Murder She Wrote"
    Michelle Johnson, most famous for a holiday in Rio, fills out a bikini top very nicely in an episode of Murder She Wrote called Ship of Thieves (1993).

    Michelle Johnson

    "Sleep Murder"
    No visible nudity in Sleep Murder (2004) but Kristin Booth looks nice.

    Kristin Booth

    "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman"
    Again, no nudity in Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman (2004) but Abby Brammell looks lovely in her underwear.

    Abby Brammell

    It's a similar story in Schemes (1994) with Leslie Hope and Polly Draper.

    Leslie Hope Polly Draper

    "Teenage Bonnie and Klepto Clyde"
    Plenty of nakedness in Teenage Bonnie and Klepto Clyde (1993) by Maureen Flannigan, Tahlia Davis and Robyn Adamson.

    Maureen Flannigan

    Tahlia Davis Robyn Adamson Davis and Adamson

    Jenna Elfman shows off some serious abs in these 'caps by DeadLamb of Elfman promoting her upcoming new show.

    A few paparazzi pics of "Lost" star Evangeline Lilly in a bikini.