January 13th, 2009

3:10 TO YUMA (1957) ** ½

Ben Wade (Glenn Ford) is a notorious bandit who murders a couple folks (even one of his own men) during a stagecoach robbery.  Afterwards, he steals the horses of a rancher named Dan Evans (Van Heflin) and makes his getaway.  Cheesed off, Dan helps the local law put Wade away when he foolishly comes back to town to get a little something-something from a lonely barmaid.  Once in custody however, Wade warns that his extremely loyal band of miscreants will kill any man who tries to escort him to prison on the titular train.  After a couple people get killed by the gang, only Dan remains to do the right thing and bring Wade to justice.

 

I know you’re supposed to enjoy the original more than their remake, but here is an exception to the rule.  The 1957 3:10 to Yuma has flashes of brilliance, yet the lethargic pacing and pokey middle section of the film threaten to derail it.  (No pun intended.)  Also, the ending to this one is much more upbeat, and although it still ends on the same ironic note, it can’t compare to the more realistic and depressing ending of the 2007 remake.

 

What I like about the 2007 version was that it delved more into the minds of the characters and showed that both Wade and Dan were essentially the same men, except they were on opposite sides of the law.  In this one, it’s a lot more black and white.  (And no I’m not talking about the cinematography here.)  What kinda keeps the film from really cooking is Van Heflin’s weak leading man.  Heflin’s much too bland to carry the film and he fails to make much of an impression.  Glenn Ford fares only slightly better.  While he has a much stronger screen presence than Heflin, since Ford is being cast against type (C’mon, who’s going to believe Pa Kent is a villain?), it works against him and the movie.  In a lot of scenes where he’s supposed to look menacing, Ford just kinda sits there with a crooked smile on his face and the result is more goofy than scary. 

 

3:10 to Yuma really starts to pick up steam (again, no pun intended) during the final 20 minutes.  The scenes of Dan breathlessly trying to get Wade to the train without being gunned down by Wade’s men is extremely suspenseful and makes up for a lot of the second act’s shortcomings.  All in all, I can see why James Mangold decided to remake this flick.  It’s a solid oater, nothing more, nothing less.  There was room for improvement and Mangold did just that.

THE GIRL FROM S.I.N. (1966) ** ½

Dr. Sexus, a low rent Fu Manchu type villain wants to get his hands on a pill that makes people invisible so he hires a hot assassin named Poontang Plenty, Agent 0069 to steal the formula from an absent-minded scientist.  The scientist’s hot assistant becomes invisible and sneaks in to Sexus’ lair to retrieve the formula but she gets captured when the pill unexpectedly wears off.  It’s then up to the bumbling scientist to take his own formula in order to save his sultry secretary from the clutches of Sexus.

 

Since it was 1966 and James Bond Mania was in full swing, a super spy sex movie just had to happen.  The Girl from S.I.N. is the kind of movie that defies criticism.  (Although one complaint that I did have with the film was that it was a little light in the nudity department.)  Here’s a laundry list of stuff to expect from this movie.  If you like more than half of the stuff that’s on this list; then I’d say you’ll probably like the film.

 

Low budget James Bond rip-offs.  If you like James Bond movies where the girls have funny names, then you’ll like this flick.  Even though she’s a villainous spy, Poontang Plenty is still one of the greatest names never used in a James Bond movie.

 

Foot fetishes.  There’s a L-O-N-G pre-title sequence in which Poontang Plenty pours champagne on a guy’s feet and sucks on his toes before sticking him in the back of the neck with her hairpin.  If you have a foot fetish, you’ll more than likely bust a nut before the credits even start.

 

Constant narration.  Do you like black and white nudie flicks from the 60’s that are shot silently and have tons of pointless narration?  Well in The Girl from S.I.N., the narrator can’t even pronounce simple second grade words.  (He calls a “laser beam” a “lasser beam”.)  The results are often hilarious.

 

Naked photo shoots.  Do you like scenes of horny photographers taking pictures of nude models?  Well, you’ll eat this movie up.  The highlight of the nude modeling scenes comes during a photo session for a milk ad where a naked chick gets photographed drinking a glass of milk suggestively.  Man, those milk moustache ads they have today aren’t nearly as effective as the ones in this movie.

 

Low budget mad scientist movies.  This flick has a mad scientist “laboratory” that consists of one table, a microscope, and an anatomy chart.  Like every other set in the movie, it’s basically a redressed hotel room.

 

Kung fu.  The Girl from S.I.N. features a karate chopping belly dancer assassin who smashes boards with her bare hands.  She also uses her karate moves on one guy, but that’s about it.

 

Low budget Invisible Man movies.  This movie features an invisible woman and since the budget was non-existent, the special effects of her becoming invisible are nothing more than jump cuts.  Plus, there are shots of doors opening and closing to signify to the audience that the “invisible” woman just left the room.  Predictably, there are also fight scenes where actors have to fight an “invisible” man and have to pretend that they’re getting beaten up.  Funny stuff. 

 

Light S & M.  There is a scene where a chick gets tied up and abused.  It’s not much, but hardcore bondage freaks should get off on it.

 

If you like any or all of these things, then you should enjoy The Girl from S.I.N.  For me, the film needed a tad bit more nudity in order to get the *** treatment.  Your mileage may vary however.

HENRY’S NIGHT IN (1969) ***

Henry (Foreman Shane from tons of A.C. Stephens movies) is a nerdy husband who likes to put together model ships.  He’s too busy with that shit to even fuck his wife.  At one point, his wife (who’s about a 5 on a 10 scale) takes off all her clothes at the dinner table and he still doesn’t know what to do. 

 

Anyway, Henry buys an old chest containing a scientist’s notes on an invisibility potion.  Henry duplicates the formula and is able to become invisible whenever he sneezes.  Basically what he does is just go around spying on all the women in the neighborhood (who are all 7’s and 8’s) while he's invisible and watches them shower, ride an exercise bike, and take a bubble bath before he has sex with them (which is pretty much what I’d do too). 

 

In short, it’s everything that Hollow Man should’ve been.

 

During a “Hen Party” for all the women in the neighborhood, Henry unleashes a bunch of invisible mice, which makes all the girls take off their clothes and run into the street naked.  Afterwards, Henry’s wife goes to her shrink who hypnotizes her into having sex with him.  In the end, Henry’s wife figures out what he’s up to and finally gets him to have sex with her.

 

Yeah this movie is pretty cheap, but I still dug it.  All the invisibility stuff is just a pretense for long shots of women groping themselves while a jazz band plays on the soundtrack.  This is to say, it’s a good movie.  The flick hems and haws and gets kinda slow in some spots, but the nudity is plentiful (lots of bush shots) and the concept is fun.  This movie actually kinda reminded me of The Invisible Kid, which was a PG-13 movie in which a teenager became invisible so he could spy on girls in the shower.  Henry's Night In isn't the greatest Invisible Man Looking At Naked Girls Movie ever made, but it’s certainly a worthy entry in the sub-genre.

 

Robyn Hilton (the secretary from Blazing Saddles) co-stars and shows off her boobies.

THE NAUGHTY SHUTTER (1963) ** ½

A reporter goes to see a burlesque show where he watches some stripper with a considerable gunt shake her booty and show off her jiggly titties.  Then he goes to see his boss and while sitting in the waiting room, he meets a photographer who has an x-ray camera.  This camera is something else.  When you take a picture of a fully clothed chick, it shows you what she looks like naked.  The reporter and the photographer become fast friends and they go out and get hammered.  While they’re hung over, a spy sneaks into their hotel room and steals the camera and hides it in a trash can.  The maid throws the camera out with the garbage and it falls into the hands of some nudist chicks who take pictures of each other.  Predictably enough, when the photos come out, the girls are all fully clothed.

 

The Naughty Shutter is a no-budget nudie-cutie that runs less than an hour long, has an intriguing premise (OK, so it’s less a premise and more of an excuse to show naked women) and features a lot of boobies.  It’s not all that great, but like I said, it features a lot of boobies, so there you go.  Even though one of the chicks has really teeny tiny titties that almost don’t count, the other gals in the cast have all B Cups and above, so it’s okay.  None of the chicks are what we call “lookers”.  In fact, one of the girls looks like Tony Danza in drag, but again, she shows off her tits, so it’s OK.  The print is so jumpy that at one point, it’s hard to tell what’s going on.  That’s alright though because of all of the boobies on display.  Overall it's a decent enough flick, mostly thanks to the ta-ta's.

NYMPHS ANONYMOUS (1968) **

A bunch of nymphomaniacs gather to help each other out with their sex addiction.  (They all wear Zorro masks to keep everything “anonymous”.)  Luckily for the audience, when I say “help each other with their sex addiction” that means that when a woman is horny, the “Federation” sends over a couple of studs to her house to fuck her.

 

This is the kind of self-help that even Dr. Phil could get behind.

 

One bored housewife gets tired of fucking bill collectors, vacuum cleaner salesmen, and psychiatrists, so she joins Nymphs Anonymous and gets two studs sent to her every hour on the hour.  When her husband comes home, he gets so jealous that he camps outside the house and Charles Whitmans all the studs to death.

 

Nymphs Anonymous is the kind of flick that I would’ve loved as a thirteen year-old.  It’s got lots of nudity, some bizarre black humor and a nutty plot.  I’m older now and my tastes are a little more refined, but Nymphs Anonymous still kinda made me feel like I was thirteen again.  The main thing the movie has going for it is the scads of naked women.  A lot of the girls have impressive chests and don’t mind showing them off.  The main chick kinda looks like Jennifer Jason Leigh in an Elvira wig and even though she keeps her clothes on (and reads from her script), she’s still pretty hot.

 

On the downside though, Nymphs Anonymous runs on much longer than it really needed to.  87 minutes is quite an epic length for a nudie movie from the 60’s and for most of it’s running time, the film simply just runs around in circles.  It’s not bad or anything, it’s just the flick could’ve been a lot tighter.  As it is, the pacing is as loose as the Nymphs themselves.

SHE MOB (1968) **

Big Shim (Marni Castle) is this enormous bull dyke that dresses like Erotica era Madonna who along with her all female gang kidnap a stud from a rich woman named Brenda (also Castle) and ask for $100,000 in ransom money.  Not content with losing her man, Brenda calls upon a female detective named “Sweetie East” (Monique Duval) to get her lover back.  In the end, Sweetie decides she wants to keep the stud for herself and they do the humpty dance together. 

 

I’ve heard this movie described as John Waters-esque, but that is being way too generous.  Sure, She Mob is tacky and gaudy like a 70’s era Waters flick, but it’s nowhere near as much fun.  The big crime is that the sex scenes meander on and on and aren’t very sexy to boot.  Take for instance the long bathtub fuck scene that opens the movie.  Not only does it show way too much of the dude’s ass and hardly any of the chick, it goes on FOREVER.  Then there are the scenes in which Big Shim watches people fuck.  There’s a lot of leering close-ups of her nasty face as she constantly sweats and licks her lips.  Not exactly the sexiest thing in the world, that’s for sure.  This flick also must be one of the earliest films to feature girls with grody looking silicone implant scars too.

 

That’s enough sex talk; let’s move on to the violence.  Well, there ain’t a whole lot to talk about.  While there is one classic cigarette-to-the-belly-button scene, the violence in the film for the most part is pretty tame.

 

Castle plays Big Shim more convincingly than she does Brenda, which is mostly due to her extremely mannish face.  She’s still pretty good in both roles though.  At least Duval is smoking hot, especially while wearing her tight ass spandex suit.  The title sequence is pretty great too; it’s just a shame that what follows it isn’t all that memorable. 

 

Best line:  “It isn’t how big it is, it’s how you make it big!”