Saturday, April 23, 2011

Salon Kitty Not Up to Scratch

I had high hopes for Tinto Brass' Salon Kitty (1976). I had heard through the underground film grapevine (i.e. fellow sickos) that it rivaled Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS in the Naziploitation genre.

And it could have, too. The "Salon Kitty" was a Gestapo brothel; the Nazis got the idea to bug the place and listen to the pillow talk as a way to ferret out spies, potential deserters and dissenters, and the like.

But somebody got the idea they were making a serious film, albeit one with lots of nekkidity. It's the same notion that sank Caligula.

So what you wind up with is two hours plus of sporadic weirdness, some of the most annoying Nazis in screen history and entirely too many cabaret numbers.

The big ol' orgy scene near the beginning is noteworthy, if only for the sheer number of writhing young members of the Master Race.

And one musical number would have been okay to set the decadent tone. But four? (Or was it five? I don't remember, I used the fast-forward.)

And Brass does not miss an opportunity to editorialize against the Nazis, which is not a particularly bold or unusual stance.

We're talking massive orgy, filmed a la Stanley Kubrick with a rigidly symmetrical long shot to establish the thing. Pubic hair trimming. Dwarf sex. Amputee sex. Breasts galore (lost count after a dozen). Nazi in Ubermensch/super hero outfit. Toe sucking. Bread dildo. Sex with "Triumph of the Will" showing on the wall. Shouting Nazis. Mincing Nazis. Cape-wearing Nazis. Luftwaffe brains blown out in shower by vengeful hooker. True love. Interminable musical nightclub intervals, and somebody took the time to write the songs. Way too much plot getting in the way of the story.

A grudging two coils, with a fast-forward caveat.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Convents and Roses and Nuns, Oh My!

School of the Holy Beast (1974) is an unpleasant little Japanese nun-sploitation flick that will have you rethinking your relationship with your florist.

Maya (Yumi Takigawa) enters the convent where her mother died 18 years earlier, under suspicious circumstances.

The nuns are sorted into cliques, none of them are very nice, and there's a fair bit of lesbitation going on.

There's also a Western woman floating around, for no apparent reason other than the lesbitation.

It's hard to figure out what is going on, plus the star and the second female lead look very similar, so I wasn't sure who was doing what.

Yumi's big moment is the slow-motion rose-whipping scene. In the DVD's interview with the actress, she says she wasn't completely hip to what the flick was about and resented the nudity that director Norifumi Suzuki insisted on.

So those are real grimaces in the rose scene — not of pain, but of anger and disgust — and that takes the exploitation level up a notch.

Eight breasts, give or take. Whipping (self-administered). Whipping by others. Whipping with roses. Flowery panties cause conniption in abbess. Dorky guys get smuggled over the wall. Dialogue about God (existence of) lifted from "The Seventh Seal."

Starts out well, gets bogged down in incomprehensible plot, picks up again with rose scene. Essentially pointless, but not a horrible way to spend an hour and a half.

Bonus interview with tubby Japanese film critic who knows entirely too much about porno.

Two and a half coils.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Interesting labels — I'll add to them as they come along.

When did Brooks start making slim fits? I know they now offer four fits — Traditional, regular, Slim and Extra-Slim. Just wondering how old this shirt is.

Here's a real relic: A J. Press shirt from the days of three stores.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Variations on a theme — Brooks Brothers #1 tie

OK, which is a Brooks Brothers #1 repp stripe tie — and which is an imitation?

With the exception of the Mulberrywood (now Sam Hober) tie, these all came from thrift shops. So there's no excuse for every guy not having one of these in his arsenal.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sharktopus, or Why You Should Not Go to Mexico Without a Big Nuclear Spear Gun

Never mind Egypt — this TV newsbabe's got serious assault problems

In Declan O'Brien's Sharktopus (2010) there are two problems.

The first is how to get as many taut firm young bikini-clad bodies in the film as possible.

The second is, inexplicably, how to keep those bikinis firmly in place.

In a film that requires an unusually robust suspension of disbelief — not just for the Sharktopus itself, but for the laptop that never runs out of juice and boots up in seconds, the cell phone that always gets service, the magic machine gun with the eternal supply of bullets — the idea that all these panic-stricken bathing beauties can run away from a giant mutant man-eating ambulatory shark/octopus without losing a bikini top here or there simply won't do.

This is why the SyFy Channel should not be allowed to make movies — even if the producer is Roger Corman.

A SyFy movie has to be shown on the SyFy Channel, which is readily available to every Tom, Dick and Methodist.

That in turn means no nekkidity, no cussing, and none of the other elements that make the cinema the great art form it is today — like sex scenes interrupted by a giant mutant man-eating ambulatory shark/octopus, for instance.

There's some plot I won't bore you with, except that it's that darn old military-industrial complex fiddling around with the genetic balance again. Amazingly, the movie does not blame George W. Bush. For anything.

Never go bungee-jumping, especially not when a giant mutant man-eating ambulatory shark/octopus is on the loose

We're talking bikinis galore, all occupied and none in transition, for an automatic one-coil deduction.

Fire-dancing routine for stupid fat tourists entertainingly interrupted by Sharktopus. Boat, Volkswagen convertible eaten by same. Spoiled whiny girl who reminded me of my last girlfriend so much that I cheered when she was neatly plucked from the bungee jump by Sharktopus. Head popping. Tentacle fu. Confusing subplot that ends happily when annoying TV reporter gets mauled. Confusing subplot that ends happily when pirate radio deejay gets mauled.

With some mild nudity, this could have been a truly noteworthy film. With lots of utterly pointless and gratuitous nudity, this could have been a serious contender for an Iron Coil — right up there with heavyweights like Bloodsucking Freaks, Zombie Lake and Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS.

As it is, Sharktopus gets full marks for funny story and not wasting a lot of time on plot; the special effects are just as goofy as they need to be; and at 89 minutes it's a sandwich and a seltzer kinda deal.

Three coils

Fishing 2011 — First Blood (mine)

Somebody tell Nike I'm available for less than 10 percent of Tiger's price

Spring is just a rumor in Deep Hollow

Deep Hollow. It sure looked trouty.

Ten-Mile Creek. Massive flooding last month makes access easy now, but in a month the banks will be a solid mass of that $%^#! multi-flora stuff.
No sign of the remaindeer, hahaha

I couldn't stand it anymore. Tossed some gear in the car and went over to Dutchess county, N.Y., to take a whack at Deep Hollow and the Ten-Mile River between Amenia and Dover Plains somewhere.

Didn't even see a trout. Nobody else did either.

Found some deer remains and barked my shin well enough to draw blood through waders, chinos, and long johns.

Summary — lots of stumbling around; lost three flies; rainy and cold (spring is only a theory in Deep Hollow); shins; two cigars; absolutely pointless.

Hooray! Fishing season!


The vintage Brooks Brothers sport shirt

Way back in the olden days, when giants roamed the Earth and you could hear great rock and roll music that jumped out of a single speaker in the dashboard, Brooks Brothers made sport shirts.

They still do, but the "large" has sleeves that go to my knuckles and I can't button up a "medium." (For reference, I'm 5'9", 170 or so, and wear a 16.5 x 33 shirt.)

Old BB sport shirts, however, all seem to fit me extremely well. I think it's just dumb luck, frankly.

Here are two vintage specimens that arrived yesterday. I'd be interested to know the exact vintage — that one label is very minimal.

Now I can't button these all the way up, but I'm not going to wear a tie with these anyway, so who cares?