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‘The Lonely Lady’: Worst film of all time or filthy masterpiece of trash cinema? You decide!
06.19.2017
01:04 pm
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US movie poster for ‘The Lonely Ladyfor sale at Westgate Gallery

We’ve waited almost 34 years to see The Lonely Lady as it played on cinema screens during its cruelly brief Universal theatrical release.  Only 1983’s most depraved trash-film degenerate whose sense of camp was so finely tuned that the combo of Pia Zadora plus Harold Robbins set off an alarm-bell that sent them flitting, without hesitation, to the nearest multiplex, earned the privilege of experiencing on the big screen a motion picture that’s been called “a baby Valley of the Dolls”, “the funniest trainwreck ever lensed,” “Pia Zadora’s most shocking role,” and “the Showgirls of the Eighties.” 

An even smaller segment of the initial LL audience stumbled upon their life-changing movie ticket through magical good fortune.  In my case, it was a doubly mystical milestone.  My grandmother’s selection of The Lonely Lady for her precocious, film-crazed tween grandson not only left an indelible impression as the filthiest, most lurid motion picture I’d ever seen, it opened up a literary world of riveting, highly educational, frequently pornographic sagas euphemistically known as “beach books” which ensured I was completely corrupted before puberty.  She had, you see, chosen this film because she’d read the Robbins novel, as she told me on the taxi-ride home, sending me straight to a collection of paperbacks which my saintly, beloved, closet-freak meemaw had been quietly enjoying in plain sight for as long as I could remember:  In addition to the brilliant Mr. Robbins (The Adventurers, The Betsy, 79 Park Avenue), during my early teen years I discovered the best of Jackie Collins (Hollywood Wives, The Stud, The Bitch, Lovers & Gamblers), Judith Gould (Sins), Sidney Sheldon (The Other Side of Midnight, Bloodline), Sally Beauman (Destiny, possibly THE filthiest) and of course Jackie Susann (Valley of the Dolls).
 

British quad movie poster for ‘The Lonely Lady’ for sale at Westgate Gallery
 
As much as I cherish all of the above masterworks, only one of them spawned a movie in which Pia Zadora loses her virginity to a garden-hose wielded by Ray Liotta.  And now, thanks to Shout Factory’s gorgeous Blu-ray release, the first time this cult essential has been available on home video since the days of VHS, a whole new generation of thrill-seeking tweens can start learning everything their parents won’t tell them and be better prepared for the Hollywood careers that so many of them have already chosen.

Top 10 things about The Lonely Lady:

10.  The soundtrack includes Pia’s cover of “The Clapping Song.” 

9.  The bizarre and inappropriate Eurotrash accents of so many bit players in a story set entirely in the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood & Beverly Hills. 

8. Pia’s brilliant writer character is named “Jerilee Randall.”  Jerilee Randall!

7. Jerilee’s attempt to get her indecently too-old, impotent and obscenely hairy-backed husband hard by cooing “Gently, gently”. 

6.  Instead of the luscious bi-sexy babes of Cinemax, the lesbos here are all repulsive predatory gargoyles, like the long-breasted bikini-clad matron in the hot tub who purrs the horrendously looped pick-up line “It’s wonderfully relaxing!” 

5.  The lesbian Italian movie star (who tricks Jerilee into a threesome with her toad of a husband) is cross-eyed, but her nipples point in different directions, too.

4.  Post-threesome, Jerilee is so disgusted with herself she showers with her clothes on and promptly suffers a nervous breakdown. 

3.  The best nervous breakdown scene EVER, in which the keys of Jerilee’s typewriter become the faces of her tormentors, before rising from the keyboard into a swirl of mocking sound-bytes and cheesy shattering optical effects. 

2.  The Blu-ray’s bonus “Network TV version” of the film features an extended typewriter-mad-scene and other unique bits to make up for the absence of the eight nude sex scenes Pia dutifully performed. 

1.  Finally, a cautionary tale that dares to expose Hollywood’s most sordid secret:  Everybody wants to fuck the writer! 
 
The bonkers nervous breakdown scene from ‘The Lonely Lady,’ after the jump…

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Posted by Christian McLaughlin
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06.19.2017
01:04 pm
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John Waters calls ‘Fuego’ ‘a hetero film for gay people to marvel at’
01.27.2015
01:13 pm
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From the Dangerous Minds archives: For those of you snowed in today, here’s a sizzling hot cult film to keep you warm. Highly recommended!

I first heard about Armando Bo’s lusty 1969 Argentinian sexploitation film Fuego (“Fire”) due to John Waters championing of the film, but I didn’t actually get to see it until last night. I’m always interested in seeing something that John Waters is enthusiastic about and I reckon that quite a few of you feel the same way. If so, then you need to watch Fuego toot sweet.

It does not disappoint.

Fuego stars the outrageously hot, extremely well-endowed Isabel Sarli, who has the sort of “brick shithouse” build that Russ Meyer was so very fond of. Fuego and Meyer’s Vixen would make a great “ants in her pants” double bill, but a more appropriate match-up would be Female Trouble and Fuego, which now that I’ve seen it, was obviously a big influence not only on John Waters, but also on Divine. Much of Dawn Davenport—the character’s fashion sense, walk and bouffant hairdo—would appear to be closely modeled on Isabel Sarli. Sarli was also an outrageously hammy actress and Divine just took her already over-the-top “undulating” acting style and turned the volume up to 11.

Sarli plays the insatiable, irresistible Laura and in this role, lemme tell ya, she is perfectly cast. Laura is a complete uninhibited and naturally this gives Sarli plenty of excuses to doff her duds, which she does constantly and we see her engaged in trysts with both men (any man seems to do, her catchphrase—normally screamed—is “I need men!!!”) and with her older, lizard-like lesbian maid. A wealthy businessman named Carlos (director Armando Bo, who also wrote the script and the insanely incessant music) sees some girl-on-much-older-girl action on the beach and later attends a party at Laura’s boyfriend’s house. Soon Carlos is seeing Laura, but he has no idea what he’s gotten himself into. She roams the streets flashing her tits and he is constantly catching her in bed with other dudes. It happens a lot.
 

 
The first part of Fuego is where most of the skin is shown, whereas the later half is talkier, more melodramatic and way more nuts. Laura realizes that her uncontrollable urges are causing her husband grief when he nearly kills an electrician he catches her bonking. They go to a “sex expert” to discuss what can be done about her “condition” (a Pocket Rocket might help...) During a gynecological exam, Laura has a thundering orgasm. The pair travel all the way to New York where Carlos is told by a doctor there that the only thing that can save Laura is his unwavering love.

I won’t tell you how it ends, but when you know in advance that Armando Bo and Isabel Sarli made 27 films together—with her rolling around with little to nothing on in every single one of them—and that they were famously lovers for years (although he never left his wife for her), you can start to project all sorts of psychological things onto Fuego. First off, Bo wrote the script and so he therefore wrote the cuckold role for himself. There’s also the voyeuristic aspect of Bo arranging to see his woman getting her tits out for so many other guys.

There’s a certain “subtext” to Fuego, let’s just say.

Waters calls Fuego: “A hetero film for gay people to marvel at” and truly, it’s a movie that covers all the bases. I’d recommend watching it in a group, like Birdemic or something like that. It’s enjoyable no matter what, but like most “so bad that it’s good” movies, experiencing it for the first time with other people is the way to go.

Armando Bo died in 1981 and Sarli stopped making films. She is now a cult figure with a devoted following. Sarli was feted at Lincoln Center in 2010.
 

 

 
The NSFW trailer for Fuego:
 

 
In the clip below from his John Waters Presents Movies That Will Corrupt You show, the Fellini of Baltimore waxes poetic about one of his favorite films, admits that he “stole” a lot of stuff from Fuego and you can see some of the opening titles:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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01.27.2015
01:13 pm
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‘Batbaby’: campy Halloween fun from Fred Schneider’s The Superions


 
Here’s a fun music video homage to B-Movies from The Superions, Fred Schneider of the B52’s other band (who unsurprisingly don’t sound a whole lot different). While the tune is reminiscent of “Rock Lobster” as replayed by Keyboard Cat, the hook will be running around in your head for some time. The video follows the adventures of the titular Batbaby, and features an intro from the very intriguing Babette Bombshell, who comes off like a cross between Elvira and Divine. Well, it is Halloween after all: 

The Superions “Batbaby”
 

 
The Superions’ Batbaby EP is available to buy on MP3 here.

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Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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10.19.2011
08:02 pm
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