To get the new site up and running, and after mourning the old site, I decided to rework a post I had on the previous site. Being sick as a dog helped my decision.
When I was a kid, sneaking out of my room to watch late-night television when I should have been sleeping, I did not realize just how much I would remember about those silly, scary, or downright befuddling films where plots were largely a ruse to get naked flesh on the screen. For the next couple of decades, I would often tell people about movies I had vague memories of, and they would remember similar things… or it would trigger another memory. But they were largely locked behind a brain fog of faulty memory.
But technology brings with it monsters, and the most significant one for me and my horrid memory was IMDB. Sure, I had some movie encyclopedias and reference guides, but I had to know what I was looking for, and it had to be the release title in English for the guides I had.
With Grease and Godsell and Jesus Christ Superstar all the rage and the movie musical seeming to make a comeback, independent filmmakers decided to get in the game. And, well, the results were interesting. Here are five films that made teenage me appreciate musicals a little more. Okay, it was the boobs that I appreciated. Regardless:
5. The First Nudie Musical (1976)
1976 was a big year for the erotic musical. It saw the release of Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy, Let My Puppets Come, and The First Nudie Musical. This was a moderately budgeted musical with Cindy Williams from Laverne and Shirley and a group of dancing dildos. So, it is starting everything off right.
Note: It was not actually the first nudie musical. It was a plot-point to save a failing film company in the film. And a similar plot to Let My Puppets Come.
4. Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy (1976)
Tell me if you have heard this one? Parents, desperate to have some time away from their kids, go to the local video store to rent some movies to keep them entertained in the basement while the adults party upstairs, playing poker or spades or gin with the other parents also desperate for a kidless night. So they look at the various VHS covers, unhappy that the Family section, if it exists at this store, is so small and really only has a couple of Benji movies, Love Bug collections, and Flintstones Christmas episodes. So they look around the store, perusing what might be “not too bad” for the kids. They pick up a childhood tale they loved. Ah, Alice in Wonderland! They take it home, and sometime during the evening, one of the kids comes upstairs and says that they don’t like the movie because people are naked and “doing it.” This shocks the parents because some of them haven’t even explained what “doing it” is to this band of basement hooligans.
That seems to be the common story I hear whenever I bring up this movie. It seems everyone had that experience. It might be that we all really did have it, or it might be that it is a better story than parents renting it and then freaking out at the first sign of flesh. There’s something nostalgic about the idea of being untethered from our parents in the 70s and 80s, even if some of us were much more tethered than we would like to admit. Though, I do have a similar one for the night my cousins and I watched The Exorcist, An American Werewolf in London, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, though that was mostly because our older cousins had been in charge of the movie rentals.
Anway, here’s “If You Just Believe.” Kristine DeBelle is absolutely mesmerizing in this as Alice, and she has some serious pipes to back up the musical numbers. Her acting career is still going strong.
3. Come Play With Me (1977)
Come Play With Me holds the Guiness record for being the longest-playing British film in a cinema. It was a silly softcore film about two forgers on the run from their gangster boss and the government. They hide out in a manor-turned health retreat-turned brothel throughout the film.
2. Cinderella (1977)
This was Charles Band’s first foray into the erotic musical genre with his newly formed Band Productions with his father. Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith is enchanting as Cinderella and Sy Richards begins his long film career as the “fairy” godmother. The stepmother and stepsisters were pulled from a performance troupe, LA Knockers. Brett Smiley, former Broadway Oliver, played the Prince.
1. Fairy Tales (1978)
When I saw this as a kid, the main thing I remembered was the Jill character. She was naked and ran up to the Prince, saying “I’m Jill from Up the Hill. Wanna fool around?” I still think this is one of the best lines to have been written for modern cinema. I also remembered the busty Angela Aames singing as Little Bo Peep, though at the time I had no idea who Angela Aames was. It was quite a bit later that I put together that Little Bo Peep was also Boom Boom Bangs from H.O.T.S. (1979). I was a slow kid.