By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
I have before me a list of stylistic tricks shared by two of this week's three weird flicks: ironic laugh tracks; breaking-news announcements; creepy, slowed-down voices; assfucking; monsters; Marilyn Monroe lookalikes; flash-forwards; flashbacks; vinyl uniforms; and whimsical music. The third movie is The World's First 300 lb. Gang Bang (Pure Filth).
Before weighing in on that one, I'll attempt to explain Thomas Zupko's Flesh Circus (Elegant Angel). An intended allegory concerning gender convention and pop culture, Flesh Circus gathers more under its tent than the average porn. If you don't believe me, read the back of the box. It describes the work contained therein as "one of those rare adult films that you will talk about (and jack off to) for years to come."
Come again? The movie's outermost narrative framewhich we pick up from television newscasts, shots taken from inside a car as it speeds past an accident scene, and nonsense monologuefollows an insane woman who apparently kills her husband in order to be with her lover. The "circus," we guess, takes place inside this murderer's fevered brain. A bearded lady in top hat and tights introduces the sex scenes, commenting, "This is too unreal to be real," and, "What all of this meant, even I dont knowyou throw peanuts at us, and we dance." What this means, even I dont know.
But the rest is obvious. The lovely and ample Brittany Blue, sporting an exaggerated cheerleader outfit and hair pulled tightly into a high ponytail, stands between two cages. One holds a stuttering, bespectacled "mathematician," the other, a shouting football player ("Blue 69! Blue 69! Hut, hut, hike!"). Significantly, it's the player's penis she winds up sucking through the fence, while he bellows more amusing lines: "Suck my balls!"; "Illegal use of hand!"; "Right between the uprights!" (while titty-fucking); and, putting it in her butt, "You'll be a wide receiver by the end of the night!"
Beardo acknowledges the tiredness of the cheerleader trope, in case we don't get the high school spoof, then announces the "Blue Collar Show." Scotti Andrews wears a maid's outfit. Her caged hubby threatens her to canned laffs ("One of these days," he growls, Honeymooners-style, "pow, up the poop chute!"), spits on her face, forces his dick into her mouth, and, as promised, squeezes four fingers up her ass. Marilyn, played by Veronica Caine, appears next, reenacting the famous blown-up-skirt shot. (Panty-less, snatcher, natch.) The undies occasionally appearonce around her ankles, other times shoved in her mouthafter a professor wielding a magnifying glass studies her and gets his salad tossed. "Tongue the moon, Marilyn," he might've said, echoing Ralph Kramden, "tongue the moon!"
Likewise, the glamorous Olivia Del Rio, playing a champagne-sipping society gal, licks the crack of a werewolf-costumed man. (Surely there's a "full moon" joke in here somewhere.) And so what? When moviemaker Zupko's perceived stereotypesshallow teens, blue-collar wife beaters, horny eggheads, monstrous audiences eager to degrade idealized beautyrun away with Flesh Circus, they become merely literal. We're meant to be turned on by the cultural assumptions he apparently hates. Talk about the flick all you want, but you need only jack off to it for minutesnot yearsto cum.
New Wave Hookers 7, in the other hand, favors camp over the classroom. Psychic narrator Swami Salami"My friends call me Dick"repeatedly interrupts his own introduction by farting loudly. He promises to "unlock the secrets of the past, future, and present"; cleverly, the identical clip of a mushroom cloud plays as he announces each time period. Blond star Tawny Roberts asks to hear about her past. It involves, not surprisingly, more mushroom heads than clouds.
In his crystal ball, Salami summons an all-too-uncommon girl-girl-guyor, as I like to call it, Johnny sandwichscene. As abductees on an alien ship, the three are monitored by an extraterrestrial, who resembles a giant, disembodied human eye. (Poor guyhe must've felt uncomfortable watching all that poking.) After a b&w cut scene in which a radio newscaster reports that UFOs have invaded and are "popping wheelies" in the sky (we see pie plates attached to strings), a chick in wicked sexy '40s lingerie and a big, black hat welcomes a meat-ha-ha delivery boy into her "Magic Fingers" motel bed. This scene's a "cut" above the rest!
But I still preferred watching the twin, choreographed Marilyns, in platinum beehives and matching hot-pink sunglasses and lipstick, work their magic fingers in the neon-saturated salon. As if to offset this bit's sugary femininity, bad-girl Belladonna later plays a newly hired firewoman. "You were pretty good on that fire today, Belladonna," one of two beefy 'fighters tell her back in the locker room, even though there's probably some rule against wearing vinyl on duty. Bella repays the compliment with her unparalleled DT and by giving into the ever-uninteresting DP. (FYI.)
Later, two self-proclaimed ASPCA members rescue a chicken-suited mayor from a dominatrix, topping her to the hectic sounds of bop jazz. Then two Asian ladies with big guns and even bigger teased hair (not to mention fishnets without panties) emerge from a flying saucer and sate a suspicious police officer. Space girls are easy!