Appellate Judge Rob Lineberger once thought The Mummy Returns was a bad movie, but it's all relative.
"100% White Trash"—logo on Misty Mundae's thong
The Misty Mundae Euro Vixen Collection—with its four movies, copious extras, and cornucopia of actresses—is a great way to introduce yourself to Seduction Cinema's lineup.
The important question you must ask yourself is: Do you want to do that?
Facts of the Case
• Mummy Raider
• Satan's School for Lust
• Vampire Vixens
The best thing about the Misty Mundae Euro Vixen Collection is the extra features on Disc Three. Between the UK TV interview and an interview with Misty, we get the sense that some people out there are making movies starring Misty and having a great time. We see extremely cool clips of Misty's art flick Voodoun Blues, which uses stop motion and decapitated knicknacks to great effect. She lucidly discusses filmmaking, particularly the differences between video and film. We're also treated to clips of Bite Me, which looks like great fun. In fact, had this boxed set contained either film, I'd count it a success.
It was not to be, so let's look at what we do have. The four movies assembled here average 3.1 out of 10 at the IMDb, which means that at least one or two people out there like them. Undoubtedly, this overwhelming enthusiasm is due to Misty Mundae's screen presence. Whatever impressions you may have about the movies, odds are you'll find her alluring. She has an indefinable screen presence that makes even her poorest scenes tolerable. Aside from the lofty IMDb rating, the four movies have the following things in common:
• A scene where Misty lies on a bed, rubs her hands over her
body, gets naked, and simulates masturbation.
First up is Disc One, which gives us Mummy Raider and Vampire Vixens. It is good that these movies are on one disc, because you can rid yourself of two abominations at once by throwing out this convenient disc of laminated plastic. The movies say to me "unchaperoned college kids found a camera." This double feature reminds me of being in the stoner dorm at college, where people I was loosely acquainted with would get so bored they'd take off their clothes for kicks. Both movies are failures as movies, as B movies, as skin flicks, or even as an entertaining way to kill a couple hours.
Director Brian Paulin extends our pain by lacing these bombs with humor (men in nerd glasses whining) and action scenes (Misty fires blanks somewhere offscreen, and extras fall down) that make me want to crawl into a corner and curl up in a fetal ball. I've literally seen high school civics class assignments that were better produced. The epitome of this first disc is the Mummy seduction, where Misty fondles a sweatsock-clad toilet paper tube sticking up from a man dressed in more sweat socks and some gauze. I was particularly pained by Vampire Vixens. After being impressed by Tina Krause in two of Jason Santo's short films in the Bent: Trilogy, I was looking forward to seeing her in action again. What a difference a little class and direction make! Paulin uses her like a couch cushion with boobs and vocal chords.
The behind-the-scenes extras on this disc are as long and painful as the movies. At least we're granted a lengthy interview with Tina Krause, and know that she's moving on to better work.
After seeing those two flicks, I was dreading the next two discs. Not figuratively dreading them—literally staring at the cover of the Misty Mundae Euro Vixen Collection and experiencing vague nausea along with the overwhelming urge to do housework. What a mild shock, then, to find that Satan's School for Lust takes some pains to craft a movie instead of pointing a camera at stuff.
Satan's School for Lust works as a B movie, and it even achieves moderate success as a skin flick. It opens with dramatic public-domain music that I should be able to place, but the context cues are so misplaced that I can't quite recall the composer. As the dark chorus sings, Satan makes Misty fondle herself. All I can say is that the scene achieves some dramatic impact, is creatively lit, and shot with some grace. The ensuing film falters after this lofty introduction, but it is able to maintain a modicum of horror and sexual tension. Satan's School for Lust has enough care and style to garner a small cult following; it is a rare non-ripoff title in John Bacchus and Terry West's filmography.
We wrap up with Roxanna, which is the closest approximation of acting we've yet seen in this quadrilogy. Misty capably holds our attention as the meek wife turned bitter crack whore. She veers away from the slapstick antics and deadpan delivery of the previous films and actually emotes. The effect is better than I expected, though not enough to make me ever want to watch Roxanna again.
The digital video transfers well enough, though colors are flat and the overall effect is listless. There isn't much to see here, but neither are there glaring visual artifacts. The video simply is, and we have to deal with that. I was less pleased with the audio, which made what conversation there was unintelligible. The soundtracks, all four of them, were highly annoying.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
I was hoping for a revitalization of the independent exploitation scene. Lofty hopes, but there you have it. I was disappointed to find that these movies don't even shoot as high as the low-hanging fruit on Cinemax. Yet there is an undercurrent I appreciate in these four skin movies. The actresses are natural and never do anything that looks uncomfortable to them. The camera lingers instead of cutting away every 1.2 seconds. In some ways, these films are the perfect embodiment of independent cinema. I just wish that cinematic conventions hadn't been tossed aside whole hog.
Allow me to reiterate that Misty Mundae is appealing. Whether she's cussing, dishing out phone sex, playing the innocent, or vamping it up, she has an approachable charm and a down-to-earth sensibility. I'd probably enjoy talking to her about film and seeing some of her own work—as long as I never have to watch Mummy Raider again.
I suppose I should include a note about the European cuts included in the set. They're hotter, if by "hotter" you mean "interminable."
There may be hope yet for the softcore sex romp, but I'm looking elsewhere. For now, 1970s Italian films will have to do.
You want a verdict, huh? You like that, don't you? Yeah, give me a verdict!
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