We'd put something clever here, but Judge Kerry Birmingham had a feeling we had you at "naughty nudes."
Get a taste of the genuine peep show experience that always left the patron wanting more…more…more!
Since anyone reading this is doubtlessly interested in the, uh, academic value of this Seduction Cinema release, let's review: the "nudie loops" were short, erotic films, typically shot on 16mm film, that were staples of peep shows and grindhouse cinemas throughout the 1960s. Home video and the increasing availability of pornography eventually made the nudie loop a thing of the past, but Retro-Seduction Cinema has dusted off a dozen loops, recorded new soundtracks, and put out a DVD for those who prefer their nudity vintage.
An introductory piece, by a man called "42nd Street Pete," who is either a creepy, burned-out ex-hippie or parody of same, provides brief historical context for the "loops" (so called because they repeated through the projectors as long as you put in more quarters) before the feature. Mostly recollecting his own sordid involvement in the viewing and distribution of nudie loops during that time period, Pete concludes with a wistful lament for the Disney-fied Times Square. Pete's direct, ineloquent manner gets the job done, running through the trials and travails of would-be masturbators in a time before video stores and the internet, and his accompanying liner notes are only just as blunt ("Suzy has great tan lines, but she also has more pubic hair than a Wookiee"). This is about as instructive as Naughty Nudes of the 1960s gets.
The film itself is, really, twelve loops strung together, with chapter breaks after each loop. All of the films represented do hold a certain curiosity, since they all date from before porn was a professional venture, and as such these films and the women in them are even more old-fashioned when compared to the polished, plastic porn stars that were to come only a few years later. These films come from an era when any nudity was good nudity; perverts couldn't afford to be choosy back then, and these women were definitely on display because they would do it on camera (so, much like today's porn, but without the silicone). They strip, they pucker their lips, they play with the occasional props and mug for the camera. This was a more innocent time, when the merest sight of pubic hair might have been considered the height of eroticism solely by virtue of it being on camera. Titles like "Bleach Blonde Vixen" and "Insatiable Housewife" are pretty clear indicators of what to expect. It's the quaintest form of erotica, in retrospect. There's no penetration, no gaping orifices, no recorded sound to prompt the voyeuristic viewer what they should be feeling.
The women themselves, wearing architectural hairdos and in thick make-up that makes them look like Divine, are a mixed bag of housewives and probable junkies, displaying their goods, however "good" they may or may not be, along with every sag, scar, lump, wrinkle, hair, and stretch mark. They play with props…a blue cord, a stuffed snake, a balloon…and preen with varying levels of enthusiasm (there's more than one segment where you can picture the cameraman going, "Dance a little while longer…I've still got half a roll in the camera!") Very few of the women are genuinely attractive. They all tend to be matronly, and more often than not wearing garter belts, apparently the height of sensuality in the early '60s. With the period clothes, haircuts, and physiques, it often has the feeling of finding your grandparents' homemade porn. (This would be bad.) Watching these loops one after another, seeing one generally homely woman after the next in a virtually identical stripping scenario, the only difference becomes if it's in black and white or color. They to tend to be so of a piece that there's little to judge beyond the variable nipple quality. If we can credit the modern porn industry with anything, it's that it doesn't lack variety. If it's something you probably shouldn't be having sex with, by God, there's a porno out there about it. You can't stop progress.
The sound is adequate for the purposes of this no-frills collection. The unrestored picture is appropriate for the feeling of nostalgia, as is the dubbed film projector noise that can be heard over each film. The music is by several no-name performers like The Pink Delicates and Ron Atkins, who provide reasonably unobtrusive period-inspired rock tracks over each loop. The only distracting music was by The Ubangis, who in their vocal performance seemed fascinated by their own wackiness.
Seven "bonus" loops make up the bulk of the extras. For whatever reason, these films weren't included in the body of the main feature, even though it's more of the same. One loop, "The Stewardess," is actually an effective and proficient piece of filmmaking, and could be passed off as a short film out of context. Perhaps fittingly, the final bonus loop, "Rene Bond Strips" from 1970, closes out the relatively innocent era of '60s peep showing a strip show by porn star Bond, all bronze tan and prototypical implants. A glimpse of the future.
A bevy of trailers for current and future Retro-Seduction Cinema releases, all by smut auteur Joseph Sarno, round out the extras.
Naughty Nudes of the 1960s is not an attempt at intellectualizing a forgotten, marginalized genre. This is a collection for nudity afficionados, or garter belt fetishists, not garden variety porn enthusiasts. 42nd Street Pete makes a claim that these "bold women paved the way for 'The Sexual Revolution'," but even Pete has to know how absolutely insincere that sentiment is. A direct line can be traced from the nudie loops presented here to Girls Gone Wild, and that's really the extent to which any of this remains relevant to today's culture. Naughty Nudes is an interesting oddity, a collection of pornographic ephemera, but at no point is it relevant, or even…presumably its most basic function…titillating. Pass on this unless you find beehive hairdos really attractive.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Seduction Cinema
• Seven Bonus "Loops"
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