Finally! Big Shim and her cone bra of sinisterness has arrived on Something Weird DVD, and Judge Bill Gibron couldn't be happier.
Big Shim runs her orgiastic crime organization from a shack in the woods, and when she's not canoodling with her kept concubine "Baby," she's strutting around like a dominatrix in need of a diet. As a matter of fact, whoever crafted Shim's leather lingerie should sue that wannabe Madonna ASAP. This mob Miss had a tri-cone bra long before Ms. Ciccone made it an unfocused fashion statement. Anyway, when a couple of girls she's recruited demand a man (they are fresh out of prison, after all), Shim calls her best buddy boy toy Tony. She learns that a rich bitch with cash to burn named Brenda McClain is keeping the lowly lothario. Naturally a kidnapping is planned. Shim ties Tony up, calls the wealthy businesswoman, and demands money. Bent out of shape that her regular rental tool is now being forcibly subleased, the matron gets on the horn and hires the sultry, if stupid, private eye Sweetie East. Dressed like a gymnast gone go-go, Ms. East must track down the gigolo in order to reap her reward. With Shim calling the shots, ex-con compatriots by her side, this should turn out to be one big She Mob catfight. Actually, it ends up being a rather anti-climatic foot chase.
Poor young newlywed Laura Ellis. She just can't get her meat-headed husband to satisfy her omnipresent sexual needs. Of course, Laura requires carnal servicing about every ten minutes and even massive mega-doses of horse steroids couldn't get her bodybuilding beau in the saddle that often. So Laura turns to "The Organization," a place where hard-up housewives and other horny honeys can turn to have their tawdry tires rotated. Madam Bonnie, who runs this hunk-for-hire cottage industry, takes her job very seriously and must approve all applications personally. Naturally Laura is let in and immediately asks for emergency rations. When hubby discovers his wife getting busy with a couple of bought boys, he goes bonkers and hires a psychiatrist to get to the bottom of his bride's booty obsession. When the shrink strikes out, our cuckolded creep sees no other options. He dons a monster mask, climbs up a high ridge, and starts going Charles Whitman on everyone. Somehow he ends up in the sex chalet and is forced into satisfying the fantasies of the Nymphs (Anonymous) clientele. Naturally, Laura shows up for her weekly reaming and all manner of hilarious hijinx ensue.
A year or so ago, Something Weird finally decided to release one of their Holy Grail titles, a film that fans had been anxious to get their horny hands on for years. However, when A Scent of Honey, A Swallow of Brine finally did make its way onto DVD, the movie failed to live up to the clip collection hype. So naturally, with She Mob being a big number two on the must-see cinematic hit list, similar fears of dashed expectations surrounded its arrival on the digital domain. Honestly, we needn't have worried. She Mob is marvelous, a wild, way out exercise in potboiler perversion that wears its weirdness right out on its stained cinematic sleeve for all to see. Containing one iconic image after another, a wealth of delirious dialogue, and characters so deranged that they have to be witnessed to be understood, this is an instant exploitation classic.
The real star of this crime spree charade is actress Marni Castle. Playing the dual role of Shim and the sex-starved businesswoman Brenda, she loses herself in the parts, making the cranky her-hoodlum a true work of wicked art. Shim is indeed one of the great screen heavies, a wisecracking broad of completely craven desires. Shim is all flailing physicality, lumbering around her hideout like a bondage beefalo. More than willing to throw her ample weight around, Castle claims the camera whenever she's on screen. Indeed, when this hotheaded hellcat is present, all others just need to stand back and watch. The other standout performance is by a hyperactive stick figured named Twig. Obviously based on the British model that was more fashion plate than figure, this skinny siren never shuts up, bouncing around like a puppy in need of neutering. Perhaps the biggest disappointment though is Monique Duval as Sweetie East. Sure, she looks the part, parading around in costumes so bizarre that you'd swear they were designed by individuals with a grudge against gals, but she barely registers as a presence. Instead of being a provocative counterpoint to Shim, she's an emotionless mannequin in search of a swinging '60s clothing store to hang out in. Still, with all its other prurient wonders, She Mob truly satisfies. Fans who waited to see what all that lip-licking lust was all about can now rest easy. It turns out this film is a misguided masterpiece.
Though it's obviously the victim of a botched negative—the film's fourth reel plays out of order, leaving a logic gap so large that even a Creationist couldn't argue out of it—Manuel S. Conde created something special when he made Nymphs (Anonymous). Like a nudity-laced sketch from a far more lewd Laugh-In, this crazy sex caper is filled with oddball humor, several silly scenes of corny copulation, and an overall tone that shifts from stupid to sinister at the drop of a hat. One moment we're laughing at some ridiculous round of dialogue, the next we are stunned as bodies start piling up like cordwood. In an attempt to counteract such criminality, Conde will then go and give us an obese head doctor who is constantly being seduced by his patient. Laura. She must see something in this human lard bag that others would obviously avoid, since she's on him like gravy on a glutton's mashed potatoes. Along with Bonnie, a "titular" Madam who is about the most amateur actress in the history of exploitation (she can't make "Hello" sound authentic), we are faced with one freaked-out farce. Even the sex is strange. The fantasies are all very surreal, with one gal wanting to "teach" while she scores, as another dreams of being demeaned before she's satisfied. There is lots of nudity here, much more than in Big Shim's shocking domain. Still, Conde keeps the focus on the lively Laura, requiring his actress to drop trou and blou more often than a Las Vegas stripper. Just to add that necessary splash of smutty spice, Nymphs (Anonymous) offers up scatological shots of stretch marks and beer bellies. Nothing but the best for the raincoat crowd.
As usual, Something Weird delivers delightful monochrome transfers of these titles, with Nymphs (Anonymous) looking the best. She Mob has some minor damage and scratches, but both black-and-white images are excellent. There is a tendency for the outdoor sequences to be a tad washed out, but that is obviously an issue with the original filming, not with SWV/Image's digital remastering. On the sound side, these films are a real aural riot. Ersatz cool jazz pours from the Dolby Digital Mono mix with true hep-cat kookiness, while gangrenous garage rock retreads give everything a seedy, sinister shimmer. As for bonus features, we are treated to a collection of trailers (with fascinating titles like The Girl from Pussycat and Playpen Girls) and the standard gallery of sexploitation ad art with unique audio accompaniment. In addition, there are a couple of vintage "Peepland" shorts that may be of interest to flabby flesh fans. One is entitled Tease for Two and features a couple of ladies lounging around in various states of undress. The next is entitled Smoke Rings and involves, again, a couple of gals in less-than-complete clothing getting comfy on a couch. While it's interesting from a historical perspective, the overall feel is like watching your maiden aunt pose provocatively with your fourth-grade teacher.
In truth, it's the main features that matter most here. Instantly taking their places among the classic SWV DVD titles, She Mob and Nymphs (Anonymous) prove that comedy and crime do mix with carnality. Individuals interested in why fans flock to randy releases like this should do themselves a favor and pick up this disc. Both films prove why exploitation is so addictive.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Something Weird Video
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