Fairy tales for adults only
Poor Derella. She lives with stepsisters Flossy and Fanny, two of the most twisted old tarts to ever crack their crusts. She is hopelessly indentured to her wicked stepmother who treats her like a voluptuous doormat. And she is saddled with a French accent so thick she sounds like she's swallowing vichyssoise every time she talks. When the sad sack Prince David invites the kingdom's comely lasses to the castle for a little compare and contrast, Derella's family makes sure she's scrubbing out the cistern. Thankfully, a rather "colorful" fairy godfather shows up to spit out random numbers and turn the poor little slave girl into Princess Onthemake. The minute the redone Derella shows up at the powdered wig ding, she sweeps the Prince off his inflated codpiece. And then the clock has to go and strike five minutes to midnight, which mean Derella has to leave her royal second base stealer with a handful of lingerie. Smitten by his underwire kitten, the Prince searches every cottage in town, hoping to find the hooters that fit the blond wonder undergarment. But in the end, it takes another fancy dress ball and a last minute cameo by the fairy godfather in drag (like we didn't see that coming) to match up Sinderella and the Golden Bra.
Meanwhile, in that other far off magical kingdom known as Miami, Goldilocks, or better yet, the bottle blond beehive of Allison Edwards, works for a publicity firm. Her main client is the Roaring '20s Club, owned by the always cauliflowered ex-light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim. When the punch-drunk pugilist hires sunstroke's answer to Allen and Rossi, Eddie Livingston and Tommy Sweetwood, our media savvy saleswomen has her work cut out for her (at least their not Sammy Petrillo and Duke Mitchell—if only by a chromosome or two). As a matter of fact, her attempts at advertising this awkward act is so burdensome that she must sneak away for weekends of sun worshipping at a nudist colony. But when things start to get hot and heavy between herself and her desperately-wants-to-be-Dean tune crooner, her secret life (along with her birthday suit) is threatened with exposure. It doesn't help that the wants-to-be-Woody-Woodbury comic relief trails the nature girl and spills the beans about her bare bodkin bonanza. So Allison decides to fight fire with free love, and invites the lesser Martin and Lewis out to Sunshine Park for a day of ogling and tanning oil. After a day of naked nonsense, everything seems to work out "just right" for this groovy Goldilocks and the Three Bares.
You have to wonder who the makers of Sinderella and the Golden Bra were targeting when they conceived and shot this faux fairy tale take on the nudie cutie. The first 45 minutes offer so few breasts and buttocks that you'll think the makers got too wrapped up in the sets and the songs (ooooooh yes, it's a musical, kiddies—more on this later) to remember the ribaldry. Then when they do get around to presenting pulchritude, it's like paging through a very old copy of Swank. We get many quick glimpses of occasionally fetching wenches, but it's really not enough to melt your Gingerbread house. And just what about those Broadway meets the Ramada Inn show stopping pop tones which tend to draw on bad rhyming dictionaries and a '60s audience member's level of patience? The songs oscillate between being so godawful saccharine that Canadian mice are banned from watching this film to atonal enough to make Yoko Ono seem like Charlotte Church. Not that the actors have any skill at selling these ballads and toe tappers in any reasonable fashion. If tunefulness were Tastykakes, the cackling cast of Sinderella would be starving to death. Then there is the overall notion of setting a nudie cutie skin flick within the confines of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. While most fantasy fiction lovers can suspend their disbelief long enough to envision a single sandal being solely matched (pun intended) to an individual foot, a golden bra that appears to be about a 34C could not possibly be so form fitting as to identify a Prince's dream girl (that is, unless, it's an orthopedic brassiere for women with special needs). Sinderella and the Golden Bra is just a daffy diversion, a trip back in time to when nudity on film was treated like silly kids stuff.
And you need look no further than Herschel Gordon Lewis and his Goldilocks and the Three Bares for further proof of the joyful innocence in undressing. This is undoubtedly one of the best, most bedazzling films of his skin show career. It is frighteningly close to sheer genius. From the moment longtime Lewis associate William Kerwin steps onscreen doing an imitation of Joe E. Ross by way of Phil Harris and Steve Allen, to the Tony Bennett on Benadryl braying of big behinded Rex Marlowe (let's face it, Rexy's got back!), we are treated to a backstage show business burlesque mixed within a nudist camp classic the likes of which only Master Herschel and his static camera can create. This movie's main thrust is really nothing more than bareness interspersed with double entendres, pseudo witty banter, personal attacks, comic quips, and horribly off-key crooning. (That's right, just like the atrociously disharmonious songs in Sinderella, Goldilocks features some of the most rusted Tin Pan Alley atrocities ever evacuated, all sung in a "trying my best to reach the note" nasal nausea by the retarded Rex). But the jokes and jibes are often genuinely funny, and the constant putdowns of Sweetwood and his sense of comic timing (the best being a brazen "shut up you idiot!") mirror audience attitudes perfectly. Frankly, even without the extended end sequences of Florida fun lovers frolicking in their peach fuzz, this would be one fantastic film. There is a strange, almost alien awkwardness to Lewis' humor hi-jinx. It's as if he takes the screwball comedy and just constantly retightens the wing nut. This makes Goldilocks and the Three Bares a must-own classic. Like baby bruin's bowl of multi-grain granola, this manic movie is just right.
It must be said here and now: while they are usually prime polishers of the lost gemstones they uncover, Something Weird drops the ball on the transfers of these titles. Sure, they surround them with all manner of exciting extra content, and even throw in a commentary on Goldilocks by that master of the digital narrative, exploitation guru David F. Friedman. But no amount of chimes and piccolos can distract from the fact that, print wise, someone has whizzed all over Sinderella, splashing a little on her fair-haired companion feature. Actually, Goldilocks looks pretty good most of the time. It has none of Sinderella's emulsion scratches, age defects, print pops, or missing footage. But this does not mean it's like looking at a fresh print. Goldilocks has faded and certain scenes resemble postcards from the back pages of Grandma's scrapbook. Still, fuzziness and color loss aside, the ability to own this original opus is worth the less than stellar image. As stated before, Goldilocks contains a commentary track by the always entertaining and enlightening mighty monarch of the exploitation film, David F. Friedman. It's been so long since we've heard a new narrative by this stalwart of the skin flick that this latest edition to the long oral history of independent sinema stands out as a pleasant, repeat worthy addition. Friedman's self deprecation and wealth of factual anecdotes makes for a wonderful walk through the quainter and carefree days of road show filmmaking. Along with several shorts that celebrate the ever-changing shape shifting of the female mammary gland, a great gallery of adult film magazine covers, and trailers that tease the "release them please" pains from out of your pocketbook, this cracked collection of comic carnality deserves a place on every flesh fans DVD shelf. This is one double dose of delirium that brings a whole new meaning to the idea of "Mother Goose."
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Studio: Something Weird Video
• Commentary by Producer and Legendary Raconteur David F. Friedman on Goldilocks And The Three Bares
Review content copyright © 2003 Bill Gibron; Site design and review layout copyright © 2015 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.