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Writing Roundup: Cult Classics


It's been a while, so I'm overdue for another odds 'n' sods post, rounding up stuff I've written elsewhere in the great beyond we call the internet. Some of these go back several months, into last year even, and others are more recent, but all of them are about one of my favorite topics: cult classic films. And for me there's no doubt the films discussed in these articles and reviews are absolute cult movie solid gold.

At times Nurse 3D plays a b-movie Single White Female on acid.

From wisecracking, half-naked interstellar space babes to erotically charged nurses behaving badly, from several different women on brutally single-minded revenge missions to one of the great movie urban legends of all time, these pieces run the exploitation gamut.

If memory serves, the great Rhonda Shear hosted a few of these movies on USA Up All Night.

For lovers of all things cult cinema—my fellow disciples of Rhonda Shear and USA Up All Night and all you fellow members of Joe Bob Briggs's Drive-In movie mutant family—these are for you. Enjoy.


*****

The Legend of Demi Moore's Backside, Or, I Stripteased on Your Grave
(The After Movie Diner)

A reminder for you younguns, Demi Moore was, is, and shall forever be a stone-cold fox.

Is that really Demi Moore's backside on the infamous poster for 1978's I Spit on Your Grave? This rumor has swirled around since I was a kid and I've spent far too much time thinking about it (and doing, um, research on it), so it more than deserved its own article.

Excerpt:

Well, as young people do, we began obsessing over this rumor, which really meant we were obsessing over Moore's rump. It seemed clear that the woman on the cover was not the film's star, Camille Keaton, and the model's body certainly bears more than a little resemblance to Moore's own. We proceeded to do endless amounts of research. It was a hard job but somebody had to do it. Pouring over shots of Moore's derrière with the sort of intense determination we'd never applied to our actual school studies, many of us came to the conclusion that, yes, it had to be true. Maybe we wanted it to be a true a little too much. Can you blame us?

Nurse 3D
(The After Movie Diner)

Katrina Bowden might seem like just another pretty face but she's quite compelling as the lead in Nurse 3D.

I found Nurse 3D, from 2013, to be a rollicking good time. Had it been released in the 1970s, it would've found a wider audience on the drive-in circuit. It's an absolutely ludicrous film, which is exactly what a B-movie should be.

Excerpt:

You see, when Abby isn't strutting through the halls of the fictional All Saints Hospital in New York City, while wearing sky-high heels and the tightest, lowest-cut nursing outfit you've ever seen, she's a serial killer on a mission of retribution: she kills men who cheat on their women, often in creatively sadistic ways. Soon after witnessing one of her brutal kills, we meet the new nurse Abby will be mentoring, the naive blonde bombshell Danni Rogers (Katrina Bowden), who needs all the help she can get. If the daily trauma of working in the ER doesn't get her, there's the hilariously over the top naughty nurse Halloween costumes she and all of the nurses (including wisecracking Niecy Nash) are required to squeeze into - garter belts and thigh highs are required, ladies! All Saints is absurd because it's basically what a thirteen year old who's been weened on Skinemax thinks hospitals look like. Then there's pervy Dr. Morris (a scenery chewing Judd Nelson). When he isn't berating Danni in front of hospital staff, he's slapping her ass or grinding from behind—all right out in the open, during working hours! All Saints is a human resources nightmare.

Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity
(The After Movie Diner)

An intergalactic Butch and Sundance.

For my money, this is one of the best b-movies ever made, and features one of my favorite cult film performances, from Elizabeth Kaitan as a hilariously sarcastic and totally badass Han Solo-type who just happens to be a half-naked woman. We're talking Cult Goddess level performance by Kaitan.

Excerpt:

Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity is basically an intergalactic homage to The Most Dangerous Game, starring two blonde, scantily clad, space-traveling heroines who must fight for their lives while hunted for sport. Of course, the movie does open with another random blonde (below) running for her life before stopping to pose in front of the camera for a gratuitous cleavage shot. I suppose that's when Helms's shocked constituent blew a gasket. If you know what I mean, and I think you do.

A Look Back at Naked Vengeance
(Diabolique)

I miss when movie posters were this beautiful and evocative. 

This is a tough watch, as are most rape-revenge films, of course. But this one is particularly brutal and affecting.

Excerpt:

Special commendations go to Deborah Tranelli, who does everything asked of her, and more, in an astonishing performance (she even sings the theme song, too). She’s extraordinary, and proves that great acting most certainly does occur in low-budget exploitation fare. As unsubtle and difficult to endure as it may be, Naked Vengeance is one of the most memorable films of its kind.

"She Gives Good Kung Fu": Lady Street Fighter
(Diabolique)

No celery stalks were harmed during the making of this film, and were in fact treated quite well.

Another all-time epic performance from a Cult Goddess, Lady Street Fighter is positively bizarre yet still manages to reach greatness thanks to the astonishingly strange, sexy, silly, and damn-near supernatural performance from its star, Renee Harmon.

Excerpt:

Lady Street Fighter is a cult classic for several reasons, but the one that matters most is the jaw-dropping lead performance by the triple-threat star, writer (uncredited), and producer, Renee Harmon. She is our lady street fighter, Linda Allen, and everything revolves around and hinges on her performance, and what a perplexing performance it is. I’m still wrapping my head around it. Let’s start with the fact that the buxom, German-born brunette spitfire has an accent so thick that it’s only possible to understand one out of every five words she utters. Yet, it’s not what she’s saying, but how she is saying it that matters. Everything is spit out with a intoxicating combination of bemusement, contempt, and pure unadulterated sexually charged bro. Harmon has panache, in spades.

*****

Enjoy the articles, while I shuffle off to enthuse about even more cult classics. After all, these reviews won't write themselves!

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