Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Night of the Living Babes (1987)

Directed by:
Jon Valentine

Rare, low-budget and long-out-of-print, this is a harmless 60-minute horror-comedy-fantasy video which obviously takes its inspiration from THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, John Waters flicks and 50s B movies. Obnoxious suburbanite Chuck (Andrew Nichols), who frequently cheats on his bitter, fed-up wife Sue ("Micelle McClellan" aka Bloody Pit fav. Michelle Bauer), tricks his friend best friend Buck (Louie Bonanno), who's happily married to blonde bimbo Lulu (Connie Woods), into going to the grand opening of the "Mondo Zombie Palace;" a brothel with a New Wave asthetic. They're greeted at the door by bikini-clad Igor (Cynthia Clegg), who takes them inside where they meet Madame Mondo (who's played by a man in drag). Madame Mondo (Forrest Witt) introduces her "Mondo Zombie Girls:" topless babes in blue, pink, green and purple punk wigs with sequin underwear to match and both guys end up having a fling with one of the girls. Back home, the wives get drunk, pig out on junk food and watch NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and the home shopping network on TV. Sue shows her friend proof of her husbands infidelities (various pieces of lingerie he keeps from each of his conquests) and finds an advertisement for the brothel in the back pocket of hubby's shorts.

The next day, Sue and Lulu awaken to discover their men haven't returned home. That's because they're being held prisoner at the zombie ranch. Chained to the wall wearing tu-tus and being threatened with a Vienna Sausage breakfast, Madame Mondo has devised various tortures to teach the guys a lesson for the previous night's indiscretions. They're forced to watch the voluptuous Vesuvia (Terri Lynne Peake) perform a burlesque act for hours, listen to circus music and have their chest hair pulled out. The mad madame plans on using her sex change ray gun to turn them into teenage cheerleader sex slaves. Sue and Lulu eventually hunt their husbands down and also find themselves being held prisoner. Sue is chloroformed and chained up topless, while Lulu is hypnotized with a watch and goes after he husband's manhood with a pair of hedge clippers.

Slightly more fun that I was expecting it to be, this was clearly made primarily to showcase T&A, but it thankfully goes a bit further than it needs to. The dated 80s 'new wave' look, complete with lots of tacky and colorful decor, big hair, silver painted hands, spandex jump suits, leopard-print wallpaper and costumes and props that look like they were stolen out of a drag queen's dressing room. is fun. Since this is intentional camp, one's tolerance for overwrought over-emoting might determine how much fun you actually have here. Some parts are very amusing, others a bit annoying. Either way, it's definitely different. There's a great theme song and Witt is wonderful as the evil madame. Unfortunately, the film doesn't have an ending and the whole thing abruptly ends right when it's actually hitting its stride. Probably one of those cases where the filmmakers ran out of time and / or money before completion.

I'm not sure who director Jon Valentine is, but if I had to venture a guess I'd say this is a pseudonym for Gregory Dark, who'd previously made the direct-to-video T&A comedy IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT "TEN" (1986) which also featured Bauer (as the "Perfect 10," of course!), Nichols, Bonanno, Blondi and Peake. There's also an outside chance it's Stephen Sayadian, who'd made the X classic CAFE FLESH (1982) with Bauer and Nichols, and DR. CALIGARI (1988), which also featured gawdy colorful sets. Or perhaps "Jon Valentine" is just Jon Valentine, who only made this movie and nothing else. But I'm placing my chips on Dark.



Anonymous said...

Who is the actress with the really large breasts?

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

That would be Terri Peake.

spookyx3 said...

> not sure who director Jon Valentine is ... I'd say this is a pseudonym for Gregory Dark

it's credited to dark on IMDB now. his fingerprints are all over this. other clues: the johnny jump-up title tune. greg "future of porn" dark produced a few movies for alex derenzy at this time. one collab, DOCTOR PENETRATION (1986), a wacky comedy written (of course) by mr. jump-up, feels awfully familiar. incidentally, _that_ one was shot at the same location as another mad-doctor porno, the ROCKY HORROR-alike WET SCIENCE (1986).

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Ah didn't know they changed that! Bauer hardly ever gives interviews but no one who's gotten the chance has asked her about the more obscure films she was in like this one. I also notice this and Perfect 10 have nearly identical credits (same cinematographer, editor, make-up artist, writer, art director, etc.) and were made for the same production company (Metropolis Pictures), which was also the production company behind Dark's Dead Man Walking and Street Asylum. So, yep, I'm 99.9 percent sure "Jon Valentine" is Dark.

spookyx3 said...

> dark produced a few movies for alex derenzy at this time.

a quick correction: i guess dark only (officially) worked with de renzy once. the other movie i was thinking of -- FORBIDDEN BODIES (1986) -- is damiano's.

like the 'jon valentine' epics, i'm not sure when those two wings hauser movies finally appeared on dark's imdb page. was always curious about what he did during his four-year vacation from the x-biz. in the case of both PERFECT 10 & BABES, you can kinda tell who made 'em if you know what to look for, whereas, it's only now that dark's been credited with STREET ASYLUM that we can point to the handling of sy richardson's character (OK, yeah, everyone's going insane, but...), and the high sleaze-factor.

haven't seen DEAD MAN WALKING, yet.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I just recently learned that he's also Alexander / Gregory Hippolyte and made lots of those erotic thrillers that ran constantly on cable in the 90s. Never seen one of his XXX films, not even the famous New Wave Hookers, but his soft core movies were actually pretty good for what they were. Always professionally made / shot, good music and well cast. Shannon Whirry being the frequent star was always a plus! I haven't seen DMW OR Street Asylum.

spookyx3 said...

while some of his earliest films are not without interest, NWH, & DEVIL IN MISS JONES III: A NEW BEGINNING are really worth seeing. DMJ4 (filmed concurrently) you can skip -- there was only enough for one movie. i'm also down on it 'cause they paired my all-time favorite sex-star with tubby ron jeremy (at his most hirsute, and wearing a diaper!).

dark used a sort of "MTV-surrealism" in his porn films. energetic, hyper-stylized, often ugly, irreverent, stupid, dreamlike. there's an obvious misanthropy that runs through them. almost all his characters are complete morons.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Was Traci Lords edited out of NWH? I like the first Devil in Miss Jones so I may check out the sequels at some point though I'll keep my expectations low.

spookyx3 said...

> Was Traci Lords edited out of NWH?

oh, yeah. gone.

> I'll keep my expectations low.

wise. damiano's original is one of the best adult-films. DMJ3 has stellar production values, and this justine jones -- lois ayres -- is _truly_ something to behold. otherwise, the film is... unpleasant.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I wasn't sure if they kept Lords' bits of dialogue in those older films and just cut out her sex scenes or what. Guess they tried to remove every trace of her period.

Not trying to knock Georgina Spelvin but I'd definitely not consider her a beauty so I could see them improving in that department though it's hard to imagine them finding an actress at her level for the part. I recently watched an old Electric Blue episode with a pre-porn Lois playing a stewardess alongside Kitten Natividad and Michelle Bauer! It was from 1982.

spookyx3 said...

> Guess they tried to remove every trace of her period.

oh, yup. i think that's right. in NWH they only had to patch over her shots in the credit sequence (with other footage from later in the movie), and take her single scene out. not sure they bothered reissuing stuff that wasn't as easy a fix; nothing readily comes to mind. i certainly don't see them doing many _reshoots_ to "salvage" SOV tapes but i could be wrong.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I'm sure they probably just deleted her scenes and wedged in another scene from another film to take its place. They are thrifty like that.

spookyx3 said...

in the video-era, they usually spent more time on the box-cover art than shooting the movies. also, i re-watched NWH... god, it's miserable.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Not sure if you've seen it or not but Dark made a fascinating 1985 documentary called Fallen Angels. It's an unflattering look at the porn industry and has some behind the scenes footage from NWH (and footage from its THEATRICAL premiere!) that's pretty interesting. Actually the entire doc is great if you can find it.

spookyx3 said...

yep. FALLEN ANGELS may be (probably is) the best thing he ever did, a real window into what the business was like at the time, when it's easy (& attractive) to pretend that this was a small, close-knit community, that everybody got along, that it was all fun. i'd also recommend juliet bashore's KAMIKAZE HEARTS, even if it is mostly fiction.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I've heard of that before but haven't seen it. I'll look for it!

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