Monday, June 11, 2012

Driving Miss Daisy Crazy (1969)

... aka: After the Ball
... aka: After the Ball Was Over (64 minute version)

Directed by:
None Credited (I strongly suspect Michael Findlay)

An extra on the Something Weird MONSTER A GO-GO / PSYCHED BY THE 4D WITCH double feature DVD, this 36-minute, black-and-white softcore horror short is a real mystery. There are no credits at either the beginning or end. The director is unknown. The cast is unknown. The production year is unknown (I'm guessing above based on a 1969 model Cadillac Coupe Deville seen on a street shot; meaning this was filmed no earlier than fall of 1968). Whether or not this was actually released to theaters back in the day is also unknown. Hell, even the original title is completely unknown. Driving Miss Daisy Crazy is just a catchy new moniker the distributor has slapped on (the same title was also used for a 1990s porno), even though the lead character doesn't appear to be named Daisy. You know that if the obscure cinema specialists at SW haven't even been able to trace this one's history then its exact origins may likely to remain forever shrouded. [Note: Identity finally uncovered, see last paragraph.] The film is typical of soft-core product shot in and around New York City in the mid to late 60s. Some of the luminaries in this field were Michael and Roberta Findlay, the Amero brothers and Doris Wishman. Any one of them could have conceivably made this, but it seems very indicative of the Findlay's usual style (similar camerawork, choice of narration over recorded audio, etc.), so I might venture a guess and say they are the masterminds responsible.

Lacking audio, the whole thing is a voice-over between our protagonist Mrs. Lloyd, a wealthy young woman who feels everyone in her circle is conspiring against her, and either a cop or doctor she's confessing her story to. Miss Lloyd - oh, to hell with it, I'm gonna refer to her as Daisy from here on out just to save some space - suffers from nightmares and has "special fears," such as her husband wanting a blow job: "There's one kind of lovemaking Robert enjoys that I just can't do for him!" Her husband likes to exploit her fear of not only that, but of open flames near her face (by waving a lighter at her) and confined spaces (by locking her in the closet). He also beats her up for not complying with his sexual wishes. Her shrink Dr. McCann prescribes her "tranquilizers" so she can relax and get some sleep. Unfortunately for her, McCann is just an actor hired by Daisy's husband to impersonate a doctor and the tranqs he's been giving her are hallucinogenic substances. The family maid Flora, the chauffeur and about a half dozen more of Robert's friends are also in on the act. Of course, they all want to Drive Miss Daisy CrAzY so they can get her money.

While drugged, Daisy is stripped naked and molested by the maid. When she goes to visit her fake psychologist, he shoots her up with some more drugs and then rapes her. During both instances, someone sneaks in and takes pictures, which are later snuck into her dresser drawer so she can freak out over them. Robert hands out monster masks to his friends at a party and the whole group of people attempt to finally drive Daisy over the edge by attacking her... but there's a twist Robert doesn't see coming. The moral of the story? It's probably best not to loudly discuss what you're doing in the room next to the person you're plotting against.

I haven't really seen enough of these things to recognize the actors, but with the body the lead actress has (which is on full display throughout), I seriously doubt this was the only softie she ever appeared in. The faces she makes while drugged and getting groped are absolutely hilarious. The plot's about as tired as they come, but that's not quite the point. Some of the camerawork is good, the music's cool and there are some effective horror shots in here, though the chief ingredient is, of course, the nudity.

* Big thanks to an eagle-eyed viewer (comment below) who has finally uncovered the true identity of this by matching screen caps with a poster. This short is just a whittled down cut of the originally-64-minute (per TCM) After the Ball Was Over. The film was indeed released in 1969 and though the director, crew and much of the cast remain unknown, the female star is Suzzan Landau (billed as "Alice Noland"), a regular face in both Findlay and Wishman films from this same time. My money is still on this being made by Findlay.

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