In case the titles did not make it clear, this Something Weird DVD offers up another pair of exploitation films from the 1960s, in which we combine nude women with homicidal maniacs. "The Beautiful, the Bloody, and the Bare" (1964) is the first film written and directed by Sande N. Johnsen. Leo runs an art studio where nude models pose for his students, and he takes great pains in the monotonous voiceovers to explain what makes a good model (the key is how smoothly they change positions). Then his friend Peter (Jack Jowe) shows up, fresh from bumming around Europe, and Leo helps out by letting Peter take photographs of models at the studio. But then one model paints her nails red and Peter is on his way to jumping off the deep end.
When television first started and everybody was thrilled by watching a visual medium in the comfort of their own home, one of the earliest shows was "Photographic Horizons," which showed models posing so that viewers at home could take photographs of them right off the screen. This movie reminded me of that, because for most of it there are shots of nude women posing. Then the movie remembers that there is this horror element to it and Peter ends up doing more to his models than taking their pictures. To be fair, Peter is as freaked out by the color red when it is his own blood as when it belongs to anybody else, but you have to think that it is hard to walk through New York City without seeing a lot of red, you know? The credits for this film promise some of New York's top models and you have to agree that the women you see are quite good at their craft.
"Behind Locked Doors" is a 1968 film from producer Harry H. Novak that teaches the rather strange lesson that there things that can happen to a young woman that make almost being raped in a barn seem like a good thing (I am NOT making this up: that is the morale of the story as indicated by the last scene in the film). Ann (Eve Reeves) and Terry (Joyce Danner) are at a barn somewhere in the country where young people are dancing. Ann ends up in the hayloft with this guy who tries to assault her. But then Dr. Bradley (Daniel Garth), a local "bird watcher" who has been ogling the action, intervenes with a pitchfork. When the girls head back to the city their car runs out of gas and they find themselves on Dr. Bradley's doorstep. However, it turns out that he used to be a mortician, but now he is a sex freak who is looking for the perfect playmate. You would not think he would have high standards, but all of his experiments so far have ended up posed nude for eternity in the basement. And Ann thought he was such a nice "older" man.
Obviously, if you are looking for something weird you have come to the right place with these two movies and you can decide for yourself which one fills the bill better. There are plenty of strange things to go around in both films, but "Behind Locked Doors" comes out ahead for me. After all, you have these guys pawing these gals in the hayloft, focusing entirely on getting the women topless, and then totally ignoring their breasts. Then you have Terry, who is locked into a bedroom in a house with a crazy girl who offers his visitors a choice between sex and death, and her reaction is to try and seduce Ann. Of course, the common denominator here is that what is important is what the camera gets to see and not any extraneous notions like plot or characterization. But what else is new in the wonderful world of sexploitation?
As always with Something Weird, they are lots of extras that help to make up for the shortcomings of the main features. The quartet of shorts, labeled as "Lurid stories of Lust," includes: (1) "Part Time Pin-Up," a Barry Mahon short, in which a young woman explains her part time job as a nude model, a "legitimate" job for which she makes $50 for less than two hours of work; (2) "Playgirl Models," a Manuel S. Condo short that really gets into the details of lighting models (really); (3) "Sex Workshop" is a a Nudie Cutie Short that smacks of the worst of vaudeville; and (4) "Sexercises" involves two women in a physical fitness short (not really). The Twisted Trailers include both of the feature films and another seven films including "Tender Flesh," which was originally called "Welcome to Arrow Beach" and starred Laurence Harvey in his last film and a young Meg Foster with the light blue eyes, and Mickey Rooney in "B.J. Lang." Also included are the trailers for "Color Me Blood Red," "Blood Bath," "Pets," "The Sinful Dwarf," and "The Captive Female." Finally, we have a Gallery of Harry Novak Exploitation Art with Soundtrack Greatest Hits and a Gallery of Harry Novak Exploitation Photography.