Revenge of the Virgins (1959)

Revenge of the Virgins (1959) movie poster

director  Peter Perry Jr.
viewed: 04/10/2017

The Nudist film genre isn’t perhaps the most fecund of genres in cinema, but the weirder they get, the more interesting.

Revenge of the Virgins is low-budget nudie cutie Western about a group of would-be profiteers heading into dangerous Indian territory in search of gold. Only the Indians in this case are a small tribe of topless women (all the men are dead), led by a sole blonde, who was raised by the tribe since birth. All of the buxom beauties are clearly Caucasian, and they’re also might good with a bow and arrow.

Topless Indians is one thing, but this film goes one step weirder and lives up to its title. At less than an hour’s running time, I hope you won’t mind the spoiler, but the native girls do get their revenge and murder all of the white people who came to take the gold. In fact, the “Virgins” toss the gold back in the river at the end.

This unintentionally semi-revisionist ending comes from writer Ed Wood, Jr. who scripted this thing. Oddly enough, the production values are higher than anything Wood directed himself, and vaguely more coherent, though also painfully derivative Western slang and terms abound.

It’s terrible and pretty darn slow, but I kind of liked it.

The Monster of Camp Sunshine or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nature (1964)

Monster of Camp Sunshine (1964) screen grab

director Ferenc Leroget
viewed: 03/20/2017

The Monster of Camp Sunshine or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nature by title alone might tell you that this is one of the weirder Nudist films of the 1960’s. Certainly that I have seen. It’s Nudist film meets monster movie wherein the monster is a deformed mentally disabled gardener who drank some funky water and made him go ape.

It starts out with a couple of big city girls who have taken to nudism to loosen up. A couple of them are models often asked to disrobe and so they need to also drop those hang-ups about being naked. One of the girls, though, works in a laboratory where a scientist creates this potion that turns the lab rats murderous. Easily the best scene in the movie is the girl attacked by rats and chased out a window.

This is the first non Doris Wishman nudist flick I’ve seen, so it’s also kind of interesting in the whole. It plays out with some rough animations and also some intertitles a-la Silent film, which maybe the filmmakers reckoned of because they were shooting non-sync sound.

Still, it’s a nudist film, so it’s slow going and the thrills are seriously mild. But still, this was a bit more interesting than average, mainly for weirdness factor.

Diary of a Nudist (1961)

Diary of a Nudist (1961) movie poster

director Doris Wishman
viewed: 01/25/2016

The skimpiest plot for a Doris Wishman nudist film.

A local newspaperman sends his not-so-thrilled Nellie Bly to a nudist camp to develop a real, *ahem* exposé, only to find that she comes to really appreciate the life of a “sun lover”: “After one week of nudism, I, Stacy Taylor, girl reporter am now Stacy Taylor, girl sold on nudism.”

Another staff member questions his ethics and gives us a pithy: “This isn’t sensationalism!  It’s exploitation!”  This sends the newspaperman to go and investigate the issues first-hand himself.  What he finds…will not shock you.

Like other Doris Wishman pictures of this period, Diary of a Nudist features a fun, jazzy theme song penned by Judy J. Kushner, Wishman’s niece.  “Sun Lovers Blues” is sung by Rosemary June and is actually the film’s most charming component.

Considering there are no bank robbers (Hideout in the Sun (1960)) nor lunar exploration (Nude on the Moon (1961)), all you’ve really got here is the not so hard hitting look at the healthy choices and positive lifestyle of nudists (mostly actors and models and dancers brought in to improve the overall “shape” of the nudist colony.)

Skimpy, I say.  Skimpy.  Still an interesting cultural artifact.

Nude on the Moon (1961)

Nude on the Moon (1961) movie poster

director Doris Wishman, Raymond Phelan
viewed: 09/12/2015

Nude on the Moon was my introduction to cult film-maker Doris Wishman.  I picked it up at San Francisco’s famed Le Video in the early 1990’s, in my first exposure to their wondrous “Cult” film section, VHS tapes of movies I’d only ever read about, so many titles to linger over and waste time trying to make a decision.  Nude on the Moon didn’t disappoint!

And then again, it did.

The nudist films are of course very tame by even the standards of the early 1990’s (probably for that matter the late 1960’s), and there isn’t really a whole lot going on in the films.  Lots of nude swimming and volleyball, but that doesn’t really hold one’s interest for too long.  And in this case “Nude” is a bit of an over-sell.  The ladies are only topless.

Of course what makes this film great is the utter absurdity of its entire concept.  Two rocket scientists bypass the government with private money to build the first rocketship to the Moon.  And what do they find there?  A nudist colony, of course.  The residents all have antennae.  And the film features the somewhat glorious song, “I’m Mooning Over You (My Little Moon Doll)” sung by Ralph Young, which according to Wikipedia was written by Wishman’s niece.

This was the third and final film in my little “solar system” film fest.  It was getting late.

Hideout in the Sun (1960)

Hideout in the Sun (1960) movie poster

director Doris Wishman
viewed: 06/07/2015

“Filmed in Gorgeous Eastman Color in Nuderama,” Doris Wishman’s first feature film, Hideout in the Sun tells the tale of a pair of robbers who kidnap a woman who lives in a nudist colony and try to lay low while the naturalists let it all hang out.

For a low-budget affair, with a lot of, if not all of, the dialog shot with non-sync sound like many of her later films, it’s got real style and character.  In fact, the non-sync sound gives the camera other things to look at than people just moving their mouths in the act of talking.  Wishman turns what could be considered a cheapened element into a true flare of style.

The healthy lifestyle of the naturalists wins over the less hardened of the criminals, that and his love for their good-hearted captive, and he decides to turn himself in and reform for love.  This, while the other criminal gets on the wrong end of a cobra at the Miami Serpentarium.  Crime doesn’t pay, but nudism does!

With strategically placed beach balls, towels, or picnic baskets, the film is really quite chaste.  Lots of swimming and badminton, bums and boobs, it’s quite the advertisement for the lifestyle.

Oh, and you’ve gotta love the title track, crooned by Ralph Young.