Saturday, January 19, 2008
cinema obscura: Tom DeSimone's "Chatterbox" (1977)
Mitchell Lichtenstein's game new horror flick, "Teeth," opening January 18th, isn't the first film about a very resourceful vagina. In case you haven't heard, the star vagina in "Teeth" is "dentally augmented," as The Village Voice's Jim Ridley puts it.
As Ridley wittily describes it, the film's "imperiled virgin quickly learns to clamp down and twist, parting franks from beans and leaving plenty of dismembered members and spurting stumps." And unlike most modern movies, Lichtenstein's movie leaves the men and their privates vulnerably exposed, while the woman in question is discreetly proteted from any hint of nudity.
While Lichtenstein's movie may seem like an original, it owes its outrageousness to a tacky but entertaining soft-core feature from 1977 - Tome DeSimone's "Chatterbox" which stars the game Candice Rialson as Penny, a beautician who discovers that her vagina can talk and that it isn't always tactful. A genuinely funny comedy, "Chatterbox" is about a vagina that spouts the most politically incorrect things at the most inopportune times, much to the chagrin of the dubious assortment of men who want to bed Penny.
Some day, one of these films will make a great double bill with Doris Dörrie's "Me and Him" ("Ich und Er," 1988), in which Griffin Dunne discovers that - you guessed it! - his penis can talk.
Note in Passing: Mitchell Lichtenstein is the son of Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.
Cinema Obscura is a recurring feature of The Passionate Moviegoer, devoted to those films that have been largely forgotten. Suggestions welcome.
(Artwork: Poster art for 1977's soft-core "Chatterbox" and Mitchell Lichtenstein's brand-new "Teeth")
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