Monday 29 April 2002

Some Nudity Required

Odette Springer: Some Nudity Required Odette Springer’s documentary about the B movie industry is, for the most part, little more than a series of talking heads intercut with scenes of sex and violence from the schlock movies they’ve made. Producer or director, male or female, bartender wannabee-actors or Penthouse pets, they offer an ingenious array of justifications for participating in the creation of meretricious junk. With a few exceptions, they delude themselves that the B industry is a necessary (though admittedly evil) step on their journey to mainstream Hollywood.

Only the relaxed and urbane Roger Corman (Attack of the Giant Leeches, Swamp Women, Little Shop of Horrors) seems completely comfortable about his “minor part in the history of the film industry” (his words). Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Sorority House Massacre 2, The Bare Wench Project) candidly admits that he got into the industry to make money and get laid, points out that large breasts are the B movie’s most important special effect, then goes ballistic at the “boring questions” Springer is asking him.

But it’s Maria Ford (Strip for Action, Strip to Kill 2, Stripteaser) who makes Some Nudity Required worth watching. In a series of heartbreaking interviews she articulates her desperate desire to be an actress within a production system that only allows her to “act” in exchange for appearing nude. At one point she says: “I asked them if I could do the part without doing the nudity and they looked at me as though I was crazy.” She talks about the pressure to have breast implants and how she would look at herself in the mirror, wondering what was wrong with her breasts — too small, not high enough on her chest?

Finally, there’s a masterful cut from Dan Golden’s throwaway remark about the disposable nature of the character Ford plays in his movie Naked Obsession to Ford herself, telling of her fears of getting a reputation for being “difficult” then bewailing the Faustian pact she has made:

What the fuck am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? I don’t want to be difficult. And I don’t want a rumor going around town saying I’m difficult so I go in and I do the nudity and I do exactly what I’m told. And I look at the movie and I want to throw up when it’s done because all that’s left in there is my fucking nudity and my acting’s not even there. And they’re the same people that are going to walk around and say she’s nothing but a sleazy bimbo, you know, who’s good for nothing but her body and she’s not an actress. What am I supposed to do? What is the answer for me?

Unfortunately, Springer couldn’t come up with an answer. According to her unofficial fan site, Maria Ford went ahead with breast implants as well as collagen injections for her lips. “I liked her better natural,” writes the webmaster. “I liked her better imperfect and unique.”

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© Copyright 2007 Jonathon Delacour