Thursday, May 22, 2008

Olde Review: Private Parts

The following was part of a series reviewing the ASUW film series at the University of Washington that were broadcast on KCMU-FM in 1976--I found the old scripts and thought it might be interesting to post them here--with no editorial alteration. I have no doubt that my attitude to some of these films has changed over the years--ageing does that--but to just erase my opinions from back then and tack on my new-found objections would do a disservice to the reviewer who was just a "stinky kid" back then. It'd be like --I don't know--talking over a movie or something!

"Private Parts" (Paul Bartel, 1972) * You thought "Rocky Horror" was tacky? Leave before "Private Parts." Not that it's bad. It's just...trashy. Rather well-made trash at that. It was directed by Paul Bartel, before he went on to make "Death Race 2000," which was also trash. Bartel has talent, he really does. His shots are well-composed, the color composition is great--right now it's a little hard to tell whether he'll go legit and become another Brian DePalma, or will continue with filming lousy stories well and become another Russ Meyer.

"Private Parts" has a badly-acted beginning and a cruddy ending (complete with a Tennessee Williams-style capper). But in between those you keep watching this film (so help me) just to see what the hell will come up next. What trashy, wierd, kinky thing will come up next.

Sweet young thing Cheryl (Ayn Ruyman), kicked out of her apartment, takes up with her wierd (not that "wierd") Aunt Martha (Lucille Benson) at the King Edward Hotel, which seems to have a monopoly on odd tennants. There's this wierd (note that "wierd") photographer named George (John Ventantonio) who, believe it or not, is even sleazier than Oliver Reed is.

Cheryl is into poking into other people's business. george is into all sorts of fetishes and things, and, let's face it, they're made for each other. Just like the sweet young couple in "Rocky Horror...," Cheryl is forever changed by the King Edward.

This movie may not be your cup of tea. It's kind of strong, content-wise, and there are a couple of acts of ultra-violence in which Bartel rubs our collective noses.

But one thing: See it, so that when you see Brian DePalma's wierd but intelligently made "Sisters," you may look upon it as "Citizen Kane" compared to "Private Parts."

*Not the Howard Stern "Private Parts," but Paul Bartel's (Eating Raoul, Death Race 2000) first film.

You know? I don't remember a single frame from this film. Must have purged it from my memory banks. Oh, well. Strange to see I had such a fixation on Brian DePalma in those days (this was years before "The Bonfire of the Vanities.")

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