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Previous review from Australia adequately sums of the contents of this
film, EXCEPT leaving out the crucial info: the extant version on DVD-R
(from SWV) presents a "nudie-cutie" without the nude scenes! The 'ho
posing as a film critic/historian who wrote the liner notes for the
video carefully avoids mentioning this, too, since he was employed to
merely hawk the contents. Boy, do I wish that Miles Davis' 1960s dictum
of "No damn liner notes" for his LPs had caught on.
As any fan of CINEMA PARADISO knows, it was commonplace to clip the naughty bits out of theatrically exhibited movies, whether by the censors or more often by the pesky projectionists over the years. Latterday distributors of porn for the home viewer, notably Something Weird Video, Alpha Blue Archives and After Hours/Retro Seduction Cinema, present the collector with a catch-as-catch-can product, transferring whatever material they can dig up, preserved for posterity "as is".
THE TOUCHABLES on DVD-R from SWV runs 56 minutes followed by a lengthy trailer for same that gives the game away. The coming attraction shows the lovely ladies in film clips both nude and topless (no full-frontal nudity, this being 1961), and boasts of the innovative underwater photography. The 56-minute version has a less than 10 seconds of a topless shot in a steam room, and that's it. Comparing running times, it would seem that something like 7 minutes of skin (the raison d'etre for this film to exist in the first place) is missing, and the steam room scene could be easily edited to make the movie playable on any local TV station (hard up for entertainment as they are) today.
The fact that the film plays adequately, with no hints of anything being missing, causes me to infer that significantly different versions were prepared in the first place: a normal and a "hot" version. Evidence of this occurs in the massage scene, which is topless in the trailer but carefully framed to "cover up" in the feature version. The proper thing to do would be to release both versions, as was done most notably with a personal favorite of mine, John Lamb's THE MERMAIDS OF TIBURON/THE AQUA SEX, but as we all know, from current distributors' point of view: the fans be damned.
Early nudie-cutie set on a fat farm instead of a nature camp, crammed with sped up sight gags and cornball vaudeville routines, and one of the earliest in Box Office International's garden of earthy pleasures. First up we're treated to a swimming costume parade around a swank poolside as a singer croons, `You're so...Touchable'. Our narrator, self-proclaimed schnook Fred Bart, takes us back thirty years, when affable lowrent gangsters Monk and Louie (alias Smith and Jones) threaten schnook accountant Fred to cook their books. This inflames his moral sensibilities, sending the uncooked books (and their $65,000 tax bill!) to the IRS. Now on the run from Monk and Louie, the schnook is sneaked unknowingly into the 'Fat Chance' Rejuvenation Center, and does all manner of bug-eyed double takes from the bushes and behind exercise machines, as he ogles a pornucopia of showgirls and society dames in various states of undress. 'Fat Chance' worker Jessie (Claire Brennen, later in She Freak) takes pity on the schnook cowering in a panty hamper and helps him escape from Monk and Louie, now disguised as the two ugliest broads at the clinic, and an army of showgirls who have discovered what's under Fred's towel. The film rests squarely on TV comic (???) Billy Holms'spindly frame, which serves as the main target of the cheapshots - a masseuse, thinking he's a she, looks down at his chickenbone ribcage and says `You poor thing! No wonder you didn't want to take off your towel.'
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