A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and ... See full summary »
It has been two years since Bobby and Sue Ellen Ewing took over control of Ewing Oil. Although J.R. is successfully managing a large oil conglomerate, he wants to once again own his ... See full summary »
After oil is found in a small town and local factory shut down, violent crime skyrockets. A young man has had enough and calls in his older brother, a cynical Vietnam vet, who cleans the streets but then tries to take over the town.
Compelling character study, revolving around Jack Flowers (Ben Gazzara), an American hustler trying to make his fortune in 1970s Singapore in small time pimping. He dreams of building a ... See full summary »
An over-the-hill movie producer marries a wealthy, spiteful woman and closeted lesbian just to please his spoiled daughter who then, in an attempt to spite him, seduces both a wealthy ... See full summary »
It's beyond me why this movie isn't better regarded, let alone hasn't been released to any home format (legally that is). Produced by Hugh Hefner's Playboy Productions--which, must as you might object to its trademark "bunny" objectifying of women--it takes the theses of Desmond Morris' pop-anthropology book and translates them into a series of pro-sex, but more importantly pro-tenderness and pro-humanism sketches.
Some are cleverly animated (in various styles), others acted out in terms that range from the satiric to the tragic. The non-cartoon segments are primarily acted out by an appealingly goofy, vulnerable if muscled-up (from his juvenile TV stardom days on "The Rifleman) Johnny Crawford, and pert young Victoria Principle. (Stills from her nude scenes here were much later exploited as bogus evidence of a past "softcore" career after she'd achieved fame in the TV series "Dallas.")
"The Naked Ape" is imagined in creative and narrative ways that would never happen again (at least with a generous budget) after the mid-70s. It's conventionally sexy/humorous on the surface. But the overriding message is that the sexes should respect one another, and that mankind's tilt toward warring, macho self-destruction is anything but "natural." It's a beautiful message, one that the film arrives at with an entirely appropriate weight of melancholy and anti-Establishment critique.
A lot of counterculture-relic features from this era have dated badly, but I think this movie--poorly appreciated in the first place--is still forward-thinking, and would earn a larger cult following (the existing one flows from "cut" early-80s TV broadcasts and bootleg videos) if it were released as a legitimate DVD. C'mon, Hugh...this was your baby once, why not let it take some long-delayed toddling steps toward the public?
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