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|Index||19 reviews in total|
Compared to the lunkheaded, overly graphic sex comedies of today, this film comes off actually as innocent, sexy fun. 70's starlet Candace Rialson is gorgeous (and often naked) and really makes this goofy premise believable. Too bad she left acting after the 70's. For all the goofy sexual situations, including one where Rialson makes love to a guy in a suit of armor, this is nicely paced and has some genuine laughs. Throw in disco dancing, musical numbers and guest appearances by old school crazies Rip Taylor and Professor Irwin Corey and you have a movie that deserves a better reputation than a "World's Worst Film".
I saw this movie on the big screen when I was a teenager. It was a time
you couldn't go to XXX rated movies... This is not that kind of movie.
The idea is so original, never been done before or since... a woman has a vagina that talks and sings (makes you think of a combination of Joan Rivers and Don Rickles). Because of it's caustic and degrading humor the poor girl can't maintain a decent relationship with any man. When she goes to a Doctor to see if something can be done to shut it up, he decides this is a dream come true and should take it on the road. He becomes her manager. Unfortunately the vagina gets more attention than the girl it's attached to. I'll leave the ending for you to see, all I'll say is that it's a happy one.
Regarding the quality of the film, yes it is a stinker. But when you take such a unique story and stick in a few decent jokes (no worse than Arnolds'), some small cameo appearences and a lot less sex than you'll see in today's movies.) I think that what came out was a hysterical, never to forget, sexual comedy worth taking out a bottle of champagne or a jug of cheap wine and playing when you and yours decide you want a good laugh before going to bed. Just sit back and relax and have a good laugh. Believe me, it could do wonders to add a little extra into a relationship. And then when I think of when Madeline Kahn sings "Sweet Mystery of Life" in "Young Frankenstein", I thought I would lose my lunch I laughed so hard. Give the movie the chance... I guarantee that you have paid much more for lots of movie to see worse.
Chatterbox is a great movie. Candice Rialson's performance is spot on.
The musical intermezzo's a hilarious, especially the one where Candice
performs before a live audience for the first time. And the happy end
(with a twist) is just great.
The overall tone is tongue in cheek. It's obviously they weren't trying to make Citizen Cane here.
For those people who say this is a bad movie, I'm just wondering. Did they really expect an insightful drama about a woman with a singing vagina?
It is what it is: a wonderful piece of cult-trash cinema. And I loved every minute of it...
Wow! What a horrible movie! It's so bad, it's funny. If you really want to
see something that is -
A) In poor taste
B) Contains REALLY bad acting
C) Makes you want to scream ...then this is your movie! It's not a film you will forget any time soon.
Chatterbox may be the strangest comedy I have ever seen. It reminded me of Eating Raoul, the Paul Bartel/Mary Woronov flick of the same era. Penelope(Candice Rialson) works in a beauty parlor as a hairdresser. One night, as she and her boyfriend are getting it on, her vagina speaks to her lover, with insults. He thinks that Penelope is making fun of him and leaves. Her lower half also loves to sing. She visits a psychiatrist to demonstrate her dilemma, and he comes up with the idea to enter show business. Dr. Pearl takes her on the road and she and her partner become stars by singing show tunes. Chatterbox is not graphic, but sort of soft porn with typically bad acting and a very cheap look to the camera work and sets. At seventy two minutes, it never becomes boring; so if you are in the mood for a light farce, and extensive nudity on the part of Ms. Rialson will not offend you, Chatterbox is a short diversion from the troubles of the world.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sweet hairdresser Penny Pittman (a typically charming and radiant performance by lovely blonde 70's drive-in cinema starlet Candice Rialson) discovers that her vagina can talk and sing. Penny's helpful agent/psychiatrist Dr. Pearl (affably essayed by Larry Gelman) turns Penny and her foul-mouthed speaking cervix (who's affectionately named Virginia) into an unlikely reluctant celebrity: Penny and Virginia appear as guests on Professor Irwin Corey's TV show, record a funky hit disco song called "Wang Dang Doodle," have sex with a whole high school basketball team, pop up on a game show, and star in a musical porno feature surrounded by dancing and singing men dressed up in chicken costumes (this latter particular jaw-dropping sequence rates as the definite gut-busting surreal highlight of the entire picture). Director Tom DeSimone, working from a cheerfully crass and silly script by Mark Rosin and Norman Yonemoto, milks a lot of infectiously naughty laughs out of the one-joke premise, maintains a zippy pace throughout, and keeps the raunchiness at bay by effectively creating a surprisingly zany and good-natured tone. Besides the talking vagina gimmick, we also get hilariously bawdy jokes about predatory lesbians, preening homosexuals, and, of course, sex. The ravishing Rialson just barely manages to retain her dignity in the rather thankless lead role and bares her lovely body as often as possible. The supporting cast is likewise up to par: Perry Bullington as Penny's clumsy nice guy lover Ted, Jane Kean as Penny's proud, supportive mother Eleanor Pittman, Rip Taylor as Penny's effeminate gay boss Mr. Jo, Cynthia Hoppenfeld as Penny's loyal best gal pal Linda Ann, Michael Taylor as hunky romantic stud Dick, and Robert Lipton as pretentious hardcore film director Jon David. Tak Fujimoto's polished cinematography gives the movie a nice slick look. Moreover, the boom mike dips into the top of the frame at alarmingly frequent intervals. A choice wacky chunk of vintage 70's lowbrow humor.
Ever lovely Candice Rialson, one of the queens of drive-in movies in
the 1970s, stars here as Penelope Pittman, a hairdresser in a beauty
salon. Out of the blue one night, while she is with her boyfriend Ted
(Perry Bullington), her vagina just starts talking up a storm. This
vagina is a horny, saucy character who also has quite the singing
voice. When Penelope goes to a psychiatrist, Dr. Pearl (Larry Gelman),
and shows him flat out what her problem is, he realizes that he can
make her/them a star and becomes an agent. Penelope & Virginia perform
on several TV programs, but Penelope is suffering a great deal of
Scripted by Mark Rosin & Norman Yonemoto, based on a story by director Tom DeSimone, "Chatterbox!" may be a pretty crude affair, but it's undeniably quite charming and funny. The truth of the matter is, it's really pretty harmless, and doesn't really qualify as adult fare. The songs, such as "Wang Dang Doodle", are insidiously upbeat and catchy. The performances are energetic and engaging. Gelman is fine as the shrink turned agent. Jane Kean plays the mother who changes her tune when she realizes the profit to be made from her daughters' "talent". Rip Taylor, Professor Irwin Corey, and Sandra Gould add to the fun with their guest star appearances. But the show really rests on the capable shoulders of Rialson, who's winning as the reluctant starlet. The laughs may not always be there, but they occur frequently enough.
DeSimone does know how to send his viewers away with an amused smile, with a resolution that is perfectly fitting for the situation.
Look for DeSimones' actor brother Bob as a cabbie.
Eight out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The post-Freudian subtext is pervasive and intentional. The resolution of the Ego/Id conflict explicated by giving the lead's genitals its own voice is obvious. Equally obvious are elements like the Dating Game's date coming to bed dressed in a suit of armor before ditching the lead with the remark "I saw, I conquered, and I came" while telling his next in line to wait in the hall being a well structured reference to the essential character armored phallic-narcissist. The psychiatric jokes are fast and furious all the way through. And without this film's premise how else could the curiously reflexively self aware movie director within the movie toss a line like "I want people to know this is more than just the first film to star a real cu..." uh, can we use that word on IMDb? I don't know, the acting and production values didn't seem so bad to me. And the humor has more depth than apparently is generally recognized. Perhaps the biggest problem with the film is in its over-reaching. Somehow I'm reminded of the famous Henry L. Mencken quote.
The 1970's marked a change in sexual liberation. What was, and still is
called a sexual revolution. This was marked by the rise of hard-core
pornography within mainstream culture. A situation (fad if you like)
that was short in popularity. It's most famous, and popular 'poster'
for this was the 'high concept' premise of 1972's Deep Throat. This
film (that was released in seemingly austere cinemas) had the story of
a woman who's clitoris was found at the back of her throat. This was a
concept brought forward into popular culture simply by the film's star,
Linda Lovelace's, ability to take the shaft of a penis deep into her
throat. This is now of course a staple of the porn film (now into
extremes of gagging from this concept ad nauseum). This film bred a
stream of hard porn films that felt the need for some kind of story.
This was later diminished by video, which subsequently killed
'cinematic' pornography. (Probably a good thing really. There is only
so much narrative you can create around a f**k movie.)
So, within this concept of a new liberalism within the parameters of sexuality within cinema, there was clearly room for this high concept sexual obscurity within the non-pornographic comedy film. This is where our film, Chatterbox enters. Made in 1977 towards the end of this 'deviant' progression through sexual mores; it's not hard-core porn. It's not even soft-core porn. It is simply a concept film, placed within the ideas of the hard/soft porn fashion of the time. It is a late comer really with this idea, as the porn industry would soon be broken down, and marginalised to be entirely filmed on video. OK, so there really is no reason for hard core porn to have story, as we all realise in the world we live in today with its compilations of cum shots et al. But, I digress.
Chatterbox really has no connection to the porn industry as it was then, and certainly not as it is now. I simply open with this idea due to the fact that it does possess the qualities that Deep Throat set out to show. That is, a concept around sexuality that not only visualises something new, but also participates in a knowing joke. Deep Throats concept was/is essentially a form of comedy (something you are highly unlikely to see in pornography outside of the 1970's). Not necessarily a bad thing. They should be separated. Well, anyway, the film I'm supposed to be talking about is so far removed from porn. It is simply a comedy with t**s and ass!! So I digress yet again. Well, I don't, because I haven't even started on the film.
Chatterbox tells the story of Penelope Pittman (Candice Rialson), who has an issue with her vagina. The problem is, it is able to talk, with a completely separate mind and outlook of itself. In the opening scene, we see Penelope in sexual congress with her boyfriend Ted (Perry Bullington). Her wise-cracking (no pun intended) vagina begins a torrent of abuse that forces Ted to leave believing that Penelope is responsible for such hurtful diatribes. This would mark the end of the relationship, something Penelope is concerned about. Her concern is realised when she goes to see Dr Pearl, who confirms (and is shown clearly) that her vagina can talk. This sparks dollar signs in the eyes of the psychologist, who pursues a career for the seemingly shy Penelope (or specifically her talking/singing vagina later to be named Virginia).
Well, the story is obvious. The film itself is low-low budget. It shows. But I think it adds to its charm. Yes, it does have charm. The acting is atrocious. We even see the boom-mic in several shots (a 'mistake' that is often used these days to parody or even pay homage to bad filmmaking in the past; just look at the brilliant Garth Merenghi's Dark Place as just one example).
Virginia becomes an over-night singing sensation in the film. Much to the chagrin of Penelope, who is clearly looking for Mr. Right in the world, whilst Virginia is only really after a good hard f**k. It may well be a juxtaposition of the female revolution that prevailed in the '70's. In that women had to mix the reality of promiscuity with the more promising aspect of longevity. The film is a certain piece of fun, that can be read in many ways.
I believe this is a thoroughly awful film. But it really has a charm to it that would make me recommend it to someone I know may appreciate its flaws. Whilst it is a very silly 'comedy', it also encapsulates a time of innocence. Yes sexuality was out-to-bear, but there was a complete innocence surrounding that. We are currently in a state of sexual ambiguity, simply because variety has been so degraded (and I do believe that film has played a part in this), and we find society focusing on tiny elements of sexuality (case in point this is one example the obsession with feet). I believe this has become a facet of sexuality due to photography and cinemas ability to frame aspects of the body, focusing on 'parts' of the body, and not representing the whole.
I'm really not sure if I've represented this film at all! But in a strange way I really enjoyed its innocent charm. An innocence that we should all enjoy in hindsight of the sexual downer that subsequently happened a decade later with the onset of aids! Yes, that's how you end a fluffy review!!
I first saw this movie on cable back in the '80s, but first heard of it
when it played at the local drive-in in the '70s.
The one song I could never get out of my head is when Penelope is dressed up like Marilyn Monroe in the famed Seven Year Itch scene with her dress blowing up in the air. The song says something about "Get out your doctor-ordered wang dang doodle." Penelope, of course, is totally embarrassed to be seen and exploited this way but it's a rather classic scene.
Candace Rialson was exceptionally beautiful and it is so sad to hear she died at such a young age. I'm sure this film would not be on the top of her list as one of her favorites, but it does have it's moments.
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