Monday, 15 June 2009

She Mob (1968)

She Mob is another deliriously strange little offering from Something Weird Video. It’s a 1968 example of the roughie sexploitation sub-genre, made in Texas somewhere with a cast of fascinatingly bizarre unknowns.

Four women have broken out of prison, led by the awesomely butch lesbian Big Shim. Big Shim has hooked up with he girlfriend Baby, but the other three women are all straight and after five years in the big house they’re craving men. Big Shim tell them it’s no problem, hell phone her friend Tony. Tony is a gigolo but he has some spare time during the day when his wealthy businesswoman lover is at work. So he’ll come over and she guarantees he’ll satisfy their desires. When Tony arrives Big Shim has a brainwave - since Brenda (the rich businesswoman) is apparently pretty keen on her toy boy they’ll pretend to kidnap Tony and collect $100,000 in ransom money.

While they’re waiting for Brenda to come across with the ransom money Tony can pleasure the girls. Which he proceeds to do, but unfortunately he also pleasures Baby, which does not please Big Shim at all. Tony and Baby take off into the night, pursued by the shotgun-toting Big Shim and the other escapees. Meanwhile Brenda has dispatched her buddy Sweetie East, the famous girl detective, to pay over the ransom money and retrieve her boy. Sweetie East is obviously based on the 1960s TV sleuth Honey West, and even has a pet ocelot just like her namesake. She also sports an outrageous costume, even by the standards of this movie. There’s very little to the costume but it still boasts a staggering number of zippers.

The best thing about She Mob is the acting. Marni Castle plays both Big Shim and Brenda, and she’s equally terrifying but breath-taking in both roles. As Shim she sports the deadliest bra in movie history, and she’s not afraid to use it either. The three actresses playing her fellow prison escapees do some impressive scenery chewing, especially an actress named Twig who plays a character named Twig. She bounces about, she go go dances, she bounces about some more, and she’s terrific fun.

This movie has lots of sex and nudity, although nothing explicit. It has a fair bit of violence, especially when Big Shim takes her revenge on Tony. It has some go go dancing, although personally I’d have liked to see more. I always think you can’t have too much go go dancing. There are shiny costumes. And it has a great deal of engaging silliness. It’s much too camp to be in any danger of being taken seriously. It’s also a reminder of an era when erotic movies had more gags than sex, and possessed a tongue-in-cheek charm that has long since disappeared from the genre.

It’s hardly necessary to say that the DVD transfer is superb. It always is with Something Weird. The black-and-white cinematography is impressive, and overall there’s a surprising level of technical competence on display. It’s presented as half of a double bill, with another movie called Nymphs Anonymous which I have yet to see.

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