Sunday 20 January 2008

Cinderella (1977)

Director: Michael Pataki
Star: Cheryl Smith
This one has a history in the family I married into. My better half's former other half is addicted to it and everyone else gets to catch up on it at some point, regardless of which generation they belong to. Now it's my turn, but to be honest a camp 70s comedy musical softcore porn movie based on a classic fairy tale isn't something I would really have much of a problem sitting through. Everyone else puts up resistance but I'm all for it. I don't know many of the names but shrug. I knew a few of them at least.

We all know the story, so there's not a lot of point going through that again. Cinderella is Cheryl Smith, though why she would forsake her usual name of Rainbeaux, I don't know. Maybe she thought this was more serious art than the HOTS films or Massacre at Central High. She's the usual Cinderella, except her outfits have built in wardrobe malfunctions (as of course do everyone else's too). Amazingly she keeps disappearing from the story, so we can watch the King's Chamberlain go round watching young lesbians everywhere while attempting to keep his outrageous moustache consistently applied.

We meet the ugly sisters early on and they're truly ugly, though I get the impression that the actresses aren't in real life. One is ugly enough to look like Sarah Jessica Parker auditioning for a Twisted Sister tribute band and the other isn't far off Tim Curry as Frank N Furter. Needless to say they cause lots of trouble for their beautiful young sister but this time round, that includes making her work her spinning wheel, which isn't there to spin corn, but to be a Rube Goldberg machine that powers corn cob vibrators for her sisters. It's softcore though, so we get plenty of full frontal female nudity and lesbian writhing around but no actual sex on screen.

The songs are fun, and actually have some clever lyrics given the material. Given that this is 1977 I'm only surprised that much of it follows more traditional lines for a musical than just slip entirely into disco. They're written by Lew Arries to music by Andrew Belling. Frank Ray Perilli wrote the film, and he does have a sense of humour that goes well beyond writing the fairy godmother as a fairy in the gay sense rather than the small winged sense. Michael Pataki directed the film though I know him much better as an actor, and that Albert and Charles Band of Full Moon Entertainment produced. It's the songs that are most likely to stay with me here, and it seems pretty sad to say the songs were more enjoyable than the soft porn.

No comments: