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The Beautiful, The Bloody, and The Bare (1964)

by on November 3, 2009
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With a title like “The Beautiful, The Bloody, and The Bare,” you might think you were in for some sort of b-movie treat.

Instead you’re tricked into watching one of the most lifeless movies you’ve ever seen.

I’ve never seen a movie before where the film’s protagonist is completely unnecessary to the plot of the film. As a matter of fact, check out imdb’s profile of the film: he’s not even named in the credits. After watching the film, I admit I can’t even remember his name.

He seems to exist only to deliver the film’s narration, where he tells us about how he didn’t want to be a teacher but loved it and blah blah blah for about 10 minutes about things that are irrelevant to the eventual story of the film.

Anyway, the film’s main character is an artist who has started his own painting school. He reconnects up with Peter (Jack Jowe), an old friend, who is a frustrated photographer who fled America’s commercial culture to focus on his art in Europe.

When he returns he feels lucky that he has gotten a job that satisfies him both financially and artistically (as he drones on about in a scene with his friend).

What does he do? He photographs naked women frolicking in bubble baths, in bed, and around the house. And by “frolicking” I mean “standing there uncomfortably.”

The next 35 minutes or so of the film is Peter taking pictures of women naked, to no particular end, until finally one of the women cuts her hand, which sends Peter into a frenzy. He strangles her, then goes on a rampage of murder and mayhem. Conveniently, every woman he meets somehow cuts herself or develops a nosebleed, which sends him into a homicidal tizzy.

And, by the way, none of this is as entertaining as it sounds, and yes I’m aware it doesn’t sound particularly interesting.

The atrocious acting is superseded only by the copious technical errors that include unsynched dialog and bizarre, awkward cuts in the film. The only saving grace is the continuous dumbfounded blank stares Jowe unleashes on the audience.

The ultimate point of the film, as projected in a final line of narration, is to beware of old friends coming around. That’s certainly a life lesson I’ll heed.

Do yourself a favor. If you’re looking for something to satisfy your taste for cheese, move on if you see this one.