Friday, July 23, 2010

Deadly Weapons - Trailer (1974)

Deadly Weapons is a 1974 American sexploitation film  directed by Doris Wishman, starring striptease performer Chesty Morgan (credited as Zsa Zsa). The film is based on a story conceived by J.J. Kendall (Judith Kushner), Wishman's niece, and features porn star Harry Reems in a non-sexual role. This is the first of two films Wishman made with Chesty Morgan, famous for her 73 inch bust. The second of the two features is Double Agent 73, a spy thriller. This film is seen briefly in John Waters' Serial Mom when Justin Whalin's character Scotty is masturbating.

Zsa Zsa plays Crystal, an advertising executive who tracks down the mobsters who killed her boyfriend (Harry Reemes). One by one, she seduces each man, drugs him, then smothers him to death with her large breasts. At the end, she finds out that it was her own father (Phillip Stahl) who ordered her lover's execution.

About Doris Wishman:
Doris Wishman (June 1, 1912, New York City – August 10, 2002, Miami, Florida) was an American film director, screenwriter and independent film producer. Self-taught as a filmmaker, Wishman is noteworthy for her paracinematic, camp aesthetic and is often referred to as "the female Ed Wood." The majority of her work was designed to be released in the American sexploitation film market of the 1960s and '70s. Wishman is also one of the most prolific women film directors in the history of the cinema and in recent years has become the object of a cult following.

1960-1964 Nudist period
Wishman completed eight nudist features between 1960 and 1964. Blaze Starr Goes Nudist (1962) featured legendary burlesque queen Blaze Starr. Other titles include Hideout in the Sun (1960), Diary of a Nudist (1961), Gentlemen Prefer Nature Girls (1962), Playgirls International (1963), Behind the Nudist Curtain (1963), and The Prince and the Nature Girl (1964). The most bizarre of Wishman's nudist features was 1961 Nude on the Moon, an attempt to combine traditional nudist material with a science fiction plot-line. Wishman abandoned the nudist genre once it had lost its commercial viability.

1965-1970 Sexploitation
During the mid-1960s, Wishman began working within the sexploitation genre. Several of Wishman's films of this period were directed under the pseudonym "Louis Silverman", the name of her second husband (otherwise uninvolved in the films' production). Bad Girls Go to Hell (1965) is one of Wishman's best-known films and includes many elements found commonly in sexploitation movies of the period. The main character is a young woman who runs away to the big city (in this case, after accidentally killing a man who tries to rape her). She soon stumbles into a variety of sexually compromising and abusive situations. Though archetypal in its use of genre situations, Wishman's empathy for her female protagonist in Bad Girls Go to Hell has been interpreted by some observers as proto-feminist. Bad Girls Go to Hell was also one of the earliest collaborations between Wishman and cinematographer C. Davis Smith, who worked closely with Wishman on much of her output during the 1960s and '70s, and who would subsequently serve as director of photography on Wishman's final, posthumously completed feature, Each Time I Kill. Other films from Wishman's sexploitation period include The Sex Perils of Paulette (1965), Another Day, Another Man (1966), My Brother's Wife (1966), A Taste of Her Flesh (1967), Indecent Desires (1967), and Too Much Too Often! (1968). All are shot in black and white. Two subsequent features, Love Toy (1968) and The Amazing Transplant (1970), are shot in color and are closer in substance to the burgeoning soft-core genre.
Wishman is also credited with having dubbed two imported Greek-produced features, The Hot Month of August and Passion Fever, during the late 1960s and is credited with the direction of their American release versions.

During the 1970s, Wishman experimented with a variety of genres and genre mixes. Keyholes Are for Peeping (1972) is a sex comedy featuring comedian Sammy Petrillo. Deadly Weapons (1973) and Double Agent 73 (1974) are thrillers featuring strip-tease performer Chesty Morgan, renowned for her 73-inch bust. Wishman's Chesty Morgan films are among her best known and most popular titles and are celebrated for their camp aesthetic. During the mid-1970s, Wishman also directed at least two explicit hardcore pornographic films. Satan Was a Lady (1975) [remade in 2003; see below] and Come with Me, My Love (1976), both featuring performance artist and porn star Annie Sprinkle. Although initiated in 1971, Wishman's 1978 feature, Let Me Die a Woman (1978) is a semi-documentary about transsexuality. In addition to examining the condition of numerous, actual transgender individuals, the film also features a considerable number of dramatized scenes, including a cameo by future porn legend Harry Reems (as "Tim Long"). Noticing the trend toward slasher movies in the late 1970s, Wishman ventured into the horror genre with a feature entitled A Night to Dismember, completed circa 1983. Noteworthy for its crazy-quilt construction, the film failed commercially, effectively forcing Wishman into retirement.

Due in large part to her increasing cult status during the 1990s, Wishman managed to complete three additional features late in life: a sex comedy entitled Dildo Heaven (2002), a neo-sexploitation feature entitled Satan Was a Lady (not to be confused with her 1975 hardcore film of the same title), and Each Time I Kill, a teen horror thriller shot in the Miami area. Wishman completed principal photography on the previous film only six weeks before succumbing to lymphoma in August 2002, aged 90. The film was later completed by the project's executive producer and has screened at various film festivals. In 2000, Wishman was featured alongside exploitation icons Roger Corman and David F. Friedman in the documentary SCHLOCK! The Secret History of American Movies, a film about the rise and fall of the American exploitation cinema. Excerpts from her interview for this film also appear on the 2007 DVD issue of Wishman's first film Hideout in the Sun. During her later years, Wishman was also interviewed on National Public Radio's Fresh Air program, was twice a guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and was the subject of retrospectives at the Harvard Film Archive and the New York Underground Film Festival.