Wednesday, January 20, 2010

CHATTERBOX (1977)

Were it not for the Medved Brothers’ Golden Turkey Awards, a great many awful movies would have been conveniently forgotten. At least until Al Gore got around to inventing the internet. As detailed in the famed Golden Turkey book, Chatterbox stars sex comedy queen Candice Rialson (Hollywood Boulevard) as the charmingly na├»ve Penny Pittman, a young hairdresser who discovers, to her consternation, that she is the proud possessor of a talking, singing vagina. And her downstairs neighbor is quite a potty mouth, getting her in all sorts of trouble—now that she talks, she never shuts up! Complaining to her psychiatrist about her genatalia’s loose lips, Dr. Pearl (Larry Gelman) becomes her agent, names her nethers “Virginia”, and the duo embarks on a world stage tour. Virginia records a hit record called “Wang Dang Doodle” that leads to fame and fortune. But Penny’s life is still so empty. There’s a hollow she just can’t fill.

And if you think my double-entendres are awful, sit down and watch the movie!

Chatterbox is an eager-to-please little movie that does its damnedest to entertain. Rialson, Gelman and cameo-players Rip Taylor and Professor Irwin Corey are all having a great time. Silly situations are pushed to the brink of insanity and there’s no lack of energy in the film. The script and direction both fall a flat, unfortunately, but the outrageous story and the 110% from the cast keep things moving. And let’s pause for a second to acknowledge that not only does it feature a score by Neil Sedaka (albeit an underwhelming score) but photography by award-winning cinematographer Tak Fujimoto (John Adams)!

And for a sex comedy, Chatterbox is pretty tame, even by ‘70s standards. There’s an ample helping of nudity, but if made today, we’d get crotch shots animated Clutch Cargo style and music video smuttiness rather than the incongruously near-wholesome direction we get here, which just accentuates the insanity of it all. Often referred to as an inverted Deep Throat, Chatterbox is more silly than dirty. You’ll hate yourself for laughing before you hate yourself for “watching porn”.

While grey market copies of the Vestron VHS abound, when I first wrote this review, I said "don’t expect to see an official DVD release any time soon", but apparently I was mistaken. Don't know much about it, but here's a link. But in keeping with the motto here at Movie Outlaw: “You’ve already seen worse.”

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