Monday, August 15, 2011

#374. Chatterbox (1977)

Directed By: Tom DeSimone

Starring: Candice Rialson, Larry Gelman, Jane Kean

Tag line: "The Story Of A Woman Who Has A Hilarious Way Of Expressing Herself"

I love discovering odd, unusual movies, and Chatterbox qualifies as one of the strangest I've come across to date. 

Get a load of this

Hairdresser Penelope Pittman (Candice Rialson) is deeply in love with her boyfriend, Ted (Perry Bullington), but something is about to change the nature of their relationship. One night, just after Penelope and Ted make love, a mysterious female voice chimes in, challenging Ted's skills as a lover. In a fit of rage, Ted storms off, dumping Penelope on the spot.  

But the voice isn't Penelope's. In fact, Penelope Pittman is about to go down in medical history as the owner of the world's first talking vagina! 

Distraught by the sudden appearance of an extra personality between her legs, Penelope pays a visit to her psychiatrist, Dr. Pearl (Larry Gelman), but instead of helping her cope with this outspoken body part, the good doctor takes advantage of the situation and become a talent agent, representing both Penelope and her new alter-ego, who they name Virginia. 

What's more, Virginia has an excellent singing voice, and after revealing his patient/client's unusual physical ability to the world, Dr. Pearl has no trouble booking Virginia in all the best nightclubs. 

Upset with both her unwanted companion and the publicity it has brought her, Penelope longs to reunite with Ted, while Virginia seeks to experience as much of life - and as many men - as she possibly can.

Chatterbox is an adult comedy in every sense of the term, and never lets you forget it. Some of Virginia's off-the-cuff remarks are tastelessly irreverent (when Dr. Pearl first learns of Penelope's "condition", he tells her she's about to become the eighth wonder of the medical world. “Hey”, Virginia shoots back, “I'm the wonder. She's just the tits and ass”). 

Along with her blunt outlook on life, Virginia is starved for sex, and at one point convinces Penelope to dress up in tight, sexy shorts and go prowling the streets for men. Virginia balks at many of the would-be suitors who approach them, but jumps at the chance to hook up with an entire basketball team! 

Virginia is undoubtedly the most interesting “character” in Chatterbox, but gets solid support from a few others as well. Rip Taylor is at his campy best in a brief appearance as the owner of the beauty salon where Penelope works, and Larry Gelman shines as the nebbish Dr. Pearl, who is thrilled to be representing the most unusual singing act in showbiz history. Dr. Pearl can smell the money, so much so that he turns a blind eye to his new client's obvious disadvantages (he tells Penelope he can get Virginia booked on national television, but only after they address a few concerns the FCC is having). 

Chatterbox is certainly not a perfect film, and at times isn't even a particularly good one. Candace Rialson is very pretty, and we get to see just about every inch of her in this movie, but she's not the strongest actress (which is probably why Virginia gets all the good lines). Her relationship with the dull and dreary Ted is also a mystery, and their first scene together, when Ted is insulted by Virginia, is dragged down by some pretty pathetic slapstick. 

But then, the movie's weaknesses don't matter much in the long run, do they? 

I mean, seriously...are you gonna let a few minor drawbacks keep you from watching a movie about a talking vagina?


SJHoneywell said...

How the hell did you find this?

DVD Infatuation said...

Steve: Thanks for stopping by.

I saw a trailer for this movie on one of Synapse's 42ND STREET FOREVER collections, and knew I had to check it out. It didn't disappoint!