Thursday, February 11, 2016

#2,005. Cinderella (1977)

Directed By: Michael Pataki

Starring: Cheryl Smith, Yana Nirvana, Marilyn Corwin

Tag line: "The all new bed-time story with no moral!"

Line from the film: "My God, THREE flew over the cuckoo's nest!"

Though not as widely recognized as Walt Disney’s classic film, director Michael Pataki’s Cinderella is yet another musical telling of the centuries-old folk tale about a poor, unfortunate girl who, with the help of a fairy godmother, falls in love with a handsome prince and lives happily ever after. That said, there are a few subtle differences between the two movies that I feel are worth noting:

1. Unlike 1950’s Cinderella, this film is not animated

2. There are no singing mice in the ‘70s movie

3. Also, in the Disney version, I’m fairly certain that, when Cinderella is belting out a tune, her top doesn’t come undone, revealing her bare boobs.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 1977’s Cinderella is unique in that it’s actually a soft-core sex comedy. Produced by Full Moon’s Charles Band (Dollman), it features graphic nudity, simulated sex, and a fairy “godmother” played by Sy Richardson, a 35-year-old African American male.

The story is basically the same: Cinderella (Cheryl Smith) lives in a far-off kingdom with her wicked stepmother (Jennifer Doyle) and ugly stepsisters Drucella (Yana Nirvana) and Marbella (Marilyn Corwin), all of whom treat the young girl like a servant. One day, the Lord Chamberlain (Kirk Scott) shows up at their door with three invitations to a royal ball, at which the Prince (Brett Smiley) will likely choose his new bride. Alas, poor Cinderella’s invitation is thrown in the garbage, meaning that, while every other unmarried woman in the kingdom is trying to woo the Prince, she’ll be stuck at home doing chores.

But on the night of the ball, a thief (Richardson) trying to elude the police bursts into the house and convinces Cinderella that he’s her fairy godmother. What’s more, he has a magic wand (that he stole), which he uses to transform Cinderella into the most beautiful girl in the world. She’s so hot, in fact, that the Prince falls madly in love with her the moment she arrives at the ball (later that night, she’ll display yet another “skill” that will knock him for a loop). Knowing the fairy godmother’s spell will wear off at midnight, Cinderella (who never told the prince her name) rushes out the door just before the stroke of 12 and, in her haste, leaves one of her glass slippers behind. Anxious to find the beauty that captured his heart, the Prince, aided by the Lord Chamberlain, spends the next day scouring the kingdom, bringing along the glass slipper, but also subjecting each possible candidate to a “test” of an entirely different nature.

The comedy in this version of Cinderella is an odd mix of slapstick and bawdy dick jokes, many of which miss their mark, but the music is kinda catchy, and on occasion even manages to generate a few laughs (during one particular number, the Prince, lamenting the fact that sex no longer excites him, sings “Girls plead for the chance to fondle my lance, and I just fall asleep in mid-stroke”).

Still, what makes this ‘70s soft-core flick so memorable (aside from all the nudity and lesbian sex) are its “WTF” moments, like the dream sequence in which an elderly man grabs Cinderella’s breasts and “milks” them; or when the Prince, in an attempt to find a suitable bride, blindfolds himself and has sex with a variety of girls. And I couldn’t help but smile when, during the ball, a disco dance breaks out. These scenes, combined with a spirited performance by Sy Richardson, make this most unusual version of Cinderella a little more bearable than you’d expect.

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