Thursday, March 30, 2017

#2,327. Climb It, Tarzan! (2011)

Directed By: Jared Masters

Starring: Corsica Wilson, Maura Murphy, Nicole Marie White

Tag line: "Scandals from a turned on generation"

Trivia: This film featured an all-female cast

Co-writer / director Jared Masters’ love letter to the softcore sexploitation films of the ‘60s and early ‘70s, Climb It, Tarzan features, according to the DVD cover, “a vast, all-female cast of over 50 budding starlets”. To be honest, I didn’t count how many actresses were in Climb It, Tarzan, but the “all-female cast” claim is 100% true. There is not a single guy in this entire movie!

You know what else is missing from Climb It, Tarzan? A cohesive story.

Set in the swinging ‘60s, Climb it, Tarzan tells the tale of Paula (Jennicka Andersson), a lesbian photographer specializing in “salacious” photographs who uses her position to lure young women into her studio. Whenever one of her subjects tickles her fancy, Paula knocks the poor girl out with chloroform, and then shoots photos of her in compromising positions. Her newest model is Ginger (Jamie Devitt), a happy-go-lucky sweetheart whose wealthy parents recently passed away. With the will tied up in legal red tape, Ginger and her older sister Janet (Jessica Hichborn) have no choice but to hold down jobs to make ends meet. Ginger has pinned all her hopes on her modeling career, while Janet agrees to work as a go-go dancer for Dolores (Jennifer Preston), who owns a strip club.

Paula, Ginger, and Janet might be the main characters in Climb It, Tarzan, but their exploits are in no way the film’s singular focus. Over the course of the movie, we also meet drug dealers Darlene (Claire Kim) and Wanda (Ingrid Franklin), who introduce Ginger and her friend Lila (Aliza Podwol) to LSD (during their ensuing “trip”, Ginger and Lila steal hundreds of dollars’ worth of drugs from Darlene and Wanda, who then spend a good portion of the film plotting their revenge). Renee (Maura Murphy) is a socialite who hosts a swinging party at her posh estate, and Tina (Olivia Curtis) is a model with a bad attitude who, unlike the others, has no problem taking her clothes off for Paula.

Oh, and to ensure that Climb It, Tarzan has just the right amount of nudity, there’s a scene where Sheryl (Madison Liddy) changes into a bikini, and another in which Gay (Alejandra Bursik-Cervantes) takes a bath. That’s a grand total of 11 “starlets”, meaning there are still 39 more scattered throughout the movie! As for the performances, they range from mediocre to pretty bad (and, truth be told, “mediocre” is being generous).

Yet, despite all this, Climb It, Tarzan is an effective homage to the softcore movies of yesteryear, which were themselves thin on plot and heavy on female flesh. And while the film's ‘60s setting wasn’t the most convincing, I give director Masters credit for doing his best to recreate the time period (via costumes, some vintage cars, and about a dozen rotary telephones) on what must have been a very limited budget. In addition, I spotted posters for a number of skin flicks hanging in the background (including 1962’s The Female and 1967’s The Naked World of Harrison Marks), yet another nod to a cinematic era that the filmmakers obviously hold dear.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say Climb It, Tarzan is the definitive tribute to ‘60s sleaze, its heart is definitely in the right place.

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