Friday, November 12, 2010

If Only Beverly Aadland Had Played Sandra The High Priestess

While I was away in Texas, my much awaited DVD of Cuban Rebel Girls and Untamed Women arrived. I was too tired to watch it Wednesday night, but last night I devoted myself to it. And since I know you're breathlessly awaiting my review, well, here goes.

First off, I was very pleased with the quality of the DVD (as opposed to the quality of the movies). They looked about as good as they possibly could. And there were some neat trailers included on the DVD, all for movies I'd never heard of and will most likely never hear of again. What was super great about the trailers were a couple of them had exact same shots as Untamed Women, thus suggesting the dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures (which mostly looked like lizards and armadillos), got a lot of work. Although I did have my doubts about the vicious tigers in Africa. Not that I'd expect placid tigers in Africa either.

I watched Untamed Women first and it was exactly as I remembered only more so. The guy from Brooklyn had a lot more dialogue than I'd remembered, and the High Priestess Sandra's disciples danced a lot more (and had fabulous early 1950s hairdos, thus suggesting that even on deserted islands, you can still get a perm). The attacking hairy men (who I had forgotten) were a lot hairier than anticipated. And I was very impressed that all the untamed women said "ye" and "thy" a lot, but turned out to be descended from Druids, who'd left England a couple of thousand years ago to avoid the Romans. Forgive me if that's a spoiler.

What I hadn't remembered was how existential the whole movie was. Or how terrificly the volcano erupted. Or the armadillos the size of elephants (or maybe elephants the size of armadillos). Or what a truly dreadful actress the woman who played the High Priestess Sandra was (and yet, when I looked at the actresses playing her disciples, none of them cracked a smile).

It turns out Beverly Aadland wasn't much of an actress either. I'd never seen Cuban Rebel Girls, so the plot, such as it was, came as quite a surprise to me. Who knew it was a good thing for all freedom loving people that Fidel Castro came to power? Or that Errol Flynn was quite so chunky at the end of his career?

Beverly Aadland played an American Cuban Rebel Girl, who didn't know the difference between Castro and Batista, but her boyfriend had joined the rebels and she wanted to see him. She had long blonde hair, and there was a recurring, unintended, joke, whenever there was a long shot of the rebels marching, with her hair swinging away in solitary blonde perfection.

The easiest way of describing the movie (other than lousy) is by saying it's kind of like Bananas without any of the funny stuff and with Woody Allen role played by Kellie Pickler. And while the Cuban Rebel Girls and Boys did sing a lot, they could have used a few more dance numbers.

An existential armadillo or two wouldn't have hurt either!


Elaine Marie Alphin said...

Actually, tigers don't live in Africa. India and Siberia, but not Africa. Not that such accuracy would have troubled the filmmakers, I'm sure! Hope you had a great time in Texas.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello to Elaine Marie Alphin-

I did have an excellent time in Texas. I've enjoyed every trip I've ever taken there.

Scooter obviously has the same disdain for the filmmakers that you do!

Marci said...

But Sandra the High Priestess played SUSAN in Girl Trouble. So this was all destiny.

Untamed Women seems to have killed quite a few careers.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hallo Marci-

I've killed a few publishing houses in my day!