|Danny B. Harvey||Score Composer|
|Chris Stein||Score Composer|
|Presentation:||[B&W, Full Frame]|
|Sound:||[Dolby Digital Stereo]|
Full screen version; Behind the scenes: bondage, fighting & nudity original music recordings; Photo gallery; Trailers; French, Spanish, Dutch, English subtitles; Interview with Paige Richards conducted by Bunny Yeager; Bunny Yeager photo gallery then and now; Bonus: the maid & date with Paige
This movie is really, really bad. This movie is highschool photo club bad. In fact, it was probably made by a couple of evil little sophomores who snuck their father's camera out of the house and sold cigarettes to freshman in order to raise the money and pay strippers and winos to "act" in this film. Nah, sophomores would have put in more nudity (there's none until the closing credits). The actors walk into a scene, state their lines as though giving a weather report, then stand woodenly, waiting for the director to yell "cut". The girl playing Bettie is probably a pretty woman, but is photographed so badly I started counting double chins. I actually enjoyed the music during the re-enactments of Bettie's movies, but that was about the only thing I enjoyed about this really rotten flick. If I noticed the background music during a scene of two women wrestling in lingerie well, that kinda tells you how bad this film is. There was a dream sequence, I thought it was just more bad direction. There was a scene of Howard Hughes that -- it's just too pointless to discuss. I think the actors improvised the dialogue, it was way too wooden to be scripted. No, the dialogue was just too bad to be improvised, unless the actors didn't speak English very well. Why was Bunny Yeager, a Pennsylvanian, played by a woman with a Hungarian accent? What kind of accent did the guy playing Estes Kefauver have? -- It sure wasn't an accent from Tennessee (or any other State). Was this movie meant as a tribute to Ed Wood?
Adult photo model Paige Richards portrays Bettie Page. Her light complexion and black hair make her look a little like the 40s icon, but that's it. The waxed and surgically enhanced Richards lacks Page's athletic, natural physique, flexibility and exhuberence. This two disk set consists of the intensely boring feature film followed by the nearly as boring photo session with Bunny Yeager. Yeager attempts to recreate Page's classic photo sets with limited success. This film succeeds in one thing. It demonstrates just why out of 100s of pin-up models Bettie Page was so special. It does this by showing how a present day attempt to recreate it can fall so short of the mark. The Notorius Bettie Page with Gretchen Moll does a far, far better job with this subject.
While far from an authoritative, well-acted biography of Bettie Page, this movie is a lot of fun in a campy way. Stylistically this film could best be described as the Bettie Page story as directed by the spirit of Ed Wood. Shot on the ultra cheap, the movie boasts little to no production values beyond the physical attributes of Paige Richards, who plays Bettie. Ostensibly covering the last three years of Bettie's modeling career, the main focus is on her bondage film and photo work for Irving Klaw, much of which is re-created here and presented in black and white (as were Klaw's originals). Richards is a close, though not exact physical match for Bettie, and is convincing and alluring, at least when dressed in 50's style bondage fetish clothing and when seen in the nude. Richards is particularly effective in re-creating Bettie's famous Jungle Girl in bondage shoot. Like Bettie, she looks quite fetching while bound and gagged. Good acting is hardly a component in this movie, and Richards obviously has serious limitations on that score. But there are moments when she communicates Bettie's inherent sweetness and 'girl-next-door' qualities fairly well. There are precious few extras on the disc, the most notable being several of the bondage film re-creations presented in color, plus film of Richards as Bettie doing a photo shoot. Also worth noting are two shoots that are shown while the end credits are rolling. One is of Richards in Bettie's Jungle Girl bikini, having fun with a friendly parrot. The other is a re-creation of the classic Jungle Bettie posing with a cheetah shoot, wherein we are treated to seeing Richards totally in the nude. Purchasers would have been better served had both of these appeared on the disc extras. If you are a Bettie Page fan, particularly of her bondage work, and are looking for something different, fun, and often more than a little silly while still capturing some of our girl's unique erotic charm, this disc is a decent buy.