Apr 22, 2019

Take Me Naked (1966)

Michael and Roberta Findlay, smut pioneers, tell the story of a homeless man who's obsessed with a lonely woman.  Things go south, as you might imagine.

The film begins with a homeless man, called "The Bum" (Kevin Sullivan), aimlessly walking along bleak city streets. The film is narrated throughout in this wannabe poetic, thrift-store Shakespeare dialect.  It's so pompous, and gets old after just a few minutes.  Were the Findlays trying to elevate their sleazy film via pretentious narration?

The Bum is obsessed by a woman who lives alone in a dismal and dingy apartment; he spies on her from behind the wall.

 He watches Elaine (Roberta Findlay) undress and masturbate.

The film is careful to never show Roberta Findlay's pubic hair; I presume it would be violating a code in '66.

 Elaine takes a shower.  I found myself wondering how The Bum is able to see all the action in the apartment, even inside the shower, from his tiny crack in the wall.  I suppose it's best not to think too much.

Also note that the "poetic" narration continues. "I will place lilacs in her hair.. and they will wither in the dank perfume of her skin".  Gimme a break.

The Bum kills another homeless guy (played by Michael Findlay) when he makes sexual advances.

Here's the worst part: easily half this film is The Bum fantasizing about Elaine and other women.  Again, there's that flowery language - but, for the fantasy sequences, the camera lens has an "artistic" blur, making it impossible to tell what the fuck is going on.  Audiences in the adult theaters of 1966 must have been pissed.

The Bum decides to clean himself up in order to court the object of his affection.   The relationship goes well, until...

 The Bum suddenly decides to rape and murder the poor girl.

 He knocks out Elaine, then uses the cord from the blinds to tie her up.

I tried to tell what was on the bookshelf in this home being used by the Findlays, but I couldn't make any of it out.

Just as it seems odd to have the director, Michael Findlay, film his wife Roberta getting violated; this happens over and over in Carne (1968), where Armando Bó films his real life wife Isabel Sarli getting raped.   Jesús Franco had a tendency to do the same thing with his wife Lina Romay.

 Then, The Bum pulls out a knife and stabs her.

And that's it.  Elaine is dead and the movie ends.  WTF?  I suppose I can respect the Findlay's attempt at taking stag films to the next level.  By "next level" I don't mean that in terms of graphic content, but rather making it have value beyond just showing women naked.

For me, that attempt failed.  It's primary problems were: (1) the unbearably pretentious narration and (2) the terrible fantasy sequence, which lasted twenty minutes and was barely discernible with its artsy camera filter.  No thanks.

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