Saturday, November 5, 2016

Introduction

I love B movies. UFOs, werewolves, zombies, inept acting, dime store special effects, plot holes you could drive a Freightliner through  … I can’t get enough of them. They can’t be cheesy enough for me. Ed Wood (and Bill Rebane and Larry Buchanan and Jess Franco and Ray Dennis Steckler) are my heroes.


One thing I noticed I particularly liked in these things were the babes. Not only were they pleasant to look at, but their lack of acting skills was often highly amusing.

In fact, I started keeping a list of the ones I particularly liked, checking out their other movies, learning a little about them, even collecting their autographs. The next step – for someone as obsessive-compulsive as me, at least – was obviously this blog.

What Makes a B Movie Babe?

This may go without saying, but the first thing is to have to been in some B movies. So, forget the Shakespeare and the Tennessee Williams. What you need here are aliens, and vampires, and escapees from the local insane asylum.

Second, you do have to be a babe. I mean, you’re basically here as eye candy for hormonal male teenagers, right? (Sorry, Dolores Fuller.)


Dolores

As a direct corollary to that, it’s also essential that you possess very limited acting skills. Hey, why distract or confuse your audience with stuff like that? Extra points, though, if you think you’re the next Meryl Streep.

Along those same lines, it also really helps if there is a wide, yawning gap between your extremely plebian origins and the glamorous image the studio has created for you. Who knew Dominique Vouvray was really Betty Jo Blatsky from Passaic? You know, “Miss Classy Chassis of 1956”? The one who got all nekkid in Randy Gentleman magazine?

There are also other certain off-screen requirements to follow as well. For example, what could possibly say “B movie babe” better than multiple marriages of very brief duration, catfights with co-stars, late-night arrests, overdoses, and various other evidence of borderline personality disorder?


Special Notes

One thing you’ll notice here is the time period I’ve emphasized. Basically, I’ve tried to hit what I see as the heyday of the B movie. And that’s why this blog is heavy on the ‘50s and ‘60s, with a fair amount of ‘70s and some ‘40s as well. Yeah, yeah, I know there are plenty of B movies in later years (and today), but they just don’t seem to have the same feel as those from that classic era.

Veronica Lake

Another thing you’ll notice is that this list doesn’t contain anyone even remotely famous. To me, obscurity just seems to go hand-in-hand with B movies. So, even though they were in some stinkers (and had rather florid bios to match) actresses like Joan Collins, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Veronica Lake, Jayne Mansfield, and Elke Sommer were simply too popular and well-known to make the cut.

Same goes for stars who became too intimately associated with one particular TV role. Believe me, I would love to have included Tina Louise, Yvonne DeCarlo, Barbara Eden, Diana Rigg, Elizabeth Montgomery, and Carolyn Jones. Unfortunately, they’re just too strongly associated in our minds with Ginger, Lily, Jeannie, Emma Peel, Samantha and Morticia.

Ginger!

One final thing you’ll notice here is that this list is totally subjective. For example, you’ll notice Barbara Steel [spoiler alert] is not number one! Now, this may be complete sacrilege to some of you out there, but I guess there’s no accounting for taste. Don’t like it? Start your own blog!


Honorable Mention >                    #100 >

Friday, October 28, 2016

#1 Caroline Munro

A stunning brunette from across the pond, Caroline Munro supplemented her limited thespian skills with incredible looks. She was a Bond babe and Hammer honey, and was in some classic sci-fi movies as well (including the priceless Starcrash).  She has her own website, is very popular on the fan circuit, and seems to be beloved by all.  And she still looks incredible!


Cheesy Pageant Titles:  Evening Standard (London) Face of the Year Contest

Embarrassing Movies
  • Maniac
  • Howl of the Devil
  • Dracula Today
  • Slaughter High
  • Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter
  • Flesh for the Beast


Embarrassing Taglines
  • A galactic adventure beyond your wildest dreams! 
  • The time: now. The place: Kings Road, Chelsea. The killer: Count Dracula.
  • There's horror in the halls... Lynching in the lunchroom... Murder in metal shop
  • The hit British gay comedy about cruising... in the afterlife!


Embarrassing Characters
  • Mystic Mary
  • Carla the Gypsy
  • Stella Star
  • Abbey Church

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends:  Robert Plant, of Led Zeppelin


Interesting Tidbits
  • Went to a convent school, and was taught by nuns
  • Started as a model
  • Cut an EP (her backing band included Cream, as well as Steve Howe of Yes)
  • Was a game show hostess
  • Has appeared in music videos for Adam Ant and Meat Loaf
  • Is dyslexic
  • Has never appeared nude


Where can I learn more?


Ah, the '80s

<#2

Monday, October 24, 2016

#2 Barbara Bouchet

A German-American with a French name, Barbara Bouchet made an early mark as a Bond Girl (she actually played Miss Moneypenny, albeit in the dreadful Casino Royale). She later did one-off TV shows like the Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Star Trek, finally ending her career by heading back to Europe to make cheapo Italian horror movies and sex comedies. Like many European actresses, she was more than happy to get all nekkid.


Embarrassing Real Name:  Barbel Goutscherola

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Liberec, Czech Republic

Cheesy Pageant Titles
  • Miss China Beach
  • Miss Firecracker 
  • Miss Perfect Gidget

Embarrassing Movies
  • Agent for H.A.R.M.
  • Darkside Witches
  • Death Rage
  • Black Belly of the Tarantula
  • Duck in Orange Sauce
  • Don’t Torture a Duckling (I'm detecting a theme here)

Embarrassing Taglines
  • An explosion of sexual frenzy!
  • Six black witches are back and they’re hungry for vengeance 
  • With needles dipped in deadly venom the victims are paralyzed – so they must lie awake and watch themselves die!


Embarrassing Characters
  • Astrid Porsche
  • Tippy Penfield
  • Narcissus Darling

Interesting Tidbits
  • First gig was on a local (San Francisco) teenage dance show
  • Her first 10 or so films were all major releases, featuring names such as Preminger, Huston, Wayne, Niven, Sellers, Bacall, Lemmon, Newman, and Mitchum (though Barbara was typically listed as "uncredited")
  • Was something of the Jane Fonda of Italy, publishing books and videotapes, and hosting a TV show, on aerobics
  • Son Alessandro is a chef on Italian TV
  • Is besties with Corinne Clery

Where can I learn more?




<#3                    #1>





Friday, October 14, 2016

#3 Edwige Fenech

This exotic brunette is half Italian and half Maltese, was born in Algeria, grew up in France, and later lived in Italy. She is also extremely attractive, and more than willing to drop her clothes at the slightest instigation. Her specialty was Italian sex comedies, but she also did her fair share of giallos.  

Because she was much more popular in Continental Europe, I could find surprisingly little on her in English. I was, however, able to find these interesting additional facts courtesy of Google Translate:
  • The cinema is not far, and our friend began quietly in 1966 in a French comedy "Johnny Be Good", where she plays the utilities.
  • The shapely head and long teeth, it will not be long to settle permanently in Italy, where job opportunities abound.
  • Actress limited without being null, the former Lady Europe has indeed exceptional asset for photogenic, well-rounded shape and skin texture through wonderfully in the picture, which often stripped of its benefits for erotic models big screen.


Embarrassing Real Name:  Edwige Sfenek

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Bone, Algeria

Pageant Titles
  • Miss Mannequin de la Cote d'Azur
  • Miss France

Embarrassing Movies
  • Erotic Exploits of a Sexy Seducer
  • The Schoolteacher Goes to Boys High
  • A Policewoman on the Porno Squad
  • Strip Nude for Your Killer
  • All Kitties Go for Sweeties
  • Holy God, Here Comes the Passatorre!


Embarrassing Taglines
  • The killer slices without mercy!
  • They exist. They bear the mark of the devil inside them. They may be your neighbors. They may be your wife, husband, sweetheart. They may even be your children. Their time has come.
  • That amorous, explosive, provocative, lusty, voluptuous female is at it once more

Embarrassing Characters
  • Barbara Wimply 
  • Samoa
  • Hong-Kong
  • Takimoto, the Japanese engineer

Interesting Tidbits
  • Has produced over 20-some mostly made-for-TV movies
  • Son Edwin is also a producer
  • Quentin Tarrentino named a character after her in Inglourious Basterds

Where can I learn more?



<#4                    #2>

Friday, October 7, 2016

#4 Sylva Koscina

Born in the former Yugoslavia of a Greek father and a Polish mother, Sylva Koscina went on to live and do most of her work in Italy. Starting out in sword and sandal epics, she soon had screen credits in a number of genres, most of which involved her taking off her clothes. “Ultimately,” as IMDb nicely puts it, “her ornamental qualities rather exceeded her abilities as an actress.” Ah, but what “ornamental qualities” they were.


Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Split, Croatia

Cheesy Pageant Titles:  Miss Di Tappa

Embarrassing Movies
  • Destination Fury
  • Vertigo for a Killer
  • Homo Eroticus
  • I See Naked 
  • Monkey Money
  • Hercules' Pills
  • Are We Men or Corporals?

Embarrassing Taglines
  • Track him ... chase him ... unarm or undress him ... but never underestimate That Man in Istanbul
  • Love in a land of treachery and temptation!
  • When a pair of nuns get involved in jet-age business and jet-set romance, the fun is non-stop all the way!
  • Bigness unmatched! Spectacle undreamed!


Embarrassing Characters
  • She
  • Reluctant Girl
  • Odette Mercury
  • Favouille Grandblaise 
  • Countess Rita-Engeneer Pedercini's Sister

Shortest Marriage:  4 years

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends
  • Jean-Paul Belmondo
  • Kirk Douglas
  • Paul Newman


Whiffs of Scandal
  • Lots of nudity
  • Had to give up her palatial home in Rome to settle tax bills
  • Had a brawl with a male co-star who punched her right in the kisser
  • Had some scenes cuts from Lisa and the Devil because they were “pornographic”
  • Was indicted for bigamy after a quickie Mexican marriage

Interesting Tidbits
  • Studied physics at the University of Naples
  • Was in a Fellini flick

Where can I learn more?


Sadly, the mushroom hat never really caught on



<#5                    #3>

Sunday, October 2, 2016

#5 Ingrid Pitt

Beautiful and sexy, Ingrid Pitt is my all-time favorite B movie vampire. One of the Hammer honeys, they labeled her “the most beautiful ghoul in the world.” 

Though she actually didn’t make that many horror movies (and they weren’t all Hammer), she was not someone any viewer was likely to forget. She also did a wonderful job keeping her legacy alive, becoming a convention regular, operating her own website, writing articles for other sites and magazines, and always staying in character.

Her back story, by the way, is one of the most interesting I’ve ever run across. As a child, she actually spent three years in a Nazi concentration camp. And as a teen, she escaped from East Germany by diving in a river, swimming across, and marrying the U.S. soldier who rescued her.


Embarrassing Real Name:  Ingoushka Petrov

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Czestochowa, Poland

Embarrassing Movies
  • The Sound of Horror
  • Countess Dracula
  • The Vampire Lovers
  • The House That Dripped Blood *
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • Makes You Quiver and Quake!
  • David Lynch meets The Brides of Dracula
  • Vampires! Voodoo! Vixens! Victims!
  • If you dare... taste the deadly passion of the BLOOD-NYMPHS


Embarrassing Characters
  • Hooker
  • The Leper
  • Elvira
  • Lady Violator

Number of Marriages:  3

Whiffs of Scandal:  nudes


Interesting Tidbits
  • Was discovered at a bullfight
  • Was a member of the prestigious Berliner Ensemble, directed by Bertolt Brecht
  • Made her film debut in Doctor Zhivago
  • Was a judge on a BBC talent show
  • Wrote ten books
  • Was a huge cricket fan
  • Had a pilot license and a black belt in karate

Where can I learn more?


One lump or two?



<#6                    #4>

Friday, September 23, 2016

#6 Madeline Smith

Madeline Smith’s Wikipedia article cuts straight to the chase. In the third paragraph, it simply states, “She was noted for her ample breasts.” She was also known for her Hammer credits, a stint as a Bond girl (where Roger Moore undid her zipper with his magnetic watch), and plenty of Brit TV. That last bit was mostly in comedic roles, primarily of the wink-wink-nudge-nudge variety. 

In the many interviews I came across on the Internets, she comes across as incredibly sweet. And she still looks great today.


Embarrassing Movies
  • The Devil’s Widow
  • The Vampire Lovers
  • Anyone for Sex?
  • Theatre of Blood
  • Taste the Blood of Dracula
  • Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

Embarrassing Taglines
  • She drained them of their manhood - and then of their LIVES!
  • DRINK A PINT OF BLOOD A DAY
  • His brain came from a genius. His body came from a killer. His soul came from hell!
  • An erotic nightmare of tormented lusts that throb in headless, undead bodies!

Embarrassing Characters
  • Miss UK
  • Miss Clutterbuck
  • Miss Nupkins
  • Miss Bedwell
  • Erotica


Interesting Tidbits
  • Was discovered in her father’s antique shop
  • Returned to acting in 2011 after an 11-year absence
  • Her 2000 appearance, in turn, came after a 14-year break
  • Played the female lead in The Mousetrap (the longest running play of all time) for a couple of years 

Where can I learn more?



<#7                    #5>