The ABCs of B-Movie Bullsh*t -- N is for Nudity
is for Nudity
There are some who tell us that the purpose of art is to hold a mirror to society and expose us to the truths we cannot see in the workaday world. They are wrong. Art is about naked ladies. Anyone with a working brain can tell you that.
Show me a time and place and I’ll show you a bunch of artists depicting the glory of the unclad bod. From the Venus of Willendorf to Marilyn Monroe’s famous calendar, the truly wise have always known where true art lies.
People forget that pre-Hayes Code it was possible to spot nude bodies in mainstream films like Ecstasy and Tarzan and His Mate, but once studio self-censorship took over it was up to the independents to give audiences the art they craved.
How badly did people want to see the naked parts of a lady? Bad enough to willingly pay admission to see Mom & Dad, a film that showed a woman’s vagina in close-up detail—all you had to do was ignore the baby coming out of it, which many members of the all-male audience (the sexes were strictly segregated during screenings) were only too happy to do.
Fortunately for pervs art aficionados everywhere a new breed of “educational” films arrived in the form of the “nudie cutie”, which exploited the popularity of naturalist colonies for the enjoyment of all. Eventually filmmakers tired of the fake documentary format and decided to add comedic plots to their collections of artfully composed T&A. Most prominent of these innovators was former battlefield photographer Russ Meyer, whose The Immoral Mr. Teas and Eve and the Handyman proved to be the true classics of the genre.
When the Hayes Office reluctantly allowed a bare breast to appear in Sidney Lumet’s 1964 drama The Pawnbroker, it was only a matter of time before the floodgates opened and the art began to freely flow. By the end of the decade, nudity was a regular part of the mainstream film going experience. In the seventies it almost became de rigueur.
Never ones to be left behind, low budget B-Movie filmmakers rededicated their efforts in providing audiences with the art they craved. Meyer flourished and rose to the level of offbeat auteur with such efforts as Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and SuperVixens. Entire subgenres arose based on the promise of female flesh, including those devoted to the adventures of cheerleaders, nurses, teachers and female prisoners.
In an age where the image of a naked lady is only ever a single mouse click away, Nudity has never gone out of style. Whole websites exist only to document the history of unclad cinematic flesh and softcore “art” is frequently the only lucrative market available to the filmmakers who first made their names in the 80s and 90s B-Movie marketplace.
It just goes to show you that our need for art is constant and eternal and if there is a potential point of over-saturation, we’re far, far away from reaching it.
is for Nudity
Nuthin’ But Art