Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fairy Tales (1979)

Directed by Harry Hurwitz
Starring Don Sparks, Linnea Quigley, Angela Aames, Sy Richardson
Rated R

"It's no use. I'm just not interested."

The story is classic teen sex comedy: ugly doofus wants to bang the hot blonde chick. But since it was still the 70's and recreational drugs were getting gobbled up like Skittles, future Empire/Full Moon B-mogul Charles Band decided to tell this well-worn tale via a very tricky sub-sub genre - the 'erotic musical'. It worked for The First Nudie Musical and Alice In Wonderland, after all, so why not Fairy Tales?

Tales is a sorta-sequel to Band's surprisingly successful Cinderella (1977), just gender-flipped. Instead of a girl in search of a prince, it's a prince in search of a willing vagina.
Don Sparks is the Prince. What prince? Just 'The Prince', man. Prince of what? From the looks of it, an abandoned theme park. The prince is a hangdog shlub who wears a full face of goopy make-up, which may explain his problem. You see, it's his 21st birthday, and therefore time for him to sire an heir to the throne. The problem is, he's impotent. His royal noodle is limp. He is given an ultimatum: bang a potential baby-maker by next Thursday or lose your princely privileges. How, exactly, is he supposed to complete this task, you ask? Dunno. Nobody thought that far ahead. Again, most people in the film industry were perpetually stoned in the late 1970's.

The king hires a trio of singing doctors/Borsht Belt comedians to solve the prince's embarrassing problem. Being virile wham-bam types, they figure a giant set of pendulous breasts will do the trick, so they wake up the prince and plop curvy Idy Tipoldi (Auditions) in his lap. Sadly, she fails to arouse him. The prince shrugs and tells the flummoxed docs that he's reasonably sure he could get it up for the curly haired beauty in the portrait on his bedroom wall, but otherwise, he doubts any boners will be popped. Alas, said beauty has been missing for years.

The doctors consult the Magic Manual. It tells them that the prince must travel to the "Land of the Fairies", and there, he'll find the cure. Doesn't sound like a good place to get anybody pregnant, but whatever. Off he goes. The prince tromps along a lonely trail on the way to the Land of the Fairies and eventually falls asleep in a ditch. He's not the sturdiest sort, this kid. He wakes up to find b-movie goddess Angela Aames (H.O.T.S., All the Marbles, Chopping Mall) dressed up like Little Bo Peep and warbling away in a Brooklyn accent. I dunno, I found it adorable.

Anyway, after her song and dance, she nuzzles his neck and rubs her giant tits in his face, but is has no effect. "It's not you, it's me," says the prince, (ahem) sheepishly.
"You should go to see the old woman who lives in a shoe," suggests Bo-Peep.
"She'll know what to do."

So, the old lady is Madame Gussy (Brenda Fogerty, who had an amazing T&A resume: Summer Camp, Chesty Anderson, The Beach Bunnies, Trip with the Teacher, etc. Somebody build this woman a shrine!), the shoe is a brothel, and bad-ass motherfucker Sy Richardson (Straight to Hell, Repo Man, Petey Wheatsraw) is Syrus, a pimp. There's a bunch of different themed rooms inside the shoe, one of which houses Snow White (Anne Gaybis, Hollywood Zap, Bachelor Party, Black Shampoo, Deep Jaws) and her seven dwarves. Apparently, they perform some sort of sex show. Snow White sings about it while the dwarves undress her.

"You might think it's quite offbeat, fondling fourteen little feet, but I think paradise must be like this!" Etc.
It's pretty creepy.
Anyway, Gussy shows Syrus a secret room upstairs. It will remain locked, she explains, "Until the right offer comes along."

So, you get it, right? Various fairy tale characters show up and try to bone Prince No Balls, including gorgeous Lyndsay Freeman (Lady Chatterly's Lover), who portrays Jill, of Jack and Jill fame. Syrus gets wind of the prince's troubles, and figuring he'll be rewarded handsomely for his efforts, drags the prince around from one ridiculous (and musical) sexcapade after another. At one point, they even visit a voodoo queen, Aunt La Voh (Martha Reeves, of Motown group Martha and the Vandellas, who reportedly took her church group to the film's premiere, unaware that it was loaded with tits and bush!), who attempts to cure his impotence with disco.

Back at the shoe, an orgy breaks out, with a bunch of S&M girls, a frog prince, the Beast, and even legendary dwarf-actor Angelo Rossito (Galaxina, Lidsville, Freaks, etc). Said orgy eventually morphs into yet another musical number, about a mythical virgin, perhaps the last one in the kingdom, a virgin of such exquisite beauty that she's sure to cure whatever ails you, even stubborn royal impotence. She is, naturally, locked up in Gussy's secret room. Desperate, the prince brokers 18% of his kingdom in exchange for a crack at her.

But then, when he finally sees her, it's a hairy dude in dirty white sneakers. So that doesn't work, either. But then, after a series of slapsticky events, he accidentally kisses the hairy dude, and he turns into Sleeping Beauty (21 year old Linnea Quigley, who actually did look virginal at that point). The prince whisks her off somewhere and everyone lives happily ever after. Or do they?

Yes, they do. It's a musical, man.

Much less raunchy than you'd imagine, given the wall-to-wall nudity, Fairy Tales is actually a quaint and charming little film, filled with some very funny characters (Robert Staats as the motor-mouthed doorman of the shoe/brothel is particularly hilarious), catchy musical numbers, and more future T&A stars then any other film I can think of. That being said, I'd rather jump out a window than watch it again. I mean, seriously, they fucking sing every five minutes. Still, it's worth it just to see Angela Aames' Bo Peep routine, Linnea Quigley's babyfat, and a medieval Sy Richardson arguing with his future 70's self in a magic mirror ("Who you callin' Boy? Boy is in the jungle with Tarzan, motherfucker!). The erotic-musical-comedy died a deserving death not long after this one, but will surely rise again at some point. Joanna Angel is probably writing one as we speak.

Availability: Fairy Tales is available on DVD.

PS: Angela Aames, RIP.

- Ken McIntyre

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