Monday, March 14, 2011

Safety First: the Rise of Women! (2008)

Directed by Mac Kelly
Starring Robert Axelrod, Liliya Czarina, Monica Huntington, Erica Ibsen, Mary Beth Murphy, Emily Wahlund

"I want to be Good Humor men and put smile on face, not hand on backside."

I, as I assume at least a handful of those reading this do, have a job where I am required to attend safety training classes. Fortunately, this is something I only have to do once a year. Unfortunately, the video that we have to watch during said training looks nothing like"Safety First: the Rise of Women!".

Written, edited and directed by Mac Kelly, Safety First is the definitive safety training video for places where the term "sexual harassment" is used merely as an excuse to point out that harassment has the word ass in it or where the term can pass as an acceptable answer when asked what hobbies you enjoy in your spare time.

Ostensibly, "Safety First: the Rise of Women!" is nothing more than a poor excuse to watch a veritable cornucopia of unique and beautiful women prancing about in various states of undress - and in this it succeeds - but underneath the potentially sexist elements of Safety First, there lies a factually accurate educational tool that may someday help you save a life.

"Help!! I'm drowning!"

Narrator Robert Axelrod opens Safety First with a tribute to the hard work, talent and sheer ingenuity of the historically undermined female sex with what seems to be a never-ending monologue filled with half-sarcastic hyperbole about the importance of women in today's workplace.

As a montage of what appears to be no less that 40 diverse examples of the varied nature of the modern career woman plays, we are informed that women can be and are such important contributers to the workplace as: Office professionals...

...melon farmers...

... exuberant confectionery fans...

...goat milkers...

...donut enthusiasts...

...and even restaurant employees!

Safety First is separated (kind of) into 4 sections with 4 different specialists concentrating on specific safety issues (again, kind of).

Our first guide on this journey of safety is Darla (Erica Ibsen), an aspiring actress who also doubles as "Floor Warden" of her office building. Being Floor Warden pretty much just means that Darla is the fire safety watchdog and restroom attendant on her floor, but convinces herself that its all a stepping stone on her journey to stardom.

Next up, we have Northwest-based marine biologist Janice (Monica Huntington). Janice is a sucker for huge fish and is quite the impassioned earthquake safety instructor to boot.

Russian immigrant Olga (Liliya Czarina) came to America with a dream sparked by seeing the Good Humor truck bringing ice cream and smiles to those it served. In order to live this dream, she became a mobile ice cream salesperson herself and eventually moved on to be vice-president of logistics at a trucking company. She also gives free CPR classes, which seem to be pretty popular.

Human relations expert, Connie (Mary Beth Murphy) helps us figure out what to do in closed quarters - such as being trapped in an elevator - or the best way to respond if someone brings a weapon into the workplace.

Lastly, anger management specialist Brenda (Emily Wahlund) shows us how to work through our irritations with calm and rational discussion - and a bit of boot-licking and public humiliation.

Much of the advice in Safety First is actually correct instruction of what to do in an emergency, but is skewed in a way that sets the scene up for double entendre site gags or as an excuse to have the ladies shake their boobs around.

Some of the useful advice espoused throughout the video are: Always have a survival kit on hand...

...stay low when exiting a fire (because smoke rises)...

...get under a table during an earthquake (so that stuff doesn't fall on you)...

...and most importantly, breath through your diaphragm to stay calm.

Overall, Safety First: the Rise of Women is a mind-numbingly silly ode to unabashed female objectification in the spirit of Russ Meyer that succeeds in being an effortlessly enjoyable exercise in absurdity. Although the structure of the film sometimes seems to stray or disappear altogether, the running time is just right and the actresses are generally enjoyable to watch throughout.

Visit Mac Kelly's site to see more about Safety First and even buy the DVD or download the movie. For a limited time (as of time of this writing), if you buy the DVD you get a 2nd DVD with even more boobies! Check it out!

(P.S. - Vote for Safety First as Best Modern Exploitation DVD Release on for the 2011 TLACult Awards. You can vote once a day until mid-April.)

- Jeremy Vaca

1 comment:

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