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Classic Striptease and Glamour Films vol. 7

(Editors note: Just to let you know, Java's Bachelor Pad and Sunsetglamour are in cahoots together. They send us videos. We review them. These are great documentaries of glamour era beauties and well worth the money. Anyone, who says otherwise, is itching for a fight.)

Honey Bee   I have to admit the "Striptease and Glamour Films" series is my favorite from Sunsetglamour. They not only give you the nudie-cutie films (like the ones you could find in the back of those classic men's magazines like Adam and Sir Knight), but they also include honest-to-goodness burlesque footage. These are the sort of peepshow loops that don't make you feel like a member of the trenchcoat crowd at an adult video arcade. In fact, set against modern sensibilities, women in pasties and a G-strings could almost be considered family viewing. This series features 21 volumes and features such notables glamour girls as Michelle Angelo, Virginia Bell, Candy Barr, Lili St. Cyr, Sherrie Knight, Sally Rand, Blaze Starr, Tempest Storm, and many others who danced the burlesque circuit or posed for film cameras.
    Volume 7 not only features a few of those great old stage loops, but it also features two women worth noting--Honey Bee (on the advertisement) and stripper (and Jack Ruby employee) Candy Barr (photo below).
    The video starts off with some old burlesque footage including a fan dance, a dance with giant balloons, and a great silent movie loop (complete with title cards) called "A Girl Revue." Hosted by a topless woman with top hat and cane, she introduces one costumed (yet naked) women after another. They walk to a stage, pose (modestly), then walk off. The costumes consist of mostly hats and other accessories. These include a hula girl, a clown, an Indian maiden (with bow and arrow), a pirate, and two seasonal beauties--"Miss Summer" and "Miss Winter." The video editors (with their wry sense of humor) have added great grindhouse music complete with catcalls and whistles. It's a nice touch that really puts the video in perspective.
    After a few more dancing girls, we get to the loops featuring Honey Bee. Now, the ad above says that this is the "greatest burlesque movie ever made." Don't believe the hype. Honey Bee looks so unsure, moving from pose to pose, that is makes the viewer uneasy. She looks and talks off camera trying to get directions on what to take off and how to move. She sticks out her chest, plays with her stockings, and goes from smiling to looking like she wants to cry. This is a woman who should have stuck to doing pin-up shoots rather than film loops.
Candy Barr    The highlight of this video is, without a doubt, the three segments that feature legendary dancer (and featured glamour girl in the Java's Bachelor Pad's Femme Fatale section) Candy Barr. The first film fragment shows Barr backstage after, what we can assume, was a hard night of taking-it-off on-stage. She take a drink, teases us by unrolling her nylons, and then shows us what it looks like when the tassels come off. In the next two segments we see Barr in a slow strip moving gracefully across the stage and stripping down to her requisite pasties and G-string. It's sad to say, but the only place left to see these old burlesque dancers in their prime is on these revival videos. Even in these short clips, you can understand how dancers like Barr reached stardom. When you watch a number of these old films, you can tell which dancer have "it" and which are just going through the motions. These stars project an air of comfortably with their bodies (like Barr), like dancing half-naked is the most natural thing for them to do. And then you have those on the bottom end of the scale--the ones that makes you feel uneasy with their uncomfortableness (like the afore mentioned Honey Bee).
    This video also includes your typical film loops of the period (50's-60's) of playful women posing on beds, on fur rugs next to fireplaces, sunbathing outdoors, and the like. Most move from pose to pose as if they were being photographs for men's magazines rather than move as if it was real life. The scenes move with degrees of risqué-ness--from playing posing with pillows to all-out bumping and grinding. As a rule, the more fun a women seems to have posing, the more fun she is to watch. And this video volume has plenty of fun and plenty of classic film loops to make anyone happy.

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