Chatterbox (1977)

And, lo…  Did B-Movie Enema finally get to a new pinnacle of achievement.  Mark this day – August 3, 2018.  It is the day that I finally decided to cover a movie that features talking genitalia.  It’s 1977’s Chatterbox.

Yes.  It’s true.  This is one of a handful of movies that feature either boxes or ding dongs that talk.  And yes, this is only one of these movies.  There is a literal handful of talking genitalia movies.

This movie hearkens back to the glory of the 1970s.  This was during a time of “porno chic” – when X-rated and other very hard R-rated movies would play in actual movie theaters.  I’m not saying they were all good, but this wasn’t just found behind the saloon doors of a video store hidden away from the rest of the movies and other customers there with children and partners.  

This movie is about a young lady named Penelope whose vagina suddenly begins talking.  It’s a wise-crackin’ lady in her own right and also picks up the talent of singing.  We spend 70+ minutes of Penelope trying to deal with this unwelcome development.  With a synopsis like that, surely this movie was massively acclaimed and won all the awards, right?

Oh, no.  No,  not at all.  I will say my favorite review comes from The Los Angeles Times who wrote, “…the film’s vulgar premise smacks of smirking adolescents, it’s crude one liners, full of foul language that unsuccessfully try to stretch to into a full-length movie… the movie is a male masturbatory fantasy.”

I mean…  Right?  Isn’t that the point of these types of movies?  I mean isn’t it supposed to make me want to crank one out?  I kinda feel like that reviewer felt a little smarter after he/she wrote that line in their review.  At the very least, I bet they felt more smug.

Not only is this movie about a woman who spends a bunch of the running time talking to her fur-burger, and is probably having some sex, and probably  naked a lot, but it also is only 73 minutes… Guys, this is gonna be a slam dunk for B-Movie Enema.

As a side note that I find personally interesting – Chatterbox was released on February 2, 1977.  For anyone keeping score, that is literally 9 days before I was born.

Naturally, Chatterbox was released to home video by Vestron Video.  For those of you in your 30s and 40s, you would likely know Vestron as the company whose VHS tapes at the video store kinda looked shitty, but you weren’t too sure, but almost every time you rented one and went home to watch, it was pretty shitty.  This only furthers my believe that I’ve made a wonderful decision to watch this tonight.

And, even more naturally, the opening of Chatterbox starts with a hot fuck session between our leading lady, Penelope (Candice Rialson), and her boyfriend, Ted.  He’s plowing that muff so well that a beautiful love song play while she has the look of sheer ecstasy on her face.   In fact, after he made her raspberry swirl, suddenly a third voice is now heard and it’s not all that nice.  The voice, like no shit, this movie is called Chatterbox and I spent several paragraphs above explaining it is about a talking taco, is coming from Penelope’s crotch.  And it starts by saying, “You call that a fuck?” which embarrasses her and angers him (because all dudes are the best at laying pipe, amirite, guys?  Guys?).

Penelope is rightfully a bit surprised by her “little chatterbox”.  Her boyfriend leaves angry.  Now this is where the thrust (snicker) of the movie really comes into play.  The chatterbox says all sorts of not very nice things.  It often ribs people for her pleasure.  It speaks up when Penelope least expects it and wants it to.  Yet, no one can clearly see that she is not actually saying things.  There are several instances in this movie when people are looking directly at Penelope’s face, and her roast beef curtains start flapping away and saying something off color and people still get mad at her.

Frankly, it’s kind of a nightmare scenario.  Like being in a public place and people always thinking you’re saying something offensive to them and you getting banned or barred or labeled a piece of shit as an overreaction.

You know…  Like everywhere all the time these days?

I mean this is like if I was inside Walmart, and I’m cruising down the health and beauty aisle where, I dunno, the Tucks Medicated Pads are sold.  And as I bend over to get a box of the generic brand of hemorrhoid pads (I ain’t got Tucks money, pffft), the 75 year old man also in that aisle buying ass cream farts a little bit.  But it’s not like a little fart.  It sounds like an entire sentence coming out of his butt.  It kinda sounds a little bit like, “Ah you dumb broad…  Why are you using the motorized cart you lazy fuck?”  And the 25 year old, mother of 8, and barely 120-pound woman on the motorized cart thinks I said it.  Now, that guy’s flatulence is saying everything I’m already thinking, but I didn’t say it.  His ass did.  Yet, next thing I know, I’m getting whipped by a sack of potatoes by that 25 year old, mother of 8, who is barely 120 pounds.

What I’m saying is…  It ain’t cool!  I am also saying that I may be a little way off topic now.  Let’s get back to the talking pussy movie.

So Penelope confides in a co-worker about her little problem.  So, like any co-worker would, she takes a look down them panties to see what all the hubbub is about.  Which is very hot.

Like, seriously, where can I get this job? Is this place hiring?

Naturally, it doesn’t talk back to her.  Penelope’s boss is Rip Taylor, who is the last person I think of as being a vaj whisperer.  It’s also pretty funny that in almost every shot he first appears in, a boom mic is seen for a couple seconds.  Rip Taylor is absolutely the last person I think of as needing a boom mic closer.

Hot.

One of Penelope’s clients sees up her dress when she first arrives at the beauty parlor.  When the chatterbox starts being kinda cheeky with the client, who is a lesbian by the way, the lady attacks and basically tries to rape Penelope.

With all the wackiness, who does Penelope go to see?  A psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Pearl of course!  He’s played by Larry Gelman who is probably best well-known for being Dr. Tupperman on The Bob Newhart Show in the 70s.  He had roles in several television shows throughout the 70s and 80s and still works today.

What does that have to do with Chatterbox?  Not much, but here’s a picture of him with a face full of beaver:

It’s here at Dr. Pearl’s office that we learn the chatterbox has a beautiful singing voice.  He convinces her to let him manage her so he can “change medical history” which also means “make a shit ton of money off your bajingo.”

Some people weren’t so sure about the Flaming Lips’ new sound, but I am. I am.

Of course, Pearl immediately sets her up with a band, and a concert hall full of men to show of her talents.  Why she has to necessarily be completely naked and practically strapped to a table when everyone could hear the sausage wallet loud and clear when she was wearing underwear, I… don’t know.  I wish I could care.  But Candice Rialson is really really hot.  So…  I’m kinda conflicted?

In 20 minutes’ time, Penelope lost her boyfriend, her job, became famous for a talent she doesn’t like, and got arrested all because of her mouthy fuzzbox.  Dr. Pearl explains that she should listen to her vagina, now named Virginia.  It’s pure libido and all it wants is for Penelope to enjoy her life.  He explains that she’s learning new things about her body and her sex organs and that it is a positive experience.  I’m not so sure it’s exactly a positive message.  I mean if my wingwang starts talking…  Well.  I guess I’d have someone to talk about comics with.

Never mind.  It’s a positive message.

Virginia begs for some dick.  So what does Penelope do?  She dresses like a hooker and starts walking around town.  When a biker starts following her, Virginia gets nervous.  Thankfully, right around the corner is a busload of basketball players who plan on solving all her problems.  Now I have a couple issues here.  No, not the gangbang.  That’s whatever.  No, I’m confused.  Virginia wants that diiiiick.  Penelope, at first, wants to be left alone, but then decides to go get that knockwurst for the sausage sleeve.  She’s embarrassed by the forwardness of Virginia, but she still wears a tight tank top (so tight you can see that her turkeys’ are done) and daisy dukes.  Then, when she gets the attention craved, Virginia then balks and wants her to get out of there leading straight to the busload of basketball players that Virginia is all about, but Penelope is a little bit not into what with the whole train the team wants tickets for.

Goddammit movie…  Pick a side you want your character and her talking furry furnace to fall on with the sex!  Whatever, I’m still into it.

Dr. Pearl gets Virginia booked on the “Hollywood Open House” show hosted by Professor Irwin Corey.  He was a comedian described by Lenny Bruce as one of the most brilliant comedians ever.  He appeared in several bit roles in movies from the 70s and 80s.  Mostly comedy and lighter fare.  He actually lived to be 102 and only died about a year and a half ago.  He spent a lot of his later years doing street performances of jokes and other comedy for change that he’d donate to Cuban children.

Virginia and Penelope become giant stars.  I mean, right?  Fucking shit, if someone’s puff pillow could sing hit original songs, you better fucking believe that would catch on.  Could you imagine if this was a real thing?  Holy moley it would catch on like a fucking bush fire!

Penelope’s mother comes into town to, at first, try to stop the silliness that Penelope is into.  However, Dr. Pearl explains how Penelope would likely become a multi-millionaire, and suddenly moms is all about Penelope showing off her coin purse to the rest of the world.

Penelope ultimately reconciles with Ted, but when they try to have sex again, Virginia insults him again.  However, Dr. Pearl puts her on “The Mating Game” (like The Dating Game), but this part of the movie is super flat.  Like there’s nothing funny about the show elements or anything Penelope is saying and most of what Virginia says feels like it was just shoehorned in.  Nothing she says is funny, but actually really annoying.  Before, not everything that came out of the whisker biscuit was funny, but it wasn’t really annoying.  But the Mating Game thing was the first scene in the movie that didn’t seem to fit.

Golly dang, Candice Rialson was pretty.

However, it does kinda lead to Penelope finally kind of letting loose.  She goes on the date with her pick from the show and she gets super drunk, but it frees her up to dance and actually enjoy herself for the first time since the very beginning of the movie.  They go back to the guy’s house and as they start to make out, he tells Penelope there are some things he’d like for her to put on.  He leads her into a room which a bunch of fantasy style clothes.  And a tiara.  So she puts on what looks like a furry cape, her tiara, and Red Sonja’s panties.  The guy enters in a full suit of armor.  I guess it works out because Penelope wakes up in bed, naked, next to a bunch of pieces of armor with the guy delivering breakfast in bed.

I dunno, man…  This movie about a verbalizing goop chute has gotten a little strange.  There are guys in suits of armor, and dance parties, and the Rose Parade that Virginia is named queen of…  Sadly, it feels like what was a funny premise has totally run out of steam.

Honey, I’m pretty sure the guy on the left is not interested in giving you any cock-a-doodle-do.

When the guy with the suit of armor, no surprise, turns out to be a creep who conquers and leaves his girls the next day, we get a montage of life going on for Penelope and Virginia.  It all leads Penelope and Virginia making a movie as the ultimate pinnacle of their stardom.  Of course the big musical number is called “Cock-a-Doodle-Do” and makes all kinds of references and so on and so forth.

The song is catchy and, goddamn, Candice Rialson is beautiful.  She’s actually giving it all she’s got.  I’m not sure what her background actually is.  I do know she was a go-go dancer before getting into movies, but I’m not sure those skills would necessarily translate to chorus line style dancing like in this scene.  It’s a good scene.

But things get dark.

Penelope runs away and tries to leave show business behind.  She goes to a cliff and considers jumping to end it all.  Holy fuck.  Suddenly everything is super serious!  Just before jumping, she overhears another voice singing “Beautiful Dreamer” with Virginia.  She looks over to see Ted also standing at the edge of the cliff ready to end it all over having a talking pecker.  They run towards each other and embrace which actually leads to the best joke in the movie…

You see, they are belting out “Beautiful Dreamer” and when Penelope and Ted embrace and hold each other tight, the singing flowerpot and disco stick get muffled.  It reminds you that it’s the small things that often mean the most in a comedy.

In the end, it’s not that great of a movie.  In actuality, it’s pretty bad.  However, it’s not a movie I’m sad to have seen.  In fact, I’ll probably watch this movie a few more times in my life.  The main problem is that it’s about 25 minutes of solid stuff, even if the comedy isn’t always on point.  But if we do the math, it’s nearly 50 minutes of padding and extra stuff that doesn’t do much other than extend the movie to feature length.

I mean hot damn I said hot damn!

Honestly, though, I can often survive a bad movie when there is something I can gravitate to, and in the case of Chatterbox, it’s definitely Candice Rialson.  She’s gorgeous and definitely worth the 73 minutes of movie to watch.

In fact, let’s do it again, but this time for 84 minutes!  Next week, we’ll take a look at another of Ms. Rialson’s filmography with 1974’s Summer School Teachers.  This movie is actually lauded for being very well made.  It was directed by Barbara Peeters who also directed…  Uh oh…  Humanoids from the Deep.

Yup…  Summer School Teachers is a Roger Corman flick.  I swear, I’ve not been intentionally setting out to do this.  Honest!  But come back next week and let’s see how I deal with it!

 

Also…  I think I deserve a standing ovation for going through this entire movie and not typing the word queef.  I run a classy blog around here, dammit!

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