August 19, 2002
RIP, Doris Wishman

Doris Wishman, whom Joe Bob Briggs hailed as "the greatest female exploitation director in history", has died at the age of 82. She was famous for making about nudist camps, often running into problems with censors as a result:

"Nude on the Moon," in which astronauts are greeted by naked women with pipe-cleaner antennas poking out of their bouffant hairdos, was banned in New York State. The censor board at the time allowed only films about nudist colonies, turning aside her argument that it was about a nudist camp on the moon.

In her next phase, she made sexual melodramas in which women were depicted as tragic heroines being exploited by men. There was nudity and plenty of violence against women but no explicit sex. In the grainy black-and-white pictures, which included titles like "A Taste of Flesh," she defined a quirky personal style: bizarre cutaways to ashtrays, lamps and squirrels; suggestive lesbian subplots and gratuitous nudity and violence.

I'm feeling the need for a retrospective. I'd better get Pete Vonder Haar on the phone.

Via my friend Andrea on the Roundtable list.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 19, 2002 to TV and movies