Thursday, March 26, 2009

Designer Safari Fashion

When I was a youngster, and in fact well into my mid-teens, I got dragged on a lot of camping trips. In the Australian Outback, no less. My dad was a herpetologist and so took the family on his research jaunts. Suffice to say, I developed a great loathing for red sand, potentially dangerous wildlife, tents, sleeping bags, and being anywhere farther away than twenty steps from the nearest flush toilet, running water, comfy bed, or power outlet. Yes, I am a pampered princess of the modern age. I would not survive the apocalypse.

Hence, I have sort of a squeamish fascination with the cannibal-movie genre. On the one hand, ewww, gross, nature and savage beasts will kill you dead and eat your entrails. Not fun, and yuckily uncomfortable to watch.
On the other hand, um, savages will EAT YOUR ENTRAILS!! Blood! Guts! Mutiliation and senseless killings! Yes sirree!

I never claimed not to be perverse.

Anyway, 1979 film Mountain of the Cannibal God (or Slave of the Cannibal God, as it is sometimes known, in its US censored version) is kind of a throwaway in the world of cannibal gutcruncher flicks. Not much happens, really....we've got Stacy Keach playing his usual brooding troubled potentially-psycho character....

...and Ursula Andress wearing too much makeup and getting naked and oiled up to be a cannibal god sacrifice.

Basically the plot is that Ursula and her smarmy obviously villainous brother want Stacy to take them into the wilds of the jungle on a search for Ursula's explorer husband, who has gone missing.
Aha, thinks the viewer, why bother, since he has OBVIOUSLY provided a tasty snack for some island dwellers by now, but Ursula seems pretty insistent (we later learn that it's ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!!), so off they go.

And this is where the whole "expedition into nature" thing becomes my kinda vacation: Ursula gets all done up in designer safari fashion, complete with pristine khaki shorts and knee-high heeled boots. That's right, the boots have HEELS. Perfect for those moments when you need to climb rocky outcroppings, or wade through mud, or go-go dance your way through a native ritual (that last part doesn't actually happen, more's the pity).

Her brother is also a big fan of the Puffy Journalist Vest worn over tight white pants. Yep, white. And they STAY white throughout most of the expedition, to the bitter end. Homeboy's ability to rough it in the jungle and still find a few bottles of OxyClean along the way is pretty impressive.

And while Ursula's severely-pulled back hair and overly dark mascara makes her look like she's gone all Joan Rivers facelift before her time, she does get a pretty good cannibal sacrifice makeover, complete with elaborate seashell headpiece and body oil, at the end.
All that's missing is the Raquel Welch leather bikini.

I could get behind a safari expedition if I got to wear completely impractical clothing and maybe get carried around on a palanquin the whole time. And if there was running water, and feather beds, and gourmet food, and uh, no cannibals.


Tenebrous Kate said...

While I'm zen with the existence of nature, I just don't want to be a part of it. Ever. I completely share your horror of the wilderness. My view of camping is sort of a mash up of "Cannibal Ferox" and "Deliverance." I'm a City Mouse--I own that fact ;)

Gotta love the cannibal-sacrifice makeover. THAT is showing class right there!

And... is it just me... or does the brother bear a bit of a resemblance to Tenebrous Boyfriend Baron XIII? I remember thinking that when I saw the Vicar's take on this flick, anyway!

The Costuminatrix said...

Tenebrous Kate: Indeed, the brother does resemble the Baron...except that the Baron would NEVER be caught dead in white pants, and wisely so. Also there is no monkey sidekick.

I agree wholeheartedly with your view of nature. While I have respect for it, I do not need to be one with it. I need my daily shower, hair dryer, and endless supply of chilled cocktails.