Naked Kiss, The
REVIEWED BY: The Naked Kiss Posted on 17/09/2007
The Naked Kiss revolves around a prostitute named Kelly. In the opening scenes we see Kelly beating up her pimp furiously with her handbag , she then skips town and two years pass. Kelly winds up in the town of Grantville where she decides to leave behind her old lifestyle and focus on creating a new life which includes working in a hospital taking care of handicapped kids. She came to this conclusion after spending a night with Griff (the local Sherriff) whom she met when she first arrived in town . She then rents a room from local seamstress Josephine and starts to meet the townsfolk including Charlie, a mannequin in uniform who lives in the room she has rented ( he is a replica of Josephine's fiance who was killed in the war.) Enter Grant, a descendent of the towns founding family and Griff's best friend. Grant is the town hero, as one person states, his name is a synonym for charity, specifically organizations that revolve around children… such as orphanages and hospitals. Kelly falls in love with Grant and they plan to get married, but what is the secret lurking behind his naked kiss and who will discover it and at what cost?
After establishing Kelly's background, the film takes a massive turn in direction, from this lurid and in your face tone to a more relaxed and seemingly perfect suburban type drama. The kids are skipping in the streets, babies are smiling, albeit these are foreboding images, they are sickly cute and are so stereotypical that you know this now seemingly normal film is really going to end up being warped. I will put it out there, Fuller is known for being over the top, and yes that applies to this film too, especially when it comes to character names such as Candy, Dusty, Buff, Bunny, and Hatrack (played by Edy Williams of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls fame) not to mention girl fights and topics such as abortion, prostitution, pedophilia etc . I think the craziness gives the film character and balances out the sickly cuteness of it, and gives it a totally more realistic vibe. There is an underbelly to everything and this film portrays that well, especially when it comes to character motives.
You only have to watch interview footage of Sam Fuller to know he is an over the top guy, and bless him for being out there because it make his films all the more memorable and enjoyable.
I definitely think Fuller's movies are an acquired taste. What some see as progressive and provoking cinema, others view as campy trash. Certainly this film has elements of camp in it, such as excessive hand bag fighting and over the top cute / bordering on creepy scenes with children, but this film is not crappy or exploitive or dramatic, it is what it is. I'm not going to put it in a box. The Naked Kiss is an amazing film, that is all I need to say, but obviously I had to say more. Fuller dealt with issues in this film in such a daring but respectful way, that you couldn't fault or hate anyone yet The Naked Kiss stirs the emotions to high heavens. I like how his films study the underdog, they never pass judgment, they offer different angles or sides to these down and out characters. I also like how it is always these so called 'bad' characters who are the most moralistic or do the things that you would expect the good characters to do, and that applies very much so to Kelly in this film.
I think Fuller is a highly innovative and creative director and story teller and to not watch his films because some idiot on IMDB called them 'Ed Wood like' is a shame. I love this film so much that my pen name is The Naked Kiss, and I can not recommend it enough. Of course you have to be interested in this type of film, I'm not declaring that gore-hounds should watch it or anything because you probably won't like it.
Umbrella Entertainment have released The Naked Kiss in a 4 disc set including the following Fuller films
DIRECTOR(S): Sam Fuller | COUNTRY: USA | YEAR 1964 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): Umbrella Entertainment | RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 4:3 | REGION: 0 | DISCS: 1
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