BBW: Band, Boobs & Wynorski — Famous T&A 2 (2022) and Attack of the 50 Foot Camgirl (2022) Reviewed!

Matty sticks Full Moon’s latest offerings under the microscope. 

In such turbulent times as ours, it’s reassuring that the old masters can still be relied upon to deliver the goods. It’s 2022 — but as far as Charles Band’s concerned it might as well be forty years earlier. Having weathered every home entertainment trend, first as an indie upstart, then as the emperor of a sprawling B-movie empire, the Full Moon chieftain has had to change his means of delivery more than your average FedEx driver — and yet his output remains beautifully steadfast. Fleapits, tape, discs, online — you know what you’re getting with a Charles Band picture regardless of how it’s distributed, and cinema, without question, is a livelier place for it. 

Lately, though, Band seems to be more reflective. He’s published an autobiography and his most recent film offerings either hark back or directly connect to past classics such as Re-Animator (1985), From Beyond (1986), Puppet Master (1989) and, erm, Femalien (1996). As always, the naysayers have poo-pooed them and written them off as cynical cash-grabs designed to squeeze every penny from what the cool kids call ‘established IP’. But beyond their surface level exploitability, the last round of Band joints — Blade: The Iron Cross (2020), the Miskatonic U series et al — have been films of celebration and introspection; the joyous and unashamedly heartfelt work of a man at ease with his unique cinematic thumbprint. That feeling continues in the first of two new Band flicks this month, FAMOUS T&A 2.  

“It began as a simple concept and turned into a smash hit,” says the film’s host, Diana Prince, in a context setting preamble that reads as more self-congratulatory than it is on screen. If anything, there’s a curiosity and bemusement to Famous T&A 2, as if Band (who shares directorial duty with the film’s writer, Brooks Davis)  is attempting to comprehend the very form he helped innovate. While his findings don’t amount to anything other than ‘well, I guess people love tits’, it’s fun watching the wily veteran look inwards. 

Released in — yep — 1982 and woodenly presented by Sybil Danning, the original Famous T&A was one of four VHS compilations that Band cobbled together and issued via his iconic label, Wizard Video. The quartet, completed by The Best of Sex and Violence (1981), Filmgore (1983) and Zombiethon (1986), were what they were: cheap, do-what-they-say-on-the-tin clip shows that overcame their poverty row production values and cod-scholarly posturing by affording viewers the chance to see lurid excerpts from the fruitiest movies flooding the ballooning cassette market. Famous T&A 2 is more of the same, just better photographed and edited: a whistle-stop tour of boobs, butts and every bare bit of dermis you’d want to clap eyes on, courtesy of archival footage of ultra-babes Linnea Quigley, Julie Strain, Sherilyn Fenn, Jaqueline Lovell, Stormy Daniels and the like. Well, within reason. As its playful moniker implies, Famous T&A 2 is a knowing throwback to the innocent days of softcore (a real anomaly now that gonzo pornography is a swipe of the finger away), so those drawn in by Prince, Lovell and Daniels’ XXX credentials ought to take their meat for a beating elsewhere. That said, there’s enough for jocular-minded frisk enthusiasts to savour and though it’s nothing extraordinary in terms of insight or cult movie history, as an ambient mixtape of the sexiest chunks in Band’s catalogue (the film is primarily made up of Full Moon sex scenes and snippets of skin Band has access to — Creepozoids (1987), Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988), Meridian (1990), Dark Angel: The Ascent (1994), Head of the Family (1995), a few Jess Franco and Andy Sidaris epics etc.) Famous T&A 2 is an amusing best-of package. However, in a strange move, the output of Band’s actual erotic subdivision, Surrender Cinema (née Torchlight), is comparatively underrepresented. 

As host, those au fait with Prince will know she’s the perfect choice for this frothy smut compendium. Today best known as Darcy the Mail Girl on Joe Bob Briggs’ The Last Drive-In, her recruitment for the film’s wraparound sequences serves a dual purpose. On a purely animalistic level, she’s a stunner who digs genre movies — i.e. the absolute embodiment of every stereotypical male horror, sci-fi and fantasy fan’s fantasy. But Prince is also personable, knowledgeable and a gifted comedienne, and the precision and drollness with which she delivers Davis’ lighthearted observations is the key to Famous T&A 2’s (modest) enjoyability. She’s its desire to titillate and entertain in a nutshell — and infinitely preferable to her oak-ish predecessor, Danning. 

With Prince signing off by pledging to see us again in ‘Famous T&A 3’, there’s every possibility that the second of Band’s newbies, sci-fi comedy ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT CAMGIRL, was crafted with future clip pillaging in mind. Or at least it would have been had director Jim Wynorski embellished the instruction he gave scripter Kent Roudebush“Everybody takes a shower!” — rather than rushing said bursts of soapiness. Indeed, Camgirl’s flaw is that it’s never quite as risqué and saucy as its attention-grabbing name and provocative premise — a skewering of social media and OnlyFans culture — suggests. Sure, there’s the mandatory popped tops — a quintessentially Wynorskian flourish — but, by and large, the film’s a demure bra n’ panties saga rather than a sizzling crotch opera. Nevertheless, Attack of the 50 Foot Camgirl — previously stylised as ‘50FT’ — is a spirited, breezily paced romp (sixty-two minutes!) and as much a text of observance as Famous T&A 2

Already earning its place in B-movie history thanks to its status as the first collaboration between Band and the equally busy Wynorski, throughout Camgirl there’s a pleasing sense that Band is letting the helmer likewise explore his legacy. Structurally, tonally, thematically and stylistically the film is essentially a greatest hits set, synthesising the giddy neo-retro noodlings of Wynorski’s beloved ‘80s pulps Chopping Mall (1986) and Deathstalker II (1987) with the boisterous attitude of his criminally underappreciated ‘90s zingers (think Sorceress (1995) and The Assault (1996)) and the bright, sun-kissed aesthetic of his erotic pastiches and Skinemax quickies (The Witches of Breastwick (2005), Hypnotika (2013), Sexually Bugged! (2014)) — just with less wall-to-wall heavy petting, natch. Adding to the air of revelry are the Wynorski regulars that pepper either side of the camera: from production designer Robert Hummel and the multihyphenate Chuck Cirino (cinematographer-editor-composer-co-VFX supervisor), to actors Christine Nguyen, Frankie Cullen, Jaret Sacrey, Michael Gaglio, Cindy Lucas, and Becky LeBeau — the latter of whom even supplies two songs for the soundtrack (one of which, ‘Caught in the Middle of Love’, I’m convinced has appeared in about ten prior Wynorski capers).  

An obvious riff on ‘50s favourite Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) and Wynorski peer Fred Olen Ray’s Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold (1995), the plot finds voluptuous ‘content creator’ Beverly Wood (insanely hot debutante Ivy Smith— woof!) growing to colossal size after subjecting herself to the mad science of MILF quack Dr. Rhodes (Lisa London). The chicanery of Wood’s slimy boyfriend/manager (Eli ‘Son of Chuck’ Cirino) and his mistress (the mighty Nguyen) add a splodge of extra narrative juice and facilitates the obligatory giantess catfight that bookends the film.

Despite a little technical clunkiness on occasion (permissible given modern-day Full Moon’s dinky shooting schedules and wing-and-a-prayer budgets), Attack of the 50 Foot Camgirl is crisply lensed and sports some genuinely excellent miniature effects by Jeff Leroy. Script-wise, Roudebush’s characters are witty atom age sci-fi archetypes spiked with contemporary twists (man-buns, hipster specs, TikTok-speak inflections), and there’s a merry rat-a-tat rhythm to his dialogue that masks the smattering of gags that don’t land — primarily the cringe-y “hashtag” groaners. The surprise, mind, are the performances. Gamely played, Camgirl’s in-on-the-joke ensemble — ahem — attack the material with gusto, capturing the awkward cadence and body language of the sort of skiffy programmers that Wynorski and Roudebush pay homage to without tipping into that awful vein of condescending, Sharknado (2013)-esque snark. To be clear: the easygoing and eminently watchable Camgirl is a valentine, not a roast.

2 thoughts on “BBW: Band, Boobs & Wynorski — Famous T&A 2 (2022) and Attack of the 50 Foot Camgirl (2022) Reviewed!

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