Friday, January 15, 2010

Raquel! (1970)

Directed by David Winters. This is not quite a movie in the sense that it is not at all a movie but a 1970 TV special starring Raquel Welch. So, clearly this is totally worth anyone's while. On the one hand, in 1970, Raquel Welch was a devastating American beauty and TV specials were insane and mind blowing.

Plus, Raquel Welch has always been only marginally talented, so the already trippy weirdness of the period's production values were ramped up many times over as a means of hiding the negligible amount she had to offer. This includes outrageous costumes, which are obviously a huge reason to see this, in part because they definitely show off her obscenely perfect body but also just because they look like they were designed by Black and Decker.

Also, for fans of ridiculous musical arrangements, the musical arrangements here are, well, ridiculous. And if I challenged you to guess the songs she sings, you'd get at least a few. I'm sure. "Games People Play," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," "California Dreamin'," "Here Comes the Sun." It's really lame, tame, stuff. Music for people who don't really like music, as Karen often describes it.

But it's the best "Age of Acquarius" ever. With this segment, you will realize that this is not simply something to see and tell others about but truly something that must be seen by everyone. In fact, if you or someone you know has any hand in allocating a local small arts fund, I would highly recommend spending on a public exhibit of this, maybe projected on the side of a large building in front of a wide open area where huge crowds of people can gather.

If the guy with the hat that rises into a horse statue isn't enough to make your head explode during the "Age of Aquarius," be patient because in the next segment, Raquel tells a story that combines knights, royalty and flirting with Tom Jones, who then lipsyncs to the LP mix of his hit "I, Who Have Nothing" that my mother used to play around the house when I was a kid.

Next is a "rock and roll" medley by Raquel and Tom of the sort that make actual fans of rock music write open letters of apology to black people. Then she visits John Wayne on the set of what looks like "The Train Robbers" and to try to hide how lame his old ass is, they add a laugh track, I am not shitting you. Then Bob Hope shows up and they really need the laugh track, though at least he's telling jokes.

Then it's over and you're so weirdly disappointed and desperately glad at the same time. It's messed up.

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