Here’s a quick review I whipped up for the following film, I hope I kept within the high standards of this forum, and as I said it's a quick review and not a in depth study. Enjoy!
Diary of a Nudist
1961 - Dawn Productions Inc.
If you have never had the shear joy of seeing a Doris Wishman film, count your lucky stars. Doris Wishman the cinematic mastermind behind such blockbusters as “Nudes on the Moon”, “Blaze Starr Goes Nudist”, “Deadly Weapons”, “Double Agent 73” and many more, most of which can be found from our good friends at Something Weird Video.
Diary of a Nudist is the story of a sweet polly-purebred that work for a paper that want to do an expose’ on a nudist camp a few miles away. Stacy is our reporter and her boss Arthur open the movie with Arthur explaining to Stacy the need to send her to the local nudist camp to get the scoop on this festival of flesh. Well Stacy has reservation and is none to happy to go to the camp, well after a little coaxing (about 15 seconds) from the boss it’s off to the nudist camp. But first we must get through the high tech security system, which appears to be a skimpy chain and combination lock to secure the gate. After Stacy navigates the fortress walls she encounters Zelda, the Nudist Camp Director! All I can say is I’ve never been so happy to see a women keep her clothes on. (Do you here me Kathy Bates? Keep’em on!) Well ol Zelda got some pretty tough questions and checking to do before she’ll welcome Stacy into the flock of flesh, this to take about 30 seconds to a minute. So off to her assigned cabin to strip down and get naked. **Queue the spoken mental thought dialog. ** Zelda arrives at the cabin and off they go to meet the crew and other assorted guest, many of whom are a testament to just why exercise and diet are important in addition to the harsh reminder of just how cruel gravity can be to women. Well everyone is setting and standing around happily naked, the guys, the gals and what the … children. (Is this legal?) Anyway after meeting every one and large blocks of assorted posing for the camera it has become clear to me that this movie has been misnamed, as towels, magazines, hats, papers and other obstructions are strategically places to block the really naughty bits. An more apt name would have been ‘1001 Ways the Hide the Muffin” … now I had a mission to see if any slips of the editing occurred, it’s Doris Wishman so of course they’re editing errors and lo and behold there it was in the gratuitous volleyball meet with all the bouncing breast and giggles, with ‘shorts’ verses ‘no shorts’ and ‘shorts’ facing the camera. For a fleeting second one of the ‘no shorts’ turns sideways and OMG is that a French poodle between her legs or did a Brother loose his Afro? Oh the 60’s when big hair wasn’t just on your head. Well our story rambles on, much like this review and goes nowhere fast with poolside shots and underwater photography, until Arthur is getting a little put out by the lack of progress on the story as the deadline is fast approaching. So off he goes to the nudist camp where somehow wear shorts is ok for him and fine with me. There is a little tension between Stacy and Arthur over his arrival and off he goes to his cabin to write the story. Well after typing the title of the story Arthur leave to go take a smoke break. (I knew this due to the magic of spoken mental dialog.) This is the 60’s right, since when do you have to leave to go smoke? Well anyway Stacy comes a knocking and no ones home so she goes in to see the title of the story and thinks fro these few words that Arthur is up to no good. By this point in the film I’m having a hard time paying attention, as fate would have it we are very near the end of the film, but since the ending is so bazaar and strange not to mention completely out of the sappy blue, I’ll save it for you to watch if you wish to. I’d say this movie is a lot like being married, at first your thinking ‘cool naked chicks’ but after awhile you are thinking ‘oh, you again’ then a little more time passes and you are thinking ‘you really need to firm up’ and more time and you’re thinking ‘please put something on, no one wants to see that’ and then much like the end of the movie you just no longer pay any attention to it at all and wonder what else is there to watch.
A couple of things to watch or not watch for is the fact rarely is anyone ever filmed speaking the camera is nearly always on the listener looking rather mannequin like as they listened. This would be a great film to re-dub as you’ll have no issues with lip-synch, shoot the original dialog doesn’t match the few frames some is filmed talking.
You’ll also note that for a nudist camp much time and effort is spent covering up certain body parts and while sure there are a few, very few nice pairs for your viewing entertainment. All in all the film was in keeping with Doris Wishman’s hokiness and amateurish style as this was her 2nd film, the first being lost for nearly 30 years. And just as with many of Wishman’s films you find yourself watching it with some sort of wonderment that it was ever made in the first place and more importantly why was it made? With a script that could have been written on a bar napkin and cinematography reminiscent of many home movies of the day, the film is a painful reminder that lack of exercise, poor diet and the ill effects of gravity have been reaping havoc on women’s bodies for decades as parades of sagging cellulite fill the screen. (It’s worth noting that my 40+ plus spouse said “Man, my butt looks better than that!” and myself being a wise man did not argue the point.)
I’m giving it 2 slices of cheese out of 5