Just heard this morning the sad news that former Prince plaything, lead singer with sexy supergroup Vanity 6 and latter day (as in later in life not as in Mormon) born again Christian Denise Matthews has died so I thought I'd dig up this review of possibly her greatest movie role in a way of tribute.
To be honest tho' it's the only film of hers that I’ve ever reviewed and I'm too busy today to go watch Action Jackson.
As an aside it's from way back in 2009 before I realised that no-one actually reads my blog so excuse the fact that it's fairly well written and features absolutely no 'mooth shite' comments.
Tanya's Island (1980).
Dir: Alfred Sole.
Cast: Denise Matthews (as D.D. Winters), Richard Sargent, Don McCleod, Mariette Lévesque, Donny Burns and a monkey.
Olive of skin and dusky of eye Tanya (the reason we are here) is looking to make it big in the film business. She has the attitude and the looks but alas, not the time keeping skills needed seeing as she's continually late on set due to her unhealthy obsession with power walking whilst listening to lush, sub Jerry Goldsmith style music.
For her big haired producer Kelly (French ex popstrel and star of the fantastic Sex in the Snow, Lévesque) this is the final straw, warning Tanya that her personal life (and her constant jogging) has to take a back seat if she wants to make it big in the business they call show.
If that wasn't enough to ruin her whole week then the fact that her bushily bearded beau Lobo (unfortunately not the Tor Johnson character from Bride of the Atom but bit part legend Sargent) has decided that this will be the best day to dump her might just clinch it.
Not too surprisingly a bloody big argument ensues, ending with poor Tanya storming (well jogging) back home to gorge herself on chocolate and watch a true life drama on Movies 24.
Well she is female.
Curled up on the sofa with congealed snot and melted Hagen Das all over her face Tanya begins to hear a strange grunting cum groaning sound from her bedroom (tho' it may be the sound quality of my ancient VHS) and in best Nancy Drew manner, tiptoes upstairs to investigate.
Upon opening her bedroom door she's shocked to find not an asthmatic intruder but hundreds of flickering candles leading to a soft core title sequence featuring Vanity rubbing her breasts whilst mouthing "Come to me...."
Which is nice.
bush and shiny flat tummy.
Waking as if from a (wet) dream, Tanya finds herself on an idyllic island paradise alongside hunky Lobo and a big white horse (did someone say symbolism?), where they apparently live a simple and carefree existence; Lobo spending his days painting and catching fish whilst Tanya idles away the hours riding around topless on the horse.
So far so erotically charged.
After what seems like days of soft focus shots of Tanya jiggling on a pony in slow motion whilst Lobo looks on lustfully in his big white, homemade nappy our titular heroine, whilst exploring the jungle finds herself being pelted with fruit from the bushes.
Thinking that there may be a local shop just over the horizon (and needing some hairspray) Tanya decides to go take a look.
Stumbling sexily thru' the undergrowth she soon comes across a dark, foreboding cave which she cautiously enters.
Could this be a metaphor?
Well we've no time to think it thru' because no sooner has she popped her head around the corner that she meets the caves owner.
Which bizarrely enough appears to be Donald Trump.
No, my mistake it's actually a huge, man breasted Gorilla with an 80's soft rock mullet.
Easy mistake to make.
Tanya, frightened by the hairstyle on show runs away in terror but realizing that it's the first interesting thing to happen so far in the movie returns to the cave to let the big ape put flowers in her hair whilst stroking her fingers in a saucy (for a monkey) manner.
Tanya names the ape Blue on account of his bright blue eyes (luckily she hadn't seen his bright pink arse yet) and decides he's a far better conversationalist and not to mention a much less messy eater than poor Lobo whom she soon abandons to his fish.
The poor guy is distraught at the thought that his girlfriend may be secretly seeing someone else (you can tell he's in emotional turmoil because their frequent and unnecessary love making scenes have gone from loving slo-mo beach frolics to cum face close ups of him taking her from behind in a tent) so decides to follow her on one of her daily jaunts and discover the truth.
Lobo, doing what any sane man would do when faced with such a dilemma, builds a huge bamboo cage and traps Blue by constructing a scale model of Tanya out of bananas to lure him inside before banging the walls and slapping him with a stick whilst singing Daydream Believer.
Tanya is, not too surprisingly, upset by these turn of events and also a wee bit scared of Lobo's almost animalistic rage.
Tho' this may be a sign of discomfort and sore knees due to the constant shagging she's having to endure as he exerts his manliness.
Bored with spanking the monkey, Lobo insists that Tanya accompanies him to the other side of the island, as far away from Blue as possible so that they can carry on their simple life as before, but with the rougher sex obviously but Tanya refuses (her knees are red raw) and late one night frees Blue.
Lobo is furious, popping a saucepan on his head as a makeshift helmet before locking Tanya in the cage and dancing around like your dad at a wedding.
You can tell it's only a matter of time before someone's going to end up dead can't you?
Blue who, up until this point has been the very model of decorum, has had enough of all this man-based mentalism thinking fuck you all before violently throwing loads of coconuts and mango's at the pair, forcing Lobo to hide in the cage too.
Who is the real animal?
Clue: that'll be the monkey then.
Will Lobo and Blue learn to share?
Will it all be a dream?
Or will Blue kill Lobo before chasing Tayna into the jungle howling, only stopping to jump on the poor girl before taking her up the arse whilst she screams in blue tinted slow motion?
And then it all be a dream?
Go on, guess.
Tanya's Island is a film that really needs to be experienced first hand as no amount of musings or reviews can ever hope to encapsulate the sheer ludicrousness and clumsy sixth form artistic pretensions on display.
Producer Pierre Brousseau's minimalist script comes across like a youth theatre version of Walerian Borowczyk's The Beast but without any of that arthouse cum sleaze epics genuinely erotic qualities, nightmarish visions of female sexuality and, more importantly minus it's fantastic 13 inch ejaculating rubber cock.
The film clumsily lurches from one scene to the next like some crippled drunk staggering home after a night on the tiles, director Sole (who made the fantastic Alice Sweet Alice) mistaking blurry shagging and lip biting for artistic erotica and deciding that a man in a monkey suit (scarily designed by Rick Baker and Rob Bottin on what must have been a slow day) wrestling a bearded bloke in a pair of dirty Pampers would be the subtlest way to show an audience that civilised man is but a savage beast at heart.
Sir, I salute you.
Which is more than I'd do to the cast, seeing as it's much like viewing three large pieces of plywood stomping around a garden centre with the subtlest performance being from a piglet that unfortunately gets killed less than halfway thru.
Sargent is all big kneed, pube permed and shouty whilst Vanity only seems to have been cast due to the fact that her breasts look not bad when sprayed with fake sweat and that she has no shame when it comes to feigning horror whilst being forcibly shagged by a gorilla.
Somehow she never mentions this movie in interviews and appears to be less embarrassed by the fact that she let Prince put it in her.
No wonder she was born again.
It's a strange old world.