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  Strip Tease Murder Electricity In The Air
Year: 1961
Director: Ernest Morris
Stars: John Hewer, Ann Lynn, Jean Muir, Kenneth J. Warren, Carl Duering, Michael Peake, Vanda Hudson, Leon Cortez, Peter Elliott
Genre: Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: At The Flamingo Club, gentlemen can join for a small fee to spend the evening there partaking of beverages and watching the entertainment, which consists of young ladies taking their clothes off. There is singing and dancing from the strippers as well, compered by comedian Bert Black (John Hewer) who is under pressure from his boss to stop drinking so heavily and improve his act, for few of his gags get a laugh these days. But Bert still has the love of his wife Diana (Jean Muir) to fall back on - for a while...

One of the hour-long cheapies produced by the Danziger Brothers, Strip Tease Murder had a title which promised far more lurid thrills than the censorship of the day would have allowed them to deliver on, although as far as the nudity went it was still going further than most of its contemporaries. Yet you could see as much in such higher profile fare as Expresso Bongo, and probably be more entertained by a better standard of production to boot, so what was the attraction of this low rent thriller with a supposedly sleazy setting?

Now that attraction is purely historical, but back then this was the closest thing the public could get to the really racy stuff without joining one of those other, real life gentlemen's clubs and seeing a stripper who actually did take most of it off, or going even further, a stag movie. So even by those parameters this was pretty tame stuff, and you could not imagine audiences of its time, meagre in numbers as they presumably were, too wrapped up in the plot when there was the hope that in five minutes you'd see some dancers getting 'em orf for your viewing pleasure.

But there was a plot, and a curio it was, or rather the method of the murder was as it involved a proper mad scientist (Peter Elliott) who worked out a way to kill by remote control. The real baddie, gangster Blanco (bullet-headed Kenneth J. Warren), wished to get rid of singer Rita (Ann Lynn, a surprisingly familiar face from this era even if you didn't recognise her name), so persuaded the barking boffin to electrocute her with his little box of tricks, providing she is holding the microphone at the same time - essentially so we can have a setpiece on stage with someone getting bumped off, although it does not all go to plan.

That's down to the scientist getting mixed up, and electrocuting Diana by mistake after she takes Rita's place when the latter runs out on the show due to a dressing room catfight with another stripper. Bert (Hewer would be best known as TV's Captain Birdseye in the ads) is hit pretty hard, but now has a newfound sense of purpose to track down his wife's murderer, uncovering a murky conspiracy (of about three people - hey, it was low budget) in the process. But what of those acts breaking up this, er, rollercoaster ride? Mainly they appeared grinning for about thirty seconds, disrobed down to the barest minimum allowed, and strutted off again, with one performance announced as the Dance of the Seven Veils which looks to be the Dance of the Four Pullovers initially, then turns out to be the Dance of the Two Veils, if you can call what she takes off veils. Now appearing whimsically old-fashioned, Strip Tease Murder was unlikely to find an enduring reception outside of vintage exploitation fans. Burbling jazz by Bill LeSage.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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