Tuesday, April 14, 2009

beta gets rabid (re-run)

The late Marilyn Chambers, demurely covering the dog dick in her armpit anus.

In remembrance of the passing of Ms. Chambers on Sunday, I dug up this old post I had written over at Imbidimts (my old blog) over three years ago.

I watched Videodrome a few months back, but it's taken forever to track down other Cronenberg movies (and of course, since I'm a good decade behind pop culture, I still haven't seen History of Violence either, which I thought for the longest time was an adaptation of this), and it was not until this week that I finally tracked down Rabid.

Rabid is Cronenberg's 1976 horror flick starring Marilyn Chambers as Rose, the motorcycle mama with an emergency experimental skin graft surgery that gives her a fresh flesh wound in her armpit, a moist red puncture that opens and puckers up (remind you of anything?) replete with an odd needle-tipped dripping wet red protuberance that slides out of it (sorta like a dog's hard-on), sucking at the new blood of her victims. Of course, the film meditates on a constant Cronenberg theme of technology meeting the ancient human flesh and what happens when the two mutually mutate.

Coming out from behind the green door to again try her hand beyond the world of one-handed flicks where she was its queen, it wasn't too long before Chambers went back to porn. Her gig as an Ivory Soap 'pure' poster girl are notorious now, and apparently all of her movies feature a brief instance where she happens upon a box of the stuff, though I can't be certain if there's such product placement is on set here. There is however an allusion to the actress originally up for the role of Rose, Sissy Spacek.

One wonders how such a casting would have completely altered the movie's trajectory. Rabid would simply be a movie with green foam capsules jizzing out of the mouths of the infected were it not for Chambers' porn star fuckability that sizzles every frame of the flick. Alternately a seductress and an innocent who feigns she doesn't understand her newfound vampirism, she struts through Montreal in her fur and zip-up boots, cruising the malls, park benches, apartment halls, and the darkened porno theatres for that most odd coupling she performs on her johns. We wait and watch, mesmerized, for the next appearance of that needle-dick to pop out of her armpit anus.

Such a mutation reflects that other groundbreaking porno, Deep Throat, where Linda Lovelace has a similar sexual mutation (the clit deep down her throat) that can only be satiated by subversive means. Note there is never physical penetration in either of these movies, suggesting a new way of stimulating sexual pleasure and release. Body consciousness, questioning the sensual stimulants, things that happen inside your body, both mentally, chemically, and physically, that's what Cronenberg cooks up. His horror is never a monster movie, per se, save that your own physical body is the monster. In an interview extra on Videodrome, he says that the psychological possibility of the body to become monstrous, that is the new horror.

Cronenberg has a way of extinguishing my sexual desires though, or at least reveling in the hideousness of the human body, even if it is also simultaneously worshipping the new flesh. Which I guess brings me to the events of a past night, one wasted Tuesday night in Brooklyn, slumped over somewhere feeling the effects of the 'combo platter,' so to speak, sipping at a whisky and going through my smokes so as to dull the quivering edge just a bit.

In walks three girls, dolled up and in denim hip-huggers, tight baby tees. My drinking buddy starts up a conversation with them, nevermind that his girlfriend is waiting for him uptown, and we come to find out that the girls all work at the Coyote Ugly. Guess the leather bras have be unlatched for more acceptable tops, but they are busting out at the seams still. The girl closest to me has razor slits all along the outer seam of her skin-tight jeans, thigh flesh like shut eyes every inch or so up her leg.

By this point, I cannot recollect how I wind up in a cab with all three girls while my friend stays behind at the bar, since doing shots and more drugs with three party girls is way more his idea of a fun weeknight than mine, but I am well on my way to their apartment, for God only knows what sort of encounter. My heart races, and I go to the bathroom for that last lick of a freeze, to re-instill some semblance of chemical order to my head. When I come out, the girls are all gathered around the TV, and we're soon watching The Brood. Any sort of nervous sexual tension is immediately replaced with straight nervous system tension as the movie goes on, and the thought of even touching one of the girls appalls me by movie's end.

About the only thing I can recollect about the end of that night comes at the movie's climax, when the husband pulls back his ex-wife's long skirt to reveal the horrific, palpitating alien queen formation that makes up her vagina and lower half. "Every man is afraid that this is what happens to their ex-girlfriends," I say. Needless to say, I am relieved to go home by myself.