Posts Tagged ‘Anton LaVey’

Jayne Mansfield (right) with pulchritudinous competitor Sophia Loren.

“MANSFIELD 66/67” My rating: C+ (Opens N ov. 3 at the Screenland Tapcade)

84 minutes | No MPAA rating

Given the aura of cheesy tackiness that still hangs over her life and career, perhaps it’s appropriate that the new documentary about sex bomb Jayne Mansfield is itself a triumph of cheesy tackiness.

P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes’s films opens with the declaration that it is a “true story based on rumor and hearsay.”  Well, it certainly isn’t your History Channel approach to documentary biography.

For one thing, no cooperation was offered by any member of the Mansfield family (the most prominent being her actor daughter, “Law & Order’s” Mariska Hargitay).

The film clips, photos and other archival elements were taken from public sources. Mostly the filmmakers relied on talking-head interviews with Mansfield admirers (John Waters, Mary Waronov), fellow show-biz types (Mamie Van Doren), a slew of feminist and pop culture scholars, and Kenneth Anger, the great chronicler of Tinseltown tawdriness who put Mansfield’s picture on the cover of his great expose Hollywood Babylon.

The doc is also peppered with animated segments and “production numbers” in which a chorus of college-age performers in blonde wigs do garishly-lit  go-go routines or engage in artless “interpretive” dances.

It says something about the filmmakers’ intentions that the first thing they address is Mansfield’s 1967 death in a horrific car accident and the long-standing rumor that she was beheaded in the crash.  The man who embalmed the movie star says her scalp was torn off but that her noggin remained attached to that voluptuous body.


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