Oct 5, 2015

The Telephone Book

While I certainly consider myself to be someone that has a more libertine oriented sense of humor than most people and consider virtually no subject to be too taboo, I have always found most so-called ‘sex comedies’ to be particularly retarded and just an excuse for a filmmaker to assemble a highly profitable masturbation aid for lonely losers that cannot get pussy on their own. Of course, a handful of great Guido arthouse auteur filmmakers like Pier Paolo Pasolini (The Decameron, Teorema) and Marco Ferreri (Dillinger Is Dead, Tales of Ordinary Madness) made some notable films that might be loosely described as sex comedies, but I cannot think of any other films from the ostensibly carnal comedy subgenre that don't make sex seem hopelessly banal, at least until I recently saw the somewhat obscure X-rated counterculture cult piece The Telephone Book (1971) directed by one-time auteur Nelson Lyon, who somewhat fittingly later produced Paul Morrissey’s Spike of Bensonhurst (1988). While a man that is notable for working for Andy Warhol (apparently, he gave Warhol the idea for the cover artwork that he designed for the 1971 Rolling Stones album Sticky Fingers), acting as a writer for Saturday Night Live, and producing spoken word albums for both William S. Burroughs and Terry Southern (whose writings, especially his novel Candy (1958) co-penned by Israelite Mason Hoffenberg, were an obvious strong influence on Lyon's film), Lyon is unquestionably best remembered today as the man who was blamed by the entertainment industry for the death of Jim Belushi (the two injected a heroin-cocaine cocktail called a ‘speedball’ together after a boy’s night out), which is somewhat fitting considering the decidedly debauched nature of his sole feature, which more or less feels like the deranged fantasy of a wayward kosher creep that lusts after defiling pedomorphic shiksa girls. Indeed, the story of a terribly stupid childlike 18-year-old dame that looks and acts more like a 12-year-old who becomes infatuated with a smooth talking obscene phone caller and goes on an vaguely orgasmic odyssey to try to find him that ultimately results in her encountering various other perverts, The Telephone Book is a sleekly directed piece of proudly obnoxious art-trash that seems to delight in acknowledging the fact that the United States degenerated into a Hebraic hell hole of senseless and nihilistic hedonism as a result of culture-distorting movements like so-called women’s liberation, the sexual revolution, and other metaphysically malignant countercultural crud that the baby boomers bought into that was mostly imported to the U.S. by resentful German-Jews who wanted to get back at the evil Aryan Goyim. Somewhat seeming like it was created by the bastard stepson of Dušan Makavejev and Robert Downey Sr. and penned by the neo-Freudian head of the Frankfurt School psychoanalysis department, the film is notable for featuring a couple Warhol superstars (e.g. Ondine and Ultra Violent) and concluding with a ‘climatic’ piece of surreal animated pornography, but I think it is most important in that it indubitably demonstrates that when Uncle Adolf kicked the heebs out of Germany, they set up shop in NYC and ultimately assembled Weimar 2.0 (of course, it should be no surprise that the film was produced by a fellow with the name Merv Bloch).  So decidedly debauched that it was even hated by to left-wing Jewish critics like Judith Crist and Pauline Kael, The Telephone Book is arguably the most elegantly and artfully sleazy film ever made as a sort of sickening mix between the Marx Brothers and Marcuse, albeit somehow actually sometimes funny.

 Alice (Sarah Kennedy of Stephanie Rothman’s The Working Girls (1974)) is a petite 18-year-old hippie ditz that describes herself as “rather beautiful,” looks and acts like a poor man’s Goldie Hawn (of course, unlike Hawn, Kennedy is a real goy gal), and lives in a small specially decorated flat that is covered with Warhol-esque nudes as wallpaper, so naturally it should be no surprise that she regularly masturbates with a special large pink vibrator and only seems to think about fucking, though she has rather refined erotic tastes that not just any dirty hippie bastard could fulfill. Luckily, by a miracle of pure stupid luck Alice ‘hears’ the man of her dreams, Mr. John Smith (veteran radio announcer and soap opera actor Normal “The Voice of God” Rose of One Life to Live and All My Children), when he randomly makes an obscene phone call to her from a public telephone where he talks “very seriously” about her tits and other naughty things, thus resulting in the pretty philistine protagonist diddling herself under her sheets while she is talking to the unconventionally charming mystery caller.  Rather excited about the fact that she encountered a man with such a sensually seductive voice that his mere voice managed to cause her to wet her panties, Alice calls her bitchy gal pal ‘Eyemask’ (Jill Clayburgh of Paul Mazursky’s An Unmarried Woman (1978) and Alan J. Pakula’s Starting Over (1979)) about the great news, but her supremely self-absorbed friend, who spends virtually all of her time lying in bed, is more interested in receiving cunnilingus from a grotesque sounding fellow and listening to audio recordings of Hitler than concerning herself with the unconventionally lurid love life of her cutesy comrade. Indeed, while Alice manages to brag regarding Mr. Smith’s call, “It was only a phone call but it was a work of art. You had to hear it. It was no dime-store amateur,” exceedingly egotistical cunt Eyemask hangs up on her soon thereafter. At this point, Alice seems to realize that she can only count on the mysterious Mr. Smith, who soon reveals his real name to her and tells her to look him up in the telephone book, but unfortunately it is an absurdly common name, so the desperate protagonist decides to call every single person with the same exact name until she finds her mysterious lover. 

 When Alice calls a man named ‘John Smith’ and asks him if he is the man that made dirty phone calls to her and he says says yes, she soon somewhat hilariously finds herself involved in the shooting of an orgy scene in a pretentious porn flick directed by an egomaniacal old pornographer named ‘Har Poon’ (Barry Morse of Roy Ward Baker’s Asylum (1972) and Peter Medak’s The Changeling (1980)), who has an entire harem of young women at his disposal. Indeed, ‘Har Poon’ is the pseudonym of a stag director named John Smith, who sports Groucho Marx glasses while he fucks and absurdly thinks he is the Orson Welles of pornographers and who would probably not make an obscene phone call unless someone paid him handsomely for it.  Although Alice is certainly no genius, she begins to suspect that he is an ‘impostor’ and not the real John Smith, but that does not stop her from being coerced into taking all her clothes off and joining a group of equally unclad female porn stars and a dirty old man in an scenario that seems like a sensual anarchic take on the old Hasbro game Twister.  Indeed, while the preposterously pedantic pornographer, who seems more like a cynical old grandfather than an old school maestro of blue movies, manages to get Alice to take off all her clothes and get in a large orgy scene with him and about ten other stupid sexy girls, the real John Smith luckily magically calls while they are shooting and thus the protagonist finally manages to put two and two together and subsequently exists the shoot, thus leaving the fuck film director somewhat baffled. Of course, Har Poon is not the last debauched degenerate that she encounters before finding her enigmatic soul mate. 

 After briefly calling Eyemask in what proves to be another uneventful phone conversation that involves the protagonist's friend curiously listening to an audio recording of an Adolf Hitler speech while loading a pistol (while it might seem like Eyemask is about to commit suicide like Uncle Adolf, the character makes another appearance later on in the film), Alice encounters a mustachioed creep on a subway who flashes his member at her in a grotesquely goofy fashion, but instead of being grossed out the protagonist decides to fight fire with fire by unbuttoning her clothing and flashing her own naked body at the rather foul flasher, thus petrifying the pervert to the point where he runs for his dear life. In the desperate hope that the subway pervert might possibly her dear Mr. Smith due to his degenerate behavior, Alice decides to chase him down and discovers that he is actually a quack psychoanalyst (Roger C. Carmel) who likes to brag about how much money he makes even though his office is in a local ghetto. After getting over his shameful behavior and realizing that he might have the opportunity to exploit the strange situation, the pervert decides that Alice has a “beautiful pussy” and is a “nice piece of cunt” and decides to chase her down when she begins to leave. Ultimately the psychoanalyst offers Alice all the change in the world to make phone calls if she agrees to undergo some psychoanalysis experiments in a local sleazy restaurant. Using an archaic change dispenser that is fittingly attached near his genitals, the psychoanalysis gives the dame dimes to disclose her life, but being that she is rather dumb and inarticulate, she begins to enrage the debauched pseudo-scientist, especially after he draws a childish picture of a penis and she describes it as resembling the state of Maryland when it is obviously a sketch of a cock and balls. When the psychoanalyst asks Alice to describe her most pleasurable sexual experience, Alice details the story a gawky and sleazy Jewish ex-banker (William Hickey of John Huston's Prizzi's Honor (1985) and Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Name of the Rose (1986)) that suffered from the pesky curse of priapism. Needless to say, the story turns the psychoanalyst on so much that he begins dispensing dimes all over the place as if he is about to ejaculate in his pants, but Alice abruptly leaves before finishing the story, thus assumedly giving the quack doctor an intolerable case of blue balls. Naturally, when Alice is robbed in a phone booth by a particularly perverted looking prick that has the audacity to also tell her that she is “very strange” while shoving a gun in her face, things begin looking rather bleak for the seemingly perennially peppy protagonist and she gets so desperate that she decides to follow home a middle-aged dyke with a prop baby stroller who defiles her with two vibrators. Luckily, Mr. Smith somehow manages to know to call Alice while she is at the dyke’s house and tells her to go back to the apartment where he will finally meet her. 

 While sucking on a banana like it is a cock while sitting in the dark in her apartment while she is all by her lonesome, Mr. Smith eventually shows up while sporting a suit and pig mask that only covers the top portion of his face. Indeed, almost the entire second half of the film is dedicated to Mr. Smith’s background story and eventually his predictable erotic rendezvous with Alice, but I guess that is what one should expect from an oftentimes illogical film with an extra thin plot about a dumb dame who falls in love with a mystery man who gets off to saying dirty things to strange people over the telephone. When Mr. Smith arrives at Alice’s apartment, he explains in defense of his pig mask, “I have a little difficulty communicating with people eye to eye,” and then proceeds to brag about his preternatural seduction talents as an eloquently spoken obscene phone caller who has dedicated his life to molesting the ears of unsuspecting strangers with his velvety baritone voice. Indeed, as Mr. Smith cooly and calmly brags to Alice, “I make obscene telephone calls. The best calls…The calls that no one can resist. I have perfected this highly specialized art to the point where, if I wanted to, I could seduce the President of the United States, his wife, his children, his grandparents, but I have no political ambitions.” As Smith also explains, he makes about a thousand obscene telephone calls a year (or four calls every day for five days a week), though naturally he was not always the world’s most cultivated obscene caller as hinted by the fact that he is a suavely dressed WASP professional type. Indeed, while giving her an extra sensitive bubble bath where he demonstrates his deep gentlemanly affection for her, Mr. Smith explains how he went from becoming a decorated war hero and astronaut as well as family man to becoming the shadowy master of exhibitionistic unsolicited ear-fucking phone calls. 

 During the Vietnam War, Smith was a Captain in the army who had special propensity for slaughtering the oriental enemy and being loved by his men, or as he states himself that he, “Fought the yellow reds…killed them left and right. I get medals and promises. I looked lovely. Not faggy, just lovely. I had a good, no nonsense face.” Apparently, Smith would calm his fellow soldiers by punching them in the gut and kissing them, albeit, “Not like a fag but like the way one man kisses another man.” Happily married with a son and little dog, Smith eventually became even more famous when two men approached him while he was cutting his yard with a special ‘Gravely’ lawnmower and asked him, “Hey, wanna be an astronaut?” or so he tells Alice while talking into her cunt and derriere like it is a gigantic phone receiver. Needless to say, being a stereotypical Nordic WASP with a strong stoic demeanor, Smith accepted the offer and joined NASA as an astronaut. Unfortunately, while in a weightless chamber where he saluted NASA officials upside down, Mr. Smith dared to declare to the men when they asked him what he wanted before takeoff, “A big. . .beautiful. . .red-nippled. . .giant. . .TIT!” As a result of his big bad dirty mouth, Mr. Smith was examined by NASA psychiatrists who concluded that the weightless chamber fried his brain and that he was too, “psychologically unfit to represent this country in orbit.” At this point, Mr. Smith’s life goes completely downhill as he becomes sexually impotent and no longer enjoys cutting the grass like he used to. In fact, when the family dog began nipping at Mr. Smith’s feet while he was cutting the grass one day, he got so agitated that he almost killed the the creature by kicking it some 30 feet across the yard. Upon calling the vet about his injured dog, Mr. Smith accidentally called the wrong number and in the process used the opportunity to make his first obscene telephone call, thus leading to a deep, dark undying obsession that ultimately resulted in his public disgrace and the loss of his family, though he did not mind and instead fully embraced his new linguistically lurid lifestyle by moving from suburbia to NYC where he could really test his seductive talents on the nation’s most debauched and depraved citizenry. 

 Needless to say, it does not take long before Alice is throwing herself at Mr. Smith and begs him “Please fuck me,” but as he firmly states, he “can’t do it,” at least not in the good old fashioned way. As Smith explains, "There’s only one way,” which naturally involves the two getting in two separate adjacent public phone booths and engaging in full-blown phone sex of the otherworldly orgasmic sort. Ultimately, Mr. Smith and Alice’s phone-fucking session is depicted in the form of a grotesquely obscene piece of animated pornography that was not surprisingly created by a Hebrew named Len Glasser (who is probably best known for being a storyboard artist on the animated TV series Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (1993-1996)) that seems like Ralph Bakshi’s Robert Crumb adaptation Fritz the Cat (1972) meets the caricatures of kraut commie Dadaist George Grosz, albeit more graphic than one might expect. Indeed, in animated form, Alice transforms into a headless being with four legs, two cunts, and seven tits while Mr. Smith’s head is replaced with a gigantic tentacle-like tongue which he uses to perform cunnilingus on the female protagonist. In between having her snatch defiled by Mr. Smith’s gigantic tongue, Alice mounts the tops of buildings in a scenario comparable to Mara Mattuschka's experimental avant-garde short S.O.S. Extraterrestria (1994) where the filmmaker uses the Eiffel Tower as a sort of makeshift dildo in a sardonically silly scene that satirizes Godzilla. Of course, in the end, Mr. Smith finishes Alice off by shoving his terribly talented gigantic tongue up her twat and invading every crevice of her seemingly oversensitive body. After Alice climaxes, Mr. Smith, who is not into monogamy or physical sex, exits the telephone booth while Alice remains in her's while attempting to recover from her truly sexually cataclysmic climax, which seems to be the thing that she was searching for all along as a decadent dingbat that could not find that right dude to scratch her sexual itch.  Indeed, if Mr. Smith can be credited as a hero in anyway, it is for managing to get Alice to finally shut up her distinctly grating Betty Bop voice.  In that sense, the conclusion of The Telephone Book is exceedingly satisfying.

 According to Judaic producer Merv Bloch in the audio commentary track featured on the Vinegar Syndrome release of the DVD/Blu-ray of the film, The Telephone Book director Nelson Lyon was apparently nicknamed ‘Captain Smut’ due to the fact that his mind was just as sexually depraved as his sole film indicates. Indeed, Lyon’s film is ultimately quite irritating as it seems like the cinematic equivalent of one of those grotesque Jewish caricatures from Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer of a vulgar Hebrew with a sinister smirk on his face defiling a blonde Aryaness, albeit unlike the Nazi tabloid, the film takes delight in such depravity. Of course, The Telephone Book is not the first film with a similarly spiritually sick Semitic spirit that involves the celebration of the defilement of strikingly stupid blonde Aryan girls, as Jewish British auteur Michael Sarne’s similarly meticulously stylized counterculture flick Joanna (1968) also features a dumb, ‘sexually liberated’ blonde cunt with an exceedingly annoying voice who gets involved with all sorts of good clean debauchery, albeit the difference is that she ultimately hooks up with a physically abusive negro thug criminal instead of a disgraced WASP with a fetish for making obscene phone calls. In fact, Joanna star Geneviève Waïte was originally supposed to play Sarah Kennedy’s role, but her then husband, the Mamas & The Papas singer-songwriter John Phillips, made her drop out of the production because he wisely thought it would be a bad career move. I somewhat hate to admit it but I found the film’s various nods to the films of Warhol, especially Chelsea Girls (1966), to be one of its most intriguing aspects, with queer superstar Ondine’s pointless role as a hyper hypocritical narrator who fondles the ass of a random naked dude that is lying on his desk and French-born superstar Ultra Violet’s role as a leather-bound porn star that wields a whip surely being two of the greatest highlights of Lyon’s flick. Notably, the film originally featured an intentionally monotonous intermission scene where Warhol eats popcorn for about thirty seconds or so, but apparently the footage is now lost. Somewhat surprisingly, despite being soon forgotten after its disastrous release, The Telephone Book apparently influenced at least one very popular film. Indeed, apparently the scene near the end of the film where Mr. Smith gives Alice a bath would later inspire a similar scene between Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris (1972). 

 While there is certainly much to hate about The Telephone Book and the dubious people that were responsible for making it, one of the things I most appreciate about it is that is seems to mock pseudo-arthouse European skin flicks like I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967) and I Am Curious (Blue) (1968) directed by Swedish auteur Vilgot Sjöman, thereupon seeming to make a farce of its own all-too-overt artistic pretenses. Of course, with its mocking of the white Christian mainstream and WASP establishment as well as obsession with the defiling of barely-legal shiksa girls, the film finds itself in solidarity with untalented Judaic Warhol-wannabes of the same era like William Klein (Who Are You, Polly Magoo?, Mr. Freedom) and Norman Mailer (Wild 90, Maidstone), with the latter once (in)famously writing regarding the 1969 Apollo 11 moonlanding,“the real mission of the WASP in history was not, say, to create capitalism, or to disseminate Christianity into backward countries…It was to get the U.S. to the moon.” Surely Mailer’s anti-Spenglerian writings had an influence on the anti-NASA flavor of The Telephone Book, which does not feature a sexually impotent anti-commie war hero turned astronaut of the archetypal Nordish sort as an obscene phone caller for nothing. Padded with various filler scenes of Ondine as a hypocritical homo moralist narrator and pseudo-documentary testimonial scenes of reformed ‘obscene callers’ discussing their fetishes (in one admittedly quite hilarious scene, a housewife states, “…I take a [beep] banana and then I shove it up my cunt and kind of squish it around so my hole gets all juiced up…then I roll around a while with it in me until I’m chewing the rug and purring”), Lyon’s film is certainly no masterpiece but it is undoubtedly the closest thing to a truly artsy fartsy American sex comedy as a sort of Citizen Kane of the subgenre. Somewhat ironically considering the film’s distinctly Hebraic approach to humor, the film owes its fairly recent rebirth as a sort of lost cult classic as a result of a couple degenerate German guys who contacted producer Bloch after finding his contact info on the internet and managing to get it rereleased on DVD and played at various prestigious film festivals on Europe, thus demonstrating that about 70 years of Frankfurt School inspired Cultural Marxist propaganda has certainly left a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of the citizens of Europe.  Indeed, after recently listening to a Hebraic porn mogul brag about the fact that he is the godson of mob-connected Jewish Orthodox smut-peddler Reuben Sturman and that it is the ultimate fantasy of every Judaic boy to despoil a good Catholic girl (as the mogul notes, most of the original male porn stars were Jewish and most of the female porn stars were Catholic), I think that The Telephone Book has even more historical value than its proponents give it, as a film that makes Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972) seem like an episode of Mickey Mouse and more or less validates everything thing that Julius Streicher—a scapegoat of the Nuremberg Show Trials that was hanged by the Allies for simply for exposing what is easy to see nowadays just by watching the average Hollywood comedy—reported in his Nazi tabloid newspaper. In fact, I would argue that The Telephone Book is the sort of anti-Der Stürmer of sex comedies, which is certainly no accomplishment considering the scatological neo-Vaudevillian smut that Hollywood regularly excretes on the world, thus making it mandatory viewing for anyone that still believes that American is still run by puritanical Christians and not a somewhat small cabal of semi-Asiatic culture-distorters who hate everything that America originally stood for.

-Ty E

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