Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The Girl in Gold Boots!

While some B-Film producers like George Weiss had no delusions about how their films would be received by audiences, other “auteurs” often imagined that Hollywood would bow before them and audiences would be amazed and delighted by their small films. Certainly, some lesser budgeted films would occasionally outperform expectations, but most of these lower tier films would often get forgotten for decades until Mystery Science Theater 3000 or ironic hipsters would rediscover and embrace these types of films. One such film that obviously held higher hopes for blockbuster status was 1968’s Girl in Gold Boots.


Everything and everyone involved in this film appeared to be covered in a thin layer of grime. Set in a Charles Manson era Hollywood, the film seeks to warn us about Hollywood’s seedy underbelly by showing it to us. The film pretends that its goal isn’t to titillate us with countless scenes of writhing go go dancers, but rather to educate us about its pitfalls. To do this, the film depicts scantily clad women performing in a joint that appears to be the last barely legitimate job available to aspiring actresses before they were forced to resort to stripping or pornography. 


This B-Film used a well-worn filmmaking strategy that had been pioneered by films such as Reefer Madness and I Accuse My Parents; claim your film was just trying to show how terrible drugs, debauchery and recklessness were and you can show some of it in your film. Audiences that were too embarrassed to go to a stag film or titty bar would have no problems going to see one of these films. After all, how would we know how bad these things were unless someone showed them to us? Keep in mind, there were still certain restrictions on what could be shown or how much skin could be bared, but at least audiences could get a glimpse. Such films filled the role of a Hooters today- too embarrassed to be seen at the gentleman’s club? Head over to Hooters!


In this instance, however, the producers of Girl in Gold Boots had loftier goals than just producing a movie that would satisfy low grade pervs who didn’t want to be caught going to a strip club or porno Theater. They wanted to build a movie franchise. Despite the film’s bad songs, poor acting and overall sheen of sleaziness, a tie in album was produced that obviously anticipated the huge demand that never arrived. Despite spending as many dimes as they could scrape together for promotional purposes, the film and its soundtrack never became a thing.


“So here's a puzzler: who of these two is worse at their art form?”
- Mike Nelson