Starring: Constance Towers, Anthony Eisley, Michael Dante
Director: Samuel Fuller
Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment
If the intent of pulp is to shock then The Naked Kiss achieves its goal within seconds. A brunette wearing only a bra and skirt beats a man senseless with her stiletto. During the tussle he grabs her hair and it all falls off in one piece revealing a shaven head. On and on she goes, pounding him into submission before grabbing his wallet and helping herself to what is owed her. The titles roll over her face as she stares down the barrel of the camera as if into a mirror. With great determination she repositions her wig and fixes her make up. This is Kelly (Constance Towers), a woman you mess with at your peril.
Two years later we meet Kelly in small town America selling Angel Foam champagne. Her hair has grown back – she’s now a sexy blonde – and local cop Griff (Anthony Eisley) is lured into her web for a quickie. But no sooner has he shut the door behind him than Kelly decides her days of prostitution are over. A brave new world awaits her as a nurse to handicapped children, and as the wife of the town’s philanthropist J. L. Grant (Michael Dante). Little does she know when she embarks on this new improved career that her fiancé has a creepy predilection for little girls.
It’s pure, unadulterated pulp written, directed and produced by Samuel Fuller, a man held in high esteem by the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorcese. It’s also a fascinating example of feminist noir. Kelly may have come from the wrong side of the tracks but she’s giving the straight and narrow a go and striking out against anyone who treats other women or children badly. And in ’60s America, it seems, that’s an awful lot of people.