by Charles Tatum
The drive-in/grindhouse crowds of 1970 certainly got an eyeful in this silly story from the demented David F. Friedman.The film takes a few liberties with some Biblical characters. Sisters Ruth (Lois Ursone, using the name Angela Graves) and Rachel (the incredibly gorgeous Dixie Donovan) are lamenting on their fates. Ruth is married to Joshua (John Rocco), and virgin Rachel has been promised to Jeremiah (Jay Edwards). Rachel does not love Jeremiah, but an arrangement has been made between the two men concerning armies and such. Both women don't want to end up like Jezebel (Luanne Roberts, using the name Christine Murray), who was "thrown to the dogs" for making trouble just last week. Jezebel is languishing in Hell, bored out of her skull. Lucifer (Christopher Stone) makes her an offer. She can return to Earth, use Rachel's body, and exact her revenge on whoever wronged her. In the meantime, Rachel takes Jezebel's body in Hell, and as Lucifer searches for her, he runs into other residents of the underworld, including Goliath (Jess White), Solomon (Woody Lee), and a very hot Eve (Sherise Roland).
"The Holy Bible According to David F. Friedman"
Doing some reading afterward, there is some question as to who really wrote and directed this film. The late David F. Friedman co-produced it, probably helped write it, but the director is credited as the improbable A.P. Stootsberry, so I am going with the information on IMDB.
The Something Weird DVD version of the film looks fantastic for such a silly effort. This is not heavy stuff, the plot is secondary to seeing lots of beautiful women with unexplained tan lines get naked, and often, The sets are a dizzying array of plywood, feathers, psychedelica, and a spinning table. The performers deliver their dumb dialogue knowing they aren't appearing in "The Greatest Story Ever Told. For fun, try and count the number of puns involving the word "hell".
Whoever the director is, they make some interesting choices here and there. The comedy is awful, but we get nice surreal camera angles, including a memorable point of view shot that had me sit up and take notice. Trapped on a handful of sets means you need to work that camera, so if you can get over the stomach churning zooms and movements, it's actually not badly shot.
The cast, all veterans of Friedman's drive-in drivel, go through the paces. A special mention about Dixie Donovan. She plays her role as a Jayne Mansfield-dumb blonde, and I am curious as to whether this was an act or not. She is so stilted in her performance, and all of her lines are delivered in monotone, but I could watch her all day long...a real stunner of a woman.
The rest of the film is lightweight and stupid. The screenplay is painful to follow, with softcore sex scenes going on too long but luckily distracting the viewer from the story. The entire film is shot on interior locations, with the amount of nudity involved, an outdoor shoot might have been shut down immediately.I don't know why, aside from Donovan, I would recommend "The Joys of Jezebel," but I am. I like my exploitation colorful, full of beautiful women making out and dry humping middle-aged men...wait a minute,,,I could star in a remake! Someone get Charlize Theron on the phone, her second Oscar awaits!
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originally posted: 04/01/13 15:33:15