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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A VAULT RERUN: THE BEST OF ANNETTE (1984)

LET'S HEAR IT FOR ITALIAN CHICKS!!! Man, did I ever want to titty-fuck the shit out of Annette Funicello and I know I’m not alone in that sentiment!

The ultra-saccharine MICKEY MOUSE CLUB was rerun on syndicated television during the mid-1970’s, presumably to cash in on the then-pervasive nostalgia for the 1950’s, so us kids of the Watergate era could witness a children’s show that looked like it was made by and for Hitler Youth rodent-mutants. It was a soul-free parade of excruciatingly upstanding white kids in crewcuts, prim skirts and mouse-eared yarmulkes who went by the group moniker “Mouseketeers,” and performed cutesy old standards that were ancient when dirt was invented — anything to steer the youth of the USA away from that godless rock ‘n’ roll and “race” music! — buttressed by the occasional cartoon from the Disney catalog and vomitous chapters of original serials like “The Adventures of Spin and Marty,” a nondescript chapter play that would have been vastly improved (to say nothing of being considerably more interesting) if its tweener stars had been portraying fifties-era homosexuals. I hated all of it but I could not tear my gaze away from the cutest of the female members of the Mouse Gestapo, the doe-eyed, kinky haired brunette goddess that was Annette Funicello (born 1942). In the earlier segments she was merely the only somewhat-ethnic-looking of Uncle Walt’s stormtroopers, but then puberty hit, and it hit with a motherfucking vengeance, transforming the once simply appealing kid into a bodacious bombshell from the Boot (I have heard it reliably reported that many an adolescent male tuned in simply to watch Annette breathe in those tight sweaters and I can tell you that such was certainly the case for me). Anyway, Das UberDisney was quick to exploit Annette’s newfound one-handed potential, giving her an eponymous serial on the TV show and casting her in many, many roles in slapdash features and guest parts on ancillary shows such as ZORRO.

By the time she hit her early twenties Annette had moved on to the BEACH PARTY series, a gaggle of low budget ozoners where she unconvincingly starred with Frankie Avalon as his chaste surf bunny girlfriend. They ran perpetually on Manhattan’s Monday through Friday 4:30 MOVIE show, each and every feeble one displaying her pasta-fed assets to their best advantage (except for the one where she was pregnant and they shot her from the tits up, and who could complain about that?). Those films and her Disney output yielded a small mountain of mediocre singles and LPs, as well as her non-movie and TV-related works, and all but one of the tunes found on this oversized drinks coaster of an LP are about as weak as pre-bubblegum can get. The one that doesn’t eat raw cojones is the theme song from THE MONKEY’S UNCLE (1965), one of a handful of pictures she co-starred in as the squeeze of gay-as-the-hills-in-real-life Tommy Kirk. The reason that tune doesn’t suck is that it’s an effort heavily ruled by the "California Girls"-era Beach Boys.

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