Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Who Killed Teddy Bear

Rare and cult film fans may have been excited by the release on DVD of Who Killed Teddy Bear last year. Instantly banned in the UK when it came out in the 1960s, it features telphone heavy breathing, fetishism, lesbians and pornography addiction. I was kind of obsessed with this film about 6 years ago. There is a storyline, but I've forgotten most of it - it's the dark atmosphere of the film that I remember, almost like grime is seeping out of the celluloid. Elaine Stritch (her of all those Sondheim musicals plays a lesbian!) Sal Mineo - little Sal Mineo from Rebel Without A Cause is all grown up, and hangs out round seedy Times Square and gyms getting into trouble.

It also has two great songs - the title sequence, a languid refrain played over what looks like Sal Mineo fondling himself:



And towards the end, a frenetic dance-off between Sal and Juliet Prowse (Juliet wins though only because Sal is wearing tighter clothes and he gets heat exhaustion). Sal dances like he is one of the thunderbirds and all his strings have gotten tangled up (I dance in the same style - a 1960s gay man trying to pretend he isn't and failing). Juliet is always the professional - she looks like she should be working in a bar with the words pussycat and gogo in the title.



Bootleg versions were doing the rounds of places like Kim's videos in New York City (which has not closed down Dan - it's just moved a few blocks, I found it in January). But they were incomplete. The infamous scene where Sal body-builds was considered too homoerotic by censors. But it's now back in the film.

Oh if you must..

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