Tuesday, August 16, 2022

B.o.Y. – The Women of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Part III: Bebe Louie

To more or less repeat what we've already said at Part I (June 2022), The Non-babe of Note: Princess Livingston and Part II (July 2022), Background Babe of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls: Jacqulin Cole...
Fifty-two years ago two months ago, on 17 June 1970, Russ Meyer's baroque masterpiece Beyond the Valley of the Dolls hit the screens in the US of Anal. One of only two movies Meyer ever made for a major Hollywood studio (in this case, Fox), Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is without a doubt one of the Babest movies ever made.

"Using unknowns you avoid highly exaggerated salaries and prima donnas."
Russ Meyer

While we have yet to review it here at a wasted life (if we did, we would foam at the mouth in raging rave), we have looked at it before: back in 2011, in our R.I.P. Career Review of Charles Napier (12 Apr 1936 – 5 Oct 2011), and again in 2013 in our R.I.P. Career Review for the Great Haji (24 Jan 1946 – 10 Aug 2013) — both appear in the film.
 
"This is not a sequel. There has never been anything like it!"
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At R.I.P. Career Review of Haji, we were wrote, among other things, the following: "Originally intended as a sequel to the 1967 movie version of Jacqueline Susann's novel Valley of the Dolls (trailer), Meyer and co-screenwriter Roger Ebert instead made a Pop Art exploitation satire of the conventions of the modern Hollywood melodrama, written in sarcasm but played straight, complete with a 'moralistic' ending that owes its inspiration to the Manson-inspired murder of Sharon Tate and her guests on August 9, 1969. Aside from the movie's absolutely insane plot, the cinematography is also noteworthy — as are the figures of the pneumatic babes that populate the entire movie. For legal reasons, the film starts with the following disclaimer: 'The film you are about to see in not a sequel to Valley of the Dolls. It is wholly original and bears no relationship to real persons, living or dead. It does, like Valley of the Dolls, deal with the oft-times nightmare world of show business but in a different time and context.' [...]"

"Any movie that Jacqueline Susann thinks would damage her reputation as a writer cannot be all bad."
Vincent Canby

Russ Meyer films are always populated by amazing females sights, but Beyond the Valley of the Dolls literally overflows its cups in an excess of pulchritude that (even if somewhat more demurely covered than in most of his films) lights the fires of any person attracted to women of the curvaceous kind that preceded today's sculptured plasticity.  The film is simply Babe Galore — and so, for the year to come, we are looking at the film careers of the women of the Babest Film of All Times, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. The size of the breasts roles is of lesser importance than the simple fact that the women are known to be in the movie somewhere, so we will look at the known unknowns in the background and the headlining semi-knowns in the front. We will, however, be making one notable exception: the National Treasure that is the Great Pam Greer. Though she had her film debut in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls somewhere in the background, and therefore should be included, we feel that a Wonderment of her caliber deserves an entry all of her own — a Sisyphean task we might one day take on...
Two months ago, we took a look at Beyond the Valley of the Dolls's singular non-babe of note, Princess Livingston. As of last month, with the un-credited background babe Jacqulin Cole (22 Jun 1947 – 2 Feb 2004), it is babeness all the way: for however long it takes, we will look deep into the
cleavage eyes of the various wonder women known to be in the movie, though one or two barely register. They were all date material (barring, perhaps, the ethereal-looking one, now dead, that ended up murdering her husband). Going alphabetically (last name) for now, let us now take a look at another babe whose limited career has been forgotten in the passage of time: Bebe Louie.

The Babes of Yesteryear
in 
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls:
R.I.P. Career Review of Haji
Part I (June 2022), The non-babe of note: Princess Livingston
Part II (July 2022), Background Babe: Jacqulin Cole
 

Part III, Background Babe of
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls:
Bebe Louie
An extensive search online reveals little about the former model and actress known as Bebe Louie (and sometimes as Janet Bebe Louie), seen above. She's normally mentioned in passing, at best, and while there are vague details about where she came from, there are none about where she ultimately went. A typical online reference would be of the kind found in the rather pointless, name-dropping book from 2010 by Rocco Karega*, What It Was Like — Performing in and out of Hollywood on Stage, Film, Radio & Television (Meeting over 5o Famous People), in which he regularly slaughters grammar: "[...] Co-worker ROGER NIKAIDO is famous as well but doesn't consider it 'fame.' I first met him at The Hollywood Comedy Store. Roger was born and raised in the Japanese-American Internment Camp at Manzanar until their initial release. His girlfriend at the time we met was Actress JANET 'BEBE' LOUIE [...]. Bebe played a role in a Super-8 sound film demo I produced with Roger."
* If you know his name, then perhaps you've seen his directorial masterpiece, Demon Cop (1990 / trailer below).
Intro to Rocco Karega's
Demon Cop:

Filmfeed claims, like most other websites, that she was born 2 February 1951 in Toyshan City, China — they probably mean Taishan, China — which raises the question: How did she ever get to the US? ("An estimated half a million Chinese Americans are of Taishanese descent." [Wikipedia])
The earliest reference we discovered is the cover photo below of Fabulous Las Vegas magazine (above) from 1965. She seems to have made her acting debut in Yen Ku Horowitz, a Chinatown-set episode of the forgotten TV series Valentine's Day (1964-65), starring Anthony Franciosa (25 Oct 1928 – 19 Jan 2006, of Tenebre [1982 / trailer], Web of the Spider [1971 / German trailer], Death House [1988 / trailer] and Across 110th Street [1972 / trailer]), seen below from a time when men didn't shave their body hair.
After her television debut, Bebe Louie continued to appear irregularly on TV shows and in movies, her parts slowly getting longer until they once again began getting shorter, her last known acting job being that of a background policewoman (photo below) on a 1992 episode of Columbo entitled A Bird in the Hand. In Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, she plays an attractive "hippie" Asian lass, one of two that (noticeably) graced the film.
While one can only conjecture how Bebe Louie came to be in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, over at the Eerie Midnight Detective Agency, the great Erica Gavin mentions the following: "I first met Peter Carpenter long before Vixen. [He plays the Mountie in that film.] He was living with this girl, 'Babydoll.' She was working with me, Haji, Tura [Satana], and Bebe [Louie] at The Losers. [...]" Okay, therewith Bebe is linked with three of Russ Meyer's iconic stars, so a conjuncture can be made regarding the path leading to Bebe's appearance in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls...
 
 
Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.
(1966, dir. Byron Paul)
Apparently the only feature film product that Byron Socrates Paul (20 April 1920 – 24 Sept 2004) ever directed. They don't make films like this one anymore, thank goddess. The only movie for which Walt Disney (as "Retlaw Yensid") ever received a writing credit, this was the second of three films — between Mary Poppins (1964 / trailer) and Never a Dull Moment (1968 / trailer) — that Dick van Dyke made for Disney Studios.
Inspired by Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe, as is obvious by the title, the movie was critically savaged, raked in the bucks, and has long since sunk into obscurity. Bebe Louie is one of the bevy of exotic beauties on the island ("Bebe Louie as Native Girl 4" [Wikipedia]) — try to find her in the crowd.
Trailer to
Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.:
The plot, as found at Silver Scenes: "Dick Van Dyke stars as Lt. Robin Crusoe, a Navy fighter pilot, who bails out from his plane when it catches on fire. After days of drifting at sea, he is washed upon a beautiful deserted island where he eventually makes his home, building a hut, a post office system, and even a private golf course. One day, exploring the inner part of the island, he meets Wednesday (Nancy Kwan of Wonder Women [1973 — see: Babe of Yesteryear Marilyn Joi]) a girl from the neighboring island who was abandoned there by her father (Akim Tamiroff, 29 Oct 1899 – 17 Sep 1972), a vengeful chief, for punishment. Together with a band of native girls — her friends — they fight this chief and his tribe when they invade their island."
White savior and brownface time — until, at the very end, His Whiteness must flee the island for civilization when he refuses to commit miscegenation by marrying Wednesday.
Hah Hah Hah:
It might not be too far-fetched to say that Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. was "inspired" as much by Daniel Defoe's original novel, Robinson Crusoe, as it was by an older, far more entertaining (if equally dated) comedy take on the novel, the mostly forgotten DouglasFairbanks Sr. film from 1932, Mr Robinson Crusoe.
The full film —
Mr Robinson Crusoe:

 
Sol Madrid
(1968, dir. Brian G. Hutton)
Bebe Louie appears somewhere in this movie, uncredited and probably only for a few seconds, as a "specialty dancer".
Director Brian G Hutton (20 May 1929 – 19 Aug 2014) went to make better films, like everyone's favorite, Where Eagles Dare (1968 / trailer), and almost everyone's favorite, Kelly's Heroes (1970 / trailer). Based on Robert Wilder's novel Fruit of the Poppy, from 1965, cover above. Wilder (25 Jan 1901 – 2 Aug 1974) is perhaps best known for a little novel titled Flamingo Road.
Trailer to
Sol Madrid:
The AFI Catalog  has a complete, spoiler-heavy synopsis: "Harry Mitchell (Pat Hingle [19 Jul 1924 – 3 Jan 2009] of Maximum Overdrive [1986]) has absconded with $500,000 of Mafia leader Riccione's (Paul Lukas [26 May 1895 – 16 Aug 1971] of The Secret of the Blue Room [1933 / full film] and The Monster and the Girl [1941 / full film]) money, and Dano Villanova (Rip Torn [6 Feb 1931 – 9 Jul 2019] of Dolly Dearest [1991 / trailer] and Slaughter [1972 / trailer]) is assigned to kill him before he reveals any organization secrets to the police. At the same time, Sol Madrid (David McCallum), an undercover narcotics agent, begins a search for Mitchell, hoping to persuade him to testify against the Mafia. Madrid finds Villanova's former mistress, Stacey Woodward (Stella Stevens, seen below not from the film, of Arnold [1973 / trailer] and The Terror Within II [1991]), who has half the stolen money, and learns from her that Mitchell is in Acapulco. Threatening to inform Villanova of her whereabouts, Madrid forces Stacey to accompany him to Mexico and there she introduces him to both Mitchell and Emil Dietrich (Telly Savalas [21 Jan 1922 – 22 Jan 1994], of Horror Express [1972]), a leading supplier of heroin who has also recently broken with the Mafia. Posing as a border runner, Madrid works his way into Dietrich's confidence despite Mitchell's skeptical objections. With the assistance of Mexican agent Jalisco (Ricardo Montalban [25 Nov 1920 – 14 Jan 2009]), Madrid spirits Stacey away in a yacht while he baits the final trap for the narcotics smugglers. But, before he can execute his final plan, she is kidnapped by Villanova and forcibly turned into a dope addict. Then, after Mitchell has been murdered, Madrid enlists local police assistance and learns that Jalisco is a Mafia payoff man. After shooting Dietrich, Madrid corners Jalisco, forces him to reveal Villanova's hiding place, and then kills him. Finally, Madrid tracks down Villanova in a dense jungle and disposes of him also; and in a hospital bed Stacey slowly recovers from her addiction."
"Despite some tense moments and some terse dialogue, the movie ends up feeling tremendously incomplete. Not only does one get the impression that some of the movie's most important sequences may have been edited out, but one can't help but wonder whether most of the actors in the film were simply there for their paycheck. In more ways than one, that is a real shame, for Sol Madrid really had the potential to be something far more than just another rather forgettable late 1960s studio production, albeit one with just enough punch to it to make you want to watch to the very end. [Mystery File]"
Lalo Schfrin — Main theme to
Sol Madrid:


Hellfighters
(1968, dir. Andrew V. McLaglen)
Andrew V. McLaglen (28 Jul 1920 – 30 Aug 2014), a director who gets no respect if anyone ever even thinks of him; his numerous films include Man in the Vault (1956), with William Campbell. Bebe Louie isn't mentioned in the film's opening credits, but she makes it in the closing credits as the inconsequential character Gumdrop.
Trailer to
Hellfighters:
Dan Pavlides at All Movie has the plot: "Chance Buckman (John Wayne) heads a team of international trouble shooters who travel around the world to put out oil fires. The dangerous profession has taken a toll on the marriage between Chance and Madelyn (Vera Miles of BrainWaves [1982]), who leaves when she can no longer endure the stress of saying goodbye and fearing she will never see him again. With his faithful assistant Greg (Jim Hutton [31 May 1934 – 2 Jun 1979]), the team is ready at a moment's notice to race anywhere to extinguish the flames of oil fires raging out of control. Greg eventually falls for Chance's daughter, Tish (Katherine Ross of A Climate for Killing [1991]), who shares her mother's concern over the dangers the men endure. [...]"
"If this were a documentary on the real Red Adair, which is who the Chance Buckman character is modeled after, this would have been an exciting and fascinating film. Unfortunately the drama in-between the fire scenes is lame and hooky. The characters and situations are generic and boring and the 2-hour runtime becomes almost interminable to have to sit through. [Scopophilia]"
Katherine Ross once described the movie as "the biggest piece of crap I've ever done". Almost every website we visited that wrote about this film seems to agree with her. As it is a John Wayne film, a genre in itself that we tend to avoid, we will probably never know for sure ourselves.
The German poster above is by Hans Braun (1925 – 8 Sept 2011), one of the most popular German poster artists of the 50s & 60s.
 
 
I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew
(1968, dir. Richard L. Bare)

"She may not be an old salt but she sure does have a fancy shaker."

Perhaps the only feature-film poster to ever feature Bebe Louie's name. By the time Richard L. Bare (12 Aug 1913 – 28 Mar 2015), the director of Flaxy Martin (1949), made this late-career, rare excursion into feature films, he was a full-time professional director of TV shows; after I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew, he didn't make another feature film until his rather odd love-it-or-hate-it guilty pleasure, Wicked, Wicked (1973 / trailer).
I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew
was successful enough that a sequel was considered, but by then hunkadelic lead actor Gardner McKay (10 Jun 1932 – 21 Nov 2001), above not from the film, had already decided to give up acting for writing.
Scene from
I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew:
Over at Great Old Movies, they have a full plot description: "When he's drunk, Terry O'Brien (Gardner McKay) makes a bet that he can sail to Tahiti with an all-girl crew and arrive before his opponent, Josh (Fred Clark [19 Mar 1914 – 5 Dec 1968] of The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb [1964 / trailer]). If he loses, he has to give Josh his boat, the Samaran. His international crew consists of Liz (Diane McBain of The Mini-Skirt Mob [1968 / trailer] & The Deathhead Virgin [1974 / full film]); sexy ex-stripper Marilyn (Edy Williams); Monique (Jeanne Rainer of The Touch of Flesh [1960 / full film]); the cook and aspiring dancer Tamaya (Bebe Louie); and Janet (Arlene Charles). One of these women has viciously stabbed a man and is on the run, and there's a stowaway named Jimsy (Mary O'Brien), a tomboy who wants to join the crew and has a crush on Terry. If the movie weren't bad enough, we also have irritating Pat Buttram as a lawman on the hunt for the aforementioned stabber. [...] The gals are pretty; glib if charming McKay is as handsome as ever; there are some nice yachts and pretty blue water; and one clever bit, when Tamaya keeps eggs from rolling off the counter by putting them in her bra cups. There's maybe one other laugh in what seems like a not-very-expensive home movie. [...]."
I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew was the last feature film project of the great Evelyn Ankers' beefcakey husband Richard Denning (27 Mar 1914 – 11 Oct 1998), who in his day packed a wicked bulge in films like Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954 / trailer). In his prime (see the photo above), he never said no taking of his shirt in a movie.
The photo above shows the whole crew of the boat, with a smiling Bebe at the front middle. Behind her to your right is Edy Williams, who, like Bebe is also found in:
 
 
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
(1970, dir. Russ Meyer)
Bebe Louie plays a "Hippie Girl".
The plot, as found at AFI: "Tired of playing to high school audiences, Kelly (Dolly Read), Casey (Cynthia Myers), and Pet (Marcia McBroom), members of a rock trio, travel to Hollywood, California, accompanied by Harris Allsworth (David Gurian), the band's manager and Kelly's lover. There, they are befriended by Kelly's Aunt Susan (Phyllis Davis), an advertising executive, who, despite the misgivings of her lawyer, Porter Hall (Duncan McLeod), decides to share with Kelly the family fortune. At an orgy the band is discovered by the effeminate entrepreneur host, Ronnie "Z-Man" Barzell (John La Zar), who rechristens them 'The Carrie Nations.' Among lovers quickly acquired at Ronnie's party are Lance (Michael Blodgett), a boorish gigolo, who enters into a liaison with Kelly; Emerson (Harrison Page), a law student who wins Pet's love; and Roxanne (Erica Gavin), a lesbian designer who captures Casey's heart. As the celebrated trio perform on national television, Harris, distraught by Kelly's infidelity and Casey's impregnation by him, hurls himself from the catwalk. He is rushed to the hospital, where Dr. Scholl (Dan White) informs Kelly that Harris can look forward to life as a paraplegic. Realizing that Harris is her true love, Kelly devotes herself to his care. Touched by Casey's plight, Roxanne arranges an abortion. Ronnie invites Lance, Roxanne, and Casey to a private party, at which costumes are distributed. Dressed as Superwoman, Ronnie attempts to seduce Lance, who is attired in a loin cloth. Rejected, Ronnie binds the gigolo. After revealing that he is, in fact, a woman, Ronnie bears her breasts, brandishes a sword, and chops off Lance's head. She then plunges a gun into the sleeping Roxanne's mouth and fires. Terrified, Casey phones her friends, who rush to her rescue but arrive too late. As Emerson and Kelly attempt to subdue Ronnie, the gun discharges, killing the transvestite. During the fray, however, the crippled Harris is miraculously cured. In a triple wedding ceremony, Kelly and Harris, Pet and Emerson, and Aunt Susan and an old love are united."
From the soundtrack of BYD,
The Carrie Nations sing
Come with the Gentle People (1st Version):

 
The Jesus Trip
(1971, dir. Russ Mayberry)
One of only two feature film the TV journeyman Russ Mayberry (22 Dec 1925 – 27 Jul 2012) ever directed; eight years later he followed this with the forgettable G-rated Disney flick Unidentified Flying Oddball a.k.a. The Spaceman and King Arthur (1979 / trailer). Bebe shows up somewhere in The Jesus Trap, a.k.a. The Ravaged and Under Hot Leather, with screen credit (but not on the poster), playing a character named Wahoo. (She ain't in the trailer.)
Trailer to
The Jesus Trip:
Over at All Movie, Clarke Fountain gives a synopsis: "Pursued by police and rival gangs, a motorcycle gang, headed by Waco (Robert Porter [14 May 1940 – 18 Mar 2014] of Trip with the Teacher [1975 / trailer, with Zalman King] & The Klansman [1974 / trailer]), takes refuge in a convent located in a remote region of the Arizona desert. They smuggle heroin in their motorcycles. They capture one policeman (Billy "Green" Bush of Critters (1986 / trailer], Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993 / trailer] and The Hitcher (1986]) who was following them, taunt him and let him go. This treatment inspires a brutal relentlessness on the cop's part, which serves them poorly. When they are forced to leave the convent, they take a novice nun (Elizabeth "Tippy" Walker) with them as a hostage. By the end of the film, she has fallen in love with Waco, and chooses secular life over monastic life. This film features numerous picturesque sequences of desert motorcycle riding."
Credit sequence and theme song:
"There is a quiet goodness to the protagonists, juxtaposed against double-crossing authority figures, who are addicted and corrupted by their power, just as the outlaws are liberated by their addiction to freedom. [Nostalgia Central]"
"[...] The picture gets points for being slow, moody, and understated, since most movies about scooter trash opt for noisy collisions of raucous music and unsavory behavior. Secondly, the film has an unusual look, even by the standards of other low-budget '70s flicks, because to my eyes, it seems as if virtually no artificial lighting was used. Nearly the entire story takes place outside, often during dawn or dusk, and the few interior scenes involve practical lights, such as candles and overheads. Combined with some imaginative camera angles, this visual approach gives The Jesus Trip an appealingly handmade quality. [...] The downside to all this praise is that, ultimately, The Jesus Trip is just another biker flick. The title refers to the fact that a biker gang hides out in a church and kidnaps a nun. Otherwise, from the long montages of guys driving their hogs down open highways to the subplot about a humiliated cop stalking bikers so he can exact revenge, the beats of the storyline are as ordinary as the look is unusual. [...] The Jesus Trip also gets darker and darker as it goes along, portraying bikers as victims and cops as savages, so it gains a certain crude toughness by the time the grim ending arrives. [Every 70s Movie]"
At Letterboxd, Iain Maclver gives it four stars: "This is a hugely likeable and offbeat biker movie about a gang of riders [...]. Although this is a distinctly low budget effort [...] it is still quite an affecting, if simplistic, piece of counter-cultural cinema. [...] Mayberry tells the story in a low key and haunting manner, with the relationship between Waco and Anna nicely realized against beautiful sunsets and vast open desert vistas. Some of the imagery is nicely inventive — the closing shots just ahead of the credits are stunningly framed in blazing reds. [...] The cinematography by Flemming Olsen is very good with some excellent sequences of bikes out on the open road. The neat, minimalist score is by Berardo Segall, with the film bookended by a nice ballad by Lee Dresser. The Jesus Trip is a hugely enjoyable and arty film; off-beat, touching, with a wide streak of poignant sentimentality and all tinged with a bitter flavoring of doomed youth."
Smashed Block has some tangential info of interest: "The film is famous for the line about 'The Jesus & Mary Chain', inspiring the Glasgow band to use the name. The Jesus & Mary Chain also went on to use a still from the film as the image for the 'April Skies' single cover.
The Jesus and Mary Chain —
April Skies:

 

Every Little Crook and Nanny 
(1972, dir. Cy Howard)
The second of a grand total of three Hollywood films Cy Howard nee Seymour Horowitz (27 Sept 1915 – 29 Apr 1993) directed. Based on the novel of the same name by Evan Hunter, otherwise known as Ed McBain. For star Victor Mature (29 Jan 1913 – 4 Aug 1999), of I Wake Up Screaming (1941), it was his first lead role since After the Fox (1966 / trailer), and first film appearance since the eternally underappreciated Monkees vehicle, Head (1968).
Trailer to
Head:
Bebe Louie plays a woman named Sarah, who is never mentioned in any of the synopses we found online.
Cinema Retro has the plot: "Lynn Redgrave (8 Mar 1943 – 2 May 2010) [is] top-lined as Miss Poole, a comically stereotypical prim and proper young British woman of good manners who operates an etiquette school for boys and girls. When she is evicted so that the school can be utilized as a site for nefarious doings by crime kingpin Carmine Ganucci (Victor Mature), Miss Poole is facing destitution and the loss of her livelihood. When she goes to Ganucci to explain her plight, she is mistaken for one of many young women who are applying to be the crime lord's family nanny. He is instantly smitten by her good manners and eloquent speech and hires her on the spot. Miss Poole devises a plan to take advantage of the situation. She accepts the position and is soon regarded as an indispensable employee of Ganucci and his wife Stella (Margaret Blye [24 Oct 1939 – 24 Mar 2016 of The Gingerdead Man [2005 / trailer]). It seems Miss Poole is the only one who can control the couple's independent-minded, pre-pubescent son Lewis (Phillip Graves.). [...] When Carmine and Stella leave for a romantic vacation in Italy, Miss Poole enacts an audacious plot to stage a phony kidnapping of Lewis in the hopes that she can extort just enough money from Carmine ($50,000) to reopen her etiquette school in another location. [...]."
Steven Puchalski, publisher of that indispensable magazine Shock Cinema, did not like this movie: "This laugh-barren Mafia-comedy has little going for it, except for loads of floundering starpower. [...] [...] One lame mix-up piles onto another, and the result is less amusing than monotonous. [...] Hunter's original novel was supposed to be a Damon Runyonesque comic-caper with much more wit and a struggling book reviewer named Luther as the main character, so obviously some major elements were lost in translation. Along with its flat direction and frantic performances, the screwball humor is belabored, [...] and the ending was more heartwarming than I could physically stomach."
Trailer to
Every Little Crook and Nanny:

 
(1973, writ. & dir. Jack Hill)
Perhaps one of the best Blaxploitation films of all time, starring the great — the icon — Pam Grier. Bebe Louis plays Helen, one of King George's stable of gals, seen in the photo below sitting next to an un-credited Marilyn Joi. We don't remember her as saying all that much, though we do remember her looking good as the token Asian.
We looked at the Coffy years ago right here with one of our typically overly verbose reviews — read at your own peril.
For those who don' have the time for our verbosity, here's something shorter: "Coffy (Pam Grier of Black Mama White Mama [1973] and Bones [2001] and so much more) is a nurse whose young sister got hooked on drugs (heroin, I think) and is now mostly comatose. Coffy handles the situation the best she can; she pretends to be a junkie willing to exchange sex for drugs and shoots her sister's dealer in the face with a shotgun. All's well that ends well, right? Actually, the movie keeps going for another eighty minutes because Coffy keeps finding new bad guys to kill. To track down the baddies, Coffy does the most sensible thing she can do: she poses as a high class Jamaican prostitute, just to get time alone with the men she holds responsible for the local drug trade. That doesn't always work well; she spends almost a third of the movie in captivity after she fails to kill a white kingpin. Overall, though, her strategy works pretty well. [Brian vs Movies]"
From the soundtrack –
Coffy Is the Color:
Paragraph Film Reviews might add: "This is the ultimate Blaxploitation flick — to the point of parody, with characters like King George (Robert DoQui [20 Apr 1934 – 9 Feb 2008]), 'white devil' speeches and very bad Jamaican accents. Coffy just wouldn't work without a strong and sexy character like Pam Grier, (who may well be the hottest woman ever captured on film!?) dominating every scene in the film. Even today, it's refreshing to watch an empowered heroine run around kicking ass. Despite this, every woman in the film — including Coffy — is also there for her legs, chest, ass, or all three. The film starts as it means to continue, with a potent mix of violence and nudity, epitomized by the campy but gritty chick-fight where all the ladies' tops mysteriously get ripped off — fantastic! [...]"
Unofficially both times, Coffy has been remade at least twice: once in Hong Kong as Du hou mi shi (1976 / trailer below) and then again as a white-girl flick, Lovely But Deadly (1981 / full film).
Trailer to
Sexy Killer a.k.a. Du hou mi shi (1976):

 
Longshot
(1981, dir. E.W. Swackhamer)
After Coffy, Bebe Louie disappeared for six years before resurfacing on television for the mini-series Here to Eternity (1979) and an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (specifically: Twiki Is Missing [1980]). A year later, credited as Janet Bebe Louie, she had a small part (as May-Wah) in this fifth-rate project here, one of the few feature films directed by TV director/producer Egbert Warnderink Swackhamer Jr. (17 Jan 1927 – 5 Dec 1994). (We wouldn't bet our boogers on it, but we believe the only other feature film he ever directed was the Bill "Drink this and spread them legs!" Cosby's serious western, Man and Boy [1971 / trailer].)
How minor is this Longshot? It's a frigging Leif Garrett vehicle — about foosball! Who was Leif Garrett, you ask? Well: "Leif Garrett is a former singer and child star who achieved tremendous success as a teenager before turning to drugs and becoming a pathetic excuse for a human being. [Washed Up Celebrities]" That said, he did star in one truly good movie: Devil Times Five (1974 / trailer).
Trailer to
Longshot:
In his book Idol Truth (2019), "Leif Garret claims [...] that Michael Jackson asked him to teach him how to masturbate. When the incident happened, Leif was 17 years old and Michael was 20. Leif was the bigger star at the time, he was an actor and singer and was popular for his songs Surfin' USA, Runaround Sue and I Was Made for Dancin'. Michael's first famous album as a solo singer, Off the Wall, was not released yet. The two of them met while they were both on tour and became close friends. The incident between them happened in February 1979 in a hotel bar in Switzerland. According to Leif, Michael approached him one night, asking 'Can you tell me how to masturbate?' Leif chose not to teach Michael and gave him a key to his room instead, where he directed him to his stash of 'naughty' magazines for inspiration. [MJ & Boys]"
Terrible theme song:
The plot of this "funny, touching story of adventure and friendship, young love and growing up"? Over at Letterbox, Curtis saw the movie and wrote: "Longshot follows Leif Garrett and his self-destructive friend (Ralf Seymour of The Relic [1997 / trailer], Killer Party [1986 / trailer] and Just before Dawn [1981 / trailer]) as they try to reach the foosball world championships in Lake Tahoe. Garrett recruits a wunderkind foosball goalie in 14-year-old Max Gripp (Linda Manz [20 Aug 1961 – 14 Aug 2020]), as well a new French love interest/deus ex Europa (Zoé Chauveau). The friend continues to repeatedly, and pointlessly, fuck up, getting angry when he's called out for it. Perhaps the worst crime here is how boring most of the actual foosball scenes are. [...]"
 
 
Keys to Freedom
(1988, dir. Steve Feke)
Another forgettable Jane Seymour TV movie, and every online source shares the same plot description: "The keys to freedom for citizens of Hong Kong are U.S. passports, as their city quakes with the imminent transition to Chinese Communist rule. A deadly black market for passports is thriving, controlled by Hong Kong's warlords." Bebe Louie shows up somewhere as Madame Chan...
Director Steve Feke's only other known directorial project is the equally lame Papa Was a Preacher (1985 / full film), but for that he helped script the popular horror flick When a Stranger Calls (1979 / trailer) and a legendary golden turkey, the torturous cult disasterpiece that is Mac and Me (1988).
Trailer to
Mac and Me:

 
Side Out
(1990, dir. Peter Israelson)
Bebe Louie's last known appearance in a feature film is her playing a maid (as in: the women who clean rooms in hotels) in this C. Thomas Howell movie; one would doubt she earned enough to pay for her SAG membership. Dreams die hard. The movie was not a hit, and music video director Peter Israelson has yet to make another feature film.
Through a Shattered Lens has the plot: "Monroe (C. Thomas Howell of The Hitcher [1986]) is a young lawyer who moves to California and gets a job working for his Uncle Max (Terry Kiser).  Max wants Monroe to concentrate on evicting beach bums.  Monroe wants to play beach volleyball.  Together, they solve crimes.  No, actually, Max orders Monroe to evict Zack (Peter Horton of Children of the Corn [1984 / trailer] and Fade to Black [1980 / trailer]), a former volleyball champion who was once 'king of the beach'.  Zack agrees to coach Monroe and his goofball friend, Wiley (Christopher Rydell) in a volleyball tournament.  But when Zack misses a match because he is having underlit, PG-13 sex with his ex-wife (Harley Jane Kozak of House on Sorority Row [1982 / trailer]), uncoached Monroe accidentally breaks Wiley's arm.  Now, Zack has to step in as Monroe's partner and reclaim his status as king of the beach!"
Trailer to
Side Out:


 Now go to:
Background Babe of
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

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