Movie: Please Don’t Touch Me (1963)

This is yet another movie (to use the term loosely) from the Ormond Family box set issued by Powerhouse/Indicator.  I have noticed patriarch Ron Ormond tends to make what I am starting to think of as “meatloaf movies”.  The idea is, you take something you already have (like the acquired African vacation footage in Untamed Mistress) and then smush whatever elements of plot you can think of around that footage.  In the end, you may have something coherent, but the results will definitely vary.

The following is some of the hodge podge Ormond had at hand which he incorporated into 1963’s Please Don’t Touch Me.  Staged reenactments of Egyptians using hypnotism on a surgery patient long before anesthesia was invented.  Then there’s footage of real surgery, which I could have done without.  An illustration of a man with a testicular tumor that weighed over 100 pounds.  A reenactment of Franz Anton Mesmer mesmerizing a woman.  Actual footage of Pilipino people flailing themselves until they are covered in blood.  And let’s not forget the guy in Borneo who rolls around in freshly broken glass.

From this list of carnival sideshow acts and cheesy reenactments, one wouldn’t expect this to be about a young woman’s inability to get intimate with her husband.  What he doesn’t know, but what was suggested in a pre-title sequence, is she was once the victim of a rape.  Judging from hat her assailant wears, he is a boat captain.  That seemed strange to me as the area this was filmed in gives the impression of being seriously in-land.  Also, it seems like that hat would draw attention from potential witnesses.

Viki Caron plays…um, Vicky, the young woman.  Her husband (Larry Wallace), who is unaware of the incident in her past, is patient but frustrated.  The husband gets blue balls so badly, he hallucinates his wife doing what look like is going to become a strip-tease until her mother (Ruth Blair) enters the fantasy and becomes a literal cockblocker.  When he snaps out of it, he stars working her lingerie through his hands and it even looked at one point like he was considering trying it on.  That doesn’t happen, but I wonder if it would have if this picture had been helmed by Ed Wood.

Given the subject matter, it is strange how many times Caron does mild burlesque scenes in the movie.  She is also dressed in some unusual ways.  In the opening narration, we are informed, “Our story is an actual case history.”  In real life, did the rape victim from the opening segment actually wear a silver lame catsuit and an apron around the house?  The credits say Caron’s outfits are by Lucy’s of Hollywood.  Did Lucy later change her name to Frederick?

So, why were we subjected to the geek show and bad historical reenactments before we get to the melodrama?  The flimsy justification is Caron will be put under hypnosis by a psychiatrist (Lash La Rue).  Before he gets to that, he puts her on the electropsychometer.  I didn’t know what that is, but once we see it in action, it seems to be little more than one of those hokey love tester machines.  I really want to see this doctor’s credentials.

What will turn out to be the twist ending is the attempted rape of her years before was prevented by a passerby.  Of course, in a movie like this, she is immediately and fully cured by this revelation, and the happy couple goes off to make like bunny rabbits.  Compounding my doubt as to the legitimacy of this doctor, he then takes the mother aside and reads her the riot act.

Please Don’t Touch Me is a uniquely bad movie.  It is trashy in a great many ways.  I didn’t even mention the harmonica score throughout, even during the lame burlesque-lite sequences.  Nothing says “sexy” like the harmonica, I guess. 

When the psychiatrist breaks Caron’s hypnotic spell, he tells her to “Open your eyes and look at the motion picture…”  If only I hadn’t had to do the same.  He follows that up with, “The motion picture’s all fading from your mind.”  As for me, it hasn’t faded yet, but I doubt I will remember much about it a month from now.

Dir: Ron Ormond

Starring Viki Caron, Lash La Rue

Watched as part of Powerhouse/Indicator’s blu-ray box set From Hollywood to Heaven: The Lost and Saved Films of the Ormond Family