For Men Only, 1968.
Directed by Pete Walker.
Starring David Kernan, Andrea Allan, Derek Aylward, Tom Gill, Mai Bacon, Apple Brook, Neville Whiting, Britt Hampshire.
A London fashion journalist promises his girlfriend he won’t work with sexy young women anymore and takes a job with a magazine group keen on moral reform, unaware that the chief executive is also publishing a ‘men only’ magazine.
In the 1970s, British director Pete Walker became something of a cult favourite by helming such notable exploitation classics as House of Whipcord and Frightmare, as well as ending his directorial career with the Cushing/Lee/Price/Carradine ensemble piece House of the Long Shadows in 1983, and in the process became the closest thing we Brits had to a John Carpenter or a Wes Craven. But before that period of his career Walker made a string of sex comedies, the first of which was the 1968 short film For Men Only.
Coming in at only 38 minutes long, For Men Only stars David Kernon (Carry On Abroad) as Freddie Horne(!), a women’s fashion magazine journalist whose choice of career doesn’t sit too well with his fiancé Rosalie (Andrea Allan – Old Drac). To try and appease her Freddie takes a job arranged by Rosalie’s father with the Puritan Magazine Group, a publishing company looking to uphold the morals of the nation and promote family values. However, when the chief executive invites Freddie to his country mansion he reveals that the real money maker for the Puritan Magazine Group is a specialist men’s magazine called – you guessed it – For Men Only. As you would expect, Freddie enjoys the company of the scantily clad beauties that hang around the mansion but it isn’t long before Rosalie comes looking for her fiancé and much hilarity ensues.
Or doesn’t ensue, if truth be told. Sex comedies only work if both of the key elements are present, and while For Men Only has plenty of flesh on display – all tasteful, of course – and that wonderful 1960s sense of whimsy, it isn’t actually very funny and at times gets a little bit confusing as to what is happening and why. Not that it really matters as, a bit like with The Benny Hill Show, once the chase sequences start you just go with it and wait for the inevitable end result, which just sort of arrives without any clearly defined circumstance. But the fun ‘60s vibe that Pete Walker manages to create, along with the short running time (and lots of jiggling cleavage), manages to make it watchable, but not necessarily the wholly enjoyable experience that it should be. It is also worth noting that this is the shorter UK version of the film and does not feature the kidnapping subplot that was filmed especially for the US release as part of its narrative (although it does appear as an 8mm short in the extra features as The Round Up).
But if the main film isn’t quite as good as you would hope there are a handful of extra features that may make this worth picking up if you are a collector of curios, the main bulk of which is the Nudie Cutie Collection, a series of black-and-white 8mm shorts shot by Pete Walker in the 1960s. Feature several models and actresses in various states of undress and posing for the camera, the most famous of these shorts is Soho Striptease, which had the distinction of being banned by the BBFC in 1960 and is only now getting its first DVD release. Again, there is nothing outstanding for the casual onlooker but for Pete Walker completists it’s a neat little companion to the main film and it is the inclusion of the Nudie Cutie Collection plus the US trailer for Hot Girls For Men Only (as it was known over there), which adds a bit more sleaze, that makes this a worthwhile but not essential DVD for collectors to pick up. The appeal for anyone else, however, may be very limited.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★