18 December 2004 | goblinhairedguy
lame exposé to show off Valentin's assets
You know all those rock & roll movies from the late 50s that tried to be "with it" but were totally lame, having been put together by old-time Hollywood hacks using their same old clichéd plot devices and middle-America moral viewpoints? Well "Festival Girls" is one of those, only substitute jet-set international film-making for rock & roll. Its main raison d'être is to put on display the voluptuous (these days, most would say chunky) assets of a Bardot-Sommers-Dors clone named Barbara Valentin (who you may remember from the ultra-bizarre "Horrors of Spider Island"). This starlet, who spends a lot of time sporting brief bikinis, nightgowns and delicate underthings, evinces absolutely no charm, spark or apparent intelligence, and about a third of the movie's running time consists of the long hesitations before her monotonous line readings.
The film touts itself as "wilder than La Dolce Vita", and there's certainly a lot more flesh on display during its wild party scene than Fellini's. In fact, a few of the shots seem to be direct quotes/steals from the great Italian master's original. There are also some laughably obvious nude inserts of a body double while Valentin is taking a bath.
Leigh Jason was a reliable house director of comedies at RKO for years. Like many studio craftsmen, he seems to have been cut loose in the 50s, veering off into TV and independent exploitation (including an Arch Hall Jr. flick). He shows enough professionalism to make this almost a satire, but it's about ten years behind its time.