Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Cher Perfume and Burlesque, A Very Bland Thanksgiving Turkey!

Unfortunately, my bottle of Cher perfume, given to me as a birthday present one year by Elvira, is long empty. Just like Burlesque, the film that opened this week that Cher and her once great face that no longer moves stars in. But in the case of Burlesque, I wasn’t expecting emptiness so much as a big fat Thanksgiving turkey gloriously stuffed with kitsch. I’d been whetting my lips for a year and a half since the insanely done-to-death-27,000-times-over storyline was revealed to me when I, along with God knows how many other songwriters, was asked to submit a song for the film. My co-writer dropped the ball and never handed in any of the three we did  - I’ve yet to even hear a mix…..Earth to Steve…..but often when my songs haven’t made it into a film it saved me from being stuffed into too many cinematic turkeys. Unless, of course, you count Howard The Duck, which I co-wrote five songs for with Thomas Dolby. But that was just about writing with Dolby and George Clinton as, despite being excited about being in a George Lucas produced film, I knew it was headed for the turkey farm my first time on the set when Howard, a little person stuffed into a costume that looked like a pillowcase with feathers glued on, ran in.

I was so excited to see Burlesque that I even organized the first public outing of my film club, L’Chien Du Cinema, The Dog Cinema, to leave my living room and see a film at an actual theater for the first time since 1983 when we were lucky enough to have two turkeys in the same season, Pia Zadora’s monumental Lonely Lady and Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone’s immortal Rhinestone.

But, alas, Burlesque isn’t so much a turkey as one big, long, never-ending lump of white, packaged mashed potatoes. No gravy, no cranberry sauce, not even any turkey; just constant servings of the same bad blue lighting on Cher, the one forlorn look from Christina Aguilera, the same numbing beat of predictable songs and we’ve-seen-it-before-Pussycat-Dolls-with-a-hit-of-Flashdance choreography, a story as predictable as jelly slopped on top of peanut butter, and all of it hitting with such regularity that your eyeballs go numb. An endless, bombastic pile of nothing. At least my empty bottle of Cher perfume has enough in it you can still smell some brilliance of what once was.

Which is a shame as all the bad film faithfuls that came to see it with me had high hopes Burlesque would be a contemporary classic of Showgirls proportion. I even got out the old the ol’ doggie bags and filled them with gold sprayed Milk-Bones, as the tradition of L’Chien is for everyone to throw down their bones and rate the films, a 5-boner being the biggest dog and a 1-boner not even worth the price of the ticket.

Here I am walking in with RuPaul:

And here I am at dinner after the film with more of the party faithfuls where we discussed and rated the noisy pile of mush we’d just seen. (Clockwise: Christian Capobianco, Craig Fisse, Michael Patrick KingGail ZappaDiva ZappaLaLa Sloatman, Bob Garrett, Charles PhoenixmePrudence Fenton and Pat Loud, the matriarch of the first reality show family ever.)

It was a sad night for Burlesque as far as our boner ratings went:

Out of a possible 55 bones from the eleven of us, Burlesque only got 9 and 1/32nd. It would have been 9 and 1/64th but a 32nd was the smallest bit of Milk-Bone any of us could break off.

Back to my Cher perfume, the silver paint on the cap has curdled away:

I guess that’s what Cher thought was happening to her face when she started shooting it full of whatever she shoots it full of to be left with a face that’s as immobile as a rock. It may look pretty but the only real emotion you could detect from her in Burlesque is when her eyes teared up. Twice. But I don’t want to be mean to Cher. I love Cher. It’s just that you can’t feel anything from something human that doesn’t move. And when you throw that into a movie that’s all surface/no heart or soul and shakes at the exact same frequency for two hours straight it makes you want to check your cell phone or do whatever else you can do trapped in your seat until the slop ends. My friend Diva always brings her knitting with her in case of just that.  Here’s how much she got done during Burlesque:

Even this bottle of Cher perfume has a little actual something in it:

It may all be stuck in the spritzer thing but at least it’s there and you can still smell it. I was hoping Burlesque reeked with kitsch classicism, bursting with so much flavor of self-importance that I’d never be able to get the stench out of my nose. Instead it was nothing, just a big plastic inflatable turkey:

Big budget movies offend me to begin with. And one that throws so much in your face and you don’t even feel the splat really bums me out. What a nothing experience. And, by the way, how do you put Cher and Christina Aquilera in a movie together and not have a duet?! What a waste of Cher.

But I’m not here to give a movie review. I’m just here to show you a bottle of perfume.

Now the only question is what do I do with all the Milk-Bones?

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Categories: Awards, bad art, Celebrity, Consumer Alert!, Film, Health & Beauty, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960′s Miss Breck Hair Spray

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Although I was always an Aquanet gal back in the day when I would let hairspray anywhere near my hair, THE ubiquitous brand of follicle gluiness was Breck. Breck ads were on the back covers of the biggest women’s magazines like Seventeen, Vogue, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal so you couldn’t miss them if you tried. Down to sponsoring America’s Junior Miss contests, Breck Girls were the epitome of femininity in an age of hairdos that looked like Jiffy Pop on steroids and bundt cakes stacked on top of otherwise normal shaped heads.

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Categories: Bathroom, Hair, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1978 Avon “Weekend Decision Maker” Tai Winds After Shave

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Categories: Bathroom, Brands, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Sports

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Largest Marilyn Monroe Memorabilia Exhibition Ever!

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The title of this post is somewhat misleading as although I really did go to the largest exhibition of Marilyn Monroe’s personal artifacts ever I assumed it wasn’t cool to take photos inside the Hollywood Museum where it took place so I only took my camera out to snap a few personal photos of my own.  As I was driving home I was kicking myself that I didn’t break the rules and at least sneak a shot of Marilyn’s gigantic 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine with her gloves and purse still lying on the back seat and the cap owned by the chauffeur, who owns the car to this day, still on the dash.  There were checks written by Marilyn, personal notes, clothes, scripts, magazine covers including huge original photos of her Playboy spread – she graced the cover of the first Playboy ever – and anything else you could have ever hoped to see of Marilyn’s. The star, of course, was not here to celebrate with us having left the planet over 40 years ago but look who was wearing a gown that Marilyn wore to entertain the troops in Korea in 1951:

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Categories: Architecture, Celebrity, Health & Beauty, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Memorabilia

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day –1975 Avon Thread and Thimble Cotillion Cologne

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This pink spool of thread topped with a silver thimble has probably been empty for decades but still reeks of the one ounce of Avon Cotillion Cologne that once filled it.  3-1/2″ tall, the thimble is made of chrome finish plastic and the bottle is milk glass. I opened it about an hour before I started writing this post and the room still smells like the cosmetics aisle at Woolworths in 1975.

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Categories: Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – ‘Real Silk’ with Real, Chance & Luenell

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Anyone who knows me knows I love Reality TV.  Of all the contestants on all the nutty dating shows I went especially nuts over Chance and Real, aka Ahmad and Kamal Givens aka The Stallionaires, real-life brothers and finalists 2 and 3 on season one of VH-1′s I Love New York. I liked them so much that I co-wrote and co- produced the theme song,  “Does She Love Me”, to their spin-off VH-1 show, Real Chance of Love, with them and younger brother, Micah.

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Categories: Afro, Celebrity, Hair, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Place, Products, Reality tv, Songwriting, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1970′s Streaker Pendant

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Cheap jewelry is always a popular breeding ground for Kitsch. Kitsch glitz  shines especially bright when designs are made to capitalize on popular trends such as the streaking craze that began in the 1960′s and attained astronomical heights when a peace signing streaker crashed the 1974 Academy Awards blazing behind actor David Niven. From that point on, streaking was  as glorified in all forms of design, from T-shirts to decals to plaster figurines to the kind of tacky finery you see here.

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Categories: Accessories, empowerment, Fashion, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Nature

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960′s Ponds Cold Cream

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Seeing as the Lustrous Lipstick display was so popular yesterday I moved my vintage Ponds face cream up in KOTD status to grace the shelves at The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch today. Along with Jergens, Ponds ruled the middle class moisturizer market in the 1950′s, 60′s and 70′s. Growing up, I don’t ever recall going into a friend’s house whose mom didn’t have a jar of this stashed next to the cotton balls.

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Products, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1980′s Revlon Lustrous Lipstick Display

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Lipstick names absolutely slay me.  Lipstick displays with all the little color shafts lined up like cosmetic soldiers slay me even more.  Favorites here, some of which are still made, include Love That Pink, Paint the Town Pink, Foxy Brown, Million Dollar Red, Love That Red, Certainly Red, Red Hot Red, Cherries In The Snow And Cherries A La Mode. With this said, all I ever wear is Mac Morange.

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Categories: Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Max Factor Sophisti-Cat Perfume

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Made from 1954 – 1960, possession of a bottle of Max Factor Sophisti-Cat perfume was de rigueur for any little girl growing up in ’50′s and ’60′s. My kitty is brown with pink rhinestone eyes, a pearl choker and a white feather that constantly gets stuck to the cardboard covered velveteen, fake suede or whatever this little pussy is made out of.

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Categories: Animals, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Products

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