Documentaries are always a hit and miss that depends on the subject matter’s appeal to the viewer. For example, last night I watched The Kids Stays in the Picture — a second time. Why? Because I’m a film dork and the life of film producer Robert Evans (Love Story, The Godfather, Popeye) fascinates me (I read the book several times, as well). I also recently watched and reviewed It All Begins with a Song. Now, unless your a songwriter and enamoured with all things Nashville, that “talking head” documentary is most likely a hard pass.
So, with title and theatrical one-sheet in hand, you pretty much know the subject matter with this documentary, which is all about the girls in the wake of bondage model Betty Page and Burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lee. If you dig the style of Danielle Colby-Cushman from The History Channel’s American Pickers and Kat Von D from TLC’s L.A. Ink, this is your movie (they’re not in the movie). If you’re facinated by Maxim pin-up model and Marilyn Manson’s ex-wife Dita Von Tesse (who is in the movie ), then this feature-length chronicle on today’s Pinup Girls — as they compete in The Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup Contest held at the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend festival — is your movie. In fact, if you’re into classic ’50s cars and retro 1940’s fashions, the art of tattooing, rockabilly tunes, and all things Las Vegas, then this is your movie.
Ah, but this isn’t about the objectification of women. This is about the celebration of a woman’s power. Bombshells and Dollies is noted music video director Daniel Halperin’s (Styx Dennis DeYoung’s “Desert Moon“; back in the days when videos were expertly crafted as short films that told an actual story) homage that celebrates a woman’s right to accept their bodies, to be self-confident, and to be gorgeous. Even if this is a world you’re not interested in and a world you’re unfamilar with, Halperin’s flick in an affable introduction.
Bombshells and Dollies is available on May 1 through Rock Salt Releasing on DVD, Blu-Ray and all digital streaming platforms (Amazon, AT&T, DirectTV, FANDANGO, FlixFling, Google Play, Hoopla, inDemand, iTunes, inDemand, DirecTV, Vudu, Google Play, FANDANGO, Sling/Dish, Sony, Vimeo on Demand, You Tube Movies, and Xbox).
Disclaimer: We were provided a screener by the film’s P.R firm. That has no bearing on our review.