Hot Skin, Cold Cash (1965)

Look, Barry Mahon needs 63 minutes of your time. That’s all he needs to tell you the story of Shelly (Victoria Astor, who was only in this and Mahon’s Naked Moonshine), a prostitute in Times Square who has lost her child to protective services and her husband to prison. How anyone would find that titiilating instead of harrowing is something lost in the time difference between 1965 and today.

Allen Joseph, who plays the priest in this, was a New York actor who wrote his own plays. He also shows up in Mahon’s The Wonderful Land of Oz as the Tin Man and would go on to lots of character acting work, such as playing Mr. X in Eraserhead. He’s also in There Is No 13The Return of Count YorgaThe Eyes of Laura Mars and was Uncle Bert in Saturday the 14th.

Everybody is out to use Shelly, even the lawyer that she hires to help get her husband out of jail. The poster promises that “What her husband didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him!” but the truth is, this is a complete downer of a movie that I have no how anyone found it erotic at all. So much of Mahon’s work is like that to me, as his New York films are missing the joy of the nudist camp movies, just dark trips with legal eagles that have 1960’s flash art tattoo sleeves that are jarring when they appear.

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