NEW WORLD PICTURES MONTH: Andy Warhol’s Bad (1977)

Has a movie ever been more cast for me? I mean, not just Carroll Baker but Susan Tyrell? Can the screen contain that much magic? Directed by Jed Johnson, who also edited Andy Warhol’s Dracula and designed the offices of his magazine Interview, it was written by Pat Hackett and George Abagnalo, and was the last film that Warhol would produce.

Hazel Aiken (Carroll Baker) lives in Brooklyn, where she does electralysis out of her home. But her real job is hiring out women like P.G. (Stefania Casini, who followed this movie with Suspiria and this fact makes me overjoyed) and R.C. (Cyrinda Foxe, who left David Johnansen for Steven Tyler and was the mother of his daughter Mia) to perform dirty deeds for those who need them. Always women, until drifter L.T. (Perry King, coming off Mandingo) comes into her home and throws everything into a mess.

With $1.5 million to spend — the most of any Warhol film — this pretty much ended up being a non-John Waters John Waters movie. The cast is a mix of up and coming actors like King, non-actors from Warhol’s orbit and, in her first U.S. movie in nearly a decade, Baker.

Her part was meant to be played by Vivian Vance — Shelley Winters also turned down the role — but she left the production. Baker was looking to escape the films she made in Europe, saying “I’m looking to get away from that. People don’t realize you’re acting. They just see you’re sexy and they won’t take you seriously.” Oh Carol. I’ve watched every movie you made there — I recommend everything she did with Umberto Lenzi, like So Sweet, So PerverseThe Fourth VictimOrgasmoA Quiet Place to KillKnife of Ice and The Sweet Body of Deborah.

King and Baker struggled with their roles and asked Tyrell for advice, who told them their mistake was even reading the script. In a movie where everyone is horrible, the fact that Tyrell is the only somewhat good person is pretty insane.

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