YouTube Treasure: Joan Collins As Polyester Poontang
One of the many weird twists in Joan Collins's career came when she costarred with hubby Anthony Newley in his unforgettably titled 1969 epic Can Hieronymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
The pretentious film filled with fourth-wall breaking, Felliniesque flashbacks, and swirling cameras (along with a sizable part for Milton Berle) seemed to be an apologia for Newley's antics, seeing as he plays a self-indulgent musical performer with a penchant for unrepentant hedonism.
In the movie, he does it with real-life wife Joan Collins (as the immortally named Polyester Poontang) and lusts for adolescent Humppe, played by Playmate of the Year Connie Kreskie, who always looked like an inflatable doll waiting to be popped.
Add some seaside numbers, a wisecracking "presence" played by George Jessel, and an unseen director voiced by Newley, and you've got a little too much Anthony Newley, but nothing you will soon forget.
The result won an award--the Golden Turkey--and helped cement the disintegration of the Newleys' relationship and (temporarily) their careers, though Roger Ebert bravely stood up for the film's aspirations.
And I like it too!
It's bold and inventive, and though it grows way tedious, there are eye popping scenes like this one of Joan Collins singing "Chalk and Cheese" to a windup human puppet, some astrological dancers, and a naked Newley.
(Talk about too much Newley!)
Pop fromage doesn't get any more raw than this.