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The Naked Kiss Review

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Streetwalker Kelly turns up in the town of Grantville only to be kicked out by a bitter sheriff. Rather than leave however, she tries to build a new life and leave the illicit world of prostitution behind and gets a job working with handicapped children. But just as she gains the trust of her objectors and falls in love, a homicide and obscenity scandal threaten to ruin her new life.

★★★★

Sam Fuller is deservedly a cult director and this is the cult film that best expresses his go-for-the-jugular skills. For evidence, look no further than the famous opening sequence that features a bald-headed Towers savagely beating up her pimp. From here, Towers gets a job in the local children's hospital of a small town and falls in love with a young benefactor, but her hooker past and others' prejudices simply refuse to go away.

The story-line is a kind of psychotic fairy tale in which all kinds of ideas about people being trapped within others' expectations find convincing expression. Sex as warfare, loss of innocence and an overriding fascination with the deceptive nature of appearances are all right in here, not simply ideas grafted onto the story.

Watch and wonder at this tragic and tender Fuller classic. Way ahead of its time.

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