Hello Peeps. This is going to be a new section to the website that will feature actresses (mostly) and actors that are known primarily for appearing in cult and exploitation films from past and present decades. As well as glorifying in their beauty and career we hope eventually to be able to build a substantial database of useful information for you lovely people. We will strive to give you the key highlights on career and life events, with plenty of high quality images and links to the best quality video’s on the web. Alongside this section we will also be covering the directors and filmmakers, in a more extensive study of their careers. At the present this large project is being done by me alone whilst working on a variety of other projects and with no financial support, so until i can organise a small team together and get the website running like a well oiled machine then it could be a bit messy for awhile.
So without further ado, we start the collection with no other than the stunningly beautiful and charismatic Barbara Bouchet, who has acted in more than 80 films throughout her glittering career, as well as appearing in numerous television shows and is still as popular today for lovers of Cult cinema.
1. Barbara Bouchet
The irresistible Barbara Bouchet (b. Barbara Goutscher) was born in Liberic to German parents, and which is now in the Czech Republic but at the time of her birth in 1944 part of an area of Czechoslovakia annexed to Nazi Germany during the second World War called Reichenberg. After the war the family were placed in an American occupied resettlement camp for awhile before eventually being granted permission to emigrate to the United States as part of the Displaced Persons Act of 1948. After moving to Five Points in California the Goutscher clan (along with 3 other siblings) eventually settled in San Fransisco where the young Barbara was raised. Her first big break in the entertainment industry came after winning a “Miss Gidget” competition (after the 1959 film Gidget (starring Sandra Dee) when aged only 15 years old that led to her appearance on the television series The KPIX Dance Party as one of the regular members in the dance troupe that danced to hit songs of the day, six days a week. She stayed with the show until 1962 when (aged 18) decided to move to Hollywood to pursue a career in the film industry. It was then that she changed her Germanic sounding surname to the French sounding Bouchet.
Barbara Bouchet started her glittering career modelling for magazine covers and appearing in several television commercials before eventually becoming an actress. Her first film appearance was very brief and came in the comedy romance What A Way To Go! in 1964 and starring such luminaries as Shirley MacLaine and Robert Mitchum. The complete film can be viewed HERE . But if your just interested in Bouchet’s appearance then my advice is to forward the film to …oh let’s say just before 58. 53 minutes and then you can watch the scene in it’s 24 second entirety.
Along with a couple of semi-clad appearances in Playboy Magazine and some other small roles in films her big break finally came in the 1967 comedy spy spoof Casino Royale playing Miss Moneypenny alongside a plethora of talented performers including David Niven and Peter Sellers as a host of different characters named James Bond. The following year she appeared in a Star Trek episode called “By Any Other Means” as well as an Oscar nominated musical comedy film in 1969 called Sweet Charity, directed by filmmaker and musical theatre choreographer Bob Fosse (Cabaret/All That Jazz) which was based on Federico Fellini’s screenplay for the 1957 film “Night’s Of Cabiria.” Her first starring role came following Sweet Charity with the film Surabaya Conspiricy (1969) which is also know under the title Stoney and is a heist caper set in the Philippines, where she plays a woman who travels to war torn Surabaya in the hope of recovering some treasure hidden in a vault under a swimming pool. It was made during a period when many B-movies from the United States were being filmed in the Philippines due to the extremely low costs there of making a film.
By the end of the 1960’s, however, Ms Bouchet felt that she was being typecast and unable to find starring roles in Hollywood so decided to move back to Europe to pursue her ambition in the crazy world of Euro Cult Cinema, and in particular the flourishing Italian movie scene.
Euro Cult Cinema In The 1970’s. The Italian Way.
So by 1970 Barbara Bouchet had made a more permanent move to Italy which resulted in her Italian debut in the crime thriller Colpo Rovente (original title), Aka Red Hot Shot (or The Syndicate: A Death In The Family) in the same year. You can watch a trailer of the restored version HERE. Directed by Piero Zuffi (his only film as director) the film is set in New York and although in the style of the American Film Noir movement is often refereed to as a Psychedelic Noir film due to it’s freaky atmosphere, unusual set designs and fantastic jazz infused soundtrack by Piero Piccioni which has been described as a cross between elegant European Lounge with Primal Psychedelia, and an extremely rare edition to an enthusiasts collection. A 2014 re-mastered version from original tapes is, however, more readily available online.
After making a handful of sex/comedy films in the same year, and an historical drama based on Lucius Apuleius’ 1st century novel The Golden Ass (Asinus aureus) and very much in the mold of the Fellini classic ‘Satyricon’ (1969) which was of the same period in history (adapted from a novel by Petronius), titled L’asino d’oro: Processo per fatti strani contro Lucius Apuleius cittadino romano (Italian) or just The Golden Ass (IMDB) for short. She made her Giallo debut in The Man With Icy Eyes (L’uomo dagli occhi di ghiaccio) in 1971, directed by Alberto De Martino. The English dubbed version is available to watch HERE. The film is a competent entry into the Giallo Genre, with Bouchet playing a Mexican immigrant sex worker from Sante Fe in New Mexico, who testifies against another immigrant accused of murdering a local senator, and sentanced to death. With a callous reporter eager to uncover the truth about the ex-strippers story, and find out who the real killer is?.
Her next film in the Giallo genre was the classic Black Belly Of The Tarantula (La tarantola dal ventre nero) directed by Paolo Cavara (1971) and inspired by Dario Argento’s directorial debut thriller The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970) where Bouchet play’s a nymphomaniac. After an altercation with her husband, she eventually succumbs to the perpetrator’s chosen method of killing by having her ravishingly delectable belly slit open, after having been paralyzed by a venomous needle first.
As is the case with the majority of Italian genre films of this period, the soundtrack is superb and comes from no other than the most esteemed and prolific film composer of all time, maestro Ennio Morricone, along with Bruno Nicolai (conductor) and the seductive vocals of Edda Dell’Orso. The soundtrack has recently be re-released by the “Death Waltz Recording Company” and can now be purchased at Juno Records. For more information on the soundtrack go to Juno Records website.
Throughout her long career Barbara Bouchet has showed amazing versatility in her performances and refused to be typecast in a specific genre. As well as appearing in the Giallo/Thriller genre, she also appeared in many sex comedies, costume dramas and in the hard-boiled Italian Euro-crime genre(s) known as Poliziotteschi (also Poliziottesco and Poliziesco), the name derived from the word “polizia” which is the Italian for police and “esco” or “esque” in the English language. A good example of this hard hitting type of film is Milano Calibro 9, made in 1972 and directed by Fernando Di Leo, and starring Gastone Moschin as Ugo Piazza, a gangster fresh out of prison with a psychopathic ex boss and police on his back believing he has a stash of money hidden somewhere from a previous drug deal. This beautifully shot scene (below) shows Barbara Bouchet (Nelly Borden) doing an erotic table dance at a club with imaginative editing from multiple camera angles. The film was also a big influence on Quentin Tarantino’s use of sadistic violence and unpredictable plot twists.
A couple of stand out films that Bouchet also appeared in at this time in the early seventies period were the The Lady In Red Kills Seven Times (La dama rossa uccide sette volte) and Lucio Fulci’s Giallo film Don’t Torture A Duckling (Non si sevizia un paperino) and significant in film history because it was the first where Fulci began using violent gore effects in his films.
By the mid 1980’s Barbara Bouchet concentrated more in television work, and also went on to produce fitness and workout video’s, along with opening a gym in Rome. She has also performed in theatre productions. Today she continues to act on the big and small screen as well as enjoying a side career as an abstract painter, and has often been shown in galleries, she still remains highly in demand and still loved by a large fan base around the globe. As of writing this article, Ms Boucher is currently working (as Hostess) on the film In Search Of Fellini, which should be released sometime this year in 2016.
For a complete list of Barbara Boucher’s filmography then no better place to look than her IMDB Profile Here.