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3 in a Towel (1969)

Ladies man Romeo Bruno dallies with various attractive young women on a lazy day in San Francisco. Yep, that’s about it for the admittedly slight plot, but fortunately director Marty Rackum nicely captures the free-spirited vibe of the easygoing and uninhibited late 1960’s while offering an abundance of tasty female nudity — Bruno does go full monty for the ladies, too — and lots of choice footage of sunny Frisco. Better still, the sexy and bubbly hippie chicks are all natural and reasonably good looking without coming across like plastic model types (instead they seem like women one could meet in real life, which definitely adds to their overall allure rather than detracts from same). The amusingly pretentious narration gives this picture a certain kitschy charm. The simulated soft-core sex scenes are pretty hot and come complete with some especially scorching heavy breathing. The bright cinematography provides a pleasant sparkling look and boasts plenty of vintage funky psychedelic visual flourishes. The body painted credits are a groovy distinctly 60’s touch. And since Romeo does share both a shower and a towel with three fetching babes, this film does indeed fulfill the promise made by the title. A fun and saucy little romp.

Three in a Towel comes to us “produced by The Saint”, from Miracle Pictures (whose title card reads “remember – if it’s a good picture, it’s a miracle!”)  At the end of the film, we learn this masterwork was in fact directed by one Marty Rackum. This is a bizarro psychedelicized softcore that crosses Psyched by the 4D Witch style visuals with mellow guitar jazz, travelogue and a hippie nudie.   Set in San Francisco (which you can tell from the sloped, crowded streets peppered by hippies and a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge), Three in a Towel comes to us entirely in post dub, featuring some amazingly stilted narration clearly being read off cue cards – the guy even stammers and repeats a word or two! What makes this even stranger is that it’s not your usual descriptive narration – there’s a bunch of weird coffeehouse style “poetry” and pretentious Shakespearean paraphrasing offset by some guy singing in falsetto about tits.  I am not kidding you here…it’s just weird.
Three rather plain hippie chicks (who our narrator identifies as “the cruise crew”, which the author seems to think is both clever and an amusing turn of phrase) and our bushy eyebrowed “hero” head out for a little ride on his houseboat, and they all sit around naked and eat bananas and danish.  I think it was supposed to turn the audience on, I don’t know. Essentially, the bulk of the first half of the picture is taken up by these three pale, slightly beefy women laying around on deck, occasionally heading below to get it on with the narrator (who looks increasingly like Ron “Horschach” Palillo the more you see him without his sailor hat).  Wait, who the hell’s piloting the boat?  All the while, his post dubbed narration delivers a nonstop stream of not incredibly clever Renaissance Faire patter about how hot they supposedly are and the merits of their respective ladybits.
Even when they get back to shore so he can pick up another trio of thickset, not incredibly attractive types for a menage a quatre in his dumpy second floor apartment, the same stupid narration continues nonstop.  Was society ever this lame, that a guy could convince himself (much less the ladies) that yammering inanities like this was somehow clever (and might in fact get him lucky)? What amazes me most about all this is how they managed to find so many beefy, quite zaftig young ladies smack dab in the middle of the hippie era.  Weren’t 60’s and 70’s girls all rail thin?

Date: March 20, 2022