Local film historian Matthew Kennedy's forthcoming book, Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, recounts in juicy, gory detail how bloated bombs like Doctor Dolittle, Paint Your Wagon, Star!, and Finian's Rainbow torpedoed the venerable genre as well as the Hollywood studio system. Just a few years later, however, the mainstreaming of pornography (thank you, Deep Throat) opened the (back)door for a burst of low-budget musicals with a fresh come-on: Nudity and fornication.
The wonderfully titled Honk If You're Horny: Retro Sex Musicals unearths three titillating '70s artifacts for our listening and, ahem, viewing pleasure. Like many of the era's sexploitation pictures, Bud Townsend's Alice in Wonderland cast a Playboy Playmate (Kristine DeBell) in a hoot of a plot whose primary aim is providing situations and excuses for the "heroine" to strip and screw. Tonight's voyeuristic peek through the looking glass is followed by The First Nudie Musical (Dec. 13), a nostalgic wet kiss to the pre-war heyday of screen tuners, and Let My Puppets Come (Dec. 20), which features the starring puppets in flagrante delicto. What, you thought it was the ripped-from-the-headlines saga of Elmo maestro Kevin Clash?
Alice in Wonderland begins Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third St.), S.F. Admission is $8-$10.