A film by Ken Russell
The moon has a strange look tonight. Has she not a strange look? She is
like a mad woman, a mad woman who is seeking everywhere for lovers.
She is naked too. She is quite naked.
Russell’s 1988 adaptation of Wilde’s “Salome” is exploitation at its most delicious. Russell and Wilde make an indomitable pair exploring the fears/delights of being engulfed by the female body. Russell takes his queues from the Oscar’s lucious text, the result being Salome putting something in her mouth in nearly every scene. From an apple to a large heart shaped lollypop (in nod to Nabokov’s LOLITA, a not-so-distant cousin), Salome mouths the props like a teething three year old. And in the final scene, of course, Salome sups on that “vermillon of Moab”: the lips of the John the Baptist. By this time his head had been removed from his body, which does not seem to deter the ever eager Salome from giving him a thorough schlupping. As the grand finale, Salome lifts her robes and lowers herself over the Baptist’s head, engulfing him in one great dark moist metaphor.
Vagina dentata, indeed.
There is virtually nothing online regarding this film, so I spent an afternoon pointing my digital camera at the television. Unfortunately, close-ups are really the only thing that looks decent using this method. Ah well… bon apetite!