It’s amazing to think that back in 1894, a film that lasted just 21 seconds featuring a Spanish dancer named Carmencita was likely the first female ever to appear in front of an Edison motion picture camera and quite possibly the first female in a US motion picture. She was first filmed between March 10th and the 16th in Black Maria studio in West Orange, New Jersey.
The Carmencita short film was also the very first film to cause scandal and outrage, and its projection was totally forbidden because it revealed Carmencita’s legs and underwear as she danced, spun, and twirled in front of the camera. At the same time, the film was one of the earliest (if not the first) cases of censorship in the history of motion pictures.
Fast forward to modern day, and the early forms of censorship are almost laughable, as we have mainstream “art-house” films like Nymphomaniac or Love that feature unsimulated sex scenes, teen comedies that show a bit of flesh at every turn, and sex being used as a plot device in countless horror and slasher films.
The use of nudity to sell a product is nothing new especially in cinema, but in some cases, films showing a ton of skin is its only unique selling point, so here are 15 examples of garbage movies with a ton skin.
15 The Neon Demon
With films like Bronson, Drive, and Only God Forgives by director Nicolas Winding Refn, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that The Neon Demon, a psychological horror film, would be both visually stunning and that opinions would be heavily polarized. The film’s plot follows an aspiring young model played by Elle Fanning whose beauty and youth become a target of jealousy and fascination from her peers and her makeup artist.
The Neon Demon starts out well enough, and you get a feeling of anxiety as we watch this young girl try to make it on her own in the cut-throat fashion and modeling industry. However, not only does this 117-minute film feel like it’s lacking any substance, but it suddenly turns into a low-rent occult style horror flick with gross-out moments, scares, nudity, and it even threw in a dose of necrophilia for good measure. So, aside from the visual artistry on display, The Neon Demon does nothing to separate itself from hundreds of other horror films that opt for shocks over a real plot.
Sheena was a 1984 adaptation of the popular 1930s comic book series known as Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. Sheena is essentially a female version of Tarzan and is an action adventure drama that was shot on location in Kenya. After the cancellation of the Charlie’s Angels TV series, and appearing in Beastmaster, Tanya Roberts was cast in the title role of Sheena which was supposed to secure her career as the leading lady of an ongoing saga of films based on the character. Instead, the film was a critical and commercial disaster earning several Razzie awards including the Worst Actress Razzie for Roberts.
What is surprising about Sheena is that it features several nude topless scenes with Tanya Roberts and the film only obtained a PG rating, which is something that remains a mystery even to this day. Although you could argue that she’s no more offensive than the Tarzan character running around the jungle with nothing but a piece of material to hide his manhood.
13 Blame it On Rio
When a film has names attached to it like the director Stanley Donen (Singin’ in the Rain), and actors Michael Caine, Joseph Bologna, Valerie Harper, and Demi Moore, you would be forgiven if you were expecting the romantic comedy Blame It on Rio to be a classic. Instead, what you get is what many critics have considered being one of the worst films ever released in the 1980s.
Blame It on Rio’s off-putting slapstick humor seems to fall apart on all fronts, and what we’re left with is a so-called romance between a middle-aged man and his best friend's underage daughter played by a (frequently nude) 17-year-old Michelle Johnson in her debut role. Except there isn’t any romance between the characters as it seems more intent on portraying Johnson’s character as a manipulative teenager using sex as a weapon in some sort of mind games. It’s almost as if all those involved couldn’t make up their minds about sort of movie they wanted to make and made a terrible one instead.
With a mega hit like Basic Instinct starring Sharon Stone, the director Paul Verhoeven attempted to make lightning strike twice with the 1995 erotic drama Showgirls. The film starred Elizabeth Berkley as a street-smart drifter who climbs the ladder from a stripper to a showgirl in Las Vegas. Prior to Showgirls, Elizabeth Berkley was known as a teen actress, with her role in this movie expecting to launch her career into becoming a household name in the same way that Basic Instinct did for Sharon Stone.
What was promoted and sold as a mature and intelligent take on the adult industry and the lifestyle of an exotic dancer, ended up being nothing more than a bad adaptation of the iconic 80s movie Flashdance. Kyle Machlachlan, who was one of the lead actors in the film, walked out during a preview screening, and some of other actors involved tried to their best to disavow the disastrous film.
11 The Color of Night
Back in the 1990s, Bruce Willis was a hot property, with a string of box office hits such as Pulp Fiction, The Fifth Element, Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and even the critically panned Michael Bay blockbuster Armageddon was a huge financial success. However, not every film that Willis did would strike gold or escape the fact that it was an absolutely terrible movie, which is exactly what Color of Night was.
Despite being an erotic mystery thriller, Color of Night was both predictable and ludicrous from the start. Bruce Willis’ attempts at being sexy resulted in him looking like he was sleep walking through the entire plot -- perhaps he was. The film was a commercial failure at the box office but did recoup most of its costs through video rentals, and Maxim magazine complimented the full-frontal sex scenes from its performers (including Willis). However, that didn’t prevent it from winning the prestigious Golden Raspberry Award for the worst film of the year.
10 Hot Tub Time Machine 2
The original Hot Tub Time Machine should have been an awful concept, but instead, it was full of wit, charm, and humorous throwback winks to the past. It was a great comedy film full of nostalgia and silly laugh out loud moments that just worked so well. Unfortunately, the sequel not only fails to live up to the first film, but it manages to live up to the awful concepts that were expected in the original.
In place of any original humor and John Cusack (the leading man from the first film) is just a vulgar, humorless sex comedy with a lazy script and a waste of actors like Craig Robertson that are just regurgitating the same material from the first movie. In addition, Rob Corddry has taken the lead, and in Cusack's absence, is an incredibly grating and annoying character who is unbearable to watch.
9 Manhattan Night
Manhattan Night is a crime neo-noir style drama film based on the novel Manhattan Nocturne. The film stars Adrien Brody as a celebrated crime columnist for a popular New York newspaper, and Yvonne Strahovski as the femme fatale, a character type she’s played well in TV shows like Dexter and as the memorable Miranda in the Mass Effect series of video games.
In spite of the promising noirish atmosphere and a good cast, the film’s half-baked plot is wrapped up in a predictable and cliché mystery thriller that’s bookmarked with lots of sex scenes featuring Strahovski in the nude. While watching the actress in the nude may be the ultimate selling point for some, it’s not worth enduring the lackluster story just to get that point in the movie -- although the option of a chapter skip will no doubt be a God-send for some viewers.
8 The Bronze
The Bronze, released in 2016, is a comedy-drama film starring Melissa Rauch, who is also known as the nerdy Bernadette from the TV series The Big Bang Theory. Rauch stars as a foul-mouthed, and hostile former gymnastics Olympic Bronze Medalist who was living off her hero status by obtaining free food, products, and even drugs.
For a film that’s billed as a comedy, the film is completely devoid of anything that's even remotely funny and is instead unpleasant to watch. It seems that this was an effort to play a character that was in complete contrast to the usual lovable ones that she’s associated, but anti-heroes are meant to have some redeemable qualities. The film's only redeeming quality is a rather bizarre sex scene where Rauch’s obvious body double performed gymnastic based sex positions during a night of drunken sex.
After finding success as Annie in Orca, and having a breakout role in 10 which also starred Dudley Moore at the height of his film career, Bo Derek earned herself a Best Newcomer nomination at the Golden Globes.
However, despite her promising start, the success was short-lived after she starred in three films directed by her late husband John Derek, all of which gained her three Golden Raspberry Awards for the Worst Actress, for the films Tarzan, the Ape Man, Bolero, and Tommy Boy.
It’s arguable that the worst of the three films was Bolero, which starred Derek in the lead role of a virginal 23-year-old young American graduate determined to find the right man for her first sexual encounter. It’s really as bad as it sounds and the film's explicit sex scenes earned the film an X-rating, but perhaps more controversially, Bolero starred a 14-year-old Olivia d’Abo — best known for her role in The Wonder Years — in several nude scenes.
6 9½ Weeks
The erotic drama 9½ Weeks was released in 1986 and starred two of the biggest sex symbols of the 1980s: Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. Rourke starred as a driven and ambitious Wall Street broker who embarks on a passionate and intense sexual affair with an art gallery worker played by Kim Basinger. The film was released in its cut, theatrical form and was not only mauled by critics but totally bombed at the box office too. However, like most films that had suffered from censorship, it made a profit later on with an uncut or a director’s cut version for home release.
Although the uncut version certainly added more explicit sex scenes, it did nothing for the film's almost pointless plot. Had it not been for the budget and the actors involved, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was an adult movie because each scene in 9½ Weeks serves just one purpose and that’s to create a set up for the next sexual encounter.
5 Cabin Fever (2016)
Cabin Fever was a totally pointless remake of the 2002 horror film of the same name, which even used the exact same Eli Roth script that was penned for the original film. However, much of the script was stripped down from 134 pages to 92, but the film was essentially a scene-for-scene remake with slightly better special effects. However, it lacked any of the fundamental qualities that made the original as shocking as it was because with the original still so fresh in people’s minds, it felt entirely unnecessary.
The remake tried its best to top the original as far as the gruesome special effects were concerned, and this naturally extended to the notoriously prolonged sex scene too. Somehow, in 2016, the dialogue seems incredibly cringe worthy and cheesy, especially with lines like: “And all you wanna do is grab the person next to you, and f—k the sh-t out of ‘em, cause you know you’ll be dead soon anyway.”
Being a 1979 Penthouse Magazine film production, it was surprising to find legendary Thespians such as Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, and Peter O’Toole’s name attached to the likes of Caligula. The film was the subject of a great deal of controversy upon its release and the full uncut version of the movie remains banned in several countries nearly 40 years later.
The controversy didn’t just extend to the content of the film, however, but behind the scenes too. As a result of the producer and Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione casting Penthouse Pets and other adult performers in unsimulated sex scenes during Caligula’s post-production, the film’s director, Tinto Brass, was so outraged that his original vision had been ruined, he wanted his name completely removed from the credits. Although the film has gained something of a cult following in recent times, Caligula is still considered one of the worst films of the 20th Century.
Striptease is an erotic comedy drama and adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Carl Hiaasen. It starred Demi Moore at the height of her acting career as a struggling former FBI agent that loses custody of her child (played her real-life daughter Rumer Willis). At the time, Demi Moore received a record salary of 12.5 million dollars for the role of Erin Grant and had breast enlargement especially for the part.
Unfortunately, for Striptease it seems all the budget went into Demi Moore’s pocket and the only reason left to watch the film was to see her topless. Moore failed to convince as a struggling single parent, not only because on stage she looked like an athlete with expensive breast enlargement, but her performance was extremely flat and lifeless. The film's plot was a mess and left viewers wondering if it was supposed to be a satirical comedy or a soap opera-like drama. Unsurprisingly, Striptease beat the likes of Barb Wire, The Stupids and Ed for the award for the worst film of the year in the Golden Raspberry awards.
2 The Canyons
The Canyons was a Kickstarter assisted production directed by Paul Schrader on a budget of $250,000. Paul Schrader has been responsible for directing or writing classic films such American Gigolo, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. So even with the tiny budget fans were hoping for a return to some of the classic cinema he’s been so successful at producing in the past.
The film stars Lindsay Lohan, as a former model turned party girl, and adult film star James Deen, as a shallow trust-fund brat, that finds themselves embroiled in a stupid plot about betrayal, mistrust, and murder that is centered around a four-way orgy. The plot is abysmal, the acting is even worse and the film’s only real selling point (the sex) looked incredibly awkward for all those involved. Apparently, there was a lot of tension between Lohan and Schrader during filming which may account for some of this disaster of a movie being as bad as it is.
1 Fifty Shades of Grey Franchise
Despite many considering the books to be poorly written, predictable, and derivative, the E.L. James Fifty Shades novels, which began life as Twilight fan fiction, have sold over 125 millions copies worldwide. In order to try to capitalize on the book's success, the franchise was quickly adapted for the big screen in 2011.
Just like the books, the films were critically mauled, with much of the criticism being aimed at the lack of any convincing onscreen chemistry between its two lead stars. In particular, Jamie Dornan's boring, wooden, and monotone performance as Christian Grey was heavily panned in contrast to fair a performance from Dakota Johnson.
In addition, the first film Fifty Shades of Grey was the recipient of more Golden Raspberry awards in 2011 than any other film, including the worst picture. Despite “winning” such accolades the film was a box office hit, garnered massive DVD, Blu-ray and On Demand sales and the third film in the franchise is due to be released 2018.