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By Phil Hall | June 12, 2001

What can you say about a movie called “Bare Naked Survivor” except…Tits Ahoy! This bosom-proud parody of the CBS game show takes six women (five former Penthouse Pets and a lone Playboy Playmate) to the Pacific island of Butta Cheeka in a joyfully silly exercise in tropical survival of the sneakiest.
In many ways, “Bare Naked Survivor” is the ultimate family film, spanning the generations and genders with its appeal. For young boys at the age when they are tripping down that hormonal obstacle course called puberty, “Bare Naked Survivor” offers rock-solid proof that the notion of girls being “icky” is the great lie of childhood. Of course, pre-pubescent boys will get a kick out of the topless frolicking for the sheer sake of watching something they know they shouldn’t (even if they are too young to understand why the viewing taboo is so strict).
For the Gen Y, Gen X and thirtysomething guys, enjoying “Bare Naked Survivor” is a no-brainer. For the jaded middle-aged men shouldering the cruelty of the aging process and facing the panic of mid-life crisis, “Bare Naked Survivor” offers a distant memory breeze which recalls the long-lost fun of thumbing through illicit copies of Penthouse or Playboy. For old, old men whose initial introduction to sex appeal came via Betty Grable or perhaps even Jean Harlow, “Bare Naked Survivor” provides peerless academic assistance in providing a glimpse of what today’s young wolves are howling at. And for men who fit into a certain 10% of the population, “Bare Naked Survivor” provides 96 minutes worth of target practice to fire off Paul Lynde-style witticisms at the jiggle parade marching across the screen.
But what could women get out of “Bare Naked Survivor”? Short-tempered women will find a strong flame to heat their bile. However, intelligent ladies with a gift for sociological irony will find slight bemusement in viewing how this ultra-soft core parody lives up the ancient tenets of striptease: offer more tease than strip and watch the guys turn into putty. There really is very little here to raise anger: “Bare Naked Survivor” is so heavily tongue-in-Butta Cheeka that it is well nigh impossible to blow a fuse at the campy shenanigans on-screen.
To its credit, the film offers some genuinely funny send-ups of “Survivor”: French contestant Babette relies on her Gallic heritage for avoiding problems in eating snails and going days without showering, while hard-as-nails ex-Navy Seal Ruby gruffly recalls wartime heroism with an anecdote on how she immobilized an Iraqi terrorist with her breasts. A “Naked Day” contest is embraced with far too much enthusiasm by the ladies here and the scheming for product endorsements and book deals eventually overshadows the back-biting associated with the game. At one point the film turns into an Abbott and Costello trip when a gorilla emerges from the jungle to menace the ladies. Just how a gorilla snagged a Pacific residence never quite explained, but that’s another story.
While “Bare Naked Survivor” promises no men on the island, a male host in the form of Cliff Probate (played by co-producer Lenny Juliano) turns up to ogle the contestants and roll concrete double-entendres. But his character is so epicene that regarding him as a man borders on the charitable.
The ladies of “Bare Naked Survivor” have no particular acting talent and they frequently drop their punchlines in the manner of a clumsy waiter losing a grip on a tray full of dishes. But hey…no one comes to a film called “Bare Naked Survivor” expecting the Royal Shakespeare Company. The gals look great in the surf and sand and the film sails along merrily without a care or a trace of pretension.
For pure no-cal fun, “Bare Naked Survivor” is a more-than-adequate appetizer.

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