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By Phil Hall | December 7, 2004

In case you are wondering about the title of this production (and, no, our copy editor did not leave out any words), let’s explain this as politely as possible. The “Zipper” in question belongs to Mr. Rico Elbaz, a Las Vegas male stripper and bodybuilding champion. The “Giant” also belongs to Mr. Elbaz. During the course of the production, the Giant comes out to play — or be played with. Get the picture?

Obviously, “Giant Behind Zipper” is intended for two very different audiences: alcohol-soaked guests at tacky bachelorette parties and curious men given to Paul Lynde-style witticisms. For the rest of the world, “Giant Behind Zipper” may seem to have an extremely limited appeal. But, surprise, this weird little film deserves to be seen since it offers some of the richest unintended laughs this side of the Ed Wood canon. “Giant Behind Zipper” is so ridiculous that it is priceless — anyone with a sick sense of humor will get a hoot from this one.

“Giant Behind Zipper” begins with Mr. Elbaz walking along a desert road wearing motorcycle boots and white underwear. Obviously this is the ideal wardrobe to wear when hiking through the desert. His eyes narrow as he scans the horizon, or perhaps he is trying to get a cue from the director behind the camera. The soundtrack is filled with synthesized cocktail music, but no one bothers to offer Mr. Elbaz a drink. He eventually winds up at a truck stop and his underwear has changed from white to blue. Four sloppily-dressed Asian women appear from out of nowhere and are clearly impressed with Mr. Elbaz, who allows them to count his six-pack abs with their greedy fingers but shoos them away once they get in the vicinity of his celebrated Giant.

The action abruptly cuts to someone’s bedroom and Mr. Elbaz loses both the Asian women and his color-changing underwear. He also seems to have lost both his dignity and sense of humor, as he stares at the camera with a barely-concealed anguish (or perhaps he is trying to be erotic). The cocktail music is still playing, though for Mr. Elbaz it is clearly not the Happy Hour. The Giant makes its first appearance, but before you can say “Fee Fi Fo Fum” the action switches to the most bizarre absurdity imaginable.

We are suddenly in a living room apartment when Mr. Elbaz struts in wearing a police uniform. The music stops and we get to hear him speak. He sounds like Bela Lugosi bidding welcome to the visitors to Dracula’s castle — this explains why “Giant Behind Zipper” has been a silent movie until now. In his guise as an off-duty cop, he complains out loud about the tough day he had “busting guys, busting chicks” and how every miscreant wants to get their hands on his home-grown nightstick. The cocktail music comes back and then Mr. Elbaz goes into what must be the least sensual and insanely incompetent striptease ever staged before the camera. Mr. Elbaz moves very slowly, as if rigor mortis is taking over his body, and the removal of just his shirt takes so long that you could have easily grilled and dined on a pair of pork chops before the garment is off and hits the floor. If he moved any slower, he would fall asleep on camera. His facial expressions pinball from what appears to be slight indigestion to private mental inventory (perhaps he is remembering to do his laundry and water the plants) to blatant monotony with the task at hand. Watching this display, it is easier to feel pity for this poor man’s embarrassing display rather than imagine some sort of unbridled eroticism is being created.

“Giant Behind Zipper” wraps up with Mr. Elbaz taking a shower. The cocktail music is still playing and Mr. Elbaz thoughtfully leaves the shower curtain open so the Giant can take its final bow (this makes a mess of the bathroom floor and we never get to see who has to mop it up). By now, his expression is borderline humiliation and his eyes are telegraphing his pained acknowledgment at how silly this entire endeavor has been.

“Giant Behind Zipper” has no production credits; Mr. Elbaz is left alone to put his name on this strange work. This absence of accountability should not be unexpected, though perhaps the combination of Mr. Elbaz’s unique presence and all of that cocktail music drove the film’s crew to the nearest bottle of Tanqueray before they left their names for inclusion in the closing credits.

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