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CHASTITY (1969).

If (like me) you think that Cher is one of the biggest fucking jokes in showbiz, then this horrible, counterculture crock will definitely slam your lower intestine into overdrive. Yes, just before taking brain-dead America by storm with the inexplicably-long-running SONNY AND CHER COMEDY HOUR, Cher had the title role in this heavyhanded, hitchhiker-on-the-road pic, which Sonny Bono wrote and produced (with the barely noticeable contributions of director Alessio de Paola). Although advertised like some cheap thrill ride, all we get is an unreal, uninvolving, unfathomably stupid pic about yesterday's troubled generation. Oh yeah, it's also dull as dogshit. Hard to believe that Cher would name her kid after this rotten flick (maybe that's what caused her to become a lesbian. On the other hand, it was more likely having a dweeb like Sonny around as a male role model). To be honest, the hand-scrawled credits and hippie-graphics had me hoping this would be a kitsch-fest. But I quickly learned to expect the worst, because even though Chastity crashes with anonymous drivers ("Do you mind if I get undressed?" he asks. "I don't care if you slit your throat," she counters), she's essentially a good girl whose method of self-discovery involves bumming rides in the middle of the desert and looking for Prince Charming. First off, it's hard enough to buy into the idea that every male within camera range thinks Cher is a sex goddess. Even worse, her long, long interior monologues about God, men, insincerity, surviving alone, and assorted hippie-age bullshit is more than any reasonable moviegoer should be forced to tolerate for 98 minutes. Obviously, she was supposed to be exposing the hypocrisy of the times, but instead, Chastity just comes off like a pretentious bubblehead. Of course, the pic also saddles her with a secret trauma (take a guess...yep, she was molested by daddy). And in the interest of making the movie as far from reality as possible, Chastity enters the stable of a low-class pimp, but manages to avoid having sex, even as she's scamming nerdy virgins outta their dough. Wow! This is terrible! If you're a Cher Hag, this might be a camp classic, but for anyone else, it's pointless drivel that (if that was any justice) should've put an early nail in Cher's acting coffin.

© 1996 by Steven Puchalski.