The Magic Christian (1969) can’t be said to be a particularly good movie by any stretch of the imagination. It would seem to have a great deal of promise, having been based on a novel by Terry Southern and having brought together a remarkable amount of comedic talent. It has an interesting premise — a very bored, misanthropic billionaire named Sir Guy Grand adopts a young derelict to be his son, and together they go about using Sir Guy’s money to pay people to humiliate themselves in various ways. (“The Magic Christian,” by the way, is a supposed ship, not a person, created by Sir Guy as one of his more elaborate pranks.) In practice, the movie is something of a mess. But I can still think of audiences for it, to wit:

(1) People who want to see what is arguably the high point of Ringo Starr‘s film career, at least in movies not featuring the other Beatles. (Oh, c’mon. There must be at least some of you out there in Internetland.)

(2) British absurdist comedy fans, since this film represents a bridge of sort between comic generations. For the earlier generation, Goon Show mainstay Peter Sellers plays a principle part, and Goon Show principal and writer Spike Milligan has a cameo, and if you pay close attention, you’ll notice that occasional Goon Show guest John Snagge can be heard in a voiceover. For the rising new generation, Monty Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman contributed material and appear in bit parts of their own.

(3) Those of us who want Fetish Fuel! There’s tons, and that’s why I’m writing this up for ErosBlog. I can’t possibly pick out everybody’s possible favorites, but I’ll focus on two.

First, can you really say you’ve lived if you haven’t seen Hamlet’s soliloquy done as a striptease?

hamlet done as a striptease

Second, the “engine room” of The Magic Christian turns out to be a mock-up of the rowing deck of an oared galley, complete with galley slaves. Topless female galley slaves…

nude chained female galley slaves

…presided over by Raquel Welch.

raquel welch in charge of the nude galley slaves

Note that she did not forget the whip.

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