Friday, April 18, 2014

Throwback: Glamour Girls

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The main actresses in the movie are now evangelists in various churches.

Ace Nigerian filmmaker, Kenneth Nnebue, scored many Nollywood firsts with his 1994 movie, Glamour Girls.

And so eighteen years after, the movie that paraded a star-studded cast comprising of Liz Benson, Sola Fosudo, Tina Amuzian, Dolly Unachuckwu, Babara Odoh, late Jennifer Okere, Ernest Obi, Ngozi Ezeonu, Gloria Anozie, Zack Orji, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey, Pat Attah and Sandra Achums, still remains a reference point in its own right.

Produced shortly after his equally successful film -Living Bondage- considered the first Nollywood movie, it was described as the most daring and ambitious movie at the time. It was a deviation from the stereotypical themes of rituals, family squabbles; rather the focus was sex, power and fame.

Although certain scenes and characters were criticized for raunchiness and nudity, many praised the bravery of the key actors. The movie was classy and extravagant in every sense as each location or automobile convincingly illustrated a society that indulge in material things.

The film was embraced because its plots where thicker and more interesting; and above all, it was a change from the Hollywood movies that dominated the Nigerian market at that time.

It also had quite a number of memorable moments like the Zach Orji famous bathroom scene with Eucharia Anunobi. Both actors posed topless in the bathtub frolicking with each other while Anunobi who was dubbed Nigeria’s Sharon Stone, delivered an impressive performance devoid of any inhibition or self restraint.

Not surprising, the scene garnered so much criticism that it led to Orji’s suspension from church but not without making him a household name. In defense, the producers said Anunobi was not naked but was wearing a body suit.

Then, just when viewers thought they had seen the worst, the scene where a lady washes her private part and then cooks with the water, all in a bid to win a lover’s heart dropped many jaws. While this was not an entirely new trend, it got many people talking.

The movie’s success led to a sequel which, although not quite as successful as the first, had its own fair dose of controversial scenes.

In all, Glamour Girls helped launch the careers of Pat Attah, Babara Odoh and many others. Its acclaim led to the release of Glamour Boys, which was a huge flop.

Yes, we all gave the movie an almost 100 per cent pass mark back then, but a re-watch today, reveals a few shortcomings technical-wise. For instance, sound and lighting must have proven a challenge for the director because on many counts, an observant viewer will notice the shadow of the boom microphone over an actor’s head. Many scenes in the movie also dragged on for too long, and performance by some actors lacked luster.

Also, in what can be considered to be a twist of fate and classical irony is the fact that all four of the film’s top actresses – Benson, Odoh, Amuziam and, most recently, Eucharia Anunobi, are now ministers of God.

Benson, who bowed out of Nollywood in 1996 after she became born-again, took a second shot at marriage (having been widowed in her mid 20s) in a court ceremony in Abuja, to her beau, Bishop Great Emeya.

The couple are deeply involved in Christian ministry. Benson is an evangelist while Bishop Emeya is a pastor of one of the largest ministries in Warri, Delta State.

Amuziam, who hit critical acclaim in Glamour Girls, Part Two, is actively involved in an evangelical ministry, Open Heart Ministry.

Odoh, whose claim to fame was the role of a prostitute in the film, is now a soul winner. Currently based in Abuja, Odoh says she runs a para-church with an emphasis on practical living, while Anunobi was ordained as an evangelist 5th of February 2012, at the Fresh Oil Ministry Int’l Church, Lagos.

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