Saturday, July 15, 2017
JUNE WILKINSON MAKES BIG MACUMBA LOVE
In Portuguese, "Macumba" is a word used for both a musical instrument and magic. As far as it pertains to us Monsterologists, it is a spiritual practice in Brazil that, similar to Voudon (Voodoo in the vernacular), is a melange of various African religions, European culture, Roman Catholicism, and, of course, magic. It is also the theme of a 1960 horror exploitation film that featured June Wilkinson, the hottest bombshell to hit the big screen since Anita Ekberg.
Born 27 March 1940 in England, Miss Wilkinson is now a young 77 years old. Back in the day, she was a highly sought after photo model who made it big in the U.S., appearing with the likes of Spike Jones and Billy Barty (!) in various stage shows. Noted for her British class and bodacious bosom, she caught the eye of Hugh Hefner who dutifully depicted her in numerous issues of his magazine. With a figure that measured an astounding 43-22-37, she was known worldwide as "The Most Photographed Nude in America". Now single, she was married for about a decade to former Houston Oiler's star quarterback, Dan Pastorini.
At the height of her popularity, Wilkinson starred as Sara in Douglas Fowley's MACUMBA LOVE. Released in June, 1960 by Allied Enterprises, it was a combination horror/adventure film filmed in Brazil and, despite its B-movie taint, grossed $3 million.
Director Fowley was first and foremost an actor who starred in a long string of movies which included CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON, THE 7 FACES OF DR. LAO, and countless TV shows. MACUMBA LOVE was his only directorial effort. Ziva Rodann starred along side Wilkinson. Horror fans will remember the exotic Israeli actress from PHARAOH'S CURSE and THE GIANTS OF THESSALY. Also starring was Walter Reed, who was cast as Detective Thompson in one of my favorite guilty pleasures, HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER.
Known as "The Bosom" in the pages of PLAYBOY, here she is in all her glory in the August, 1959 issue. Wilkinson is seen at home and at a Hollywood Gala at "Miss Thunder", getting wrapped up as a mummy. The unwrapping must have been magnificent!