Artful Conception #28: The Wildly Overused Bodiless Leg Motif

Regardless of its rather disturbing premise of perverted teddy bears, the advert is a perfect example of what shall henceforth be known as the Wildly Overused Bodiless Leg Motif (WOBLM).  You know the design:  a nice single or pair of feminine legs emerging from the margin – the perfect ploy to lure in male consumers.  Here are a few examples of this tried and true technique.

Note: The WOBLM is not to be confused with The A Frame

Perhaps the best known example of WOBLM in action is The Graduate.  Mrs. Robinson’s leg became the symbol for the movie, and a subsequently a pop culture icon.   It’s a compelling image, and responsible for many imitators in years to come.

De Palma was never shy to borrow from Hitchcock; in Dressed to Kill, he also borrowed the WOBLM.   Granted, it was a better choice than a close up of a particularly unnerving Michael Caine.

Spillane was obviously a leg-man, always spouting off about a dame’s “stems”.   How he was prone to describing them: “Gams that started some way above her head and finished three stories below."

Originality has never been a strength of the adult film industry.  Not only are popular Hollywood titles copied (usually warped with a sexual spin – i.e. “Saving Private Ryan” becomes “Shaving Ryan’s Privates” ), but here they also employ the WOBLM, adding yet another layer of unoriginality. 

Killer Party (1986) earns a special place in the WOBLM Hall of Fame for the use of two sets.  Bravo, Killer Party.

Here's a some more examples..

 Sorry about the Moire pattern - not my scan (swiped from an ebay listing)
 From the film - The Night of the Scorpion


1 comment:

  1. http://www.impawards.com/1992/adjuster_ver2.html
    - Eric C. H.