Our survey of fitness sleaze continues after a rather exhausting debut with Anna Kournikova: Basic Elements. Raven-haired identical twins Veena and Neena Bidasha take their love of dance and meld it with their daily maintenance routine as stunning babes to create Bellydance Fitness for Beginners: Arms, Abs, Hips, Buns & Thighs (1999, 65 minutes). The gals rose to international mini-stardom via their hiply gyrations, bright personalities and penchant for draping their bodies with one or more of TWELVE pet boa-constrictors. In fact, CineSchlockers who were not completely hypnotized by Salma Hayek may remember the Belly Twins' sensuous stage work in From Dusk Til Dawn. Few such shenanigans punctuate this shiny, happy guide for house fraus anxious to undulate those superfluous curves away. The instruction is divided into two 30-minute parts beginning with Arms & Abs followed by Hips, Buns & Thighs with voiceover narration while the twins gleefully demonstrate isolated, and often drool-worthy, bellydancing moves again and again. They're a positively dizzying spectacle! But the real fun follows after each workout, as Neena or Veena (one's never sure which) treats us to a special dance in full regalia, not that their matching sports bras and tights aren't delish. CineSchlockers anxious for MORE should check out Bellydance Fitness for Beginners: Basic Moves & Fat Burning.
Notables: No breasts. Rapid buttocks squeeze and release. Gratuitous bellybutton closeups. Suggestive "cat stretches." Chest and shoulder rolls. Staccato hip thrusts. Light swordplay.
Quotables: Girls with yummy tummies have more fun, "Conventional abdominal workouts can be extremely strenuous and uncomfortable, but our program will teach you moves that are easy, sensual and fun!" More Olive Oyl, less Popeye: "Toned, graceful arms are meaningful in projecting an image of feminine beauty."
Time codes: Part one ... Veena and Neena shadow dance (:30). Exercise like an Egyptian (15:00). End-credit dance sequence (31:05). Part two ... Assume the position, ladies (27:00). Second performance (28:10).
Audio/Video: Presented in crystal-clear fullframe with both Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks. Each showcases Ron Wagner's original score of peppy Arabic/New Age riffs.
Extras: The Belly Twins provide intermittent commentary for both programs, usually stressing the importance or benefits of certain moves, but they also break from the script to compliment different aspects of the production. It's truly freaky when they say goodbye in unison! Those with "alternative viewing" interests will especially appreciate the multi-angle feature popularized by the adult industry. Choosing this alternate angle provides a closer shot often perfect for protracted navel gazing. But the best feature is a spectacular 13-minute performance reel with five different dances and costume changes. Disappointingly, sans snakes. Bullet-point listing of bellydance benefits. Animated menus with audio.
Final thought: Far from sleazy, these graceful dolls move in delicious ways and generate many ogle-friendly moments. Let's hope their six-foot pythons make the next edition. Recommended.
G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.