Monday, 14 August 2017

New Discovery: Zienia Merton in Kosmetikkrevolusjonen (1977)

If you thought that all nudity discoveries of well known TV actresses in pre-video age films must all be known about by now, you'd have been wrong, because new, previously unknown about scenes in a Norwegian film starring British actress Zienia Merton, has just come to light.

Zienia Merton is a familiar face on British TV.  Her most well known role was as regular character Sandra Benes in the science fiction series Space 1999 (1975-77).  Her other credits include a wide range of supporting performances in TV shows from the 1960s up to (currently) 2013.

It is known that she appeared topless in the 6-part 1971 BBC drama serial Casanova before her Space 1999 role came along.  But until now that was thought to be the only one.

Soon after Space 1999 ended she starred in a 1977 Norwegian film called Kosmetikkrevolusjonen (Translation: Cosmetics Revolution).  Top-billed in the film, Zienia Merton plays Lucy Ferner, an ambitious and highly persuasive corporate businesswoman representing a Hong Kong concern that is seeking opportunities in Norway to revolutionise the cosmetics industry with an innovative new secret process they have developed to manufacture cosmetic products from cheap raw materials.  The process is energy intensive so Norway is chosen because of its cheap power costs. She offers the process to a small Norwegian cosmetics company run by Mr Olsen (Carsten Byhring) who jumps at the chance to catapult his company into the big time heedless of how one-sided the financial arrangements seem to be in Ms Ferner's favour.

The top secret computer-controlled "Black Box System" is installed in the company's small factory.  The internal workings of the cabinet-sized Black Box unit are kept closely guarded by Ms Ferner's people but it is able to convert the input of a non-descript waste sludge into a whole range of valuable products such as soaps, deodorants, and skin lotions.  The products in the new range are a commercial success and Ms Ferner is soon making further expansion plans to capitalise on the huge demand.  What is she really up to and will a mounting wave of protests to her polluting factories ruin her plans?

Despite being a Norwegian language film Zienna Merton speaks with her normal English voice and the Norwegian characters she interacts with speak accented English with her (these scenes are subtitled with Norwegian text).  When she is not in a scene the other characters speak Norwegian (with no subtitles).

Zienna Merton has a fully nude scene near the start of the film in which she gets out of a luxury sunken bath and regally stands as her male assistant dries her with a towel, perfumes her, and helps her on with her bathrobe. 

Later on she is nude again in her hotel suite as she uses her allure to seduce a simple farmer to her bed in order to secure his support for her factory expansion plans and take part in an advertising campaign.

In the first scene she has her usual short hair while in the second scene her character is wearing a wig with long hair.

This film was discovered via YouTube and thanks go to the contributor who brought it to my attention.  Running Time 78 mins.  The bath scene is at 6 minutes, and the bedroom scene is at 41 minutes.

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