Naked Souls

Retro Review: NAKED SOULS (1996)

Naked Souls is a 1996 movie starring Pamela Anderson. All elements of dreck are present in that short description.

Mid-nineties: Check
Vaguely ominous title: Check
Sexpot star: Check

Let’s take a spoiler-filled peep at Naked Souls because…what else is there to do?

That is LMO-quality Photoshop!

Naked Souls Brother

Naked Souls starts with opening titles playing out over a native ritual. The ritual is overseen by a white dude who looks like he should have been the oldest brother on Home Improvement, the one who went to college, majored in film and got his big break from Bryan Singer…

From there we cut to Pamela Anderson already doing the heavy lifting. She is smearing plaster, or possibly Malt-O-Meal, over a naked model. Anderson’s character is a tortured artist of some sort. Does she wear coveralls while working?

My dear, could the alcohol content of Oliver Reed’s breath peel anti-magnetic mine paste off a tank?

Naked Souls Train

Anderson hosts a party to celebrate her work. She wears a dress that looks like it went on to be part of Uma Thurman’s wardrobe on Batman and Robin.

Brian Krause arrives. I love Krause for his work on Sleepwalkers. Krause sports luxuriant shoulder-length hair and a flannel shirt. One expects him to belt out, “Jer-eh-mee, spoke in cla-aa-ass to-day!”

From there the movie takes a hard left turn into the unexpected that is so sharp not even a lady Asian driver could replicate it. Krause is late to the party because he was pulling memories out of a cadaver to store on a computer.

Naked Souls, you had my attention. Now you have my heart. Take me on this journey with you…

Krause and Anderson then lip-wrestle. Anderson achieves a level of acting in this scene that is somewhere between The Room and your niece’s fifth-grade production of Stone Soup.

The two stars of the show, plus two co-stars…

Naked Lunch Souls

David Warner enters the movie as a man in a wheelchair. Warner is an odd-duck actor. He clearly has class, but he never shied away from appearing in movies that would get put on the bottom shelf of your local video store/gas station/live-bait emporium. This exchange then happens.

Warner: It’s a shame when the mind is sharp, but the body is weak.
Krause: Muh…
Warner: Fate is such a funny thing.

A better way to do this exchange has to exist. Yet, “Muh” is what we get from Naked Souls. Take heart, kids. When you find yourself in a situation where you think you’re lacking what it takes, realize “Muh” was good enough for a $7 million movie and boldly march forth.

Naked Jungle Souls

Krause goes back to working on his cadaver, which happens to be a deceased serial killer. Krause experiences the killer’s memories of murdering a surprisingly endless succession of topless women who look like they attended the Wiseau School of Mexican Soap Opera Acting. How does Krause do this?

First, he touches an electrode to the cadaver’s scalp and…that’s about it really.

Dean Stockwell appears as Krause’s mentor. Then Stockwell promptly exits the story because the movie needs to get back to Anderson smearing Malt-O-Meal on naked models. She could just as well smear mud because, frankly, this sort of exploitation makes us all feel like we need a shower.


By now the plot kicks in. Warner is revealed to be a man of means. He will give Krause all of his riches if Krause continues his research…under one condition. Krause must sign papers to do everything in Warner’s name.

Hmmm…that doesn’t sound fishy at all!

Living beyond death is Warner’s lifelong dream. Turns out he was the lost Home Improvement kid from the opening credits. He learned how to pass on temporary elements of his soul from the jungle natives. He proves this to Krause by making Krause breath smoke and play Mozart on the piano.

(Don’t ask to me explain that. I’m not getting paid by the hour here.)

Yet, passing on temporary elements of his soul is not enough. Warner wants to pass on the whole thing permanently. He insists Krause must perfect the process. I’m beginning to suspect this is not a Pamela Anderson movie, after all. It’s a Brian Krause movie. Anderson is simply a marketing device. Cheeky monkeys.

I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a star in somebody else’s sky, but why, why, why can’t it be, why can’t it be mine…

Carnival of Naked Souls

After his meeting with Warner, Krause dreams about a topless woman debasing herself. Naked Souls seems to follow a ratio of two-breasts-per-ten-minutes-of-film. It comes off as so cynical it would make a beer-addled frat boy look at himself in the mirror and mutter, “I need to make a change.”

In a bit of trivia that may be interesting to British readers, the topless woman in the dream is played by Justina Vail Evans, who is now a British lifestyle guru. I would imagine there must be a chapter in one of her books titled: If You Ever Get A Chance To Star In A Movie Like Naked Souls…Don’t.

Montage time! Krause undergoes a series of medical tests at Warner’s request. The doctor is clearly making sure Krause has a suitable body for Warner’s soul to inhabit. Krause obliviously gives answers to the doctor’s questions, like this: “No, I can’t think of a thing wrong with me…”


We are only thirty minutes into a ninety-minute movie, and we already know a body swap is coming. I am curious to see what will happen for the remaining sixty minutes…beyond twelve more breasts.

Krause should have answered his medical test questions like this: “I have Bob Hoskins genetics. And AIDs.”

To which Warner would likely reply, “I can live with AIDs, but Bob Hoskins genetics are a dealbreaker.”

The Naked Gun Souls

Krause continues his experiments, up to and including gaining the memories of a mouse. This could be the origin story of the next D.C. superhero movie, but it is cut short when the mouse bites Krause. Krause stomps the rodent like Jean Butler.

“Excellent work this evening,” Warner says. “I’m proud of you.”

Anderson makes a reappearance. She sits up in bed and says Krause’s name. One imagines this scene came about because the producer went to the editor and said, “Give me more Pamela scenes, bubby. She’s my meal ticket to my very own greenhouse full of plants that can’t say no.”

Surprisingly, it appears Naked Souls got a theater release. This surprises me because the only way Naked Souls could be more of a Showtime production is if it was a Cinemax production. And, get this, Naked Souls made nearly $60 million at the box office! I would guess every penny of that $60 million was made off the back of Anderson, too.

Okay, maybe off the front of Anderson is a better way to put it. That’s not even a joke. You know it. I know it. They know it.

Don’t mind me. I’m just doing brilliant art in my pink coveralls and perfectly coiffed hair.

Naked Souls and Afraid

One fun aspect of these movies is that we get some sweet shots of 1990s computer displays. So blocky. So many ALL CAPs. So much purple, green, red and yellow. Make social media look like that again, and everyone would realize it’s not the real world.

The body swap finally happens. Clearly, The Fly influenced Naked Souls. The scene includes a “telepod” of sorts, which Krause enters. A psychedelic montage follows, and Krause’s character stumbles out of the pod in a first-person point-of-view to look in a mirror and see that he is now Warner.

Meanwhile, Warner’s character is pleased at the fast one he pulled while ditty-bopping around in his new Krause body. His first stop is to visit Anderson and tell her he bought her a building. My guess is he heard the phrase, “Say it with flowers,” and mistook it for, “Say it with towers.” Then he goes around randomly punching people.


By this point, Naked Souls clearly struggles to hit the 90-minute mark. More interminable, artistic montages happen to an electric guitar soundtrack that might be cobbled together from Top Gun outtakes. Part of Krause is still inside his original body, and he struggles against his Warner duality, plus the memories of the serial killer from Act One.

Why are the serial killer memories still a part of this movie? Because those memories have topless women in them.

Naked Souls Plane

Warner and Krause confront each other and have a philosophical argument about how to live life that would make Aristotle and Socrates furiously scribble notes. It all culminates in a scene that again cribs from The Fly while running time is padded with more montages.

We also learn that the entirety of the human soul can be saved to a CD. This makes the soul roughly 700 MBs in size. We are all basically PlayStation One games…or a 15-song playlist. If I had to sum up my entire existence in 15 songs, it would probably break down like this…

Making Love Out of Nothing At All — Air Supply
All Out of Love — Air Supply
I Can Wait Forever — Air Supply
Even The Nights Are Better — Air Supply
Goodbye — Air Supply
Here I Am — Air Supply
Lonely Is The Night — Air Supply
Lost In Love — Air Supply
Without You — Air Supply
Having You Near — Air Supply
Sweet Dreams — Air Supply
Young Love — Air Supply
Now And Forever — Air Supply
One More Chance — Air Supply
Tornado of Souls — Megadeth

Eventually, Naked Souls ends. The climax again bears similarity to The Fly but with a happier denouement. It warms my cold, dead heart to know that Krause and Anderson overcame their challenges and found love. I’m sure they will look back fondly at all of the breasts they met along the way…


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