WHAT PERCENTAGE of people rent a regular movie in order to see the lead actress get a little naked?
"Just the guy percentage," says Craig Hosada. And Hosada ought to know. Because to date, he has sold more than 20,000 copies of "The Bare Facts," his annotated reference guide to naked scenes in regular movies. This meticulously researched handbook lists more than 1,200 actresses and actors, the films they have made, and when, where and in what degree of nakedness they can be viewed for your home-entertainment pleasure.
This is Hosada's full-time job. And the 33-year-old San Jose, Calif., family man takes it very seriously. "Listen, for better or worse people care about this stuff. Not about being turned on. I don't screen porn movies or anything. I think it has less to do with erotica than with curiosity. There is something very different about seeing a famous person naked than just a regular person naked. There just is."
Hosada says he always knew that. But just how fascinated people were with naked celebrities became clear to him one day about five years ago when he was working at Lucasfilm on that memorable catastrophe "Howard the Duck." One of his colleagues asked him what movies actress Lea Thompson had been in before. Hosada said "Red Dawn" and "All the Right Moves." And then he added, actually she was naked in that. And the colleague's eyes lit up. And then Hosada's brain followed suit. Hey, he figured, there ought to be a book.
Hosada is probably right. Leaf through the book and a name will hit you, and you'll say, "No, not her, too." A name like Susan Dey. Who spent much of the '70s being a perky Partridge person and much of the '80s being a buttoned-up "L.A. Law" person. So buttoned-up does Susan Dey seem that you figured she probably wears a suit under her suit. And then you see that Susan Dey, this woman who has been chronically covered up for almost two decades, actually has been quite topless and a little bottomless in a movie or two. And it's trivial, it's stupid, but it's kind of a moment.
Hosada's moment was the Hayley Mills moment. She had been so sanitized -- so Disneyized in his conscience that when he encountered her topless in a 1974 movie called "Deadly Strangers," he just had to sit down on the couch for a moment or two.
But Hosada didn't actually begin to screen until 1988, about three years after the boffo idea of folks in the buff originally hit him. But at that point he went ahead full steam. He set up two TVs and two VCRs in his living room and just began to fast forward like a maniac. "I could do up to eight movies in four hours, and had a running tab at the video store." Of course all this took place after the kids were tucked in. The kids are only 3 years old and 9 months, but Craig and the Mrs. are not about to run the complete works of Koo Stark in the living room in front of the kids.
"I don't know what I'll do in a couple of years when my kid goes to kindergarten and someone asks her, 'What does your Daddy do?' I'm not sure 'Looks for naked people in movies' is exactly what I want her to answer. However, that doesn't mean I don't get a nice sense of satisfaction from this work, or feel a real sense of responsibility."
You get the sense that Hosada speaks the truth. His readers will find the listings to be exhaustive, obsessive and objective. He tells you what minute the scene appears in the picture, what precise body parts (including right or left) are in the scene, whether or not a body double was used, and he even annotates disappointments. Such as the one regarding Rachel Ward in "Against All Odds." You could almost hear the sigh when you read "Erotic, but don't really see anything." Think of the last time you heard the phrase "Don't really see anything."
The eighth grade is never over.