Friday, November 19, 2010

(Naked) Chick Flicks: HOT T-SHIRTS (1980)

“They just don’t make movies like they used to” seems to be our mantra, but they really don’t make cheap nudie comedies like they used to! Today’s T&A flicks have taken a page from the porno world and are half-assed, low-rent parodies of popular movies or video games with some soft-core sex scenes provided by surgically manipulated barbies. Meh. In the ‘70s and ‘80s it was all about the girl next door, and when I say “girl”, I mean it. Barely legal to barely past legal was the age bracket. We had seminal classics such as THE CHEERLEADERS (1973) paving the way for frivolous comedies that grabbed hold of a theme and used it for some cheap laughs and a lot of all-natural skin and there was not a damn thing wrong with it.

Just to make sure you know exactly what you are in for (and to pad out the scant running time), the film starts out with a credit sequence pumping out the disco theme song with the lyrics “my body is wet, my body’s so wet, my body’s soaking wet, my body’s dripping wet, wet, wet, wet!” Yep, you can see exactly what level this film will operate on. It’s using the same sountrack that they play on the PA at 42nd St. porno shops. Uhhhh... not that I have ever been in one. I mean, it was only that one time and I thought it was Kim's Video. Yeah, that's it... and I’m positive that it was Will's idea!

Made by someone clearly stuck in the late ‘70s, infamous porn director Chuck Vincent made more than *ahem* a handful of R-rated pictures of varying entertainment value. Some folks say their entertainment value starts in the negative and works their way up. Some folks have very boring taste in movies.

Dumpy loser Joe (Ray Holland) owns a bar that he doubles as an Italian dinner house. He’s got his senile bartender Pops (Nathan Tamarin), his ditzy, nimpho waitress Violet (Pauline Rose) and his obese, matronly, righta offada boata E-taly-ano cooka Rosa (Licia Colombi). It’s the damnedest thing, nobody wants to come in to the joint. Joe can’t figure out why. While hanging out at the popular bar that boasts flashy disco balls and topless chicks, polyesterized super swinger Charlie (Glenn Mure) hypothesizes on why that might be: “all your dump needs is a few go-go girls and you got it made” says Charlie in a thick long-island accent, but Joe ain’t buying it. Maybe it’s because Charlie is getting slapped by every girl in the club and the head of the college cheerleaders (Laura Osment doing shades of Mary Waronov) says “he looks like the creature that ate Cleveland!” Damn, which creature is this exactly? I want to see that movie! A lounge lizard rampaging through Ohio? Oh wait, I think that was probably just Jon Stone in the '70s.

All of this takes up the first 15 minutes of the movie in order to showcase a huge disco dance number that is so ridiculous that it is impossible to even try to conceive that anyone would shoot it with a straight face. Did I say “straight”? Man that dude in the cowboy hat and the unitard is about the gayest thing I’ve ever seen… and I sat through The Paul Lynde Halloween Special! One of the amusing things about this sequence is that at random intervals during the dance number, Vincent cuts in some completely gratuitous shots of topless dancers moving in semi-unison on a completely different set! Hey, the guy clearly made a judgment call during the rushes: “Fifteen minutes in and we got no titties! This won’t do!” Damn skippy Chuck, you da man.

Meanwhile the Harrison College cheerleaders are working on their initia – err, I mean, tryouts, with the freshmen girls using their favorite chant: “we’re gonna roast them, toast them, cover them in spit, we’re gonna maim them, shame them, make them look like shit!” When the football players stop their push-ups to cheer for the cheerleaders, the coach (Paul Giaccobbe) yells (with a lisp) “Whadda you guys think this is, a Las Vegas nightclub? Work you sonsabitches! On your backs!” Ummmm… what Coach? I think working on your back is a very Las Vegas kinda thing. Conveniently Joe just happens to be in the stands watching with his way-too-understanding girlfriend June (Stephanie Lawlor), who just so happens to be the cheerleading coach. Joe’s flash of brilliance occurs after the cheerleaders blow some attitude in the direction of the jocks (including porn star Randy West) who then steal a hose and spray them down… soaking their shirts! Aha! The connection is made! Joe is going to host a wet t-shirt contest! Genius! Can you hear Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland spinning in their graves? Ok, so maybe Mickey Rooney isn’t dead yet, but I’m sure he will be after he sees this!

Couldn't afford Mary Waronov huh?

At first Joe tries to rope his girlfriend into doing it, and she firmly draws the line there. This is fine since she is cute, but she ain’t no Penthouse Pet. That means it’s up to Charlie to bring in the chicks. Cue the muted horns… yep, Charlie brings in a dizzy dame in a dimestore wig (Cecile Mann) to compete against Violet. The outcome of the competition leads to some slightly dissatisfied patrons and the conclusion that maybe if they offered prizes for the winners, their competition might attract better talent. Again... Genius! The next one brings in the cheerleaders who compete against the local girls. Joe decides against the snotty cheerleaders (who are clearly hotter) and you know what that means? Bar fight! Of course this latest contest attracts the squinty gaze of the local morality enforcers who decide, over tea, that this smut has to be stopped before men crazed with lust run amok in the town raping anything in grabbing distance. Joe being the idio – err, I mean, gentleman that he is sets them up with a table to get them to stop picketing and saying things like “didn’t your mother tell you not to play with wet t-shirts?”. After pops gives them something akin to jungle juice instead of their iced teas the ladies become quite the fan of dancing, paving the way for the final contest.

Since the prizes have now reached epic proportions (a color TV!!), The Hot Chick arrives, none other than Penthouse Pet 1982 and former Mrs. Ken “The Soldier” Wahl, Corinne Alphen. Naturally she steals the show from the locals and the cheerleaders. Her prize? She gets to dance with this guy:

Be warned, this movie is cheap, cheesy and does not exactly sport cutting edge wit, but, for some reason strangely compelling and it unquestionably blows away wannabe playahs like the terminally un-fun PICK-UP SUMMER (1980). Seriously, it may have taken me three separate viewings to take it all in, but I kept coming back for more skid-row cheese and hilarious disco fetishes. Yeah and the rampant toplessness sure didn’t hurt either. Did I mention Corinne Alphen? You can keep Jenna Jameson, I'll take Corinne Alphen any day of the week. Thank you Mr. Vincent.

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