Every day Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: Nicknames and crimefighting chicks.
Chesty Anderson, USN has it all: mobsters, Charlie’s Angels-inspired chick crime fighters, cross-dressing senators, cat fights in which busty female sailors have a nasty habit of ripping each other’s shirts off, man-eating plants, Fred Willard as a romantic lead and even Scatman Crothers. The only thing Chesty Anderson, USN doesn’t have is shame.
The 1974 film straddles the line between feminist empowerment flick and borderline sexplotation schlockfest. The weirdest part about this very retro, very odd film is the fact that buried underneath the veneer of cheesy drive-in trash are a few nuggets of a genuinely funny material. I’m not even talking about “laugh-because-it’s-so-bad” humor; I’m referring to honest-to-god witty social commentary.
But that’s not why you see a movie called Chesty Anderson, USN. You see a film with such a salacious title for one thing only: feisty females in tight clothing kicking ass and taking names.
Shari Eubank plays the titular Chesty Anderson, a navy seaman who doesn’t let the fact that she’s in the armed forces keep her from looking like a high-class ‘70s prostitute. Along with her close-knit group of fellow sailors, Chesty sets out to solve the mysterious disappearance of Baby, Chesty’s baby sister. It seems her baby sister had a past proclivity for sleeping around with the previously mentioned cross-dressing senator — putting her directly in the crosshairs of the garbage company/mafia family that was hired by the politician to destroy all evidence of his indiscretions.
As Chesty and her friends dig deeper into the criminal underbelly that swallowed Baby whole, they quickly get in over their heads.
As I mentioned, there are actually some pretty funny parts in this movie. A scene with a sexually deviant doctor who takes advantage of his women sailor patients had me giggling — as did a scene in which a hapless schmuck tries to pick up two vapid chicks at a party.
Unfortunately, the majority of the scenes in the film weren’t nearly as funny or clever. Most of the movie plays exactly as you would expect, one eye-rolling, logic-leaping plot device after another — all designed solely to showcase the film’s highly attractive cast in various states of disrobe.
And when the film is not focused on soft-core porn, we’re treated the truly bizarre antics of Timothy Carey as Vincent, a zany Italian thug who slips out of his Italian accent as much as he seems to slip off of his medication — erupting into bizarre rants, musical numbers and seemingly improvised sound effects.
Besides a state of arousal from seeing chicks fighting with each other dressed only in bras, the one thing I took from the film was that I really want a nickname.
Everybody in the film seemed to have a catchy moniker. From Chesty and her friends Cocoa, Pucker and Baby to the rest of the film’s colorful cast of characters including The Baron, Dr. Cheech and Stretch (a midget, by the way — making the nickname either really funny or really cruel), the film had the coolest bunch of nicknames since The Outsiders.
I can’t help but feel now that my life is only half lived because of the fact that I don’t have such an awesome nickname as those in the film.
Please, world, give me a nickname.
Robert Saucedo would like to recommend “Great Koala Warrior” as a possible nickname for himself. Follow him on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.