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  Chesty Anderson U.S. Navy Shari Shares Alike
Year: 1976
Director: Ed Forsyth
Stars: Shari Eubank, Dorrie Thompson, Rosanne Katon, Marcie Barkin, Connie Hoffman, Fred Willard, George Lane Cooper, Frank Campanella, Timothy Carey, Phil Hoover, Tim Wade, Scatman Crothers, Mel Carter, Royce D. Applegate, Dyanne Thorne, Uschi Digard
Genre: Comedy, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Chesty Anderson (Shari Eubank) is in the WAVES, a U.S. Navy recruit who has been on her best behaviour throughout her training, and has made some good friends, plus a few enemies, in her time in the forces. She has a sister, Baby (Connie Hoffman), who she looks out for, and today she is glad her pal Cocoa (Rosanne Katon) has had her request played on the radio after she sent the disc jockey a nude photo of herself, but there is a problem she has not foreseen. It seems Baby is in possession of a photograph of a Senator (George Lane Cooper) in a compromising position, and his people would like her to return it. Alas, his people are gangsters and think nothing of sending the chief henchman Vincent (Timothy Carey) after her...

Shari Eubank only made two films, and the first was far more significant than the second; maybe Hollywood did not agree with her, but after collaborating with Russ Meyer on Supervixens she moved onto this rather less accomplished comedy thriller and after that... nothing. Reportedly she became a high school drama teacher, though one hopes she didn't respond to students' requests to watch her body of work, but at least she could have been said to enjoy starring roles in every movie she appeared in. Chesty Anderson, as you can tell by that title, was banking on Miss Eubank's pulchritude to bring in the punters, though they would have been disappointed to see she opted not to reveal all this time around.

In fact, for what sounded like a sexploitation flick, there was some reluctance to show much nudity at all, preferring to concentrate on a plot that veered between apparently being made up as they went along and a typical script for a Charlie's Angels episode, though that series had not arrived as of yet (there was obviously an idea in the air whose time had come, judging by material such as this or Ted V. Mikels' The Doll Squad). So what you wound up with was a movie that resembled a porno with all the sex scenes taken out, or at least with a lot of narrative padding put in, complete with funky wah wah guitar music from the library, lame jokes in lieu of wit as if they were slightly embarrassed to be making this, and action sequences inspired by the kung fu craze.

With a slight feeling of desperation hanging over the production, you would ponder why we were "treated" to a sketch halfway through where a doctor (Stanley Brock) examined female patients in a decidedly unfunny manner that would get him struck off in real life, accompanied by Ilsa herself, Dyane Thorne as his nurse, and with the punchline that the girl he is getting to breathe deeply overdoes it and bursts out of her bra. Director Ed Forsyth evidently liked this idea, because later on in the midst of combat Playboy Playmate Katon did the same, thereby entering the unofficial topless kung fu hall of fame, should such thing exists (sigh... it probably does), but really that was about it for the sexploitation scenes aside from some lewd humour that didn't raise a titter. However, there was one item of casting that made this almost worth it for curiosity seekers.

The man in question was not Scatman Crothers, who did indeed show up in an early stage to shoot pool, do a little scat singing and perv over Katon (who really should have been the star judging by her dedication to the project), though he was always welcome. Nope, the man was Timothy Carey, billed with his Agoglia middle name adopted around this stage in his career, and one of the most eccentric actors around. His fellow cast members seemed to be amused by his antics, though it could be they were being polite, but he seemed to have wandered in from another movie, something more experimental maybe, where any sense of reason had been thrown out the window with some force of rejection. Sporting a silver lamé jacket, making chicken noises, producing a handgun to shoot a leaf after it gooses him, singing what might have been Italian opera (it was difficult to tell), making revoltingly great play of munching gourmet food, it looked as if Forsyth had simply wound Carey up and let him go in one of the most confounding performances in trash cinema. Other than that, watch for the man-eating plant (it belches, natch).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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