Sunday, January 03, 2010

You'll Love The Service They Give

Amazingly, GAS PUMP GIRLS is a 1979 Cannon sex comedy with virtually the same plot as USED CARS, which came out a year later.

Uncle Joe (a nice supporting bit for former East Side Kid/Bowery Boy Huntz Hall), who runs a dumpy corner gas station, is having a tough time competing with the bigger, shinier new service station across the street run by venal Mr. Friendly (Dave Shelley). When a mild heart attack waylays Joe, his pretty niece June (Kirsten Baker) organizes her sexy friends to pour themselves into tiny shirts and even tinier shorts and take over the business. While the girls, their boyfriends, and a biker gang called the Vultures use sex and disco music to entice a crowd, Friendly enlists a pair of ‘30s gangsters (vets Mike Mazurki and Joe E. "Ooo ooo!" Ross) and various dirty tricks to shut the competition down.

The girls, including 1974 Playboy Playmate Sandy Johnson, Rikki Marin, and Leslie King, are cute enough, but Joel Bender’s sluggish direction kills any momentum the mild gags may build, and the hijinks are neither wacky nor original. You may remember Baker from FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 2, but Linda Lawrence as the brunette Betty is the biggest knockout.

Also with Steve Bond (PICASSO TRIGGER), Ken Lerner, and Demetre Phillips as the Vultures, Dennis Bowen (the redhaired kid from VAN NUYS BLVD.), and obnoxious DJ Cousin Brucie. Does anyone own the soundtrack album on Blockbuster Records? The songs by David and Isaac Blech are pretty good soft rock, and one is performed by Baker (or a voice double) as a musical number!


Joel Bender said...

Hey Mr. Used Cars .They stole the story..Porky's The Revenge They stole the graduation scene.As for the direction,You make a picture for no money that is still being talked about thirty two years later..has influenced other films and is an all time hit today on HULU.All of that under my"sluggish" direction.You should be ashamed,Brother.JOEL BENDER,Director

Marty McKee said...

Hi, Joel. Sorry you didn't like the review, which I think is fair. Believe me, I appreciate the effort that goes into making a low-budget film like GAS PUMP GIRLS, and I'm glad that people are digging it more than thirty years later. You should be proud of getting a film made that still makes people happy. I certainly don't hate GAS PUMP GIRLS--it's too frothy to dislike--I just didn't laugh enough. But I did enjoy Kirsten Baker's number, which is unique in the genre, to the best of my knowledge.

Thanks for the feedback, my friend.

Marty McKee

hobbyfan said...

Yo, Marty! Having heard Cousin Bruce Morrow's radio show in the past, I can tell you he isn't obnoxious or even remotely annoying.

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