= Highest Rating
The freewheeling '70s live again in Superchick,
a prime example of the cheesy sexploitation T &
A flicks cranked out in droves for the then-booming drive-in
stars as Tara B. True, a hedonistic feminist working as an airline
stewardess. Tara, who's got a body built for sin, dresses in
a frumpy wig and loose-fitting uniform while on the job to avoid
sexual harassment. A prim and proper mouse to her co-workers,
when off the company clock it's quite a different story. Once
her flight lands she heads for the ladies' room in the terminal
to doff the wig and change into sexy, skintight outfits. It
seems Tara's got a different man in every port. While on layovers
in New York she shacks up with a rich, cultured surgeon; in
Miami it's an athletic, studly beach bum; in Los Angeles she
makes music with a chart-topping rock singer. She also indulges
in the occasional "zipless fuck"
(as Erica Jong once called it), banging whatever guy she happens
to take a shine to. This libidinous lady isn't coy or deceptive
— she's honest with her beaus about wanting only fun and sex
without any strings attached. (Though she doesn't tell them
about each other.) Oh, and Tara likes to smoke pot. She's a
Black Belt in karate, too.
If this sounds to you like the recipe for a painfully unfunny,
incredibly dated sex comedy then you'd be absolutely right.
It's saddled with the customary "bad" exploitation
movie baggage — awful script, terrible acting, sexy bits that
aren't sexy and jokes that aren't funny. But Superchick
nonetheless possesses a certain low-rent charm, especially for
those viewers who were alive during the early '70s and actually
able to recall them (as does your crusty geezer of a critic).
Heady days indeed when the only kind of clap you could pick
up was curable with a shot or two of penicillin! This free spirited
attitude towards sex is virtually gone now, whether by necessity
(HIV) or the incessant browbeating of moralistic right-wingers
trying to foist their brand of "personal PC" on everyone else.
(Dr. Laura, kiss my libertarian-leaning ass!) Actually, the
film is rather chaste compared to many of its Nixon-era contemporaries,
with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge attitude reminiscent of the "nudie
cutie" flicks of a decade earlier. That it was produced by a
woman may account for this; I'm certain it was a factor
in the unapologetic pro-sex feminism of the heroine. (Which
is kind of refreshing.) So if you're looking for sleazy
sexploitation then this flick isn't going to do it for you —
best to look elsewhere.
Now that's not to say there aren't things here to amuse
and entertain the cheese lovers among us. You get a parade of
early '70s fashions in all their hideous glory, accompanied
by a score that wouldn't sound out of place on a TV game show.
An ineptly staged karate demonstration is good for a few laughs.
(Though capped with a punch line so lame you'll hurl your beer
can at the screen. Remember, movies like this are never
funny when they're trying to be.) A pair of lackadaisical cops
bust a pot party, toking on confiscated doobies to determine
the status of the contraband. Dan "Grizzly Adams" Haggerty shows
up as a biker tough who, along with his buddies, tries to gangbang
Tara. (No, the flick doesn't suddenly lurch into "roughie" territory;
Tara's martial arts skills come in handy.) To top things off,
B-movie trouper John Carradine (Astro-Zombies,
Horror of The Blood Monsters)
is again caught slumming for a check in perhaps his most embarrassing
scene ever. He appears as "Igor Smith", an elderly, retired
horror film actor who places personal ads in Hollywood's underground
newspapers in order to pick up young chicks. Tara answers the
ad only to find herself trapped in Smith's S &
M pleasure dungeon. Watch in dumbstruck amazement as Tara lays
out Carradine's stuntman — who's 50 pounds heavier and 30 years
younger — with a couple of badly edited karate moves while ol'
John weezes like a tubercular asthmatic on the dubbed-in audio.
When Carradine starts pleading "Beat me! Hit me again!",
an expression of ecstacy on his craggy face, you may not know
whether to laugh or flee the room in abject horror.
A bit of trivia: During the closing credits, look for the blurb
stating "Miss Jillson was doubled for some scenes." This is the
only flick I know of in which the lead actress apparently made
it a condition of her appearance that such a statement would appear
in the credits. (Aside from one brief flash of tit an obvious
body double was used.) After a handful of movie and TV roles,
Joyce Jillson gave up acting to become a professional astrologer.
Among her clients in the '80s: first lady Nancy Reagan!
a specialty subsidiary of AOL-Time-Warner, is best known for its
extensive music catalog as well as VHS/DVD releases of television
shows. Recently the company began issuing a small number of cult
films on DVD, such as The Slime People.
Like the latter disc, Rhino's edition of Superchick
is a very bare bones affair. You get the movie —
that's it. No extras, not even the trailer. (Which is a shame,
because the preview is rather unintentionally funny.) At least
the disc retails for under $10... As
for the film itself, it's presented in fullframe (1:33.1) format.
Video elements used are in exceptionally fine shape, boasting
bright, vivid color; it really does justice to the loud '70s-style
clothing and decor. The disc's digital mono audio track is also
quite good, clear and distortion-free.