APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Chesty Anderson, USN (1976)

April 19: Weird Wednesday — Write about a movie that played on a Weird Wednesday, as collected in the book Warped & Faded: Weird Wednesday and the Birth of the American Genre Film Archive. Here’s a list.

Chesty Anderson is a WAVE (Woman Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in the U.S. Navy and the lead character in a movie that promises that you will see bare breasts. That’s 1976, I guess, and Shari Eubank is the right actress for this. A former cheerleader and homecoming queen at Farmer City High School in Illinois, she only was in one other movie and what a movie: Russ Meyer’s Supervixens. After this movie, she quit acting and moved back home where she became a drama teacher. And she’s a way better actress than most people would be in sexploitation film, but man, Supervixen is your drama teacher? The world is fascinating.

While this movie is a snooze — how can a movie named Chesty Anderson, USN be boring? — it does have a fun cast. It left Scatman Crothers ill-prepared for dealing with Kubrick, as one can only assume every scene is done in one take; I’ll bet there were fewer takes in this all put together than in one scene of The Shining. Timothy Carey is devouring scenery and being a lunatic as a mobster, while Ilsa herself Dyanne Thorne is in this as a fellow WAVE, while Joyce Mandel (Wham Bam Thank You Space Man), Uschi Digard (so many mammary-based movies), Rosanne Katon (Bachelor Party), Marcie Barkin (Fade to Black), Connie Hoffman (The Naughty Stewardesses), Dorrie Thomson (Policewoman) and even Betty Thomas show up. Fred Willard too, as Chesty’s square boyfriend.

Chesty’s sister has been killed after taking photos of Senator Dexter (George Dexter) in drag, which gets organized crime involved. And a man-eating plant is part of the story.

Yet through all this — a movie with all of these people — it’s very PG. And look, I’m not demanding sin, but in a movie with this cast, even the shower scenes could be watched on regular television. It promises you vice and gives you virtue. Well, not much, but you get the point.

Director Ed Forsyth also made SuperchickCaged MenThe Ramrodder and more, while writer Paul Pumpian mostly worked in animation after this and this is the only film for his co-writer H.F. Green.

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