Monday, March 16, 2015

A Tale of Food, Love, Desire and Man-Chickens: Bob Chinn's Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls

Picking the perfect title for your film or any creative work for that matter, can be incredibly tricky. A bland title will nearly guarantee your potential audience to take a pass. A misleading title, much like reaching for what you think is a hush puppy but instead is a cold, gross battered ball of corn, will only lead to disgust and highly irritate. (Seriously, why would someone do that? Cruelty has many, many forms, dear reader.) But a perfect title will pique your interest and give you a hint of what you are to expect from the work in question. Case in point, Bob Chinn's breezy 1979 film, “Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls.” There are, in fact, girls that are hot, saucy and work in a pizza joint in this film. But the “Pizza Girls” is more than just a food-sex pun of a film. Sort of. Anyways, let's begin!

The movie starts with a classic lit-up sign, promoting “Country Girl Pizza. We Deliver.” Cut to inside the rustic looking pizzeria where the restaurant's owner, John (John “The King” Holmes) is interviewing a potential new delivery girl, Ann Chovy (Desiree Cousteau.) The naive Southern Belle ends up wooing her new boss over with some physical charms and she gets to join the gang of ultra-lovely and highly sassy delivery girls, including Gino (Candida Royalle), Shakey (Laurien Dominique) and Celeste (Christine de Shaffer). If the film had been made a bit later and in a different region, we would also undoubtedly have Totino, Red Baron and Tony.

The girls start to make their deliveries for the day, with the customers ranging from one intensely enthusiastic hayseed (the always reliable Richard Pacheco) to a bored and lonely housewife (Vicky Lindsay). Meanwhile, a slight and shifty man in black is blatantly trying to keep tabs on the pizza girls' comings and goings. Turns out this gentleman, aptly named Inspector Blackie (John Seeman), is a detective determined to bust Country Girl Pizza for being a front for prostitution. While we're on the topic, the phrase,“pizza brothel”, might be one of the best to have emerged out of the valley of language in a long time. Say it out loud. Let it roll off the tip of your tongue. Now think about the connotations. Nice, isn't it?

Anyways, further intrigue emerges as the cowpoke from earlier is buddies with a group of fried chicken enthusiasts led by Henry (Paul Thomas), who also has used the ebullient services of the pizza girls. Turns out, they don't cotton too well to the world of pizza encroaching on their great true love of fried chicken. Never has a hatred of pizza fueled such diabolical tomfoolery. The intrigue gets even weirder when the boys choose to employ the services of the San Francisco “Night Chicken.” Apparently this never seen but heard on screen fowl-tool-of-villainy is six feet tall and has a penchant for rape. (As all overgrown night chickens do!)

After one of the girls gets violated, John immediately knows it is the Night Chicken. We then find out from him that, “We have been after this chicken for ten years!” I guess local police weren't too worried about giant poultry sexually assaulting various people? Anyways, with the aid of his coworker and sidekick Bob (director Bob Chinn), John and company are determined to crack down on this truly foul fowl. Will the gang succeed or lose out to perverse man-birds and fried chicken enthusiasts? What about Inspector Blackie and the wholly guile-less Ann? For that and more, you'll just have to grab some hopefully non-carcinogen riddled popcorn and watch for yourselves! 

Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls” is an amazingly silly film but the best kind, since it knows it's ridiculous and completely revels in it. It is truly a fun, airy little film that has all the appeal of a naughty and light comic book. The fact that you have a subplot about women getting violated by a monstrous chicken and yet, the whole still plays very sunshine with no dark clouds, is nothing short of amazing. It helped, undoubtedly, having Bob Chinn at the helm. Chinn is most famous for directing a number of the “Johnny Wadd” films, which also brought “Pizza Girls” male star, John Holmes, to major fame and notoriety. The two men had a great rapport with each other and that definitely shows here, with Holmes being incredibly likable and quite funny as the manager of Country Girl Pizza. (Though it is Bob who gets the great line, “I just don't want to get fucked by no chicken!”) Speaking of funny, Richard Pacheco also merits a kudos for his eight-miles-outside-of-Hee-Haw cornpone bumpkin who sings “Get Along Little Doggie” mid-coitus. Eternally underrated John Seeman is funny and physically adept as the mysterious yet wondrously nerdy Inspector Blackie.

The titular pizza girls are all supremely lovely and likable, including such classic adult legends like Desiree Cousteau (“Pretty Peaches”) and Candida Royalle, as well as the equally wonderful but more on the cult side starlets Laurien Dominique and Christine de Shaffer (who was great as lunatic Babsy in Johnny Legend's mind-blowing “Young & Nasty Teenage Cruisers.”) Here they get to be sassy, gorgeous and funny, with Royalle and de Shaffer both carrying off a very strong, take-no-prisoners pizza delivering style. Cousteau is her usual charming Betty Boop by way of small town Southern USA self and looking every inch a 1970's version of a Vargas girl. 

The pseudo-twang-country music is fittingly goony, right down to it being listed as “Lousy Music,” that is credited to “Lon Jon.” (Surely, his real name.) The film is well shot, with all of the colors popping in a pastel yet vibrant type of way. Another stellar remastering job courtesy of the skilled folks at Vinegar Syndrome does not hurt either. Speaking of the DVD release, there's also a short but very informative interview with noted adult film director and “Pizza Girls” producer, Damon Christian. 

“Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls” may not reinvent any cinematic wheel or even the wheel spokes themselves, but it is a very cute, dementedly whimsical movie that features some good comedic performances and is the only film to date that has combined the notion of a pizza brothel with a menacing six foot chicken/creeper. That alone spells it out better than any paint by numbers nature velvet scene available at your nearest family oriented hobby store.

2015 Copyright Heather Drain

1 comment:

  1. Loved this review, Heather. It's so great to read a thorough synopsis written by someone who appreciates the comedic elements and funny little nuances of the classic adult features. Holmes and Chinn make for a great comedy duo. I just noticed Crystal Sync is credited as Sound Mixer. Thank you for this. :)