Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Naughty Stewardesses (1974) & Blazing Stewardesses (1975)

          Exploitation-flick hack Al Adamson brings the Mile High Club crashing to the ground with these awful movies about horny flight attendants. Styled after Roger Corman’s sexy-nurse movies of the early ’70s, The Naughty Stewardesses is a melodrama concerning several friends who score in the air and on the ground. The heroine is Debbie (Connie Hoffman), a nice girl from a small town who’s shocked by her big-city friends’ sexual antics. In a party scene, she recoils when a pal is presented with a man covered in frosting and candles like he’s a birthday cake, then proceeds to, ahem, blow out the candles in full view of party guests. Yet Debbie’s no prude, because when she falls for a photographer named Cal (Richard Smedley), she poses nude during a portrait session. “I feel so free,” she coos. “Perhaps by taking off my clothes, I took off my mask, too.” Oy.
          Things get complicated when Debbie accepts an invitation from an older man, Brewster (Robert Livingston), to visit his pad in Palm Springs. He’s a randy old goat, and he eventually sleeps with most of the stewardesses in the story, even getting one compliant gal to test out an elaborate sex gadget called a “Persian Penguin.” The movie jumps erratically between incompatible storylines and tonalities all the way to a pointlessly violent climax. Yet parts of The Naughty Stewardesses are strangely compelling simply because scenes go on forever. That said,  the picture’s magnetism is strictly of the traffic-accident variety. Still, Hoffman is quite lovely, even though she can’t act, so Adamson might have been able to make something luridly enjoyable from this material if he’d cut this picture down from 102 sluggish minutes to, say, 80 zippy ones.
          Blazing Stewardesses is even worse. Although the sequel features some of the same actors playing some of the same characters, the movie is largely unrelated to its predecessor. Conceived as an homage/spoof of old Western movies, the picture takes part of its title from Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles (1974), and the sexy-stewardess stuff shares screen time with nonsense about a frontier madam, a noble rancher, and villains on horseback. Making Blazing Stewardesses even more disjointed is the presence of past-their-prime comedy duo the Ritz Brothers, who contribute lots of embarrassing facial expressions and stale patter. At one point, costar Yvonne De Carlo, playing the madam, stops the movie dead to warble a corny song. Blazing Stewardesses is such an overstuffed mess that the stewardesses don’t spend much time blazing, so this wannabe sex comedy has a dangerously low sex quotient. Hoffman underwhelms once more, though her beauty remains arresting, but costar Regina Carrol, playing Debbie’s busty friend, gives a performance so awful, thanks to childish vocal delivery and lobotomized facial expressions, that her scenes are unwatchable. As for the overall movie, Blazing Stewardesses is so dumb that an unfunny joke about the Ritz Brothers eating a giant sandwich gets repeated as the closing gag.

Naughty Stewardesses: LAME
Blazing Stewardesses: SQUARE

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