Monday, March 21, 2011

Superchick (1973)

Just after the 1960s militant feminist movement and before the AIDS epidemic of the 80s, Superchick exists in that awkward gap between free love and consequences known as the 1970s. Joyce Jillson is Superchick, mild-mannered stewardess (not flight attendant) Tara B. True during the day. In her ample downtime she is Superchick, a catsuit wearing blonde-locked nymphomaniac with three different boyfriends across the country.

Just imagine the Love Boat theme as you look at this.

In New York, Tara swings with Ernest (Thomas Reardon), a germaphobic surgeon with Victorian interests in bubble baths and candelabras. because of his phobia, the two engage in radar sex from opposite ends of his valuer couch. He doesn't even know her psychocardiogram!

Terrified of the germs of a beautiful woman, but not wallowing in his own filth, or placing a hallowed out bear carcass in his apartment.

In Miami it's Johnny (Tony Young), a beach bum who lives in a shag furnished house boat paid for with his modest gambling habit. He pays off his bookie by eliciting Tara's services to smuggle some guns onto an airplane without her consent.

With these gangsters, no shins are safe.

He doesn't seem terribly worried that a) her life and the lives of everyone on board are put in danger, b) Tara will inevitably find out he used her when she finds guns in the package and not seashells, and c) she might stop having sex with him. Considering that he actually owns a house boat, he's clearly not the best at making rational decisions.

Anchors aweigh!

In Los Angeles Tara makes it with teen idol Davy Charles (Timothy Wayne Brown). In a completely unrelated note, Davy Jones was lead singer of The Monkees and a teen pop sensation of the Justin Bieber variety. But this character is completely different so I don't know why I brought it up.

Davy is having trouble writing a new hit song, despite the infinite number of words that rhyme with "baby." He eventually finds his muse: Tara's vagina.

Davy popularized that "Super Mario Golfer" look before everyone started doing it.

Did I mention that Tara is also a black belt in karate? Must have slipped my mind. Luckily it does actually come into play in what little plot there is in this movie. When the aforementioned hijacking robbery is underway, Superchick, working for the airline, had to discipline her body to defeat those evil goombahs. She saves the day and there is a moment at the end where all the boyfriends discover each others' existences.

A requirement of all stereotype-challenging protagonists of the 1970s.

Compared to some of the previous chixploitation films this month, Superchick is surprisingly progressive. It doesn't exactly shatter gender conventions, but it does tap on the glass a few times. The title shows how women can so easily use their own superpowers (sex, and sometimes karate) to overpower men and do their bidding. Tara uses men the same way a playboy uses women, and her blasé attitude counters the double standard women must endure when it comes to sex. Johnny is the most upset about Tara's supposed infidelity, even though the film makes a point to show him sleeping with a big-tittied woman right before picking up Tara from the airport.

Superchick simply treats sex the same way most men do, which makes it both frustrating and alluring to the gentlemen in her life. It's always nice to see female protagonists that aren't pining for some dingus boyfriend, seeking man-hating revenge, or getting slapped around. Tara makes her own decisions, and couldn't care less about what society thinks of her. There's even a bit of folding when Tara walks in on a porno shoot and briefly considers starring in her own skin flick!

There are plenty of lame 70s aw-shucks-look-into-the-camera-and-gulp-loudly kind of moments, mushroom haircuts, awful paisley fashion decisions, and Love Boat-style music. If you cross your eyes hard enough--ignoring the massive cheap airplane cabin set, purple carpet seams, sloppy camera movement, fingerprint glass smudges, and near absence of plot--it almost seems like a real movie. I thought it was made for TV until the first titty appeared. I don't know if that's a compliment or not.

Arbitrary Rating:

3 Kryptonite condoms.

Quotable Quotes:

Ernest: I'll think about you during surgery.

Tara: The only place there's no lie is between a man and a woman... in bed!

Tara: Last one in bed gets no head!

Tara: In the words of Shakespeare: let's not louse up a good thing.

Sims: A few sticks of dynamite grass, a gallon of wine and a chick like you. What more could a man in a clothes closet full of clothes ask for?

Cop 1: Isn't this illegal search and seizure, and illegal entry without a warrant?
Cop 2: You watch too much television.

Flasher: You were supposed to be shocked. Indignant. I wanted a reaction, not a review. Sick! That's what you are! Pee-vert!

Biker: Why don't we knock off the motorcycle movie talk and gangbang her?

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