Now that that's, um, out of the way, let's dive into the new triple-feature Blu-ray, Chesty Morgan's Bosom Buddies, from pioneering sexploitation director Doris Wishman and the cult-film gods at Something Weird Video. For fans of really whacked-out movies, it's one of the year's few must-own discs.
Busting out of the box first is 1974's Deadly Weapons, which wastes no time giving audiences of its day what it wanted: nudity. Its opening shot unleashes Ms. Morgan's twin titans of veiny flesh, long given up to gravity and headed straight toward the camera rather menacingly. This motion is accompanied by a sound effect landing somewhere between cracks of thunder and Godzilla footsteps while a guitar not-so-gently weeps.
Viewers, you officially have been warned.
In Weapons, Morgan plays Crystal, "a successful advertising executive" who loves Larry (Richard Towers, The Last House on the Left), a second-rate mob man who crosses his boss. A hit is ordered on Larry, and subsequently carried out.
A distraught Crystal decides to get revenge the only way she knows how: by posing as a stripper, seducing those responsible, and then smothering them to death with her giant bosoms. Collectively, these scenes may be the best to depict suffocation in cinema history. Legendary porn star Harry Reems (Deep Throat) fills the role of one of those unlucky goons specifically, the one we always see cackling. (Swap out the two vowels for another apt description of the man.)
That same year, the can't-miss combo of Morgan and Wishman also gave the world Double Agent 73. It's not a sequel, because really, once you do the killer cleavage thing, where else can you go? The answer: spy gadgetry.
As Jane Genet, aka Agent 73 (so named for her bust measurements), Morgan portrays a secret agent assigned to take down a low-grade heroin ring run by a man named Toppler. Trouble is, they're not sure what he looks like, other than he has a scar on his face.
To tackle the case of Toppler vs. top-heavy, the agency implants a camera within Jane's left breast, so she can take photos of all the henchmen she encounters. How, you ask? She just has to be topless, lift the one boob no easy feat, mind you and a flashbulb goes off. (Wishman's script is vague on exactly what technology is at work, but it'd likely be Polaroid if this were an X-rated flick think about it and you'll get the joke.) The effect never gets old.
Last but not least is 1975's The Immoral Three. The most enjoyable of the disc's bountiful offerings, this one actually is a sequel to Double Agent 73, yet sadly missing Morgan. Her character gets killed in the prologue.
At the reading of her will, three women (Cindy Boudreau, Sandra Kay and Michele Marie, none of whom ever acted before or again) learn that they're all daughters of Jane each by a different man and sometimes within the line of duty.
Each stands to inherit $1 million if they can avenge her death. Except for the laziest, sluttiest daughter, who'd rather stay home and fellate bananas, this entails flying to Las Vegas and New York City to track down men who seem to have been cast solely for the amount of ass-crack hair. Says one of the daughters about their assignment: "This is better than Mission: Impossible!" Well, yeah, it kinda is.
Wishman often gets mentioned in the same breath as Ed Wood, and while I understand that, I think she's far more competent. That said, yes, her films are filled with continuity problems, bad dubbing, mismatched stock footage, gaudy interiors and prolonged scenes of bathing. Strangely, all that is part of their charm.
I wish the extras would have included some sort of documentary on Wishman, who died 10 years ago, or Morgan, now about 84 and still kicking in Florida. Beggars, however, cannot be choosers; it's kind of amazing that these films are on Blu-ray at all. I've seen two of the three titles here before, on SWV's VHS releases, and this disc's prints put those old, saggy tapes to shame. I barely noticed a slight audio hiss on The Immoral Three; as with its recent high-def releases of Herschell Gordon Lewis classics, SWV's presentation of Wishman's trio is top-notch.
Aside from an ad-mat slideshow of some of her films, you get a generous 15 trailers, too. Three are for the pictures that build Chesty Morgan's Bosom Buddies, while the others spotlight Wishman highlights The Amazing Transplant, Bad Girls Go to Hell and the nudie cutie Blaze Starr Goes Nudist, not to mention black-and-white roughies bearing such lurid titles like Another Day, Another Man and Too Much, Too Often.
I now want them all. Rod Lott