A deranged serial killer infiltrates a popular club and slowly starts killing cocktail waitresses.A deranged serial killer infiltrates a popular club and slowly starts killing cocktail waitresses.A deranged serial killer infiltrates a popular club and slowly starts killing cocktail waitresses.
Boo-Boo: She-Wolf of the Swing-A-Ling
"The Swinging Barmaids" is a prototypic example of a '70s drive-in exploitation movie that is considered pure & unwatchable amateur trash by 99% of cinema-loving audiences and sheer cult/grindhouse brilliance by the remaining 1% of weirdos. Usually I'm a proud and devoted member of the latter group, but I have to admit that this particular flick didn't quite work for me due to the enormously implausible script and the rather unpleasant depiction of nudity. To clarify, I dig bare and voluptuous breasts as much as every other healthy bloke, but the titular barmaids in this movie don't voluntarily expose them during their working hours but only involuntarily when their shirts are violently torn to pieces by the maniacal killer. Apart from the opening sequences, which take place in the girls' dressing room, they keep their tops on during their jobs as they are waitresses instead of strippers and the Swing-A- Ling club apparently isn't a sex club but an entertainment bar! I do understand the frustration of most customers, though, because all women in this bar are quite buxom and the stand- up comedy that is provided on stage is pretty weak. Still, one blond-haired and bearded customer thinks the whole place and its staff is too immoral and assaults waitress Boo-Boo. He also follows her home later that night and, even though Boo-Boo puts up quite a fight, kills her in her apartment. Poor Boo-Boo's misogynist death is quite the turning point in the film, for two reasons. First of all Boo-Boo is played by the one and only Dyanne Thorne of the infamous sleaze franchise Ilsa (She-Wolf of the SS, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, Tigress of Siberia and – unofficially – the Wicked Warden) and the film loses a lot of its cult charisma since she dies so early in the film. Secondly, and more importantly even, the script turns totally bonkers and inconceivable after the first murder. The killer, Tom, is caught in the act by no less than three of Boo-Boo's friends/roommates but still remains unidentified. Then, simply by shaving off his beard and dying his hair, he successfully applies for a job as bouncer in the Swing-A-Long and gets immediately included in the bar's circle of trust. In spite of having tough copper Harry White on his tail, Tom makes more victims, including the bar owner's wife (who apparently just has to wait like all the other girls) and becomes obsessed with the cute Jenny who works as a scantily clad waitress in a bar even though her fiancée is a successful doctor; another highly plausible plot detail. "The Swinging Barmaids" is very similar to the "The Centerfold Girls" released one year earlier, but the script and characters are a less compelling while the murders are more repulsive and vile. Director Gus Trikonis made a handful more and better exploitation/drive-in flicks, most notably "The Evil" and "Moonshine County Express", before settling with more regular TV-work like "Baywatch" and "Viper".
- Mar 29, 2016
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