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Rev up your engines as the most gorgeous and charming Bed Race Team of all, The Sex Puppets, heat up the raceway. Clad in bikinis and sexy lingerie, they'll bump and grind their way to victory aboard comical "Bedmobiles". Dana Plato ("Diff'rent Strokes") stars as the saucy J.D., a hydroplane speedboat pilot who's cajoled by four college oddballs into joining their Bed Race Team. But watch out - there's dangerous curves ahead as the local Mafia pits the odds 100 to 1 against our zany team. The gears shift as Milo (Daniel Barquet) perfects a fantastic invention that'll blast this year's event into Gran Prix history. Hang on to your jockstraps as "Bikini Beach Race" swerves you out of control through this rally between the sheets.Written by
Yes, Dana Plato. One of my cohorts unfairly described her as "the white trash Princess Diana of washed up misfit has-been child stars", and believe it or not this video -- awful, insipid, forgettable and utterly obscure -- kind of proves that she actually did have some talent. There are some who might find comedy in stating "Dana Plato is the best thing about BIKINI BEACH RACE" since that would presumably imply that the film has nothing going for it other than the schlock, expoitational effect of her presence in the cast. There is some truth to that sentiment but it is ultimately an unfair conclusion. The film is populated primarily by non-actors who went on and did nothing after wards, and Ms. Plato had already committed her notorious hold-up of a video store before this epic document of humanity would have been there for her to purloin. Too bad: A good copy of these these days would run you about $60 or so, and the only reason of course is that she is in it, and has since died of a tragic drug overdose.
This was about the bottoming out of her career. A step up from armed robbery but still about as far from serious work as you can get next to doing porn, and as a sort of ironic counterpoint to that statement the film's other big name is Ron "Hedgehog" Jeremy cast as the sort of bad guy boat racing king of a beach side Malibu community where three schnooks who watched REVENGE OF THE NERDS for inspiration decide to take their big spring break to ogle the babes, drunk lots of beer, and spill things on themselves. There's the geeky black Urkle type guy, the fat party animal lovable slob (who hooks up with a gorgeous blond in the film's funniest scene by jumping into a pool with her while holding a six pack and a sandwich), their pothead former college buddy (living in a gated beach front condo that probably rents for about $20,000/month: yeah, right?) and the likable harmless white suburbanite half nerd hero, who ends up catching Ms. Plato's eye by being super nice, even when covered with motor oil, spilt mayonnaise and pizza toppings.
Ms. Plato plays "J.D.", a poor little rich girl driving a sexy red mustang GT who also happens to be the hottest boat racer on the circuit, who after a couple of Meet Cutes agrees to help the four wieners front for a race of -- get this -- prototype hospital beds down the main strip along the beach. This of course requires Ms. Plato to doff her trendy beachwear shorts & halter tops for a red teddy with matching stockings, which for anyone else who had a serious crush on her when they were 12 & watching "Diff'rent Strokes" will probably consider to be the high point of the film. SHE DOES NOT DO A NUDE SCENE, GUYS, but there is some T&A as the wacky friends stage various pranks, scams and shenanigans like rolling a camera into the girl's locker room to observe the school soccer team showering up.
So it's PORKY'S meets REVENGE OF THE NERDS meets ANIMAL HOUSE meets CADDYSHACK, with a local goon squad of toughs who strangely parade around in pink shirts. The movie has dildo jokes, blow up sex doll jokes, plenty of fat guy jokes, and then a non-stop parade of big haired bikini festooned harlots who obviously missed the feminist Decoding Images of Representation class I took in art school at about the same time the film was made that taught us how to look at art & popular culture and see how it objectifies women into sex objects. All of the women in the film are full-breasted suntanned sex bunnies to be lusted after by the male characters. The only one who doesn't overact is Ron Jeremy, and the only person in the film who displays any kind of genuine talent is Ms. Plato.
In other words here is a cult curios waiting for re-discovery by those of us who were conned into turning our backs on patriarchal male power structures during the 1990s to give women a chance at being equals. It may have worked, but for some reason it looks like the morons in this film are having one heck of a good time. It's also proof of what I like to call the Edward D. Wood Factor of Film-making: This movie may suck the dimpled skin off a golf ball, but it got made. The people behind it actually made a movie and according to the IMDb's own user submitted ratings it came off rather well. My rating is neutral (5/10) since I find it to be more of an exercise in poor taste, right down to the casting of a former child star turned armed felon as the lead role based only on her notoriety. It is exploitation on a different sort of plane, kind of slack-jawed idiocy rather than lurid sleaze, energetic enough to never be genuinely boring and over quickly enough to be easily forgotten. It is disposable entertainment for an era that lived for the moment & discarded it's pop culture stars without thinking twice about it. That the film is actually kind of fun is what surprised me about it, and that Ms. Plato is actually rather good reminded me of what a shame her all too young death was, and what a huge crush I had on her 27 years ago.
5/10: Here's to you, Dana.
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