07 April 2008

Basic Training

United States - 1984
Director - Andrew Sugerman
Vestron Video, 1986(?), VHS

A naïve young lady, Melinda, from Ashtabulah Ohio moves to Washington D.C. with grandiose ideas about doing important things for her government and country. She arrives at her new home to find her old friend noisily screwing some military guy. Add one more brain dead blonde nymphomaniac roommate and you have a star team of Pentagon secretaries.

Despite all her good intentions Melinda quickly discovers the sweaty underbelly of DC politics. The lieutenant for whom she works expects very little actual secretarial effort from her, but instead continuously attempts to ambush her pants for short-arm inspection.

While her roommates slut around with just about every other male in the cast, a cleaning lady (at the Pentagon? Oh wait, realism went out the window with the pre credit strip and song routine) accidentally erases the entire Soviet Defense file from the Pentagon mainframe computer.
Melinda gets fired from her job for refusing to put out, but aggressively seduces the thick-headed Lieutenant into re-hiring her. It works for a time, and Melinda uses her new powers of manipulation to move up the secretarial ladder and induce several flat scenes of crass physical humor. Finally while at a high-class party she is introduced to Boris, the Soviet diplomat who takes a slavering decrepit interest in her top secrets. Melinda is kidnapped by the rebuffed Red, and taken to his room at the Soviet Embassy where she extracts the lost top-secret Soviet defense plans by exposing her own secrets.
Melinda is out of place as the uptight good girl in the middle of a debauched decade of military overspending and sexual liberty. The film seems to half-heartedly extol her as a virtue of chastity and patriotic idealism but completely undermines that by simultaneously reinforcing the theme that sexuality is the only reliable way women can advance in our society. Am I over analyzing?
No-one in this movie has a problem taking their clothes off, hey there’s even a 50+ person all-nude pool party scene. But Melinda spends so much energy and time keeping hers on that you can't help but feel relieved when she finally gives in.

This early Playboy production feels a lot like a National Lampoon movie with more boobs, and fewer jokes that work.
Apparently someone thought it would be a good idea to put this out on DVD, once again scrapping the great painted cover art you saw at the top:

No comments: