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Hey! There's Naked Bodies On My TV!
(1979)
 

Director: Mack Campbell                          
Cast:
No cast credited


I wish I could find more movies like this - not necessarily this genre, but movies that are as easy to review as this one. Usually when I watch a movie to review, I have to pay extra close attention and take down many notes. So it's really nice to be able to sit back and not have to concentrate so hard, and just try to observe the entertainment aspects of the move. With Hey! There's Naked Bodies On My TV!, it was a snap just to watch and find laughs from the concept and the gags.

Oh, this isn't a good movie. It's stupid. It's crude. It's low budget. It's very low budget. It's high exploitation - not only is the movie devoted to showing sex, nudity, and telling dirty jokes, it uses already established situations and characters with only some minor effort to make them dirty. In other words, Hey! There's Naked Bodies On My TV! takes three popular 70s TV sitcoms, and makes dirty spoofs of them. Despite that, I found it had a few laughs, and the movie is just so bizarre, it's practically begging you to watch how lowbrow it is. So dirty and lowbrow, that I have my suspicions about why there are no credits except for the producer (Jerry Cormier) and writer/director Mack Campbell. Could this movie I've seen be the "soft" version of a hard-core pornographic film? There's evidence to this, which I will talk about shortly.

The movie begins with a short segment supposedly to set up the premise (which is unnecessary for the movie.) Then we we go to the first skit - Happy Daze, which, of course, is a spoof of the popular sitcom Happy Days. Instead of "The Fonz", Ritchie, Potsie, and Ralph, we have "The Bonz", Rickie, Putzie, and Ralphie. After an amusing gag involving Bonz's "bike", we learn that it's Rickie's 18th birthday. Bonz thinks it's now time for the boys to experience "it". ("What's 'it'?" questions Ralphie. He later finds out, and says he thinks he'll like it.) That night, the three boys go to Bonz's house, where three of Bonz's girls are waiting to teach the boys about "it". One girl drags Rickie off to another room to teach him all about "it" (nursing him through his first premature ejaculation), while Bonz has to pull out his film projector to screen a porno loop for everyone when Putzie and Ralphie are too slow to start. (I couldn't help but notice in one shot, the projector was running backwards.) In the end, all three boys learn about "it", then sneak a look at the Bonz having fun with the three girls - telling one of them to "Sit on it!" This is by far the most explicit of the three main segments, not just having a lot of female and male frontal nudity, but several seconds of what might be considered actual oral sex. Some jarring cuts might also be evidence of harder material cut out of the movie (though there's plenty of evidence elsewhere that this might be another example of the incompetent production.)

Next, we get Don't Come Back, Kotler - a spoof of Welcome Back, Kotter. Interestingly, the movie's poster, reproduced on the video box, says this segment is called Welcome Back, Kotler. This is the funniest skit of the movie, with a premise that lets itself be worked on longer, resulting in more believable characters, occurrences, and humor - including some very funny one-liners - and the actors in the segment perform with much enthusiasm. So much so, that the actor playing "Whoreshack" strongly resembles Horshack not only in looks, but in his performance (especially the laugh) - scary! The actor playing the Vinnie Barbarino character (named "Testes" - huh?) also has some resemblance to John Travolta. Boom-Boom, "Einstein", and some female students are also in class. The topic today is sex education, and Mr. Kotler, using his typical unorthodox ways to get through to these troubled teens, shows films of pornographic cartoons with Dagwood and Superman, the porno loop seen in the previous segment, then brings in a woman to be stripped and fondled by Testes so that the female anatomy can be taught. Kotler then persuades Testes to take off his clothes for the benefit of the female students, then demonstrate sex on Kotler's desk with the woman (Whoreshack chortles, "I can't wait to take the test!"). This gets the female students to take off their clothes, and then get into an orgy with Boom-Boom, Einstein, and Whoreshack. (None of the guys takes off his underwear, strangely.) Class dismissed, Kotler then announces that he's going "Home - to my wife!" (For some extra fun, spot the continuity goofs with Whoreshack's cap. Also note how the cast screws up the names of their characters several times - once, the teacher is named "Mr. Katler".)

The last spoof is titled Bernie Milner - yup, it's spoofing Barney Miller. I must confess that the closest I've come to watching this show is when I once watched ten minutes of it. So I can't really say how much this resembles the real show. This is both the least satisfying and the weirdest of the three skits. Since about 2/3 of the skit has the cast fooling around, there isn't much time for humor. Also, a show devoted to male cops and taking place in one location doesn't make you think that they could inject sex. Don't underestimate Campbell, though - the show starts with "Mojo" (Wojo) coming into the station announcing that single-handedly he's busted a massage parlor. With him is a big box of evidence and about five female "workers" from the parlor he's arrested. The women don't seem to be that upset that they've been arrested - in fact, after Mojo has given them some beer, the women then start to get very friendly with Mojo, Nick, Harris, and "Carp" (Fish). Seeing haggard Carp having his head being completely smothered by the breasts of two women is an image I'll never forget. After several minutes of the cops and the girls getting closely acquainted, Milner enters, is shocked by what he sees, and locks up the girls while soundly lecturing the men. Finding out about the bust, he decides to inspect the reel of film he finds in the box in his office. Milner, excited by seeing the now familiar porno loop, soon gets into a ménage a trois with one of the hookers and the visiting Mayor's wife. Meanwhile, the men unlock the cell and get in an orgy with the women (while keeping their underwear on.) Seeing Carp, wearing only his boxers, his vest, and his hat and having a hooker riding on his back is another image I won't forget quickly.

Only 65 minutes has gone by at this point, so to pad out the movie to about 80 minutes, the movie then shows a cheap, out of focus, projected-on-a-wall hard core pornographic cartoon called Amorous Adventures of Hansel and Gretel, which has no sound except for random background music. It is completely without merit, unless you find gags about big penises funny. After that, there's still some time to be filled, so the announcer tells us that they are now going to show us "highlights" of what we've just seen, so we are then subjected to several minutes of clips from the TV spoofs with the same atrocious musical score as before. Finally, the movie gasps and comes to an end.

The ending sucks. The production values suck. Most of the cast sucks (in acting, though there's the other kind as well.) There's a lot that sucks about this movie. So why did I still have a certain fondness to this movie? I'm not sure, but I have some suspicions. I think I liked seeing "innocent" shows of the 70s being made perverted. I'm sure I liked the fact that this is a true unknown movie - I've never seen any mention of this movie anywhere in my life. Maybe I'm the only person to have watched this movie. And though I usually don't go for humor that so unsubtle and crude, I found myself laughing when I watched it. Maybe I just happened to watch it at the right time - there's a strong possibility that if I'd watched it another day, I would have hated this movie.

Also, as I've said before, this movie has moments that are weird. For one thing, these skits start out with an announcer saying, "This program has been taped in front of a live audience," and then there's a laugh track shrieking with laughter at every gag. Yes, a laugh track. Not only does it laugh, but it applauds at key moments as well. It's surreal. I can't help but wonder about how the audience reacted to this if this movie was indeed played in theaters.

If this was exhibited in theaters, I wonder what the audience was expecting. For one thing, there's no way this could have escaped an "X" rating even if it had been cut down from a harder version. So it could only have been exhibited at certain theaters. But then how would the raincoat crowd  react to seeing the two orgy scenes where some of the participants were keeping their underwear on? So we have a movie that couldn't have been a winner in the theaters. However, with it on video (but hard to find), there may be an audience for it today. I was in the audience today - but I don't know if I would have stayed if I had seen it the next day instead.

Check for availability on Amazon (DVD)

See also: The Gong Show Movie, Prime Time, Outtakes

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