Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hot Moves (1985)

Directed by Jim Sotos
Starring Jill Schoelen, Adam Sillbar, Michael Zorek
Rated R
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What I like about the plot of this film is that it's relatable. It's about four high school dudes, out on summer break, who make a pact to lose their virginity before their senior year starts in September. What self-respecting teenage dirtbag hasn't made this self-same pact? And, indeed, how many of us bungled it, just like these jokers? Hot Moves, man. It's the naked truth.

The film opens with five or so minutes worth of 80's people at Venice Beach doin' 80's stuff, i.e. roller skating and riding BMX bikes and power-lifting. You know, showing off their 'hot moves'. Brit NWOBHM champs Raven, at that point attempting a hopeless American invasion, perform the blaring theme song. We are soon introduced to our four strapping young lads: Michael (Adam Sillbar), the doe-eyed leader of the gang; Barry (instantly recognizable go-to chubby sidekick Michael Zorek); Scotty (Johnny Timco), the with the fluffy hair; and Joey (Jeff Fishman), the twink. They make their pact and then lie around on the beach, ogling the local talent. Michael is currently dating Julie-Ann (Jill Schoelen), but she won't give up the puss, so he's thinking about ditching her. He decides to confront her on this burning issue, so he saunters over to her place.

First of all, 1985-ish Jill Schoelen is such a breathtaking vision of wide-eyed innocence that no dude would walk away from her, regardless of her aversion to pre-marital sex. So just listen to this clown:

Julie-Ann: "I was wondering if you wanted to come with me to my aunt Leslie's pool party on Friday night."
Michael: "I'd love to come with you Julie, but frankly, I don't think I can handle another date with you if I'm just going to go home frustrated."
Julie-Ann: "Frustrated? I'm the one who's frustrated, Michael. The only thing that matters to you is sex, isn't it?"
Michael: "No, it's not all that matters, but it does matter." Pause for dramatic effect. "I'll see you around."
And then he takes off. Mind you, the fucker is wearing tiny blue shorts the whole time. So he takes a few steps, and then he turns around and says,
"Oh, and Julie...I miss being with you."
What a manipulative cunt that kid is.

And so, the pact. Barry almost bangs a teddybear-obsessed waitress with a Sheena Easton haircut, but he accidentally kicks over a candle while they're making out and nearly burns her house down. Joey decides to just visit a whore and get it over with, but wants to buy a condom first. Instead of just popping in to the local pharmacy, all four guys slink into the darkest, dankest sex shop ever. The greasy creep behind the counter - a dead-ringer for Herman, the gun-obsessed, one-armed, army surplus store owner on the Simpsons - sells Joey a condom for $7.50. He also tries to sell him an edible jockstrap. "This one's penis flavored," he says.
So, they cruise around Hollywood looking for a discount hooker. They pass by a theater playing "Flashpants". Flashpants! Awesome. Anyway, the kid looks like he's twelve, so none of the streetwalkers will bite. So far, this pact is an abject failure.

Flash-forward a day or so. Scotty meets a vampish brunette wearing a slinky black nightgown while on his morning paper route. She invites him in to her home, and he's pretty sure he's got this one all sewn up. But then her wig falls off. Turns out, she's a tranny. Drats. He hightails it out of there, although you'd think, given his feathered hair and short-shorts, that this would be his sorta scene. Said tranny, by the way, is played by legendary porn actor/producer/director David "Pussyman" Christopher.

Meanwhile, Julie-Ann decides she's had enough of Michael's bullshit, so she makes a date with Roger, the lifeguard.

But first, we have to watch like ten minutes of some dudes breakdancing.

So Michael's older brother skates by, and suggests Michael ask out Heidi (Deborah Richter), because she's "dying to get in your pants, and she's got lots of horny friends." He even tells Mike that he can use his place. Mike's older brother is the balls.

So Mike does, in fact, call up Heidi, to see if he can get a group date type situation going with his dopey friends and her foxy posse. "Can you get booze?" She asks, while stretching her leg in sex-robic fashion. "Because that'll make it a lot easier. My friends like to drink." Suddenly, life is good again. Plans of action are hastily cobbled together.

But first, the fat kid has to drink a bottle of ketchup at the bowling alley.

Later that evening, they meet up with Heidi-the-minx and her friends. They go the arcade and a weird midget in a barbershop quartet outfit gives her a stuffed hippo. Later on, they swill warm beer and play miniature golf. I know, it sounds sorta pathetic, but take it from me, this is what passed for an eventful night out when you were a teenager in 1985.
Oh yeah, and somewhere in there, Roger-the-lifeguard smacks down Michael. Good. I hate that fuckin' kid.

So, somehow, all of these idiots end up getting the girls naked, but Michael's conscience kicks in at the last moment, so he can't fuck Heidi. And this is what he says:
"It's got nothing to do with you, Heidi. It's personal."
He says this to a girl he's in bed with. Did I mention that I hate him?
So he storms off to find Julie-Ann. Conveniently enough, she's just discovering that Roger is actually a grabby asshole. If only someone would save her from this masher!

Well, you know how it ends, right?

Hot Moves was directed by the mysterious Jim Sotos (AKA rock video super-producer Dimitri Sotirakis), best known for Forced Entry (1975) an R-rated pseudo-remake of the alarming 1972 XXX flick about a psycho 'Nam vet serial rapist/killer. He followed that up with the '83 slasher Sweet Sixteen. Looking back at this catalog of carnage, Sotos does not seem like the obvious choice for a fluffy teen boner-com, but serial rapists be damned, the talented sonofabitch crafted one of the most consistently entertaining and good-looking films of the era. Sotos shamelessly exploits his location here, seamlessly mixing the film's plot with what's already happening on Venice Beach, which means he can - and often does - cut away to sun-tanning beauties, preening muscle boys, and assorted colorful freaks and goons at will. He also has an eye for fetching females, so the film is fairly crammed with hot tail, including the scrumptious Jill Schoelen, smoldering cult siren Monique Gabriel, and Miss California 1975, Deborah Richter. Even with the jarring, bottom-shelf soundtrack (Supergroove?) Hot Moves is Boner popping perfection for teenage losers. One major sticking point, though: what's with the tiny shorts on the male leads, Mr. Sotos? Cut out the tits, and you could easily call this film Three Gay Hustlers and a Fat Kid.

PS: Come back Jill Schoelen. We miss you. Bring the polka dot bikini from Hot Moves.

Availability: Hot Moves is available on DVD.
Buy Hot Moves at Amazon.


  1. I feel like I've seen most of these movies you're reviewing on USA's UP ALL NIGHT. Of course those were all cut and boob-less showings making them pretty pointless bad comedies to watch. It sucked to be too young to rent porn movies back in those days.

  2. I still can't believe Raven did the theme song for this movie.

    If an 80's flick starts off with John Gallagher going "Waaaaaauuuugh!" that's usually a good sign.


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