Friday, January 9, 2009

Young Nurses in Love (1986)

Directed by Chuck Vincent
Starring Jeanne Marie, Alan Fisler, Veronica Hart, Jamie Gillis
Rated R
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"Comrade, you must succeed on this mission. Even if it costs you your virginity."

Can you spoof a spoof? 1982's Young Doctors in Love was a gag-stuffed, Airplane-esque satire of hospital-themed soap operas, ala General Hospital. Directed by sitcom legend Garry Marshall, the modestly successful film was a minor blip in the pantheon of spoof films, but appeared to be sufficiently inspirational to hardcore-gone-soft cheese-churner Chuck Vincent. Most of Marshall's plot points are used here - the doctor/nurse with a secret, the illicit supply-room trysts, the bumbling mobsters - but, as you might expect, given Vincent's resume, the emphasis is on sexy hijinks.

When you consider that the Cold War didn't really end until 1989, the premise of this one isn't really that far-fetched: at an otherwise low-rent American hospital, there exists a world-famous collection of frozen semen samples. Said samples were collected from various geniuses (Howard Hughes, Picasso, Thomas Edison...ok, so it is pretty far-fetched). The USSR, lagging behind the US in science and technology, wants to steal the samples, so that they may breed their own army of super-geniuses. A Russian spy is dispatched to work undercover as a nurse to snatch the vials and bring 'em back to the motherland. Meanwhile, having caught wind of the nefarious plot, the FBI place a handsome young spy to pose as a doctor and nab the faux-nurse in the act of jizz-robbery.

Along the way, of course, there's the usual gang of idiots and porn stars to contend with. This one's got more high-profile sex stars in substantial roles than usual. There's Annie Sprinkle as a perpetual boob-job patient being stalked by a creepy German morgue attendant, Jamie Gillis as a booze and drug-hoovering reconstructive surgeon in charge of giving a cigar-chomping mob boss a new face, and Veronica Hart as head nurse Francesca, the only approaching-sane character in this whole motley crew.

All of this is incidental to what this film is really all about: people running down hospital corridors, knocking each other over. That, and screeching. There isn't one segment in this film that doesn't involve one of the nurses yelling about something, usually in a half-assed foreign accent of some kind. Ah, but the jokes! Young Nurses in Love is packed with 'em. Half the jokes don't even make sense, though. Here's an example:

"We're out of syringes."
"Did you try the deli?"

There's a lot of moments like that.

Yes, but will boners be popped? Most assuredly, although not as many as you'd think. Nurses in mini-skirted uniforms are always welcome, and there's plenty of them on display here. When undercover Russkie Ellis (Jeanne Marie) first receives her curve-hugging uniform, she complains to Nurse Francesca that she's been given an "Extra-small".
"That's right, honey," Francesca tells her, "One size fits all."
Aside from the obvious appeal of mid 80's jiggle-bunnies poured into porno-nurse outfits, though, there's actually very little bared skin. Marie strips down for a tame sex scene with Dr. Reilly (Alan Fisler), and Veronica Hart lets loose her tea-cup shaped floppies during a comical sexcapade with a doctor, but there are otherwise very few flashes of nudity.

So, what's the appeal here, if any? Well, the performances are generally pretty good, especially for a haphazard cast full of sex stars and amateurs. Gillis and Hart, in particular, are both very funny in their roles. Gillis saunters around like a greaseball Foster Brooks, and Hart is clearly channeling her inner Lucy. Also good is Beth Broderick as Putnam, yet another Russian spy disguised as a nurse, only this one's got a thick Soviet accent and a mile-long mean streak. There's a scene where she barrels down the hallway, knocking passerby to the floor as she goes, that rivals the Terminator for sheer macho swagger. I don't know why a Russian would be named Putnam, or why all the KGB spies in this film are California blondes, but I don't suppose that matters in Vincent's plastic-fantastic world. The soundtrack is also pretty swell, filled with catchy power-pop songs by a handful of seriously obscure bands like Zen for Primates and Buzzard Luck, and the economical running time - 82 minutes, including five minutes of slowly scrolling end-credits - means it's in and out of your radar before all the yelling and pratfalls start to shred your nerves.

Young Nurses in Love was produced right in the middle of Chuck Vincent's R-rated run. He followed this one up with Wimps a few months later, dragging most of Nurses' cast and crew with him. Jamie Gillis, by the way, appeared in 30 films in 1986. 29 of 'em required his penis. Jamie Gillis had sex with more women in one year than most people do in a lifetime. That fucker deserves a round of applause. Beth Broderick, who appeared in a handful of Vincent's films, including Sex Appeal (1986), Student Affairs (1987), and Slammer Girls (1987), eventually carved out a decent television career, and is probably best known as Aunt Zelda from the Sabrina, the Teenage Witch TV show.

Everybody else either continued to fuck for money or went off and did something more productive. Sometime after the 1980's, the bottom dropped out of the nursing industry, so young sexy blondes generally choose a different line of work, leaving hospital visits mostly boner-free these days. So I'd avoid getting sick, if you can.

Availability: Young Nurses in Love is available on VHS.
Buy Young Nurses in Love at Amazon.
-Ken McIntyre

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