Friday, April 17, 2009

Takin' It Off Out West (1995)

Directed by Ed Hansen
Starring Julie Strain, Buck Flower, John Goff
Rated R

"Your condition is keeping us from getting rich. Why don't you just try playing with yourself?"

Sadly, this is the final installment in Ed Hansen's Takin' It Off trilogy. Not so sadly, it's probably the best one. It's still not good, mind you, it's just not as eyeball-abusingly bad as Takin' It Off or Takin' It All Off. So that's something.

It's the Wild West. Well, it's one of those low-rent Wild West backlots, really. John F Goff resurrects his flouncy Elliot role from Takin' It All Off, only now he's Virgil, and he's leading a trio of out-of-work strippers (Anastasia Brown, Kimberly Knight, and un-credited girl number 3) to some mining town in the desert via stagecoach. They stop at a ghost town for water (classically not the best place to find any), where they proceed to strip down and frolic. They meet the longhaired marshal (of a ghost town?), Quiet Earp (Dallas Austin), and make themselves at home. Earp is supposed to help them safely make it to the mining town.

Meanwhile, Julie Strain, dressed up like some sort of glamazon American Indian, skulks around with a bow and arrow, while Buck Flower, as Pappy, and his idiot son Pink (Anthony Mitchum), watch from the bushes. Apparently Pappy has recently sold his horses for a 'Wishing Stone'. Pappy and son both wear eye patches. So does Pappy's other son, Purple (Jeff Beasely). So they might be pirates, not cowboys.

The Marshal's name is Quiet Earp, by the way, because he doesn't say much. Also, Pappy's sons are named Pink and Purple because he already had a dog named Blue. Also, I'm guessing, because both are penis colors. Haha.

In one gutbusting scene, Purple rides up to the mining camp on an invisible horse. Also, there's a classic Ed Hansen scene early on where Virgil, wearing a chef's hat, attempts to make dinner outside. One of the girls says, "I feel like somebody's watching us. It's a different feeling from when I take off my clothes."
And then the other girl knocks into her, and she falls down. This is accentuated with Hanna Barbara boinks. She gets up and calls the other girl a slut, and they start to wrestle, with Virgil between them. And then fiddle music plays. Hansen never realized the sound cues make things less funny, not more.

Then Julie Strain smears on some war paint.

The "guvmint" is paying the strippers $500 a day to entertain the sad-sacks at the mine. Pappy's plan is to kidnap the girls and hold them for ransom until the government pays them off. It seems like a solid enough plan, but he is somewhat stymied by the fact that Pink, whenever he sees a beautiful woman, starts doing backflips and making boinking noises like a flipped-out Daffy Duck. This makes stealth-y operations like kidnapping nearly impossible.

Under the cover of darkness, Pappy and his sons creep into the camp. "Wake up, Marshal. Time to die," Pappy says, brandishing his pistol. "Nothing personal."

The noise wakes up the strippers. One of them says "Somebody do something!" which makes her boob fall out which, in turn, makes Pink go into boinging backflip convulsions. This thwarts their plans, and they are, sadly, forced to retreat.

Meanwhile, Julie Strain sharpens her arrow.

Free of marauders once more, the girls take soapy baths. Pink and Purple use the opportunity to sneak back in, but instead of shooting the marshal (who is suggestively shaving a plank of wood), they just have sex with the girls.

Ands that's it for quite some time, just softcore fucking, Julie Strain working on her weapons, and Pappy getting drunk.

And then Virgil accidentally shoots his dick off.

Meanwhile, at the mining camp (actually just a patch of mud), the men are airing their grievances at Marshmallow Malone (Hardy Oliver). They paid good money for strippers, dammit, and they've yet to show up. All they have to amuse themselves with is Magic's (Jimmy Sarno) lame-ass card tricks.

Magic: Wanna see my new card trick?
Cowboy: Magic, you can take those cards and shove them up your ass.
Magic: How'd you know that was my trick? I only came up with it last night!

Marshmallow sends his tomboy daughter, Catastrophe Kate (Kathy Pasmore), to fetch the strippers. Kate is dressed in layers of what looks like burlap, and her face is coated in dirt. She gets to the town and berates the girls for being tramps and floozies. They, on the other hand, are unsure whether she's a boy or girl. Five minutes later - after Kate falls head over heels for the monosyllabic marshal - she's taking a soapy outdoor shower, giant silicone melons glistening in the sun, her face now miraculously slathered in make-up.

Pink and Purple attempt another raid, and Kate takes off on her horse. Topless.

Meanwhile, Julie Strain takes off her leather bra and paints her nipples.

Pink and Purple find out they're not Pappy's kids after all ("We're Peckers, not Putzes") and chase Pappy out of town. Everybody clops on over to the mining camp, where the men finally get their strip show. As in all Ed Hansen productions, it goes on forever. And then, for whatever reason, Magic does a striptease.
And then Julie Strain, who it turns out is not an Indian at all, just a pissed-off white chick, shoots Pappy in the ass with an arrow, and becomes Mayor of the ghost town. The end.

Alright, so on the plus side, the new hillbilly Takin' It Off theme is less annoying than the previous disco version, and the girls in this one are far better looking than the over-the-hill two-dollar strippers from the first two films. Everything else, however - Flower's drunken lurching, the childish gags, the sound-effects album abuse - is prime Hansen. The Wild West theme just adds that extra slug of lunacy to the proceedings. Seems kinda nuts to leave jaw dropping force-of-nature Julie Strain out in the woods for the entire movie, but I'm sure Ed had his reasons. At any rate, it will take you about ten seconds to figure out whether Takin' It Off Out West is for you or not, but odds lean toward the latter.

Ed followed this up, amazingly enough, with a zombie movie.

: Takin' It Off Out West is available on VHS.

- Ken McIntyre

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