See New Orleans as it was meant to be seen – as a murky, overripe B-movie!
HOT THRILLS AND WARM CHILLS (1967)
Starring Rita Alexander, Lorna Maitland, Jean Mason
Directed by Dale Berry
This smut was filmed "on location in the Sin City of the Western Hemisphere where babes and booze can be had with the wink of an eye." The storyline has something to do with three lusty ladies who conspire to steal the King of Sex crown on Mardi Gras Day!? It makes no sense, but id doesn’t matter: The girls are sexy. The dialogue is so bad it’s funny. And the Mardi Gras footage from the ‘60s is cool. Bourbon Street stripper Rita Alexander (known as the Champagne Girl) is a real beauty with her platinum bouffant and authentic Southern accent. The non-existent production values and bad acting make this master schlock, assisted by gratuitous scenes of fornication, lesbianism, and topless dancers. Oh, and then there’s the shoot-out in the French Quarter. The cops are on the tails (literally and figuratively) of Rita and her bosom-buddy as they dash through a real Mardi Gras crowd. Classically, the police bemoan the shortage of good officers in New Orleans. Hmm. Onlookers gawk at our hassled heroines, unaware of the cameraman perched on a near-by lightpost. In an only-in-an-exploitation-movie moment, our detective stops his pursuit to spy on a naked woman tonguing her reflection in a mirror. Our fugitives hide in a cemetery, ambush the cop, and stomp him. When Rita gets trapped in a mausoleum, she is either claustrophobic, suffocating, or having an orgasm. You’re not quite sure, and then the movie suddenly ends. You can almost hear the director yelling, "That’s a wrap. We’re out of film!"
This farmer’s-daughter-in-the-Big-Easy tale sports a melodramatic narration. Judy tells how she left her perfect boyfriend in hometown Springfield for the glamour and excitement of New Orleans. In a classic B-movie plot twist, she is attacked while hitchhiking. After clobbering her attacker with a rock, she steals his car and drives to New Orleans. One too many laughably buskined voice-overs ("The day was as dismal as my future," "My suitcase was as heavy as my thoughts.") make the film’s lamely-dubbed talking scenes almost preferable. Judy rents a room in a St. Charles Avenue mansion, and sets off to find herself a job. She is quickly fired from Bucket O’ Chicken for not sleeping with the boss. Her next opportunity as a lingerie model, sends her to the Roosevelt Hotel (now the Fairmont) for a "job." As naïve Judy models revealing lingerie, the client suddenly snaps, leading to a creepily stylized rape scene, complete with close-ups and dramatic music. Jaded Judy soon becomes "The Texas Twister" (perhaps a take-off on Bourbon Street stripper, "The Texas Tornado"), a feature dancer at the Club Flamingo, her towering flip hairdo chock full of Spray Net. We’re talkin’ serious high hair, here. Judy Ods on sleeping pills after her sweetheart, Johnny, tracks her down at the nightclub. But as she leaves Charity Hospital (which, incidentally, looks exactly the same as it does today), her spirits are lifted when she spots a forgiving Johnny waiting to take her back to the small-town life she’d tried to escape. After all, tomorrow is another day.
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