Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Bikini Carwash Company (Ed Hansen, 1992)

It's a good thing I stayed around for the end credits of The Bikini Carwash Company, or else I would have made quite the fool of myself. Itching to go on a long-winded tangent about the bizarre editing transitions featured throughout this film, I was literally cut-off at the knees when I saw the scene (a.k.a. stinger) that appears after the end credits. It would seem that those "bizarre editing transitions" were swish pans. And, according to Penn State University's film terminology page, a swish pan is a "quick pan from one position to another caused by spinning the camera on its vertical axis and resulting in a blurring of details between the two points. Sometimes a swish pan is used as a transition by creating a blur and then ending the blur at an action in an entirely different place or time." Now, the question that is, no doubt, on everyone's mind is: Why on earth am I talking about swish pans when I could talking about hot chicks washing cars in bikinis? What can I say, you know me, I love swish pans. Wait a minute, no I don't. In fact, I thought writer-director Ed Hansen's decision to use swish pans from start to finish, while a bold one from an artistic point-of-view, was a flawed at best.


On the other hand, you won't find that many reviews for The Bikini Carwash Company that start off with paragraphs about swish pans. While that puts a positive spin on the contents of my opening paragraph, I still feel somewhat ill at ease for not opening with a circumlocutory barrage of bikini-based prose.


In my defense, The Bikini Carwash Company isn't your average bikini car wash movie. If it was, would I be reviewing it? I think not. 


The film wastes little time when it comes to proving that it isn't your average bikini car wash movie by showing how Jack (Joe Dusic), a nerdy guy from Iowa, made his way to sunny California. Instead of shooting footage of him riding on a bus or some boring shit like that, this film uses state of the art computer graphics to depict his journey westward.


If you look at the date I included along with the film's title and director, you'll notice that The Bikini Carwash Company was made in 1992. That alone should give everyone a pretty good idea what the computer graphics look like.


Speaking of dates, some of you probably did a double-take when you saw that this film was not made in 1982. Apparently no one told the makers of this film that the 1980s are over. Then again, people who criticize others for not behaving in a manner that corresponds correctly with the zeitgeist they're currently immersed in are basically assholes.


If you want to wear paisley bell-bottoms in 1985, I say, go for it. If you want to listen to the Squirrel Nut Zippers in 2010, knock yourself out. And if you want to make a car wash movie with tons of bikini-clad women and more swish pans than one can shake a stick at in 1992, be my guest.


Obviously inspired by the success of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, writer-director Ed Hansen and his writing and producing partner George "Buck" Flower have decided to computerize the point-of-view of one of its characters. However, since this film isn't about an Austrian-accented cyborg sent from the future to protect a floppy-haired basket case, the makers of this film give the local flasher the ability to analyze his targets.


The instances where we see the flasher's H.U.D. combined with the swish pans are what make The Bikini Carwash Company stand out in the crowded field of bikini car wash movies. However, what makes the film just plain great are the women and their thongs.


Opening with the aforementioned Jack asking strangers on the beach where he can find the Sunshine Car Wash Company, his search eventually leads to Missy Warner. Aptly credited as "Awesome Beach Girl," Missy wows her fellow beach-goers with her thong-ensnared butt-crack. Clumsily asking her about the whereabouts this car wash, Missy loses patience with him and tells him to, and I quote: "Get away from me and my tits, you creep."


I don't know, man, this Jack fella isn't exactly endearing himself to the audience. I mean, the way he kept badgering people about the location of some car wash was enough to drive you mad. Seriously, this sort of behaviour might acceptable in Iowa, but people in L.A. want to be left alone, especially when they're at the beach.


When Jack stumbles upon Melissa (Kristi Ducati) and her pals (let's see if I can name them all),  Amy (Rikki Brando), Sunny (Sara Suzanne Brown), Tammy Joe (Brook Lynn Page), Stanley (Eric Ryan), Big Bruce (Scott James) and Rita (Neriah Davis), who I saved for last because she's the hottest and the dumbest woman in the entire movie... Damn it, I lost my train of thought (the gorgeousness/idiocy of Neriah Davis, a.k.a. Neriah Napaul, has been known to do that). Oh yeah, when Melissa, who is having money troubles, gets one look at Jack, she sees dollar signs.


Dropping by the car wash to see Jack (yes, he eventually found it), Melissa tells him to come by the beach after work to discuss a business opportunity.


Take special note of when Jack corrects Melissa for implying that he's from Idaho instead of Iowa, as this gag is employed, let's see (Idaho, Illinois, Indianapolis), a total of three times. Really? Three times? I could have sworn they're were more. Oh well. If I was in charge of writing this movie, I would have shown Melissa correctly stating that Jack was in fact from Iowa (near the end of the film, of course). This would have clued the audience into the fact that Melissa was falling for Jack.


It should be pointed that I'm a fan of the way Neriah Davis looks in this movie. What I mean is, when I did some digging for pictures of Neriah, I was horrified by what I came across (Two words: Breast implants). 


You see, the Neriah who appears in this movie is all-natural. Oh, sure, she's got about five cans worth of hairspray in her hair, but everything else is pure Neriah.


Actually, upon further inspection, the reason Neriah's hair looks so big has nothing to do with chemicals. No, the reason it looks so big is because she employs scrunchies in ways their designers clearly did not foresee. It's true, some of the folks who work at the scrunchie laboratories over in Scrunchie Valley predicted that some people might employ their scrunchies in ways they did not intend, but their concerns were not given much credence by the scrunchie bigwigs.


Well, judging by the manner which the throngs of thong-wearing bimbos who appear in this movie are deploying their scrunchies, it would seem that all bets are off when it comes to scrunchie usage.


Somehow managing to convince Jack to let Melissa and her bikini-clad pals come work for him, his once drab car wash is quickly turned into a successful business where fun and frivolity rule supreme.


Proving, despite my inherent gayness, that my taste in women is impeccable, Neriah Davis' Rita is the one put in charge of luring drivers into the car wash.


Standing on the side of road, Rita beckons cars into the car wash simply by using a series of gesturing motions.


In order to come across as a real movie, a stuffy lawyer character is added to the mix. Threatening to close down the car wash for being lewd and lascivious (in addition to that, Rita causes close to forty fender benders), the assistant district attorney gets all up in Jack's grill. Luckily, Melissa has a lawyer friend named Bobby Canova (Kimberly Bee), who shows up just in time to put the prudish ADA in his place.


When I saw that Bobby was wearing stockings underneath her lawyerin' clothes, I thought to myself: If I don't see the tops of her stockings by the time this movie is over, I'm going to be pretty upset.


Well, not only do we get to see the top of her black hold-up stockings, we also get a glimpse of the stocking tops attached to the wife of a prudish judge. And to think, we all have Amy to thank for this, as her inability to control a vacuum hose is the reason so many stocking tops were revealed in this film.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think The Bikini Carwash Company holds the record for having the most montages in movie history. Seriously, the movie is barely an hour, yet it must contain at least eight montages. And each montage features a song by Shake City and Newhaven, bands who produce bowling alley-quality hair metal.


Realizing that their film is barely an hour long, Ed Hansen and Buck Flower decide to include a five minute photo montage at the end of the movie to pad things out. And like every other montage featured in this movie, a pre-op Neriah Davis blows all the other women out of the water with her natural, scrunchie-enhanced beauty.


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