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Written by George Rother   
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 00:00

hot_movesHot Moves (1984) Cardinal Entertainment/Comedy RT: 85 minutes Rated R (language, nudity, strong sexual content) Director: Jim Sotos Screenplay: Peter Foldy and Larry Anderson Starring: Michael Zorek, Adam Silbar, Jeff Fishman, Johnny Timko, Jill Schoelen, Deborah Richter, Monique Gabrielle, Tami Holbrook, Gayle Gannes, Heather Ling, Clark Jarrett, Kerry Noonan, Roger Rose, David Christopher, Virgil Frye.

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No, Hot Moves is not a breakdancing flick! It's another "horny teenager" movie that brings nothing really fresh to the table, it's more of the same silly stuff featured in any number of similar flicks in the early-to-mid 80s. Off the top of my head, I can name Joysticks, Screwballs, Private School, Gettin' It On!, Goin' All The Way, Zapped!, Homework, Spring Break, Fraternity Vacation, Joy of Sex, My Tutor, Private Lessons and any one of the Porky's movies.

Hot Moves is exactly the kind of movie that high schoolers would watch on late night cable TV over the summer. I don't actually remember this one playing in movie theaters around here, doubtless I would have seen it on opening weekend. The plot is pretty standard stuff, four high school buddies make a pact to lose their virginity over the summer, they don't want to enter their senior year with their virginity intact. It sounds like this movie could have been the inspiration for the classic 1999 teen comedy American Pie. The four buddies are Barry (Zorek, Private School), Joey (Fishman, The Karate Kid), Scotty (Timko, Weird Science) and Michael (Silbar, How I Got Into College). Barry is a smarmy, fat slob who almost loses his virginity to a teddy bear-obsessed waitress at their favorite hangout, the local bowling alley. Joey can't even score with a hooker on Hollywood Boulevard, they either turn him down or charge too much money. Scotty almost gets lucky with an attractive woman on his paper route, but she isn't actually a "she", know what I mean? Michael is trying to convince his girlfriend Julie Ann (Schoelen, D.C. Cab) to go all the way with him, but she wants a more committed and romantic relationship, so they decide to see other people. Michael's older brother Cliff (Rose, Ski Patrol) introduces him to Heidi (Richter, Midnight Madness), a really hot girl who wants to get into Michael's pants. The guys' exploits include a trip to a nude beach where they watch naked women run and frolic all over the place. This scenes features lots of full frontal nudity and slow-motion running on the beach, it's surprising that this movie didn't get slapped with an X-rating for that scene alone. There's also a trip to a porno shop where the guys try to purchase condoms from the sleazy owner (Frye, Revenge of the Ninja). In other words, it's your typical 80s teen sex comedy. It's also pretty good.

My favorite aspect of Hot Moves is the presence of Jill Schoelen, my regular readers know that I am a huge fan of this highly underappreciated actress. Julie Ann is the "good girl", the one who won't open her legs on demand, she's the kind of girl that guys with any sense would want for a girlfriend. This makes Michael a colossal horse's ass, he doesn't realize that he has something great, he's thinking with the wrong head. However, Michael is the most sensible of the four guys and he will eventually come to his senses and realize that sex shouldn't be his first priority. I don't consider this a plot spoiler, in a movie like this, it's a foregone conclusion that the "decent guy" will end up with the "good girl". As for the other guys, they're complete horndogs! Barry is the kind of guy who, when asked by a teacher about his plans for the summer, says that he plans to get laid. Okay, I can't see why any girl wouldn't want to sleep with this dude (yeah, right!). He makes the other two guys seem pretty innocuous, although they are as horny as their leader and follow along as he leads them into one embarrassing situation after another. Another thing that I found interesting about Hot Moves was the second-unit photography on Venice Beach. When the guys aren't trying to get into some girl's pants, there's plenty of footage of breakdancers, weight lifter, BMX bikers, skateboarders, roller skaters in bright outfits, street musicians and other performers on the Venice Beach boardwalk. In fact, a lot of time is spent showing the various denizens that populated Venice Beach in the mid-80s. What else would you expect from a movie set in California? You have to have the beach and the boardwalk, right? Of course, there's plenty of cheesy 80s rock and dance music, it's a staple of this kind of flick.

{jcomments on}It would be fair to call Hot Moves a guilty pleasure, it's the perfect late night teen sex comedy. I have many fond memories of watching such movies on late night cable TV in the 80s, I really wish that I had come across this one at the time. It's pretty funny in a dirty sort of way, but what really gives it special appeal is Jill Schoelen. I can never say enough good things about this actress, she has a very special quality and you never want to take your eyes off of her. She has such a beautiful smile, I could see where any guy with common sense would want to date her. Aside from that, let's talk about the real reason teenagers would watch Hot Moves, there's plenty of hot babes in this movie. Deborah Richter has a few sexy scenes in this flick, she's a total fox! And Penthouse Pet Monique Gabrielle (Deathstalker II) shows up as Heidi's shy cousin. I've already mentioned the abundant nudity. There's a scene where the guys peep through a woman's bedroom window while one of them makes it with some girl. Barry steals a pair of expensive binoculars from his father so they can peep at girls on the nude beach. Naturally, somebody drops them and they shatter into a million pieces. There's no real plot surprises and the production values are cheap, we're talking bargain-basement cheap. The acting, for the most part is amateurish and director Jim Sotos (Forced Entry, Sweet Sixteen) always maintains the drive-in movie/late night cable TV flick sensibility. We know that a movie called Hot Moves isn't going to be an Ingmar Bergman flick, but the audience for this movie isn't looking for that kind of movie. The ticket buyer knows exactly what they're in for, it's a sleazy teen sex comedy with lousy production values. But at least there's lots of hot chicks and nudity, right? This movie never pretends to be something that it's not, it is what it is. Plus, it features Jill Schoelen and that's what seals the deal for me.

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