Way Out Topless/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
The film seems to start out in Mondo territory, where a group of topless women are gathered at some sort of health club to have their waists and bustlines measured. What is this for exactly? Let us ask the narrator, and I quote: "To obtain the best possible results on their way to a more perfect and healthy body". We then watch the girls, with the assistance of a fitness-trainer, do some working out by weight-lifting. Wait a minute. What is this? An instructional tape? Oh, nevermind. One of the girls is pumping some iron while topless, hence the title, Way Out Topless. Alight, no more complaints. More exercise is being observed by us as we watch two of the girls combating each other in a playful wrestling match, as evident by the smiles on their faces. But whoa! All of a sudden this is turning into a feisty catfight because one of the girls looks pissed! (I don't think that was planned) We end this training montage by having the narrator exit us from this health club and into a...Strip club! From here on out, we'll be given a front row seat to watch an overload of strippers, burlesque dancers, exotic dancers, and belly dancers do their thing. The narrator frequently comes back and forth and informs us about "The Night People" (I'm sure he's referring to guys like us!) who visit these clubs for the enjoyment and entertainment these girls provide. The narrator also points out how it will be difficult "to distinguish work and exercise". Ah, enough of this exercise talk, dude. Let's just see these girls in action!
But unfortunately what lies ahead is an excruciatingly tedious ride. Yes, it's good to have moments like this preserved just so many of us can have an idea on what it must have looked like inside of these old "Bump'n'Grind" houses. The problem is that everything is presented in truly monotonous fashion. The girls' dance routines are all the same. The body shapes are all the same (this was back when women were preferred to be a bit plump) Those "Burlesque pasties" (things that are placed to cover the nipples) get in the way of our enjoyment (this was still at a time when full-fledged topless nudity was still illegal for most clubs) but worst of all, we have to endure listening to the same six jazzy, lounge songs get repeated on a continuous loop on the soundtrack. Believe me, once you hear these songs, you'll never forget them as long as you live. What this movie could have used was more of a variety of dancers/performers. All that gets presented are visits to clubs in Baltimore, Miami and Washington (to its credit, Miami appeared to have a more lively showing of the trio) but the movie ends on somewhat of a high note when the film concludes in a random location (on what looks like a school stage!) where we finally get to see some dancers perform with no pasties. Hooray for nipples! So even though Way Out Topless lives up to its title at the very end, the ride getting there isn't satisfactory. Yet I always consider it important to watch and learn how exploitation-cinema's roots had developed. Even though this film is in the long line of essentials in exploitation-cinema, I tend to draw the line on certain films. To sum it up, you might be better off getting some exercise done instead. Egad.
Reviewed by Laydback