Written by / 12/19/2013 / 1 Comment / , ,

PICK-UP SUMMER AKA PINBALL SUMMER

year: 1980 rating: ***
PINBALL SUMMER, also known as PICK-UP SUMMER… the latter appearing in the opening credits… Along with other great titles like PINBALL PICK-UP and FLIPPER GIRLS… is a ninety minute movie that seems about four hours, and that’s not such a bad thing…

With sporadic shots  of pinball, and the film set during summertime, the original/working title fits yet there’s not much of a pick-up since sexy sisters Donna and Suzy, played by Karen Stephen and DR. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN starlet Helene Udy, already seem in-cahoots with our affable heroes Greg and Steve, two cool yet equally clumsy dudes that like hanging out at a local dive arcade and, along with a grungy biker named Bert, really want to win a coveted pinball trophy.

Helene Udy and a lucky stuffed bear
Much of the film has the foursome hanging around local spots, ranging from a theme park to a lakeside resort: the hotter the weather, the less clothes the sisters wear… But for hardcore exploitation fans it’s Joy Boushel as Sally that not only takes it off completely, but has her very own retro rock tune blaring when she's by herself and even during a frolicking house party.

Added to the mainstays are filler roles including a conceited rich kid who falls victim to practical jokes, and an off-kilter geek dead-set on appeasing the head villain at all costs. And there's not much to say about PINBALL SUMMER expect that when the movie actually relies on the titular device, the good times pretty much stop rolling... The final matchup between Greg and Bert, competing on a game aptly titled Pinball Summer while the local kids cheer them on, is somewhat ponderous: You'll wonder if the in-house arcade crowd can even see the slow-paced, flat-table game like the viewing motion picture audience.

It's the jovially flimsy plot-line: the sisters having fun despite uptight parents, and their boyfriends having fun despite the random bulwarks of their girl-next-door sirens, that makes this low-budget exploitation work despite itself.
Helene Udy playing pinball in the local arcade
Have a nice summer...
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1 comment:

  1. Know what's awesome about that last screenshot? I have a picture of me on the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial from 1982 that's almost exactly like that. Two girls about 13 or 14 at the oldest facing downward looking into the water wearing their Dolphin Shorts (remember Dolphin shorts?) while I'm facing my dad while he's taking the picture of me. Oh he didn't have to have the girls in the picture. I remember him giving me a copy of the picture winking at me. It was in my Hawaii scrap book for years. Exploitation indeed!

    Great review sir.

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