Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sex Kittens Go to College

So I watched Sex Kittens Go to College over the weekend. It's available on a terribly overpriced Warner Archive DVD, so if you want to watch it now instead of waiting for it to show up on TCM again, you can.

The opening credits start off with Dr. Zorch (Louis Nye), a professor using the latest and greatest computer circa 1960, Thinko, to help his college come up with a new dean for the science department; helped by his assistant Dr. Carter (Pamela Mason). Thinko, which is shaped like a robot, comes up with Dr. Mathilda West (Mamie Van Doren), who's got 13 doctorates (I think; it's easy to lose count when you've got that many). So they hire her sight unseen, and as is the case in those old college movies, seemingly the entire campus comes out greet her, including co-eds Jody (Tuesday Weld) and Suzanne (Mijanou Bardot; yes, she's Bridget's kid sister), and PR guy George Barton (Martin Milner).

And then they see Dr. West. Unsurprisingly, they don't think of her as a college professor, because back in those days college professors didn't look like Mamie Van Doren, I suppose. Dr. West has a predictable effect on everybody, most notably star football player Woo Woo Grabowski (played by Norman "Woo Woo" Grabowski because apparentlythe writers ran out of ideas). Woo Woo faints ever time he gets too close to a pretty woman, so Dr. West decides to help him over that. Using her doctorate in psychology, mind you. Not in the way you'd think.

If you think that's an inane plot, there are other plot strands which are equally inane. One is that Dr. West has a past, and you can probably guess what that past is if your dean looks like Mamie Van Doren. Apparently people aren't allowed to redeem themselves by becoming college professors. But that plot strand winds up with Dr. West hypnotizing the other doctors and making them part of a nightclub show. That past could jeopardize a large donation from "Admiral" MacPherson (Jackie Coogan).

And then there are the people who get off the train with Dr. West, although they're not with her, if you get what I mean. Boomie (Mickey Shaughnessy) and Legs (Allan Drake) are looking for Sam Thinko, not realizing that it's a computer. They're clearly shady characters, although why exactly they're looking for Thinko isn't revealed until late in the movie. It's just obvious that they're supposed to be the bad guys, because this movie is nothing if not unsubtle.

Well, Sex Kittens Go to College is so much more than unsubtle, on the terrible side. The plot, such as it is, is miniscule, difficult to follow at times, and makes little sense. It doesn't even have the benefit of being a series of sketches. The acting, for the most part, is horrible. Everybody is either wooden (Milner) or overbroad (Bardot, who apparently decided to turn the French accent up to 11). Perhaps worst of all, the print TCM showed was the American cut; apparently there was a version shown in Europe that included an extra 10 minutes that included a burlesque act. And on quite a few occasions, Sex Kittens Go to College doesn't even make it to the "so bad it's good" level.

So if you want to buy the Warner Archive video, go ahead. I'd recommend waiting for it to show up on TCM again.

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