Daily Archives: September 4, 2022

The Sex O’Clock News (1985)

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By Richard Winters

My Rating: 4 out of 10

4-Word Review: News stories about sex.

KSEX is a TV-station that’s modeled like an ordinary broadcast station that has a 2-person anchor team (Doug Ballard, Lydia Mahan) that delivers the news and a show similar to ‘Entertainment Tonight’ that talks about the latest gossip in Hollywood and is hosted by Bill Wright (Wayne Knight) and Wanda Bennett (Kate Weiman). It even has a sports desk lead by Marty Cohen (Rob Baartlett). The only difference between these news shows and the regular ones is that the reports deal exclusively with sexual topics from nude car washes to abusive game shows.

This was yet another attempt to replicate the success of Kentucky Fried Movie that worked off of a collection of short raunchy skits loosely based around a bawdy theme. The unique genre began with The Groove Tube in 1974 and got imitated by many other independent filmmakers throughout the ’70’s who liked the format because it could be made on a low budget and yet still attract attention due to the outrageous humor. Some of them, which are too many to list here, were mildly funny while others fell flat. By the 80’s this type of movie had pretty much burnt itself out and was no longer in vogue. Only one other Amazon Women on the Moon was made, but since 1987 this genre has gone dark and most would probably say, due to the dubious quality, is probably for the best.

This one is borderline. Not all the skits work, but it does go for a darker edge, which helps. This was part of the problem with the others is that they had this idea that just showing breasts, or making a sexual reference would be enough to get a titillated giggle from the audience, like everybody is just a perpetual 7th grader, but by the 80’s with the proliferation of porn easily attainable at video stores, just making a movie with nudity was no longer provocative enough, so this one digs deeper with material of a very political Incorrect nature.

Some of the ones I found amusing, though others might find offensive especially in this day and age, was the bit promoting suicides by having people jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and captured for posterity on either VHS or Beta. There’s also the report dealing with violent nuns trained to beat-up and even kill anyone that doesn’t convert to Catholicism. A vacation cruise for overweight people is kind of amusing as is a wrestling match between Joan Rivers and Elizabeth Taylor (lookalikes not the actual celebrities) where there’s a lot of quips dealing with Taylor’s weight. There’s also a segment dealing with a transsexual beauty pageant, that might’ve offended more if it were actually funny and a skit dealing with a clinic that does experimental surgery on gay men to turn them straight, or as the anchor states: “they walk in a fruit and leave a vegetable”.

Sprinkled in-between are ads like the Jesse James School where people are sent training materials through the mail on how to become a successful bank robber. There’s also a long segment dealing with a game show called ‘You Bet Your Ass’ where a family, whose father is on death row, must answer each question correctly, or their dad gets fried on the electric chair, which has a decent payoff though it takes too long to get there.

Like with the other films from this genre there’s spotty laughs here and there, but it lacks momentum. Despite the short running time I kept glancing at my watch waiting for it to be over. The production values are cheap giving it a home movie quality and the overall design of the news studio is unimaginative there also isn’t any young future comic star that eventually rose to the top as no one from this cast ever became famous. Unless you like seeing a movie with tasteless humor of a bygone era that could clearly never be made today, there’s really no other reason to watch it.

My Rating: 4 out of 10

Released: August 9, 1985

Runtime: 1 Hour 17 Minutes

Rated R

Director: Romano Vanderbes

Studio: Chase Films

Available: DVD-R (dvdlady.om)