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Candy Stripe Nurses
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by Brian McKay

"Keeping 'abreast' of the medical world - circa 1974"
3 stars

Yes, that's right folks. It's time for another installment in my ongoing series of classic Corman 70's tit flick reviews. Sadly, today's entry doesn't quite live up to the greatness of some of its peers (see my reviews of HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD and CAGED HEAT). Still, for all that it does right, it's worth a dust off and a look see.

Just as the title and the genre implies, the film is a sex romp about a trio of CSN's, their misadventures, and their romantic dalliances. Marisa (Maria Rojo) is the troubled Latina teen who gets sent into the Candy Stripers program by her principal in the hopes of "keeping her out of trouble". Dianne (Robin Mattson) is the intellectual who wants to be a doctor someday and who likes to drag her jock boyfriend to the theater. And Sandy (the lovely and stacked Candice Rialson) is the girl who's just looking for love in all kinds of places (and really, who's to say that they're WRONG?). Besides her regular trysts with her doctor boyfriend in their linen closet "love nest", she makes it a point to sleep with as many patients as her busy schedule will allow.

The film generally stays on the right track with the perfect mixture of pointless nudity and general zaniness (the scene where the cop keeps trying to pull his gun on the escaping robber is an absolute must-see). However, it gets bogged down by the subplots of Marisa trying to help an innocent patient who was shot fleeing an armed robbery attempt and confused with one of the robbers, and Dianne discovering "true love" with her basketball player boyfriend while coping with his drug problem. These segments often send the campy comedic vibe grinding to a halt as the film tries to take itself a bit too seriously as a crime story/romance. Still, the actresses get brownie points for both taking off their clothes and making the best of the material they have to work with. Jumping back to the segments with Sandy, as she gets into general mischief and tries to "cure" a rock star who checks into the hospital for sexual dysfunction, usually helps kick start the film and get it back on course.

To a great extent, the perkiness of the three leads are what make the film. For her work here, Maria Rojo could certainly not be classified as a "good" actress, yet she embraces the role of the stereotypical spitfire with such gusto that it cloaks a multitude of sins. As she goes about like a Nancy Drew in East L.A., searching for a witness who might exonerate her patient/love interest, she also gets the award for best one-liners, with such classics as these:

(to the would-be rapist who she pulls a gun on) - "Okay mister. You wanted to do it? Well, let's do it. Just one thing . . . this better be good!"

(to the patient who insists he's innocent) - "Yeah, right, and I'm Jackie Onassis. Be sure and stop by the Yacht sometime."

or, most classic of all:

(to the mechanic who tries to rip her off for a $50 job her car doesn't need) - "I don't have fifty dollars. I don't even have five dollars. But if I did, I'd go buy a pair of needle-nose pliers and use them to rip your eyeballs out with. Then I'd use them to tighten the oil pan nut on the engine which is THE ONLY GODDAMN THING WRONG WITH THE CAR!"

As for her red and white-striped sisters, perky blonde Candice Rialson is equally stilted in her delivery, but again makes up for it with her exuberance - and her smashingly voluptuous body, which she shows at every reasonable opportunity. Robin Mattson not only had a great body and number-one stunner looks (short dark hair and a light dusting of freckles - mmmmmm), but she had just enough acting ability that she might have actually gone somewhere with it. Sadly, she never really did, and dropped off the radar after a slew of soap operas in the early 90's. Still, for her role as Candy Striper Dianne, she shall be immortalized as a series of zeros and ones on a plastic disc.

Despite its weaknesses and laggy segments, CANDY STRIPE NURSES still merits inclusion into the Corman Boxed Set for all of its strengths - cute girls, great nudity, and hilarious off-beat comedy.

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originally posted: 03/12/03 06:24:15
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User Comments

1/10/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Great drive in movie from a golden era. 5 stars
11/12/05 bob hill this is awesome 5 stars
2/23/04 David Munn Love those nurses films! 4 stars
3/12/03 Charles Tatum Back when Corman was half watchable 3 stars
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  01-May-1974 (R)



Directed by
  Alan Holleb

Written by
  Alan Holleb

  Candice Rialson
  Robin Mattson
  Maria Rojo
  Roger Cruz
  Rod Haase
  Rick Gates

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