Deadly Weapons (1974)

Deadly Weapons

Directed by Doris Wishman

Tagline: “Seeing is Believing! 73-32-36!”

Run Time: 75 minutes


Deadly Weapons is one of several "sexploitation" films written, directed, and produced by the prolific pseudo-pornographic pioneer Doris Wishman. A leading figure in the murky niche of soft-core porn/exploitation flicks during the 1970’s, Doris was responsible for filling the local ‘grind house’ cinemas with such fare as Keyholes Are For Peeping (1972), The Amazing Transplant (1971), and the epic Nude on the Moon where astronauts traveling to the moon are surprised to discover, yep, nudists. Wishman also produced and directed a pair of films that, if you pardon the pun, stick out from the others, mainly, well only because both films feature the astonishingly large-breasted stripper/actress Chesty Morgan: Deadly Weapons and Double Agent 73. (Both movies were filmed simultaneously between 1973 and 1974 as is easily noted since they share a large amount of music, sets, and actors.)

Wishman is also infamous for her distinctive directorial…um…’style’ would be a kind word to use. As said, Wishman’s camera work in has many distinctive eccentricities;one of which is meandering from actors having a conversation to, say, zoom in on the wall behind them. Or a lamp. Or their shoes. Yes, there are a quite a few shots of people’s shoes which was maybe aimed at the foot-fetish crowd. Don’t ask me. Another odd trait is noticeable during ‘over-the-shoulder’ conversation shots: the camera will often focus on the back of the actor’s head nearest the camera instead of the face of the person actually being spoken to. Furthermore, I suspect part of the cost-cutting tactics was forgoing the purchase of a camera tripod because the only scenes that aren’t noticeably shaking are the stock-footage inserts.

Back to Chesty. Where to start? Well, I can think of a couple of places. (Ha Ha.) What about her 73-inch bust. No, that’s not a typo: 73-inch. As in 6-feet, 1-inch. Incredibly enough, her bodacious bosom is entirely natural, i.e., completely without any type of surgical augmentation as is so popular these days. I don’t know if that sort of thing turns your wheels or not, but I find her monstrous proportions to be revolting rather than titillating. (No pun intended. Ok. A little.)

"Chesty Morgan" was born in Poland in 1928 with the slightly less catchy name of Liliana Wilczkowska. Since strip clubs were probably not the rage in Communist ruled Cold War Poland, Liliana moved to the States and became a stripper, but not before changing her name to the lurid moniker "Chesty Morgan".

(An understandable business decision since, you know, who would want to see a stripper named "Chesty Wilczkowska"?)

As previously mentioned, Doris persuaded Chesty into signing on as the lead ‘attraction’ in both ‘Deadly Weapons’ and ‘Double Agent 73’. (Note: I chose not to refer to Chesty as an ‘actress’ because that would indicate that she’s capable of ‘acting’. She’s not.) Chesty was scheduled to appear in a third Wishman film, The Immoral Three, but Doris found her so difficult to work with that she cancelled the deal and replaced her with someone else.

Thinking back, I can honestly say that I can’t recall a performer with such a complete lack of enthusiasm and talent as Chesty. Granted, she’s a stripper and not an actress. Nevertheless, her scenes are agonizing to watch as she struggles to execute the most mundane of actions in front of the lens, e.g., talking on a phone, putting on a jacket, walking along a sidewalk, trying not to look at the camera, etc. I’m also not exaggerating when I say that Chesty seems to sleepwalk through her roles. To put it another way, some actors ‘call in’ their performances: Chesty never picks up the phone. Maybe the blood raging through her enormous bosom is hampering much needed oxygen from reaching her brain. It looks like she’s either stoned out of her gourd or she woke up 5 minutes before the day’s shooting. When Chesty does manage to speak a line or two, her thick Polish accent forced the editors to hamfistedly dub over her dialog. Needless to say, the quality of the dubbing is in line with the film’s over all shockingly low standards, i.e., the dubbing is rarely in synch with Chesty’s lips. Furthermore, there are even lines dubbed over shots when Chesty’s mouth isn’t even open. Maybe she’s an amateur ventriloquist. Who the hell knows.

Deadly WeaponsThe film begins with a blast of horrid 70’s rock, and if you knew how much I hate 70’s rock in general, you’d know just how horrid it really is. The credits play out over a background scene showing Chesty gyrating her hips and rubbing her hands along her mammoth equipment in a fairly uninspired striptease. I suppose the director was going for an ‘arty’ shot because Chesty’s image is reflected from something which appears to be an array of shiny Christmas tree ornaments. (Or some other long-forgotten piece of 70’s sleaze-decor.)

After the interminable opening credits, we cut to the film proper. True to Wishman form, we begin with a shot of three men’s shoes as they walk down a hall. (The men are walking…not the shoes…oh hell. You know what I mean.)

I assume that this trio of well-shoed men are ‘bad’ (as in ‘not good’, not ‘bad’ as in ‘Damn! He’s bad!’) due to the portentous strum of an ill-tuned bass guitar as they make they way down the hall, enter somebody’s room, and begin beating the crap out of him.

Well, sort of beating the crap out of him. Remember way back in the introduction when I mentioned this film’s woeful production values, well here’s a great example: After forcing their way into the room, two Bad Guys, one of which is named Tony (played by porn-star pioneer Harry Reems!) quickly shove the room’s occupant onto a bed and start pummeling him. However, when the camera cuts to the other guy rummaging through a chest of drawers, we can easily see in a0 mirror that the bed is empty and the bad guys are simply punching the mattress!

The one bad guy, Larry, finally finds the address book they were sent to retrieve and quickly pockets it without telling his 2 compadres of the discovery. Larry and the others take their leave, but not before kicking their hapless victim in the gut and warning him to get out of town…"quick!", because you know…they’re bad!

Back at home, Larry is flips through the pages of the book which he deceitfully stuck into his jacket in the previous scene. Larry tosses the book aside and calls his boss, Mr. Banti. We are to believe that this Mr. Banti is some sort of big shot because his secretary picks up the phone and demands to know who’s calling. Larry tells her that it’s "very personal" and is immediately patched through to Banti’s office. (Now that’s tight security.)

As Banti takes the phone Larry immediately demands 100,000 clams or else he’s going to the police with all the "international figures." (I’ll go ahead and take a deductive leap and say that the pilfered book contains these supposed figures.) Banti, naturally, demands to know who’s calling. Larry ignores him and states that he’ll call back in the morning with information regarding where to drop of the money.

Man. This is suspenseful, eh? You think reading about it is boring…try watching it!

Cut to a shot of Larry’s shoes as he hangs up walks out of the frame…the camera pans and deliciously lingers on the corner of the sofa for a good 4 or 5 seconds before we jump to the next scene. Ahhhh, Doris, you are indeed amazing.

Later that night (day?) Larry pops in to visit his lady friend, Crystal, who is slumbering in her bed as usual. (Needless to say, Crystal’s nightgown is ‘casually’ unbuttoned thus allowing her boobs to flood forth over the bed sheet in an unholy lake of doughy flesh.) Larry saunters over to the bed and scoops up Crystal in his arms.

"You feel so soft and warm, baby!" he coos.

"Stop it Larry, I’m tired," Crystal objects to Larry’s advances..

"C’mon baby…giiiiiive!" he insists in a hideously oily voice.

Larry’s amorous cajoling eventually overcomes Crystal’s will to resist as they embrace and we fade to black with Crystal murmuring, "You’re soooooo strong, Larry…"

Eyiieeeeee!

After performing his manly duties, we see Larry strutting from the house and down the walkway. (Naturally, this shot includes a close up of his shoes.) Larry’s voice-over informs us that he’ll be heading to the barbers and try to make it back before Crystal wakes up. And gee, that’s really crucial to the plot. Thanks for the info. Also, didn’t Crystal just wake up? How much freakin’ sleep does she need?

Deadly WeaponsCut back inside the house to see Crystal undress and take a bath. And dear reader, it is terrifying. I’m never one to complain about a gratuitous boob-shot, but seeing Chesty Morgan soaping up and sitting in a tub for nearly 5 minutes will turn anybody’s stomach. The only way to keep your sanity during this scene is try to count the number of times Chesty inadvertently glances into the camera.

Not to mention that Chesty appears to be doped up on "doggy-downers" or something. Is this supposed to be titillating? It’s horrible!

Meanwhile, Larry is stomping around outside talking to himself about how he should get a bigger share of the drug money and not the boss and blah blah blah. This is really fresh stuff here. Anyhoo, Larry finally puffs himself up enough to decide to try and screw over the "Boss". To make a long scene short, Larry sneaks back inside without alerting Crystal to his presence. He quickly makes a surreptitious phone call to his boss and demands $100,000 in order to forget the "interstate deal". (Wait a minute…didn’t Larry already blackmail his boss in the previous scene?!)

And before you ask…no. I don’t have any idea what’s going on.

After putting his devious blackmail operation into motion, Larry mentions to Crystal that he’s "back from the barber" and they move down to the kitchen to share a cup of coffee. "Come and get it!" Crystal yells. Well, her lips don’t move, but the dubbed line is there. And I don’t know why she needs to shout since Larry is sitting at the table right beside her.

Over their beverages, Crystal complains to Larry that he’s dragging his feet regarding popping The Question to her.

Deadly Weapons"Don’t worry," he reassures her, "you’re a successful advertising executive [!!..Uh…yeah, sure], beautiful, loads of dough…I’m nothing but trouble, baby!" He swallows the rest of his coffee and takes his leave by announcing, "I gotta change and go." Before leaving, Larry gives Crystal the film’s McGuffin, i.e., book he pocketed from the opening scene…the one where he took when he beat up the old guy…the one way back at the beginning of the movie…don’t remember? Don’t worry. You’re doing quite well to have made it this far.

"Put it in a safe place," Larry orders Crystal before splitting.

We next see Larry and his buddy, Tony (Harry Reems!), speaking with the Boss about the Book’s whereabouts. Larry, clever as always, insists that Nick has the book. The Boss remains skeptical of Larry’s theory, but orders that Nick be followed at all times just in case. The scene ends with the Boss angrily scattering a bunch of papers onto the floor. Larry reaches to pick them up and the Boss steps on his hand as a symbol of…something. But we get another Shoe Shot, so what the hell.

Notice that we never actually see the Boss, only his hand, which has a peculiar cross-shaped scar on the top of it. I’m sure this is leading up to a Super Surprise Ending when we discover his true identity.

But that’s only a guess.

(Note From the Future: I’m right. Not that it takes any brains to see that coming.)

Meanwhile, Crystal stops by her father’s place to say hello before heading out to work. Her father quickly notices that she seems troubled by something. "Is it your young man?" he astutely queries.

"I love him," Crystal asserts as her father presses her for information regarding Larry’s mysterious doings. Crystal quickly rises and grumpily says, "I have some layouts I want to finish today…I gotta go," before taking her leave of the scene. Yeah, some layouts. Because she’s a successful advertising executive. Uh huh.

Later that day (night?) Tony and Henchman #3, cleverly named Mr. Hook (I kid you not), catch up with the unwitting scapegoat, Nick. Tony and Hook trap the poor sap unawares in a stairwell and demand that he turn over the Book. Naturally, Nick doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about, so he’s quickly whacked. But oh, not before mentioning that Larry is in fact the Book’s possessor. (How did he know that?) Tony dutifully informs the Boss of Larry’s treason, and is quickly tasked with whacking the traitor as soon as possible.

And………….the plot grinds on.

Deadly WeaponsThe next evening, Larry calls Crystal and in a Poignantly Tragic Bit O’ Irony, finally asks her to marry him. Crystal gushes her acceptance. A knock at Larry’s door interrupts this happy moment as he lays down the telephone receiver to see who it is. Give yourself 2 points if you guessed that his guests are none other than Tony and Hook, who efficiently knock off Larry with a slug to the gut. Our pair of otherwise astute nogoodnicks fail to notice that the telephone is off its hook as they gleefully spell out their plans in fantastic detail to each other. Tony gives Hook a plane ticket to Vegas and "some dough" so that he can lay low until things cool down. Tony? Glad you asked. He’s going to Miami. As I mentioned, they glibly, and most unrealistically, spill out exactly which hotels they’re going to be staying at, when they’ll be arriving and so on, without noticing that the freakin’ phone is laying on the table off its hook!

Crystal listens on the telephone in shocked dismay.

Well, the word ‘shocked’ implies that Chesty Morgan conveyed an emotion as she listened on the phone, so maybe that’s not quite right. How about ‘vacant dismay’. That’s better.

The next day, Tony explains to his alcoholic live-in girlfriend, Eve, that he has to get out of town. How do we know she’s alcoholic? Why, she’s watching TV, in her nightgown, and <gasp>, having a drink…and it’s not even nighttime! TABOO!

No wait, my bad. It’s the same day that Larry was murdered, except he was murdered at night, and now it’s broad daylight, so, well, never mind.

In yet another horribly edited and equally terribly acted scene, Eve and Tony make love before he splits for Miami. Why? Because this is a sleazy film and nothing makes sense. So after a minute or so of watching Tony snake his tongue down Eve’s throat while weaseling his hand down her blouse, we finally cut to the next scene, but not before panning the camera down to…the rug.

The next day, I think, who knows, Crystal stares wistfully out the window as she grieves over Larry’s murder. To the soft strum of a sad guitar chord, we see Crystal look longingly at Larry’s engagement ring…oh, and she artfully places her hand directly in front of her cleavage, so you know, the guys in the long rain jackets and dark sunglasses can get their money’s worth.

A cheese-cloth memory confirms that, indeed, Larry did give her the ring. Fade back to see tears streaming down Crystal’s cheeks as the camera pans down to show, and I kid you not, a pair of tears laying on her breasts.

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Wow…now that’s art.

More cheese-cloth remeniscing…this time we see Larry in a speedo (!!) sneaking up behind a polka-dot bikini’ed Crystal sitting beside a swimming pool. He tickles her and well, I guess you can imagine what you see as she wriggles back and forth. (Dear lord, those things are disgusting.)

That night Crystal decides to travel to Vegas and Miami, pose as a stripper (!), find Larry’s killers, and exact revenge. Being a <cough> "successful advertising executive", Crystal naturally has some doubts.

"I am a pretty good dancer," she says to herself, "I should be able to get a job." …puh-lease!!!

Convinced that she can pull it off, Crystals dons a white mink coat, matching high-heels, packs a single pink shirt into a suitcase (…one shirt?!), and flies off to Vegas via Stock Footage Airlines in order to deal with Hook first.

Crystal arrives in Vegas and immediately sets out to find a job as a stripper. A quick glance in the newspaper reveals an enticing want ad: "Burlesque strippers wanted…" And well, she decides to answer the ad, because, deep breath…she’s an advertising exec who’s going to impersonate a stripper so she can murder her dead Mafioso-boyfriend’s killers who whacked him because he didn’t turn over an address book to a guy who has a cross-shaped scar on his hand.

Great film.

Cut to the local "house of burlesque", and man, if that term doesn’t date a film then I don’t know what does. Stock footage of dance girls establishes that we are indeed in a strip joint and not a tiny room decked out in gold foil (!) and red curtains trying to look like a strip joint. Anyway, Crystal speaks with the manager who won’t even look up from his newspaper until she pulls her blouse open (accompanied by a cartoon ‘Boin-oi-oi-oing!’ sound!!!). So, surprise, surprise, she gets the job.

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The Horror!

Naturally, we have to sit through Crystal’s striptease, and it’s truly appalling. First of all, if she had any less energy she’d be asleep. Furthermore, as she perfunctorily slings her accoutrements, shots are inserted of the items falling onto the floor of her home as can easily be discerned because the walls and carpet are exactly the same as her house. (The carpet is also exactly the same as Tony and Eve’s home…which indicates that every interior shot was filmed in the same house.)

Oh, and really, if this scene is supposed to be taking place in a Vegas strip joint, then I’m writing this review from the Captain’s Suite on the Queen Mary 2. I mean, seriously, you can see curtained windows on the wall at the side of the shot…curtain windows on the stage?!

And oh, the foleyed sound of ice cubes being dropped into a glass just isn’t making my imagination think "VEGAS!"…

One more thing, if you’re going to use stock footage of a ‘crowd’, and use it as strip club clientele, maybe you shouldn’t use a shot where 90% of the people have gray hair. It looks more like a local Lion’s Club meeting.

Deadly Weapons

Just your average Vegas strip crowd. Yup.

In yet another charming scene, Crystal’s manager tries to rape her in the stairwell after her act. When she doesn’t give in to his advances, he shoves her away and growls, "finish this show and then you’re fired!"

So, joy, another listless performance by Crystal. Huzzah!

This time, Hook appears in the audience (teleportation?) and is understandably intrigued by Crystal’s, er, talents.

Anyhoo, Crystal feigns interest in Hook and she suggests that they go up to his hotel room for a little post-show nookie. But first Crystal wants to be sure that this is in fact the Hook that killed Larry so she asks him, "Hey, you know Tony, dontcha?"

"Yeah, we’re buddies."

And that’s all the convincing she needs, because hey, how many guys in Vegas have friends named Tony? I mean, hell, he just has to be the guy, right?

Anyway, Crystal drugs Hook and, in a most indelicate scene, suffocates him with her boobs, because, you know, they’re really big and all.

With the first revenge killing completed, Crystal hops the next flight to Miami in order to deal with Tony.

Cut to a completely different hotel. Oh yes, this set is definitely not the same set as the Vegas hotel…oh no. No way. She’s definitely in Miami now, you betcha. A quick phone call down to the desk reveals that Tony is at the pool. A rapid glance from her balcony does indeed confirm that Tony is sitting beside the swimming pool.

Seriously though, Crystal has never seen Tony before, so she assumes that the guy sitting by the pool is him, like, er, there’d only be one guy sitting by the pool at a Miami hotel so that must be him, right?

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Tony sitting by the pool in Miami. Yessirree.

For some reason, extensive (read: repetitive) footage of a naked woman swimming around underwater is spliced into the film at this point. As if this film just wasn’t tacky enough.

At this point, Crystal saunters over to a plastic lawn chair (!) next to Tony and collapses down onto its surface. Crystal tries to entice Tony with some awkward lines, but Tony is too smooth to take the bait, excuses himself, and heads back up to his room.

Later we see Tony and his girlfriend Eve make their way into a bar. (so I guess he brought her along after all…strange.)

I want to pause and make something perfectly clear: this is so obviously somebody’s basement done up like a ‘bar’ that I literally cringe with embarrassment whenever I watch this scene. And again, the ‘looped’ in sound of ice cubes going <clink-clink> in a glass only draws attention that this scene is most definitely not shot in a bar. This film’s production values are, hands down, some of the cheapest, tackiest, and most slipshod I have ever seen.

Back to the movie. In short, Crystal tries to pick up on Tony despite the fact that Eve is sitting on the stool beside him. Eve storms off because she thinks that Tony is knows her, they have a fight back in their hotel room, and blah blah blah.

Meanwhile, Crystal is having second thoughts about this whole pose-as-a-stripper-and-murder-my-boyfriend’s-killers plan.

"I must be out of my mind to be doing this," she says to herself after leaving her job, flying to Vegas, getting a job as a showgirl, doing a few live performances, picking up a Mafioso killer, drugging him, and smothering him with her breasts. Hey, Crystal, I think the time for reconsidering is waaaaay over, toots.

Tony races down the hall and convinces Eve to calm down and come back to the room. She quickly complies and they immediately begin an extended tongue-wrestling match. (And you said this movie had no plot…puh-shaw!)

For some inexplicable reason, Eve disengages her mouth and tells Tony that she knows that he killed Larry. Now…why in the hell would she tell a mob killer that she’s the only one that knows about his latest hit is beyond even my capacity for the suspension of disbelief. The end result of Eve’s oddball confession is that Tony quickly strangles her with his neck tie. So long Eve, you idiot.

After throttling Eve, Tony immediately heads over to Crystal’s room (how did he know her room number?) and starts making out with her. (!) Crystal suggests having a drink, and boy, I really hope you can see where this is headed. Yes…Crystal drugs Tony, engulfs his head in her bosom, and suffocates him.

Really, this is all so very, very charming.

Having avenged Larry’s murder, Crystal heads home. She makes a quick stop at her father’s house and mentions to her father in passing that Larry gave her a book before he died and that she believes it’s the cause of his murder. Crystal’s father nods his head in fatherly understanding and suggests that she get some rest and that he’ll escort her to the police in the morning.

Like I said…boy, if you can’t see where this is headed…

Later that night, Crystal is awakened by a strange noise downstairs. She heaves herself out of bed (in an extremely sheer nightgown…Butt-crack City <choke!>) and goes downstairs to investigate.

If you are not ready for the SUPER SURPRISE ENDING…Please close your web browser now!!!

Crystal discovers, <GASP> her father is looking for the book…and he has a cross-shaped scar on his right hand!!!

As Crystal begins to ring the police, her father shoots her…where else…between her boobs.

Assuming that Crystal’s done for, her father goes back to rooting around for the book. Alas, our buxom heroine is not so easily dispatched: she painfully pulls out her pistol from a convenient drawer (now that’s one well-armed advertising exec!) and shoots him in the ass. Well, that’s the only place she could have shot him since he was bending over in front of her…but they show him grabbing his stomach…go figure.

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Even though Crystal has been shot in the heart, she still manages to squirm across the floor and grasp her father in a bitter sweet embrace. (Crystal is still alive after being shot in the heart;her father is dead after being shot in the ass…you figure that one out…)

A brief hug and Crystal expires on her fathers chest…a single tear rolling down her cheek…ack.

Dennis Grisbeck (August 2007)

Afterthoughts

For a guy as obsessed with women’s breasts as I am, this movie was incredibly revolting. Regardless of the paychecks Chesty Morgan pulled in by merely shaking her stuff…I can’t remember seeing a more listless, confused, apathetic woman as she. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t expecting an Oscar winning performance here…but still…is it that hard to convincingly pick up a phone?

This movie also felt oddly claustrophobic. As mentioned before, all, and I mean all, interior shots were obviously filmed within somebody’s house, so I felt like I was sitting inside a stuffy room throughout the whole movie. Now that I think about it, the swimming pool scene at the <cough> Miami hotel was certainly filmed in the backyard of whoever’s house the other shots were taken in. I’ve seen submarine movies that weren’t as claustrophobic as this one.

Can I recommend this movie? Only in the same way that I could recommend seeing Freaks.

This movie is nota pretty site, but if you really want to see some 70’s Sleaze, with a capital ‘S’, try to find this one.

Read more about Deadly Weapons at

IMDB

By the way, Chesty did another film for Doris Wishman entitled Double Agent 73 which is, unbelievably, worse than this one…

The Wonderful World of Dorish Wishman Shoe Shots

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2 comments to Deadly Weapons (1974)

  • guts3d

    Glad I missed this one!

  • Darell Erazo

    U guys are missing the fun-ness of this film! This is a pure ‘Grindhouse Film’.
    U know so bad it’s good! Love Chesty’s list-less-ness in her dancing and performance!
    The whole movies very over-the top Campy! Not to be taken seriously.
    A great, fun, mindless ‘guilty-pleasure’!!! L-o-v-e it!!!

    Darell Erazo
    ‘B-Movie Lover’!

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