For many men, there always has been something very erotic and understated about nurses. Whether it is the white form-fitting polyester uniforms coupled with the lifesaving deeds they perform that makes them seem some sort of angel incarnate, or merely the fact that they are paid to tend to every possible physical bedside need of a male patient (except THAT one) is unimportant. The real story here is that four of the more formulaic naughty nurse “jiggle” movies from the 70’s have been compiled here for your perusal as the next disk in the Roger Corman Cult classic All-Night Marathon series. Let’s run some tests, chart this patient’s progress and break out the usual cold, unfeeling probe on this one and see what oozes forth, shall we?
Candy Stripe Nurses (1974)
Three nurses battle to prove they are adequate as any man and yet maintain their undeniable feminine mystique by taking off their clothes and having madcap sexual encounters throughout the bulk of this thing. There is Sandy, the pretty blonde who has the fortune to apply some sexual therapy “tough love” to a famous (fictitious rock star) named Owen Boles. Next there is Dianne, a young nurse who meets a promising basketball player as he is hospitalized in intensive care during his overdose and resulting freak-out. She quickly becomes his lover, and teaches him some sexual healing techniques that they likely never taught at her nursing school. Finally there is Marisa Valdez, a young Hispanic troublemaking “chica” who gets sent to nursing school to keep her out of trouble by a school administrator who sought to keep her out of trouble. She quickly proves herself to be not just another breasty topless heavenly wench in white, but also an avenging angel of sorts as she uses her street smarts and newfound job to not only fall in love with a hapless young gunshot victim who was mistakenly shot because it is believed he robbed a gas station. With street smartness, and a tough resilience assigned to all not non-white protagonists in the Dolemite days of blaxsplotation, she too will fall in love and scorch the screen as she too uses her breasts to console both her boyfriend and the drive in audience of the day, even though it is unlikely any of these women could save this film, despite their considerable abilities to wear the proud uniform of a nurse and to slink out of it and “play doctor” with their favorite patient whenever the plot grinds to a halt.
Night Call Nurses (1972)
Three more nubile nurses struggle to maintain their femininity, sanity and friendship as they work in a psychiatric ward turned booby hatch? This time around the blonde’s name is Janis, a nurse with a heart of gold who takes up with a trucker who seems to have an amphetamine addiction. Barbara is the uptight but highly temperamental attending nurse who seduces the doctor at the group therapy which she attends and yet may be slipping into madness. Finally, Sandra is the black woman who takes a liking to a prisoner who has been cruelly and unjustly treated in prison by the white racist guards. These three nurses work together to not only once again save the men who had the good fortune to meet them when they were confined to bed rest, but to have an adventure in life, love and crazy antics you might expect from a trio of psychiatric nurses gone crazy. Along the way there are madcap crimes involving the shooting death of cops, the attack by a demented, knife wielding, cross dressing nurse obsessed sexual predator and numerous felonies that are giggled and shrugged off like so many bras in this movie whenever this film wishes to distract you from the fact that it makes no sense whatsoever. These wanton women from the wacko ward will make you question your own sanity after sitting through 74 minutes of this.
Private Duty Nurses (1971)
And yet another trio of nurses struggles to assert their independence, individuality and healing craft in a swinging 70’s scene. The blondes name is Spring, a nurse who falls in love with a Vietnam Vet who races motorcycles rather than healing up properly from the plate in his head. The Brunette’s name is Lynn, a sweet girl who ends up having dysfunctional sex with the goofy landlord and then a brief love affair with a doctor who is a closet ecologist. Together, they seek to solve the disappearance of a body in the bay as they gradually become close to one another. Finally there is Lola, the black nurse who partners up with a doctor (in every sense of the word) and protests the non-inclusion of any black doctors among the hospital staff. Another topless naughty nurse fest and yet for the first time, one of these little love stories doesn’t have a happy ending at all (don’t bother guessing, it’s the last one you would expect). This one is darker than the others, but surprisingly this realization is meaningless because this more serious somber moment does not really translate to any sense of intelligence or actual plot dynamics that you might expect. For the first time in the set, one of the nurses is raped, one of the boyfriends dies and the film ends with our three nurses holding each other and crying (instead of giggling) and yet the usual topless tone of this thing keeps you from caring about any of these people as you would normal characters in a good film who faced such trials and tribulations. PRIVATE DUTY NURSES features a Soundtrack by Sky, a band featuring front man Doug Feiger who later went on to found The Knack. Though not to my taste whatsoever, the music of Sky was actually musically decent and probably of the reasons why this film is actually not as obscure as the others despite the fact it is certainly stupider; so much in fact that it probably should have not been resuscitated with the others based on its peculiar darkly depressing plot but still persistent nudie movie motif which leaves the viewer flat lining at the end..
The Young Nurses (1973)
Still again a trio of nurses takes their work home with them. This time the Blonde is named Kitty, a young darling who seduces the son of an overbearing rich jerk after a yachting accident and teaches him the real meaning of what a man is. Next is Joanne, a brunette who has aspirations of becoming a doctor and of having her own woman’s health clinic. She occasionally has sex with a doctor driving a Goldfinger era Aston Martin DB5 which costs more than everything in these four films combined. Finally, there is Michelle, the black nurse who is searching the streets looking for a secret drug epidemic and ends up getting drugged and getting kidnapped by an early prototype of “The Bang Bus” when she gets too close to answers. Again we have the madcap love story mixed with an attempt by these socially conscious women in white to make this world a better place, one troubled bedfellow at a time. Once again, these lovely young ladies wear their hearts on their sleeve and their breasts exposed for a good much of the running time. By now you should have a command of what these films are all about, only with differing grades of nudity, sensuality and plot. In any or all of them you can expect breasts, three positive, life changing love affairs and a plot at the end that involves racing wheels be it a car chase, or a rush of a hospital gurney into emergency surgery for one of the boyfriends. All films feature an amount of female nudity that is both “healthy” and “sick”, depending on what generation of slang you prefer to use, and whether you want a believable plot in what first appears to be an episode of a hard boiled 70’s medical drama where all a patients problems can be ultimately solved with a hot private nurse giving you a “special kind” of sponge bath.
And here is the conclusion I was aching to write where I got to rip on these films, remarking about how formulaic, similar and dumb they were, even featuring a fourth mystery woman on every poster who never made it into the final film and the fact that the trios of nurses all had the same color coded hair and personality. Sadly, in the special features, they bravely address every one of these flaws so it would seem pointless and petty to even bother mentioning them second hand with anger. As always with Shout Factory films, the special features are always top notch and the interviews with the people associated with these films, (including Roger Corman himself) attempts to at least elevate this material to the same passable nudie movie status today as it was when it was released in the drive in scene. If you liked naked, naughty nurses and you actually wish they would have made enough “boobie” films involving care workers to actually develop a sub-genre called “Nursesploitation” this is your three skull boxed set. The rest of us however, will likely nurse our doctor recommended sleaze quotient with a higher dosage of MPAA wrong than these tame, antiseptic, soap operatic B movie, R rated “Genital Hospital” farces.