Gas Pump Girls and the SWEET SENSATIONS Moment
The One-Line Summary: Poor Uncle Joe is having a rough time competing with the gas station right next door, and when he as a heart attack, it looks like he might have to go under (the station, not him) after twenty years of service, but not to worry as his lovely, leggy fresh-out-of-high school niece June and a few of her equally attractive friends decide to pitch in and remodel the pumping station and give it a girl’s touch, complete with a bright pink paint job, super crop top t-shirts, short shorts and a public address system that offers lots of opportunities for some vivid sexual double entendres, much to the dismay of neighboring “modern” gas station owner and ironically named Mr. Friendly, who is a scheming, no good, sniveling weasel of a grease monkey out to ruin those girls in this Drive-in exploitation classic.
The Two-Line Blurb: Here’s a list of things you will see while watching Gas Pump Girls: girls in tiny outfits, girls out of tiny outfits, girls pumping gas in highly suggestive manners, girls talking in highly suggestive manners, girls with brains explaining to girls with no brains how to do things using highly suggestive words, boys in various states of slobber or indifference towards the girls, an awkward depiction of Arabs that’s uncomfortable to watch, a few terribly dated musical numbers and stock-character older men sneering, conniving, and cackling like villains in an old silent film. This is one of those movies you watch with an odd morbid fascination, soaking in every frame of it while one question repeatedly echoes louder and louder in your head: “Was this really a thing?”
The Three-Line Set-up: I will forego any kind of set-up as The One-Line Summary from above is already 147 words longer than any description should ever be concerning what this movie is about or any scene there in. It is amusing to watch not because of its inane story or message, nor for its bevy of nude girls and silly songs, bad acting and (mostly) forgettable cast, but instead because of its slice of Americana in film, a bright shining light on a time in cinema when young people sat in their cars to watch movies and “made-out” while utter goofiness filled the screen. It never tries to be anything more than 80 minutes of raunchy charm, not caring a bit about anything but a good old time, to which it succeeds, paving the way for bigger hits such as the Porky’s, Police Academy and Revenge of the Nerds franchises.
The Four-Line Moment: In 1978, the year before Gas Pump Girls came out, a hit movie was released that featured leather jacket wearing gang members with greasy hair, sexy young ladies in skimpy clothes and lots of big musical numbers that had people singing even to this day. That was Grease, and it was an international phenomenon with tons of innuendo and lots of silly fun, so you can be sure Hollywood tried everything it could to milk that cash cow as much as possible by releasing a slew of copycats, including Gas Pump Girls, which went a bit more adult and tried very hard to tap into whatever magic Grease had to win over so many people. In this scene, a song erupts while people are having gas pumped into their cars, and it features a Travolta wanna-be character oafishly writhing around while a near naked sex kitten brings the heat. The best part of this scene is, once you’ve have your “fill” (gas pump humor) of these two, turn your attention to the audience and watch (see image above) as they can’t seem to get their clapping in sync and even better, the little kids (yes, this happens) staring in horror at whatever the grown-ups are doing while daddy is getting his car serviced.
The Five-Word Review: This movie has low milage.