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"When sexy becomes annoying!"—Crow T. Robot
Girl in Gold Boots is a 1969 crime/drama film about the seedy underworld of Go-Go dancing, directed by Ted V. Mikels, who also directed The Astro-Zombies. It could easily be described as "the PG version of Showgirls," with absolutely everything that implies.
Michele, a young woman who works at a dead-end job at a diner in the middle of nowhere, meets an obviously untrustworthy man named Buz who tries to convince her to go with him to Los Angeles. He claims to have connections that can land her a job as a Go-Go dancer where his sister works. While Michele initially distrusts him, a spat with her abusive alcholic father leads her to take Buz up on his offer of a roadtrip. The two head to L.A., eventually picking up a hitchhiker named Critter, who also writes songs and plays on his guitar in his spare time. While Michele initially shows attraction to Buz, she rapidly develops feelings for Critter, causing friction between the violent Buz and the peaceful Critter. Once in Los Angeles, the trio arrive at a Go-Go club called the Haunted House where Buz's sister Joan is the leading act. Joan initially takes Michele in as a protege, while her beau/boss Leo brings Critter on as a janitor and Buz on as a drug dealer. After Michele begins to steal Joan's spotlight and becomes a greater and greater attraction, the glittery world of the Go-Go club takes its toll on the lead characters.
Nearly half of the songs in this music-laden movie, including the title song, were written by singer-songwriter and sound engineer Chris Howard, who appears as himself and is backed by a band called "The Third World" in the credits (not to be confused with the famous reggae band Third World). One scene features bongo player Preston Epps, who had achieved some fame a decade earlier with his 1959 pop hit, "Bongo Rock." In fact, Epps is listed in the opening credits as "that Bongo Rock man." Another notable band member at the club in L.A. is Donald "Duck" Dunn, later of The Blues Brothers, on bass guitar.
Girl in Gold Boots was featured as a Season 10 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Thanks to the more lenient approach of the network to the show's movie selections in the final season, it was one of the few Sci-Fi era episodes to step outside of the science fiction and horror genres.
Apparent skips in the print used in the television program led to some amusing continuity problems, including a scene in a diner in which Buz suddenly appears in his seat next to Michele and Critter as if he teleports in during their conversation. One DVD release (from MMI Image Entertainment, using a print from Geneni Film Distributing Company), shows the scene without the "teleport" skip but has its own continuity breaks, suggesting two different prints from the original film were used. Notable in part for being Mike Nelson's favorite episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The episode also continued a mad scientist plotline for Pearl that was dropped a few episodes later as the show came to a close.
This movie contains examples of:
- All Bikers Are Hells Angels: Buz runs into some on his drive through the southwest. He pours a beer on their bikes to pick a fight, then shoots out their tires and leaves them in the desert when they chase him. Michele has no reaction.
- To drive this home, after Buz leaves, one of the bikers slaps the other in a instant rage.
- Betty and Veronica: The male version, with Critter and Buz.
- Brainless Beauty: It's debatable whether Michele is pretty, but she's definitely stupid.
- Broken Bird: Joanie, Buz's sister and the lead dancer at the Haunted House (the titular "Girl in Gold Boots").
- The Caper: Buz and Harry Blatz's plan to steal the confiscated drugs from the prison.
- Dawson Casting: The "teenagers" of the film can't be younger than 30. Buz looked roughly 40.
- Dull Surprise. Michele. Her idea of terror and worry is an expression of mild concern. Meanwhile, Leo's face has exactly one expression. His Dragon Marty has even fewer.
- Michele looks bored while dealing with her dad. And after.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The "Eat" diner.
- Lots of old roadside diners have an "EAT" sign outside them to get motorists' attention, but what makes this one special is that the diner itself doesn't have a name. The place really is called "Eat."
- Fail O'Suckyname: Critter. The source of his nickname is even stupider. Michele is delighted by his nickname, but she's easily delighted.
- Fan Service: Much of the film features padding of women in gold or silver bikinis dancing around while the cameras caress their every curve. Even more obvious in the scene in the dressing room with Joan and Michele in their underwear for no apparent reason.
- Feed Me: "I had a pretty miiiiind!"
- Funny Money: Critter jokes about having "fifties and hundreds" in his wallet (which gets Buz's attention) -- of course, the bills are all foreign currency left over from Critter's time with the Peace Corps.
- Get Out!: Joanie during a Chewing the Scenery moment.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: One prisoner takes the garbage out. He comes back accompanied by Buz, who has never set foot in the jail before. The guard at the desk doesn't even raise an eyebrow when two prisoners enter the prison.
- Identical Stranger: Leo and his bodyguard Marty are eerily similar in appearance. Black stache, black suit, and greasy.
- Inflation Negation: Michele's never seen a $100 bill before, and Critter brags he made $50 with one of his songs. Hershey bars cost a dime.
- Informed Ability: Note to would-be film-makers: When making a movie about a talented dancer, don't cast someone who lurches about like a tipsy aunt at a wedding in your lead role.
Mike: Aaaaaaaaaand convulse!
Servo: Let's do the agitator cycle!
- Critter's songwriting and musical ability are also ridiculously inflated, leading Mike to query at the end: "Here's a puzzler: which of these two are worse at their art form?" Crow and Tom are stumped.
- Hell, this is Informed Ability The Movie. Buz is said to be a child, Leo is said to be a powerful drug dealer, yet all he does is to talk evil, and goes down pretty fast in the final fight scene. Harry has this lockpick we never see, so as far as we know, the drawer and the cell door were open.
- Invisible Backup Band: Critter sings and plays the guitar, yet a harmonica can be heard out of nowhere. Or as MST3K puts it: "Honey, way to play the harmonica with your ass!"
- "He gets a nice harmonica sound out of that gee-tar."
- Interestingly, the harmonica sound seems to come from the actual band's Vox Continental stage organ (as it is heard in a couple songs). At no time does any band member hold a harmonica.
- As for how it winds up in songs where the band isn't present, though...
- Lingerie Scene: See Fan Service above.
- Neutral Female: Michele in the final fight between Critter, Buz, Leo, and Leo's doppelganger henchman.
- Recycled in Space: All About Eve WITH BAD ACTING, DIALOG AND PLOT!
- Tempting Fate: Harry Blatts - see Too Dumb To Live.
- Too Dumb to Live: Nobody in this movie could pass an IQ test (okay, maybe Critter would write the answers on his wrist), but the sheer petulant incomprehension Michele demonstrates in every single situation she faces is a true wonder to behold.
- Harry Blatts, who even gives Famous Last Words about being only "one way" his plan could fail him.
Harry: I won't mind seein' you go, because I know that there's now only one way to keep me from having my share.
(Buz attacks Harry.)
Mike (as Harry): Yep, that's the way, you figured out how to do it! Beatin' me in my skull with a tire iron! Oop, there's my brains on the floor!
- And while this was an idiotic move on Harry's part, Buz was an even bigger moron for actually killing him, or at least doing it right that second.
Mike (as Buz): Yes, my plan is perfect. I've been spotted by several people and I killed a guy!
Tom: Well what do you expect? He's only a child!
- Trouser Space: Buz pulls a gun out of his pants that clearly couldn't have fit there, something picked up on by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version.
Mike (as Buz): Wha- oh, a gun. So that was the loud report and burning sensation in my groin.
Buz: Aha, front page!
Mike: Yeah, front page of the LA Times: '$40 Robbery, No One Hurt.'
- You Would Make a Great Model: Buz claims he can get Michele a career as a dancer. The fact that Michele wants to get away from her father is what ultimately convinces her to go with Buz. Surprisingly, Buz is being completely honest with Michele about this, but she eventually finds out that her new employers are mobsters.
- Though it takes a while, and he took her with him to L.A. mainly because he wanted to wiggle his way into her gold pantaloons.
- And her cash from the Diner's register.