Waitress! (1981)

Waitress! (1981)

“Admit it — you’re a chauvinist! You hate the idea that my career is just as important as yours.”

An aspiring actress (Carol Drake) working as a waitress at a hectic restaurant owned by her boyfriend (Jim Harris) will stop at nothing to convince a producer (Ed Fenton) to cast her as Joan of Arc; meanwhile, her naive co-worker (Carol Bevar) — an aspiring journalist — does “research” for a story on how to catch a man, while a young new colleague (Renata Hickey) resents being put to work by her wealthy father.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Comedy
  • Feminism and Women’s Issues

Troma Studios is an independent production and distribution company whose B-films are “known for their surrealistic … nature, along with their use of shocking imagery”. The company’s most beloved cult hit is The Toxic Avenger (1985), but they’ve released quite a few other titles over the decades, including this excruciatingly unfunny “comedy” centering on the travails of three sexy waitresses. Purportedly written with a feminist sensibility in mind — two of the three women have bigger career goals, and must fight off either sexual aggression or unwanted male enabling — the movie is really little more than a trashy low-budget exploitation flick. To its credit, no matter how consistently awful the script is, it’s never exactly boring; the pace is truly relentless, and there’s always something going on in some corner of the screen to catch one’s attention (i.e., two bystanders using cables to jump-start a man who’s just had a heart attack on the street). But the humor throughout is far too low-brow to appeal to most film fanatics.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • A relentlessly zany sensibility

Must See?
No; skip this one.


One thought on “Waitress! (1981)

  1. First viewing. Not a must.

    Without camp or cult appeal, this is more or less a waste of time.

    Drake is lively enough as the Joan of Arc wannabe. Harris is reasonably hunky (and in one scene, in a bizarre costume, funny) as her boyfriend.

    I was somewhat surprised to see Hunt Block here as Bill and Casey Wayne in a bit part as a big-breasted drag queen (I knew them both in NYC).

    I’m not sure what Peary was thinking in including this title in the book. It really isn’t much of anything.


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