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  • Now here's an interesting by-product of the 1970's... the "feminist" drive-in exploitation fare, which featured female protagonists making their way in a man's world. Courtesy director Barbara Peeters (BURY ME AN ANGEL) and screenwriter Stephanie Rothman (GROUP MARRIAGE), both specialists in this mini-genre, the conventions of these films are the same, however because the protagonists are women, there is kind of a reverse stereotype. In other words, it's okay if women take their clothes off, as long as they're being directed by women.

    This story is pure corny sex fluff (but with little sex): a trio of enterprising gals set out to save their fledgling drive-in restaurant despite all obstacles. Because this is a drive-in movie with a lot of wah-wah pedal soundtrack and male pigs with bad clothing, you know that these girls aren't taking the Sally Struthers correspondence course on business. They take advantage of their sexuality to get their way in a corporate man's world... always on their terms, yet still don't go ALL the way.

    Angel and Cupcake (great names, eh?) use their feminine wiles to get a business loan to take over the restaurant once boss Jerry flips his lid. With the help of Danielle, who can make cheeseburgers into French gourmet, they are in business, until... millionaire Carter Axe wants to take over the property. He even gets his spoiled son Norman to work there to sabotage the place. What follows would not garner a Thalberg award anytime soon, but still this is amiable schlock despite the insane overacting, and the sitcom-level screenwriting (I'm not kidding- Stephanie Rothman must have had "Three's Company" on in the background while typing this; there is a blatant lift from one of the show's sexual innuendoes).

    But thankfully, STARHOPS is of its time. Because it is the 1970's, these girls miraculously know kung fu, the credits open just like those in STAR WARS, transitions occur with star-shaped lap dissolves, the score is country-and-western sounding porn music (so I'm told -ahem), the floors are those cheap panelling in the Home Depot ads, and there is even a cheesy "Also Sprach Zarathustra" as the girls learn to roller skate! Plus, what is this film without a three-minute sequence taking place in a discotheque which has no relation to the plot whatsoever? Ah, bliss.

    Finally, STARHOPS is of a subgenre of late-1970's mosaic films which celebrate the working class (CAR WASH, LUNCH WAGON, etc.), before the honest Johns onscreen were replaced by robots and frat boys. One begs the question, "Where are they now?" The restaurant at which this was shot (it's probably a Starbucks now), and the people in the cast (except Dick Miller)-- all doe-eyed hopefuls whom we once identified with, for in that immortal decade of cinema, the screen was actually filled with "real people".
  • This was one of the last film First American film company released. The film has very little nudity, but it's has a likeable cast and even thrown in Dick Miller in the first 10min for the Roger Corman crowd. There's even a STAR WARS take-off in the begining. Recommended.
  • I can't argue with any of the other comments, they are true. This is not one of those big budget classics, well thought out, with a great plot, star actors and wonderful screenplay. It's none of those. It looks like they spent only a couple hundred $ making it...and likely lost money on it.

    But - if you're a fan of really bad movies, if you find big name movies boring and like to see how bad they can get, this is for you. If you have an iron stomach and won't blow groceries in the theater, this is for you. If you enjoyed Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes or the Toxic Avenger movies, this is for you. If you watch X-rated movies just for the empty plots and bad acting (this is NOT X-rated, although it does have one sort-of suggestive scene)...this is your kind of movie and you should see it, in that case I highly recommend it.

    It is so bad it's good. I would love to see it again.
  • "Starhops" is a comedy movie about a trio of pretty young women which would be Angel and Cupcake, a blonde and a redhead, and Danielle, a French lady who became a friend and cook for Angel and Cupcake's new fast-food drive-in restaurant which was almost abandoned by Jerry, who quit after working for so long as the manager. The female trio must keep the business rolling before the wicked boss of an oil company, Carter Axe, destroys the restaurant. His son Norman, who is not-so-mean, befriends with Angel, Cupcake and Danielle. Another guy, named Kong, barges into the restaurant to steal food, but is later in love with Danielle, and joins the merry group. Good story, awesome characters, funny moments, catchy theme song, and satisfactory photography. Love the crummy 16mm print of the movie, since it is an exploitation movie. The only problems with the movie is that there were scenes that might be too long, slow-paced, or unnecessary, and strange placements of music. Sure, the production quality is obviously poor, but that's what makes it likable, it's still a fine film. I would recommend it. It's so underrated! Not only should people know about "Starhops", but they should enjoy it as well. There needs to be a fan-base/cult following. I'm one of the very few people who actually praises this flick.
  • This film begins with a beleaguered cook by the name of "Jerry" (Dick Miller) finally deciding that he cannot handle the pressure of owning and operating an old-fashioned burger joint and simply quits. But as he is leaving two waitresses there named "Angel" (Jillian Kesner) and "Cupcake" (Sterling Frazier) convince him to give them the opportunity to own the fast-food restaurant instead. Although he doesn't think that they can be very successful-especially in light of all the bills that still need to be paid-he reluctantly agrees and walks away. Immediately afterward Angel and Cupcake go to the bank and through the power of their personality persuade the manager to give them a loan to help them out. But what they don't know is that a ruthless oil tycoon named "Carter Axe" (Al Hopson) desperately wants this property and will stop at nothing to get it. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was a rather standard low-budget comedy for this time period which essentially failed to rise to the point of mediocrity due in large part to the overall lack of humor and second-rate cast. Yet even so, it managed to pass the time and for that reason I have rated it accordingly. Slightly below average.
  • Starhops is so bad that it makes "Gas pump girls" look like "Grapes of Wrath". I cannot believe that all the people involved in this decided one day to participate in this massive waste of time and energy. Were they all stoned on marijuana? I guarantee and bet all of my hard earned money that the actors of this puerile escapade never had acting jobs again in film. And rightfully so. Everything from the acting, film quality, to the inane plot is so sophomoric and idiotically amateurish that it's baffling that it was ever released. Was this some kind of sick joke made on the public? And who wasted there time seeing this? Whoever has the constitution and stamina to sit through this garbage is definitely a glutton for punishment.
  • BandSAboutMovies5 October 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    Stephanie Rothman was studying at UC Berkeley when The Seventh Seal made her want to become a filmmaker. She was the first woman to be awarded the Directors Guild of America fellowship, which was one of the reasons why Roger Corman hired her as his assistant (selecting her over another applicant, the woman who became his wife Julie).

    She directed It's a Bikini World, which was not the kind of movie she wanted to do and was semi-retired until working on the film Gas-s-s-s. She then directed The Student Nurses, an exploitation film that she was not aware was an exploitation film, as she had carte blanche to explore political and social issues in the film that interested her.

    She said, "I went and did some research to find out exactly what exploitation films were, their history and so forth, and then I knew that's what I was doing, because I was making low-budget films that were transgressive in that they showed more extreme things than what would be shown in a studio film, and whose success depended on their advertising, because they had no stars in them. It was dismaying to me, but at the same time I decided to make the best exploitation films I could. If that was going to be my lot, then that's what I was going to try and do with it."

    She wasn't interested in making a sequel to The Student Nurses or making The Big Doll House, but her next movie was The Velvet Vampire. Moving to Dimension Pictures, she directed Terminal Island, The Working Girls and Group Marriage.

    However, attempts to go mainstream were stigmatized by the films that she had made. Before ending her movie-making career, the rumor was that she reshot some scenes in Ruby and definitely wrote Starhops before taking her name off it, as it was not the film she wanted it to be.

    It is, however, directed by Barbara Peeters, the only other female director from New World Pictures. She famously warred with Corman over the additions to Humanoids from the Deep and directed favorites like Bury Me an Angel and the TV series The Powers of Matthew Star.

    But what about the movie itself? Well, it's a trifle, about three waitresses, Danielle, Cupcake and Angel, who all work together to stop their fast food restaurant from going broke. Of course, Dick Miller shows up, as this is a Roger Corman-associated film.

    What's interesting about Angel is that she's played by Jillian Kesner-Graver, who was not only Fonzie's girlfriend Lorraine on Happy Days, but worked with her husband Gary to preserve the films and legacy of Orson Welles.

    Starhops isn't really funny. Or sexy. It's just kind of there. But sometimes, you watch a bad movie and learn about some interesting people.