With the summer in full swing it’s time dust off those swimsuits and enjoy getting some sun with friends and family. For those of you who want to avoid the bugs and heat, well, you can always crank up the AC and enjoy a film or two. But if you’re staying inside with your Corona or whatever your drink of choice is, you’ll be sadly missing out on all the bikini-clad babes who will be lying out by the pool or beaches. No need to fret, because I think I have just about the next best thing, All American Bikini Car Wash. Sure, go ahead, roll your eyes and think I’m nuts, but if you’re looking for a fun little movie to watch alone, or with friends while throwing back some drinks, this is the film for you. And even better, this is a film you don’t have to feel weird about or hide from your girlfriend while watching, because it actually has a charming little story to go along with it.
Jack (Jack Cullison) is your average college guy who’s been enjoying the college life too much, and as a result he’s lost his job and is failing his business class. To make ends meet he’s having his friends stay at the house with him and having them pay rent, though his father believes Jack is doing nothing more than making the home a frat house. As a favor to Jack’s father Professor Dugan (Tom McLaren) Jack runs his carwash as a way to make extra credit and get some business experience as well. But what does Jack know about running a car wash? It’s Vex (Jason Lockhart), the less business-savvy and sex-crazed friend crashing at the house who comes up with the plan to utilize their beautiful friends to strap on bikinis and wash the cars.
With characters like the overbearing father, a stereotypical mobster, then the hot girl the lead guy has a crush on, it adds to the charm you’d see in a Disney made-for-TV film. That’s not a knock to the film; instead it’s what gives it this sweet kind of charm that if done differently could have just made the film a bad sleazy porn. Brittany (Ashley Park) is the friend Jack has the crush on, and throughout the film we see her filming everything Jack is doing for a documentary she is making, but she is also the moral compass of the film. This is the character that anchors the film and keeps all the characters in line one way or another.
So the initial story isn’t what will be getting Oscar voters excited, but who cares; that’s not what director Nimrod Zalmanowitz set out to make. What makes this film work is that it knows its audience and delivers what they want. Beautiful women and plenty of nudity with some entertaining dialog connecting it all together. Sure, there are people who turn their nose up at these kinds of films; to me it’s their loss. This is the kind of fun that filled seats back in the Grindhouse era where we saw naughty nurses and cheerleaders that were up to no good. Just because there are not as many theater houses clamoring for this kind of material doesn’t mean there isn’t an audience (mostly teenage boys) craving a film like All American Bikini Car Wash.
While this may not have the budget of the American Pie films, it at least has more of a heart than the numerous straight-to-video versions and knockoffs. It may have been shot on a low budget, but the filmmakers utilized the location that mattered with the car wash, and filled it with plenty of beautiful women and gave them each a character quality to give them more depth. It’s the little things like this that go a long way for a film that doesn’t have the money for big names or big effects. This is a stripped-down film (figuratively and literally) that focuses on its characters and the story. Most importantly the film cares about having a good time, and that’s about all you can ask for.
***Check out interviews with the cast and crew that we will have posted on the site.