DEADLY WEAPONS (1973)/DOUBLE AGENT 73 (1974)

‘s Deadly Weapons (1973) and Double Agent 73 (1974), both starring 73FF(!)-32-36 Chesty Morgan, makes for a bizarre double feature, and a bizarre Something Weird Blu-ray release. This set (entitled “Chesty Morgan’s Bosom Buddies”) also includes a third feature The Immoral Three (1975), which does not include Morgan (who had, remarkably, taken the star bit between her teeth and was promptly sacked by Wishman). We focus on the first two features starring Chesty.

 had the incomparable Divine. Wishman had the incomparable Chesty Morgan. The big difference is that Divine could actually act. Morgan, an exploitation freak of nature, was the energizer bunny rabbit to Wishman’s directorial enthusiasm.

Wishman’s influence on John Waters cannot be underestimated. Her films are a visual smorgasbord of bad taste with attentive detail. Wishman’s nonsensical lens focus is so mercurial it brings to mind ‘s frozen camera in Three’s A Crowd (1927). Repeated, dumbfounded concentration on queer inanimate objects disrupts the narrative flow and coats Wishman’s films in loving disjointedness. Cut-away shots of hedges, a repellently hued yellow-ochre telephone, the most beautifully ghastly wallpaper ever captured on celluloid, and nonsensical extreme close-ups of Morgan’s 73-inch fleshbags creates a visually surreal train wreck of a movie.

Morgan’s voice is dubbed in both films. Apparently, her polish accent was so thick as to be indecipherable. Unfortunately, her acting range is nowhere near as mammoth as her breasts. Morgan begins with leathery boredom and ends with celluloid sleep walking. Now, dress this big breasted zombie up in bad wigs and garish clothing to enact a zany plot!

Well, yes, there is a plot of sorts to Deadly Weapons. It has something to do with Morgan as an office manager (!) wearing 8-inch platform heels and a blouse at least two sizes too small. She has a mobster boyfriend with sideburns that probably smell like mildew. Perhaps this is why Morgan acts like all of her co-stars have poison ivy. Regardless, she gets mauled by pornstar Harry Reems.

Morgan turns into a revenge-seeking 007 type; only, Morgan’s weapon is her killer cleavage, rather than a loaded pistol. Yes, you guessed it: she suffocates her victims with her “DEADLY WEAPONS.” Morgan also has some issues with Daddy, but that’s veering too close to spoiler territory, and God knows that we all watch these wacky Doris Wishman/Chesty Morgan movies for the well-constructed, sophisticated plotting.

Still from Double Agent 73 (1974)Double Agent 73 is, possibly, even more of a live action, softcore looney-tune than the previous film! Wishman’s love of the medium is, again, on display, and again her talents do not make for a film as orthodox storytelling medium. But then, film does not have to be a repeater of well-worn narrative formats.

Endless shots of a cookie-cutter house and pimp shoes walking across cheaply tiled floors collide with stock footage of flowers, a jet plane, and nudist volleyball. The nasty ochre telephone from the previous film has been replaced with a tasty peach-colored one. And there’s even a lovely shot of a dixie cup, and of a door that looks like it might have been stolen out of a Target warehouse.

Morgan is so comatose that she often looks like she is literally on the verge of falling asleep. Her platform shoes have, amazingly, grown about six inches and now are screaming red. It is no wonder Morgan removes them more than once, because she clearly has trouble in walking them (later, she trades them in for some cant-colored yellow pumps which shave about two inches off her height).  Oh, and Chesty is a secret agent with a hidden camera surgically implanted in her mammaries. In addition to being assigned to bust up a heroin ring, Morgan is instructed to take pictures of everyone she kills (!?!), which gives her plenty of reason to remove her top. There’s even nearly full-blown full-frontal nudity (whether we want to see it or not).

Morgan, with her license to kill, surprisingly, uses a variety of weapons, although choking someone to death with an ice cube may not qualify as a conventional murder scene. There is less plot in Double Agent 73 and, depending on one’s perspective, this may be all for the better. If Wishman was naively channeling the dreaminess of Buñuel and Kafka in Bad Girls Go To Hellhere she lives up to her deserved reputation as the godmother of grindhouse, and parallels John Waters’ early body of work. For that reason, I probably have more pronounced affection for her later films.

Deadly Weapons and Double Agent 73 are stuck in a 1970s dream style at its best/worst, and are tailor made for the Something Weird catalog.

Next week: Wishman’s Amazing Transplant (1970), which has to be seen to be believed.

7 thoughts on “DEADLY WEAPONS (1973)/DOUBLE AGENT 73 (1974)”

  1. I have a slight problem with movies like this. I don’t mean the pornographic element – hey, if that’s what floats your boat, why not? I mean the entertainment factor. If, after looking at a still photo of Chesty Morgan (such as the one you helpfully provide) and deciding that I don’t find her grotesquely gigantic breasts attractive, I watch two movies entirely about Chesty Morgan’s immense titties, will I be entertained on any level at all?

    This review, and every other review I’ve ever read of these films by people who can spell, goes on about how weird they are, but doesn’t actually give any reason why anybody who isn’t a giant jugs fetishist would have the slightest fun watching them. As for the claim that John Waters was massively influenced by Doris Wishman, so what? He was an auteur who consciously aped terrible, worthless, no-budget films, but actually he knew his craft, which is why, despite never being mainstream, he’s quite a bit more famous than Doris Wishman. Was he perhaps hailing her unsung genius in the same way that Frank Zappa claimed that the Shaggs were better than the Beatles, and then went on to shamefully exploit the oathetic Wild Man Fischer, another “genius” who, unlike the Shaggs, didn’t get the joke because he really was mentally ill?

    What little I’ve seen of her work, and the peculiarly apathetic tone she takes in various interviews I’ve read, suggests to me that Doris Wishman was, like Ed Wood, somebody who wanted to make a certain type of movie, but ended up in exploitation cinema and subsequently slid into pornography because she had no talent whatsoever. But unlike Ed Wood, she never had a chance to make a few films, however inept, in her ideal genre.

    Wishman’s incredibly strangely framed shots could perhaps be the work of a frustrated arthouse movie auteur. But they could equally well be the result of the director being so uninterested in her own film that she simply doesn’t care which way the camera is pointing, or just plain ineptitude, which, in an industry which doesn’t care what appears on screen so long as there’s a certain ratio of naked flesh to everything else, would not have necessitated a retake unless she actually left the lens-cap on.

    Maybe you need a new category – movies which, while undoubtedly weird, are unlikely to appeal to anybody who isn’t the kind of cinematic masochist who deliberately seeks out jaw-droppingly awful garbage in order to laugh in a sour and largely mirthless way at the failings of all concerned. Or, in the case of these two films, their original very specific target audience.

    Or am I getting the wrong message entirely, and I would do well to watch these films because there is something genuinely entertaining about them?

    1. As someone with grotesquely gigantic breasts, you don’t need to fetishize gigantomastia to still appreciate the aesthetic value of them. But you have to remember that these two films (“Deadly Weapons” and “Double Agent 73”) was made in the 70s, and that Chesty Morgan wasn’t an actor. The 70s was a time when pornographic content was still relatively new and it was uncertain where the market would go. Would it remain small time or could it hit mainstream as it had in Europe?
      Personally this film really is nothing more than exploitation of Morgan’s bust. If you actually look into her history, and we’ll forgo the bit about her being a holocaust survivor, she actually did have a tough time staying afloat (full pun intended); she married young, had two children, and not long after her husband was killed in a robbery.
      She was living in Brooklyn at the time and had to make ends meet; she dated a man who took her to a cabaret and found herself insulted and appalled, yet not long after, in need of an income, she took to cabarets and did topless stripping and teasing, yet she started out incredibly shy (even “forgetting” to remove her bra on a few occasions) and never stripped below the waist.
      She remarried and fell in with her husband’s crowd, and they did want to showcase her natural abundance, yet she remained skeptical about it. This film is one of very few movies to even feature her; she actually had a brief bit in Fellini’s Casanova (a surreal sexual Italian film starring Donald Sutherland of all people) but the scene was ultimately cut out; similarly, all it really did was exploit her bust, though it never became very sexual.
      So if this movie seems like it’s relying on an untrained acting lead and does little more than to serve as shining the spotlight on her two veritable melons, that’s because that’s all it was. 70s exploitation through and through. A reluctant stripper was coerced into being in a titty film for the sake of just that.

      Doris Wishman, meanwhile, was a nudist living up the then-new wave of feminism of the 60s and 70s, and never grew out of that. She’s not John Waters or Ed Wood because what she produces really is just porn, and that’s all she wants. These films no doubt were the result of her glee over meeting a woman who introduced her to the fact that some gals do have jugs bigger than their own heads. To a sex-fueled feminist of the mid 20th century, you can imagine she’d have been fine filming hundreds of movies that were little more than hours of closeups of Morgan’s bust.
      To Morgan, she had huge breasts and those breasts were easy money, but she didn’t want to live a life exploiting her bust, hence the apathy and disinterest, not to mention a filmography of only two films (three if you want to count the cut scene from Casanova).
      So we’re dealing with two different women: A hedonist who wants all the nudity but lacks giant boobs, and a massively stacked woman who just wanted a quiet life.

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  3. Although we don’t allow nudity, Google Adsense apparently had a problem with one of the photos on this page (their automated bot does not specify what exactly the problem they found was). I can only assume it was this still (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ja51IYJlbws/Sc62e4BGY7I/AAAAAAAABMI/6mdEskVAOFw/s400/screenshot10825.jpg), which I removed. I am afraid that there may be no still in Deadly Weapons that Google would not find obscene. God made Chesty obscene, I guess.

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