Todd (Keith Andreen) and Oded (Roberto Raad) are two pathetic schmucks wasting away in Bremerton, Washington, a naval port town often referred to by nearby Seattle residents as “The armpit of the Puget Sound area.” Full of rusty shipyards and sleazy, dirtbag taverns, this dead-end destination offers few options for these depressed twenty-somethings.
Working at the Bowl-o-Rama, Bremerton’s top cultural choice for sophisticated diversions, both barely-employed ball-shiners sit behind a counter handing out bowling shoes and chatting up Joey (Whitney Leigh, who also co-wrote and co-produced “Nudity Required”), a spunky, rabid chipmunk of a waitress. Todd is a sullen blonde locked in his own self-righteous funk, having been recently dumped by an upwardly mobile squeeze shacking up with a film student in LA Oded, on the other hand, is a greasy, sex-crazed motormouth whose future plans for a livelihood involve midget porn sites. Coupled together, these two sad schlemiels resemble a slightly more coherent Lenny and Squiggy.
Directed by one-time Bremerton resident Steven Boe, “Nudity Required” concentrates on the efforts of this less-than-dynamic duo to get laid. In a more lighthearted spin on Takashi Miike’s brutal “Audition,” they conjure up a plot to interview aspiring area actresses for an “erotic thriller.” We’re not talking Ron Jeremy-styled porno, but rather, the silly, topless hybrid found in straight-to-video exploitation outings.
Northwest viewers will get a kick out of the many Seattle-area sights that register on Boe’s camera. Although much of “Nudity Required” was filmed in LA, there’s a lengthy sequence in which the fledgling filmmakers travel to Space Needle City in search of financing. Meanwhile, the sordid, white trash vibe of trailer-town, bowling alley culture is conveyed with the knowing eye of someone who’s been there, done that.
The crackling dialogue from “Nudity Required” brings to mind Kevin Smith, as these frustrated young townies plot their escape to abundant fame, fortune, and nookie. Joey gets most of the good lines – when she’s told that a family of incoming bowlers are asking for her assistance, the cynical squirt harps, “They probably want to reserve this place for a wedding.”
“Nudity Required” ultimately explodes into a garish, anything-goes freak show, as Roe tosses in everything but the kitchen sink. In an effort to produce “Hollywood Chicks,” their tawdry piece de resistance, Todd and Oded stumble across mammoth, muscular love interest Darla (played by hulking female bodybuilder Jayne Tryka, from “Scary Movie”), and a parade of eccentric movie hopefuls. A trio of true “Hollywood Chicks” (triplets Jaclyn, Erica, and Nicole Dahm) emerge, with platinum hair and Playboy looks, while Mafia men and a sugar-craving spazz named Speed Racer (Steve Gibbons) round out the massive cast.
“Nudity Required” sets out to be enjoyable fluff, and that’s exactly what it delivers. There are a number of inspired comic moments, starting with the film’s opening credits. Simulating an online web surfer entering names to a search engine window, the director types in his credit as “Steven Spielb…,” before deleting the wishful identity and replacing it with “Steven Boe.”
The actors accomplish their missions, for the most part. Andreen is a bit stiff as the broken-hearted Todd, but Roberta Raad plays his oily, wannabe flimflam man with annoying glee. As the feisty, potty-mouthed Joey, Whitney Leigh steals the film. Sizing up a well-endowed male actor equipped with the attributes of Dirk Diggler, she steals Roy Scheider’s classic line from “Jaws”, exclaiming, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
“Nudity Required” is an amusing, colorful way to spend a couple of hours. Unfortunately for fans of flesh, the film actually has very little disrobing. For potent one-liners and a fun send-up of the cheesy exploitation genre, however, viewers could do a lot worse.