Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross


Posted on December 13, 2010


I never really understood the movie Mannequin, until I saw a mannequin I truly wanted to make love to. Not just sex, but making love.

You know what movie I’m talking about? It stars Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall? Meshach Taylor plays a flamboyant homosexual? It was one of those late 80s movies about romance between a man and a mythical woman. Like Splash, Date with an Angel, Miracle Beach, Hello Again … others.

At the time, I could never understand the basic premise of those movies. I mean, sure, every guy wants to have sex with a mermaid or a mannequin, but who wants a long-term relationship with one? Doesn’t the magic stop once the magic stops? Then, one day, I saw the most beautiful, compelling mannequin I’d ever laid eyes upon.

She was in the window of a Chico’s Outlet store off of I-80. I can’t really explain what drew me to her—her poise, her eyes, the way she wore that beige turtleneck. Whatever it was, I knew this was a mannequin made for more than just fucking. This was a mannequin for true love.

I was too shy to approach her that day. She was working, after all. But, as soon as I drove off without telling her my name, I knew it was the biggest mistake of my life. I began sending her love letters addressed to Chico’s corporate headquarters. I wrote her some songs that I posted on Youtube. I submitted to Missed Connections.

None of it worked. I realized I’d missed my chance with such an exquisite, fiberglass woman. I’d like to think there’s more than one soul mate out there, but deep in my heart I know she was my one and only. I’ll always lament the day that I failed to kidnap and then make sweet love to that mannequin in the Chico’s window.

Despite the heartache, one thing I did learn is the meaning behind all those 80s films. It’s not about nebbish-y men learning to stand up to their goofy friends hoping to make a quick buck off exposing the magic. It’s not about the mystical transformations of those women from magical super-being to submissive girlfriend. Those movies are really about looking deep into a fake, idealized woman and seeing something no one else sees—her soul.

Then it’s about having sex with that soul. Long-term, monogamous sex.

[sigh] What could have been …


Miracle Bikini Factory

Posted on October 22, 2010

My favorite movie from the 80’s has to be Miracle Bikini Factory (1985). I used to stay up all night in hopes USA Network would show it. I wonder if it still holds up.

The plot was pretty standard:

Tad Gunther plays Kip Hartman, a lovable beach bum with great hair and cool shades. The film starts with Kip getting caught in the stock room with his boss’s topless wife. (It’s all a comical misunderstanding, but I don’t want to ruin how she ends up topless.) So, Kip gets fired.

He goes to stay with his equally lovable beach bum friends, who just got evicted when their homemade robot went haywire. Its beer dispenser was set to the wrong level. Now where are they gonna stay?

The answer comes in the form of a stiff, English butler carrying an envelope on a silver platter. It’s the last will and testament of Kip’s great-aunt Gertrude. She’s left Kip a bikini factory, located right on the boardwalk.

Unfortunately, when Kip and his friends get there, the factory is in complete disrepair. Some of the chairs are turned over and the walls are scattered with neon-colored graffiti. It seems like there’s no way they can get it working … until Kip finds a magic lamp under a pile of bikinis.

That’s when Jeanie the Genie shows up. She’s been stuck in the lamp, because she flunked out of genie school. Maybe she’s just what the guys need to keep the bikini factory from foreclosure at the hands of Mr. Snively, Kip’s ex-fiancé’s father.

There’s an extended montage, where the guys convince models on the beach to help them clean up the factory.

They throw a huge party, and Jeanie magically makes a heavy metal band’s tour bus break down right outside. Everybody’s there, including Kip’s ex- fiancé, whom Jeanie gets jealous of. But, Jeanie doesn’t get a chance to profess her love to Kip, because Mr. Snively has the police come and confiscate all the money from the party.

Their only hope is the annual Beach Obstacle Course Competition, where the winner gets $10,000. (At this point I should mention that Jeanie can’t make money appear, because her powers don’t work when she’s in love.) The models stay up all night making team uniforms, which are bikinis with neon-colored spray paint.

The obstacle course scene is shot in slow-motion.

They end up getting disqualified, because it’s against the rules to have a beer-dispensing robot for a mascot. All seems lost until an Arabian sheik pulls up in a limousine and loves the team uniforms so much that he orders enough to save the factory.

Jeanie tells Kip that she loves him, which breaks a spell and turns her into a normal girl. Kip’s beach bum friends marry the models. And, it turns out that the butler, the sheik, and Mr. Snively were all Jeanie’s father is magical disguise. He’s the King of Genies, and he just wanted his daughter to find love and marry a loveable beach bum with great hair and cool shades.

You know, pretty standard plot. Good movie, though, if I remember it right. There may have been snowboarding involved somewhere in there.