Sex Kittens Go To College (1960) Mamie And The Monkey March 26, 2022 08:00
Sex Kittens Go To College is a star studded blending of 1960's television and film personalities, a ginormous horny robot, a drum playing / book writing chimp, and a ten minute striptease scene all packed into one, leaving you wondering if you aren't watching something from the mind of Ed Wood.
When Collins College hired Dr. Mathilda West to be the new head of their science department they never imagined she'd show up in the form of a a busty platinum blonde bombshell. Recommended to them by their giant campus robot computer "Thinko", Mathilda West (Mamie Van Doren) steps off the train and immediately turns heads, even causing the football team's star player to faint.
Mathilda quickly begins to stir up some controversy among the staff, some are afraid her looks will ruin their school's credibility and cost them an upcoming grant, while others are smitten by her. In both cases her looks overshadow how overly qualified she is, and more hijinks ensue up when one of the teachers learns of her past occupation as a dancer.
With the commotion that Mathilda is causing just by her presence on campus everyone seems to be oblivious of the two mobsters "Boomie" and "Legs" who showed up on the same train asking for the whereabouts of Thinko, who they unknowingly think is a person. Seems Thinko not only has a thing for dancing girls but he's also been raking in the dough through gambling on horse races, the two goons have been sent by their boss to put a stop to his gambling. In the process they manage to get themselves mixed up with Brigitte Bardot's sister who latches onto one of them like a female version of Pepé Le Pew.
By no means is Sex Kittens Go To College is a good film, it's bizarre, it's incredibly campy and it's all over the place. It's like a weird dream you might have that seems cohesive and normal while you're asleep but when you wake up you question how your brain came up with such a mixture. The whole giant robot plot-line with the two mafia rejects seemingly from the Three Stooges throws this film into Ed Wood territory, especially when Thinko blows a fuse and has a 10 minute wet dream where he watches a striptease performance (which is uncensored on this international cut, and no unfortunately it does not feature Mamie or the other actresses). It's oddly reminiscent of Wood's Orgy Of The Dead, which considering that film didn't come out until five years later perhaps influenced him.
The miraculous thing is how such a mess of a story managed to acquire a well known cast of actors, names like Tuesday Weld (The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis), Martin Milner (Route 66 & Adam-12), Maila Nurmi aka Vampira, Conway Twitty as himself, Jackie Coogan aka Uncle Festor from The Addams Family, Brigitte Bardot's little sister Mijanou, and probably more recognizable 60's film and TV actors.
Now for credit where credit is due, Mamie Van Doren actually is a pleasant surprise. Having a preconceived impression of Van Doren as a low budget Marilyn Monroe I had low expectations going into this, but still even with the mess of a story and the over-the-top campy acting from most of the cast Van Doren actually puts forth a solid performance. Yes she's drop dead gorgeous, (hotter than Monroe any day of the week) but she can also act, and sing (which I had been aware she was pretty good at). She was quite believable in the role, granted it didn't hurt that literally everyone else around her acted like idiots.
With Mamie giving a solid performance, and being pleasant on the eyes, followed by a chimp who pops up throughout the film providing the best laughs, Sex Kittens Go To College straddles my list of "so bad, it's good" titles. It's a horrible film, but the fact that Van Doren could pull off such a solid performance in the midst of such a mess really impressed me. And I have no problem expressing a likely unpopular opinion that Mamie Van Doren beats Marilyn Monroe in any "sex kitten" battle, both in terms of looks and talent.