H.O.T.S. (the meaning of the acronym is held—such suspense!—until the last shot, though several other possibilities are suggested throughout. My favorite? Help Out the Seals!) is a film very much of its own time, coming as it does on the heels of the sexual revolution. It is single-mindedly focused on sex, but is oddly innocent about it all despite its juvenility. This is the kind of movie where seeing a girl topless is the ultimate achievement for both the characters and the viewer; compared to the sex comedies of today, where characters are routinely covered in or ingesting bodily fluids, the movie is positively benign. And there are topless girls, to be sure. In fact, I’m not sure there’s a female in the movie that doesn’t end up exposing herself at one point or another (save for the sassy black cook, who’s on hand—I think—because the movie wasn’t racist enough). And since the cast is comprised of Playboy centerfolds, Miss USA contestants, and future porn stars, there’s plenty to be exposed.
That’s probably the best I can say for the movie: it isn’t totally sleazy, and it has pretty girls who are naked. When trying to articulate what’s bad about the movie, I find myself in a difficult position. There is so much in the movie that isn’t just bad, it’s downright bizarre—leaving me unsure as to where to start.
On the surface, it is an absolutely formulaic sex comedy, with your basic slobs vs. snobs framework (though seeing as this is one of the first, I suppose it had a hand in creating the formula…could H.O.T.S. possibly be that influential?). It’s around the edges that movie reaches the heights of the surreal. I must make mention of the climax for proof: a Playboy centerfold, two old gangsters, and a grizzly bear are flying in a hot air balloon before landing on a football field, where a game of strip football is already in progress.