Honey (Susan Kiger) is in the university locker room when she overhears the bitchy, privileged Melody (Lindsay Bloom) gossiping about her and being mean about the fact that Honey had to save up for three years to join the establishment. Realising that Melody has deliberately let her hear the chat, Honey is disheartened until her friends rally round and persuade her that she's not all bad, and it's then she has a stoke of inspiration. She will start her own sorority on the campus and they will ensure that all the boys are interested in them and ignore Melody's sorority. And their name will be H.O.T.S.!
Hooray! Yes, it's female empowerment all the way in this film, one of the first of a long line of young women taking off their tops comedies that would barge through eighties cinema like some sort of party hard nudist colony. But H.O.T.S. was in there at the start, or near enough, making sure the genre began as it meant to go on with its cast of Playboy Playmates and ex-beauty queens, and building up to a climax that has offered the film a measure of notoriety in the field. That field being the football field - if you've heard of this film, you'll have heard of the grand finale.
Also of note is that on scripting duties, along with Joan Buchanan, was Cheri Caffaro, best known as the star of the Ginger thrillers of the seventies: it was her only writing credit, but showed she was well aware of her audience and could have made a second career out of this kind of thing. As it is, the plot seems to have been inspired by watching too many sitcoms, because if you took away the nudity and sex references (it's OK, we won't, but if you did), this film would be hard pressed to get a PG rating.
Among the comedy highs is a kindapped bear that escapes and hides in the attic of the H.O.T.S sorority house, a place the girls have spruced up especially. The bear inexplicably transforms into a man in a bear suit for any tricky scenes like clambering into a hot air balloon, but for most of the time is genuinely ursine. That house happens to be the hiding place not only of the bear, but also the hoard of stolen cash that two gangsters have broken out of jail to retrieve (one of them was exploitation reliable since the fifties, Richard Bakalyan), but how do they get into the house when it's so busy now?
It's interesting how many films set in universities tend to be comedies that neglect the seat of learning side of campus life and instead go for the relentlessly silly. At least most of H.O.T.S. is good natured, and not to be taken seriously on any level, with its topless skydiver crashing the Dean's gathering for polite society or wet T-Shirt competition where only two girls appear to get wet, and the bits that are sincere, like the musical interludes (did we really want to hear "Special Guest Star" Danny Bonaduce perform?), don't last very long. Let's face it, most will be watching to see the cast undress and they won't be disappointed, and the football game - a strip football game at that - is certainly original. As to whether it's any good, that's very much in the eye of the beholder... Did I mention there's a seal in this too? Music by David Davis.