If Paul Bartel ever allows himself to get out of the mire of bad taste, he will be a director with whom to contend. The maker of the trashy EATING RAOUL (1982) steps up in class considerably with this offering, but he forgets that tastelessness is not enough to make something funny. Set

in the 1950s, the film presents Lois Thorndyke (Nancy Allen), who works for a sleazy New York newspaper. The editor (Richard Paul) is determined to uncover all the scandals in the city, so he assigns Lois to go on regular raids. Lois lives a double life, working also as assistant to Mayor Claude

Franklyn (Laurence Luckenbill). Lois suspects the mayor may be up to no good and hires photographer Barry (David Naughton) so she can get the drop on him with actual photos. The story is wildly improbable and sometimes hilariously funny. The dialog is inventive and the characters bizarre, and it

all smacks of those cult movies that will have a long life in the Saturday night midnight shows around the country. Bartel will eventually make his mark in the movie business, as this picture proves.