Drive-In Mutants: Hardbodies (1984)

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hardbodies-posterHARDBODIES (1984)
Aliases:
None
Columbia Pictures
Directed by: Mark Griffiths
Starring: Grant Cramer, Teal Roberts, Gary Wood, Michael Rapport

The Plot is Afoot!
Scotty is a slacker and ladies man who roams the beach with his best friend Rag looking to score with gorgeous women. They’re called “Hardbodies,” and he’s more than successful in bedding his fair share of beach bunnies.

After being kicked out of his apartment by his ruthless landlord, Scotty luckily meets three middle aged men who hire him to get them in to hot parties and hook them up with as many gorgeous women as he can.

All seems to be going well, but when Scotty begins falling for sexual conquest Kristi, he’s torn between endless one night stands, or being in his first real committed relationship.

The Damage: Since the sixties were in vogue in the eighties, you could probably build an entire sub-genre of films based on and around beaches. There were so many films revolving around guys trying to get laid in and around beaches, or living in beach houses, that it’s surprising almost every studio thought they’d cash in on this concept. There was even the silly “Back to the Beach,” an all star eighties ode to the classic Frankie and Annette beach blanket bingo comedies. Talk about childhood favorites.

This time around, “Hardbodies” is set during the best beach in the world, where apparently almost every hot woman in America go to, to either roller skate, or scamper around with their friends. The beach is filled with gorgeous women otherwise known as “hardbodies” to the local men, and main character Scotty is apparently the head of the game which involves hunting for women and getting them in bed as often as he possibly can. Scotty, despite being sex hungry, is the hero of the film that transforms from sex comedy, to dramatic romance, to sex comedy again and again you’ll likely feel confused toward the finale.

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Scotty is your typical smooth talking slacker from the eighties, who spends most of his time running around the beach and trying to talk women in to bed with him, along with his best friend. He is also a part of the beach’s patrol, so he’s in charge of throwing out riff raff and helping other people have a good time. He even craftily throws out a group of perverted losers by siccing a biker gang on hem.

Partying of course doesn’t do much for his lifestyle, as Scotty is about to be kicked out by a merciless landlord that is more than happy to kick him out on his butt. Just Scotty’s luck a trio of middle aged businessmen has moved in to a local beach house and wants to have a good time and are willing to hire Scotty for the chance at tail. Scotty begrudgingly agrees and spends a good portion of the movie trying his best to hook the trio of men up with gorgeous women, all of whom have some sort of motive for the swingers.

This involves a ton of montages of the men hitting on beach bunnies and often bungling in their attempts, and throwing a wild party that involves a large amount of topless shots and sexual innuendo that is quite entertaining. At one point Scotty invites a tall gorgeous aspiring model to meet an agent at the party, and despite her anger at his lie, he convinces her to go to his room and take pictures anyway. Soon enough a crowd of women are in Scotty’s room competing for photo ops, apparently for the chance to be featured in the dictionary next to the word “Gullible.”

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You could sum up the movie in one simple sentence, but “Hardbodies” has a lot of plot to it, and a ton of sub-plots that the writers work hard to resolve with enough believability. Along with Scotty working with the trio of men to get them laid, he’s also committing to Kristi, an intended one night stand he begins falling in love with. He also tricks a female rock band in to playing his party and falls in to success when the band garners interest from a professional promoter.

There’s also a large amount of focus on one of the older men Ashby, who begins a raunchy affair with kinky Michelle (as played by the obscenely sexy Kristi Somers), that transforms in to a romance. Their sub-plot contributes to a lot of the better moments of “Hardbodies,” including her bouncing on him while he’s half asleep, and a very heavily implied oral sex scene.

One of the banner scenes involves Michelle challenging Ashby to keep playing his guitar while she commits to her “act,” resulting in a rather hilarious reaction from him as he struggles to finish his guitar melody. If that’s not enough there’s another fun sub-plot with Courtney Gains, who plays Scotty’s loyal best friend Rag. Rag is your typical eighties goofball best friend who spends most of the movie also trying to get laid, and eventually manages to win the heart of a woman.

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“Hardbodies” goes off the rails mid-way in favor of Scotty’s fight to keep his relationship with new girlfriend Kristi. After constantly striking out and harassing a girl to the point of sexual assault, the leader of the middle aged trio Hunter, gets in to a fight with Scotty and makes a play for Kristi. Soon enough, Hunter and Scotty are at war with one another for Kristi’s heart, and Scotty begins striking back at the player with a series of carefully orchestrated pranks that do him in.

While the endless sub-plots set up do make “Hardbodies” needlessly crowded with story, it revels in its simple premise based around getting women naked as often as possible, and featuring a lot of “hardbodies” walking around for the camera. We also get some past storylines showing up in the goofy climax, involving the skuzz bag beach crashers from the first half of the movie. We even get an obligatory old woman fainting at the sight of her naked middle aged son posing for the women in the party.

As an added bonus there’s the liberal use of the original “Partytime” by 45 Grave.

Blood: It’s a fairly bloodless affair save for a scene of a rotting refrigerator.

Boobs: There is plenty of T&A for folks that appreciate the raunchy eighties sex comedies that filled theaters and video store shelves. There are endless scenes of naked women walking around, shots of naked women in bed, women in string bikinis, women crawling around with their cabooses in the air, women pulling off their bikini tops, and even the occasional sex scene here and there. There’s also a shot of Kristi Somers bathing in sea water and taunting her new boyfriend Ashby with her body. For the women there are also a few shirtless men here and there, but mainly this comedy belongs to the female hard bodies and their exploits on the beach.

Beast: We get a loyal shaggy dog that’s trained to tear bikini tops off of unsuspecting hardbodies. That is one talented pooch.

The Rundown: There was apparently a “Hardbodies” sequel set in Greece, but since it was IMDB Bottom 100 fodder at one time, I doubt I’ll get to it any time soon. For pure 1980’s raunchy beach blanket nonsense, though, there’s at least 1984’s “Hardbodies.” You’d be a fool not to respect the film’s trademark hot rod water bed.

     

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