“American Pie” hit the right chords in the right time, it caught lightning in a bottle, and I was there when it became a pop culture phenomenon. It made the development of the digital age a fun comedic prop, as our protagonist Jim is caught on the world wide web of dozens of people prematurely ejaculating, and dancing. It struck the iron at just the right point and for a while was a massive hit. Hell, it even invented the term “Milf” (Thus an entire popular porn sub-genre was born!) But watching it so many years later, it’s clear that “American Pie” is just not a very good movie. Maybe it’s because seventeen years later pop culture has redefined what’s raunchy about a thousand times over, but when you cut away at the sexual humor, what you have a pretty mediocre teen comedy.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
The follow up to “Zapped!” obviously wants to be thought of as a legacy follow up to the original Scott Baio movie but has none of the budget to pull off the fantasy we saw in the original. There almost seems to be no budget for our main character Kevin to pull off the infamous mind tricks, so a lot of his powers involve moving things very slowly with his minds, and often making people slap themselves. Even in the climax where we know we’ll see a reproduction of the original film’s climax, people instead rip their own clothes off rather than have the clothes ripped off by the main character. Pretty much a sequel in name only, “Zapped Again!” stars Todd Eric Andrews as Kevin.
If you’re in the market for some summer time comedy filled with raunch, eighties madness, gratuitous nudity, and a bunch of aspiring movie stars or future movie stars like Johnny Depp, and Jamie Lee Curtis, Mill Creek has the four movie line up for your pleasure. Now on Blu-Ray, these are four of the most terrible and yet entertaining movies of the eighties for economic movie collectors.
I liked “Neighbors” for what it tried to accomplish, but in the end it wasn’t a complete home run. Considering five people worked on it, “Neighbors 2” is a shockingly superior follow up to the original 2014 comedy. While it is, in essence, a cash in, it’s also a much more socially relevant comedy that offers interesting ideas and commentary about equality of the sexes, and how the deck is stacked against young women in society. “Neighbors 2” doesn’t get preachy, but it does provide audiences with a glimpse at how young women are much more objectified and taken for granted than younger men.
It’s pretty fun to see Scott Baio and Willie Aames team up in what would be one of their many endeavors in “Zapped!” Baio was fresh off of “Happy Days,” Aames was off of “Eight is Enough,” they were a few years away from the comedy gold of “Charles in Charges” and decades away from being the douche bags we know today. It was an interesting time where Baio and pal Aames delved in to the sex comedy. “Zapped!” attempts to be as outrageous as silly as possible, but only really ends as a somewhat mediocre comedic effort that doesn’t do much with the premise it hands us.
Well it just goes to show all the aspiring actors out there hoping for success. Most times you have to earn your stripes by being in junk you think is awful, all for the sake of an inevitable break out role. The two stars of the piece are Rob Morrow and post – “Nightmare on Elm Street” Johnny Depp at very young ages, and starring in what was one of maybe two hundred teen sex comedies released in the eighties. Ben and Jack crash a Jamaican resort club during Spring Break intent on causing trouble with the colorful variety of guests, and scoping out babes for the sake of getting laid.
In the process they run afoul hotel security, a weird spiritualist, her goofy wealthy grandmother, a jewel thief, an abusive waiter, a meat head hotel patron and his drunken girlfriend, and a sexy Southern Belle. While “Private Resort” is often pure nonsense, Morrow eventually went on to a long interesting career in television and film. As for Johnny Depp, after this he went on to a break out role in “Platoon” and then from then on, I think he worked in other films and TV, who knows? Did we ever hear from Johnny Depp after “Platoon”? That said, Depp and Morrow allegedly despise “Private Resort” and who can blame them?
I often bash some movies for having absolutely no narrative, but hot damn does “Private Resort” have no story. It’s like one giant punch line to a joke without the initial set up and build up. Yet another entry in the shockingly popular sub-genre from the eighties that began with films like “Last American Virgin” and “Porky’s,” George Bowers “Private Resort” embraces the sub-genre without any of the finesse of classics like “Revenge of the Nerds.” It’s just eighty five minutes of stock comedy tropes running in to one another and clashing for the sake of hopefully grabbing a laugh from the audience.
Ben and Jack are two teens that break in to a local resort in Jamaica during Spring Break, and begin walking around harassing guests, causing trouble, and looking to get laid. That’s literally the entire movie. There’s no explanation how they got their room, who they’re staying with, or why they’re at the resort originally. Most of their time is spent walking around the lounges and pool side hitting on women and trying to lure them back to their suite for the sake of having sex with them. On occasion, their wacky misadventures spiral out of control and they end up getting in to a sexual scenario.
During one scene Ben and Jack meet Leslie Easterbrook’s incredibly sexy Bobby Sue, who is sun bathing pool side, and despite their flirtations, she rebuffs their advances. Accidentally leaving her room key behind, they think it’s a hint, and break in to her room. Bobby Sue has a very viciously jealous husband, of course. He’s called the Maestro and is played by Hector Elizondo for reasons I’m sure involved an easy payday. He’s the obligatory villain of the comedy mistaking Morrow’s character Ben for the hotel barber prompting Ben to mangle his precious doo while Jack is in Bobby Sue’s room nude and trying to find an escape.
Like one long episode of “Three’s Company,” there’s a ton of goofy physical double takes, Depp trying his damndest to be wacky, and many scenes involving the pair of pals running around the halls of the hotel outrunning someone who rightfully wants to arrest them or beat them up. And wouldn’t you know it? Despite this hotel being a high priced swanky vacation spot, every room has a lion share of wacky and outrageous residents. For some odd reason during the big chase scene in the finale, Maestro crashes in to a room where two sumo wrestlers are apparently standing around preparing to fight? I think?
Like every teen sex comedy, Ben and Jack eventually run across women they want to have sex with but end up in potentially meaningful relationships and given the opportunities to redeem themselves. For Ben his form of redemption involves getting potential girlfriend Patti out of an abusive relationship with a waiter as she refuses to stand up for herself afraid of losing her job. Obviously the complicated problem is solved by a comical punch in the face, and a declaration of love, because why add some characterization to what is unsalvageable dreck by the time the second half rolls around.
Elizondo is seemingly in the movie for no reason, so he’s given a half assed sub-plot mid-way where he plans to romance wealthy woman Mrs. Rawlings for the sake of stealing her precious diamond. That proves disastrous thanks to Ben and Jack when they accidentally interfere with his attempts to seduce her constantly. Every cast member is so ill fitted for the movie that if there is a laugh or two, it will be entirely accidental. To show how utterly inept the movie tends to be, even at the standards of a forgettable cash in, “Private Resort” actually steals a running joke from “Airplane!” involving a taxi and its running meter as Bobby Sue waits in the car.
If none of “Private Resort” appeals to you, then you have to at least sit through it for the sake of Leslie Easterbrook. If you ever sat through any of the “Police Academy” movies wondering what she looked like underneath the uniform, Easterbook is an absolute bombshell here who flashes skin as character Bobby Sue. She appears constantly in skimpy clothing and bathing suits, and even wears a see through robe that reveals her amazing bare body underneath.
Easterbrook is one of the most underrated sex symbols of the eighties, and she shows here why she deserves to be the reigning queen above everyone else. One scene finds hotel security harassing a woman for wearing a skimpy bathing suit and she teases him by making it shorter and wiggling her back side. There’s also the insanely hot Lisa London who plays the drunken girlfriend of Andrew Dice Clay’s character. While she’s mostly on the floor, she shows off her curves without hesitation and looks incredible.
Meanwhile while her husband is involved in all sorts of running around, getting in to fights and inevitably getting the crap kicked out of him by Dody Goodman. It then simply ends on a freeze frame of Morrow. There’s no resolution, no climax, it just ends so swiftly. Almost like tearing a band aid off. Is there any wonder there was never a Private Resort 2″? Everyone starts somewhere, and for good inspiration on how major actors also have to pay their dues, “Private Resort” is a prime example. Rob Morrow, Johnny Depp, Hector Elizondo, and yes, even Leslie Easterbrook who went on to cult fame with the “Police Academy” film series, are all here slumming it up with a sub-genre milked way beyond its threshold in the 1980’s. It’s not at all the worst of its kind, but it is definitely a low point for teen sex comedies of the decade.