Stream-of-Consciousness Review: Hardbodies
First or second time viewing?: First
One of the ’80s teen sex comedies I didn’t get a chance to catch on late night cable as a kid. I’ve been possessed of an urge to revisit these films, as I now see them as a counterpart to the slasher films of the ’80s.
Neon pink credits, a shitty new wave theme song, suntan-lotion-applying montage. Off to a real good start. Grant Cramer from New Year’s Evil and Killer Klowns From Outer Space is in this, as is somebody with the first name Teal. Already this is taking me to a wonderful place. Hey–Malachi from Children of the Corn is in this, too!
Paradise on the beach is disrupted by a gang of bullies and their woman-raping dog. Scotty, the protagonist–played by Cramer– steers the bullies into the path of a biker gang in a particularly unfunny and un-clever way.
A trio of lecherous 40-somethings arrive on the scene to rent a swank beach house and try to pick up teen-and-twenty-something townie chicks. This one’s taking a lot more risks with genuine sexual inappropriateness than I remember many of these films doing.
“I don’t fuck fossils for free.” Damn good line.
One of the lechers lets Scotty “detail” his convertible, inexplicably gives him the keys. If I had caught this flick on cable in my less-discerning youth, I think I still would’ve yelled “Plot hole!” at this.
The lechers hire Scotty to school them in the finer points of trolling for townies, offer to make him their houseboy. Slightly reminds me of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, except the protagonists are completely unlikable. Scotty coerces Malachi into cross-dressing so the lechers can practice hitting on him.
Kathleen Kinmont! One of my most beloved imaginary girlfriends from the ’80s!
Scotty has catchphrases like “dialog-ing” and “bigger and better deal” that seem to have predated the recent reality show The Pickup Artist. I wonder if “Mystery” from that show watched this film as a kid?
Best waterbed ever at the half-hour mark. Gives Dudley Moore’s round bed in Foul Play a run for its money.
A tacky lecher costume change montage. Reminds me of the fast-motion tuxedo shopping spree in Carrie. Should a sex comedy remind me of Carrie if it’s doing its job as a comedy?
The forgotten band Vixen makes a pre-fifteen-minutes-of-fame appearance as the “we couldn’t afford the Go-Gos” girl group. Scotty becomes their “manager,” hires them to play the lechers’ date-rape house party. He’s like a really dark Ferris Bueller.
And now the movie takes an even darker turn as the lechers pretend to be modelling agents. This movie is one Roofie away from becoming The Accused.
Scotty’s love interest takes issue with his and the lechers’ behavior. Now we as an audience are encouraged to veer identification away from the amoral protagonists. It’s an admitted relief, but to its detriment, the movie is now judging everything we have been asked to accept as comedy until this point.
The cowboy lecher learns that chasing young pussy is tiring. I wouldn’t be surprised if the script killed him with a heart attack.
Scotty makes plans to sell Vixen to a mafioso aerobics instructor.
The sky is consistently gray on this beach. And now it’s raining. Adds another layer of genuine darkness to the movie. I’m now suspicious the writer wrote this script as genuine subliminal Christian propaganda, as many critcs once accused the slasher films of doing. The script is everybit as cynical towards its primary characters as Aaranofsky or von Trier.
A song plays over a party montage: “I Did It And I’m Glad!” Immediately followed by the cowboy lecher singing a ballad: “I Don’t Fuck Fossils For Free.” Wow.
One of the lechers officially crosses the line and molests the local girl who teases and won’t put out. Scotty defends her honor, but it’s too late for him to regain my empathy or identification. It’s all getting really weird now; I can’t see this movie regaining my trust as a comedy.
The bullies show up again, blasting .45 Grave on their boom box. Jesus, this whole town should just be nuked already.
A low speed jet-ski chase winds up sending a wheelchair-bound fisherman sailing off a pier, presumably to a horrible death by drowning. LOL!
The molester turns Scotty’s love interest against him, tries to take his place as the pickup guru, turn it into a business. Scotty and the townie girls get revenge in a lame, lukewarm slapstick mayhem climax. They really should have gone further with it.
Oh hey, look at that–Kane Hodder and Darcy DeMoss were in this. Lot of horror alumni. The end credits were the most interesting thing about the movie.
I totally have blue balls now.