Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Real SPRING BREAK '83!

I’ve been on a reminiscent kick, lately. But, that’s nothing new. It took the long-anticipated release of SPRING BREAK, Sean S. Cunningham's comedy classic, on DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment, to hurdle me into re-watching a plethora of 1980s’ teenage/college sex comedies (more on that later). So, I watched quite a few, but I was saving one of the best for last. I finally sat down to watch SPRING BREAK again for the first time in nearly twenty years, and it, of course, was a total blast. I forgot how much I loved this film and picked up on so many elements I had missed before.

SPRING BREAK utilizes one of the common scenarios successful with these types of films: take four horny males and place them in a situation where beer, hormones and wacky situations are destined to flow. With that set-up, throw in some ample nudity, pranks and a great soundtrack and you almost can’t go wrong.

The great thing about this film is that it doesn’t follow that set-up to an exact “t.” Two nerdy types come down to Ft. Lauderdale for the week. They book a room in a hotel and due to a mishap, their room gets overbooked with another pair of males, polar opposite party types. Okay, so what? Well, here’s the thing I never noticed before and what also sets SPRING BREAK apart from the rest of the crowd. Never once is it mentioned that the nerdy types are “nerds.” Never once are they made fun of or put down for not having the same track record as their far more experienced roommates. All we have are four guys out for fun, despite their differences. While it might not be the most accurate approach, it stands out as something that, to my knowledge, hasn’t been addressed in any other film of this ilk. Most films in this genre rely upon such traits to build upon, plot-wise. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the chemistry among the principal leads (David Knell, Perry Lang, Paul Land and Steve Bassett) is a joy to watch, and could be the secret glue that makes this concept work.

Other great aspects to this film (as if I truly need to list them):
  • NRBQ’s “Me And The Boys” compliments the film perfectly. Oh, and Bobcat Goldthwait used it in SHAKES THE CLOWN years later. A tribute, perhaps?
  • Yep, that’s Jeff Garlin jumping in the pool in his film debut!
  • The enchanting Corinne Alphen chanting her desire to “Do It To You” certifies as possibly the ultimate boner ballad. (I’d love to hear The Donnas cover that one!)
  • Hey, Big Brother, are you watching? It’s Sheila Kennedy… topless!
  • .38 Special’s “Caught Up In You”. Such a great tune and so much more fun when you sing along, replacing the “little girl” with "Milton Berle."
  • Jayne Modean… YOWZA!
  • And, Richard Schull always makes for a good foil.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"That's a BINGO!"

Roger Daltrey plus John Morghen plus Stan Laurel plus Donald Moffatt with a vocal dash of Werner Herzog equals: next year's Oscar shoe-in, Christoph Waltz for Quentin Tarantino's INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

This guy is amazing.

I could watch him chew the scenery (and not-so-terrible strudel) for several hours and never grow tired.