Friday, May 4, 2012

Worth Mentioning - The Body of the '80s

We watch several movies a week. Every Friday, we'll talk a little about some of the movies we watched that we felt were Worth Mentioning.


Cody wishes everyone a happy Hardbodies Day, salutes Jim Wynorski, and marvels at superheroes.


HARDBODIES (1984)

Watching this movie is like taking a glimpse into the perfect world at the perfect time.

Scotty Palmer is living the slacker dream in this world, spending his days on the beach, hanging out with beautiful, scantily-clad '80s girls. In exchange for having this blessed existence, he does have some hardships to overcome - he's got financial issues and has recently been evicted from his apartment - but luckily the same day that these troubles arise, the answer to his problems also hits the beach.



Three middle-aged businessmen have come to town looking to kick back and score with some bikini-sporting hardbodies, but they don't know how to close the deal, they need some help. So they turn to Scotty, allowing him to live in luxury and paying him $600 a month to teach them how to get girls.


This is an easy job for Scotty, and he has extensive knowledge to share. Getting girls has never been an issue for him, the idea that a guy would have trouble talking to females is totally foreign to him. "Any slob can dialogue a girl."


It helps that the girls around here tend to be stunningly open and forward. For example, if you start jogging alongside a girl, she might challenge you to a race, and "If you beat me, eat me." That's one of the tamer lines. If you stage an impromptu photo shoot, tops will come off.

 

Grant Cramer (Killer Klowns from Outer Space) is extremely cool as Scotty. Of the older men, Sorrells Pickard is the standout due to the great country song he plays in one scene. Also in the cast are Children of the Corn's Courtney Gains as Scotty's pal Rag, four-time Jason Voorhees Kane Hodder in a cameo as a geek, Darcy DeMoss of Jason Lives, Halloween 4's Kathleen Kinmont, and many other women who range from incredibly cute to gorgeous.


This movie is a lot of fun, '80s sex comedy at its finest, full of eye candy in both human form and the awesome California beach locations. Hardbodies (which had a great trailer) hit theatre and drive-in screens on May 4, 1984, so this article is going up on the film's 28th anniversary. What was naughty in the '80s I now find very charming and it makes me very nostalgic. It makes me wish that I was in the ideal '80s world of this film.

Then I realize that all of the hot young people in this movie are now in their fifties and return to harsh reality.



POPATOPOLIS (2009)

Any fan of low budget horror, exploitation, and/or Syfy Channel-type movies has almost certainly run across the work of Jim Wynorski at some point. Since 1985, he has racked up ninety directorial credits.

This documentary (titled after one of Wynorski's pseudonyms) was shot in 2005, at which point Wynorski had directed just sixty-five movies. It gives an overview of his career and insight about the man behind the movies through interviews with the people who know him best, from friends and collaborators like Roger Corman, Andy Sidaris, Julie Strain, and Julie K. Smith, to his mother, and also follows Wynorski through the making of his latest movie, The Witches of Breastwick.

The making of Breastwick is what Wynorski refers to as an experiment. He wants to shoot the movie in just three days, with a two man crew (cinematographer and sound mixer), two lights, and one location - a remote cabin where the cast and crew will stay for three days and spend every waking moment filming.

I don't really get inspired by the top names or stories about the making of blockbusters, it's the stories of the low budget movies and people like Wynorski working in the low budget trenches that inspire me. I don't always enjoy Wynorski's movies, maybe not even usually, but he has made some movies that I love, and I admire his drive and dedication. His life is all about movies, making them and watching them. 

He also likes big breasts. Many of his films can be simply described as "Naked women running from death" and his personal formula for success is "Big chase + Big chest = Winner." And say what you will about the product, but it is a success. Wynorski's movies get international distribution and regular play on pay cable, making a profit and allowing him to keep churning them out.

Like Julie Strain says, "America needs B-movies like it needs cereal" and I'm glad that guys like Wynorski are determined to provide them.


A film that is absolutely worth mentioning is this weekend's big release


THE AVENGERS (2012)

I spent all day yesterday in an AMC theatre, attending the Ultimate Marvel Marathon; a showing of all five solo Avenger movies - Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America - building up to a midnight screening of their team-up film. I'm hoping to write an article about the whole marathon, so I'm going to hold off on typing much about The Avengers until then, but I will say now that it was awesome, cinematic heaven for Marvel true believers.

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