Blu Release – 3/5
Director – George Bowers (Th Dukes of Hazzard)
Starring – Rob Morrow (Monsters), Johnny Depp (A Nightmare on Elm St.), and Emily Longstreth (Hardbodies)
Release Date – 1985
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Where every room has a great view”
No horror July has been off to a slow start but it has started to pick up speed. My usual no horror month reviews are typically sleazy, raunchy sexploitation flicks from Vinegar Syndrome and Impulse Pictures. However, I have got a few films from Mill Creek that were not horror. One of those film is Private Resort which is part of the Sun, Sand, and Sweat bluray set. This particular film is first in the set and stars a very young Johnny Depp who got the jump start on his career with Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm St. I love the teen comedies of the 80s, as well as, Johnny Depp so I was excited to check it out.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows two young boys who book a trip to a private resort for some drinking and beautiful women. They find themselves in several sticky situations while chasing tail but soon things turn serious when a thief and his wife pose as resort guests to still a priced jewel from another guest thrusting the boys in the middle of the chaos.**Spoiler Alert**
I love the 80s. I love ALMOST everything from that decade. I was born in 1986 at the tail end of this sweet decade but everything I came to love as a young child into adulthood has been influenced by 80s pop culture. When I started writing reviews I wanted to dive deep into the world of forgotten cinema and review exploitation flicks along with anything time had forgot. The goal was to sneak in as many 80s flicks as I could. Private Resort was just one of those movies. It is said that the film’s stars, Johnny Depp and Rob Morrow, one made an agreement to destroy all copies of the film once it was completed. I don’t know why, I actually enjoyed it.
The acting in this one is not the best but far from the worst. Depp has always been one of my favorite actors but he had not hit his stride by this point and was still fine tuning his skill. The remainder of the cast does a decent job, including Morrow, but Depp was struggling to keep in character.
The story for this one is pretty generic and flows like so many teen comedies before it. It follows a group of teenagers living life carefree until something drastic happens forcing them to stand up for what is right. This was the basis for so many comedies in the 70s that ran through the 80s, 90s. 00, and well into today. The private resort was a change of pace but still uses the same basic plot. With that being said, it was still fun and offered several memorable characters.
Finally, this one has several laughs. Some were goofy and made me wonder why they were there while others were genuinely clever. The film really had the potential to be one of the comedies that everyone remembers but some of the dry humor makes it fall a little flat. Overall,Private Resort is a solid 80s comedy that has some laughs and a decent cast. The writing is a little off at times but still entertains. Check it out.
Director – Mark Griffiths (Behind Enemy Lines)
Starring – Grant Cramer (Killer Klowns From Outer Space), Teal Roberts (Beverly Hills Cop II), and Gary Wood (Freddy’s Nightmares)
Release Date – 1984
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “If you don’t know what they are, you don’t know what you’re missing”
My no horror July continues. After checking out the Johnny Depp leadPrivate Resort it was time to work my way through the Mill Creek Entertainment bluray set. The second film in the set is one that I had never heard about but I was still interested in it when I found out that Grant Cramer was in it. Most of you may remember Cramer as Mike Tobacco from the classic Killer Klows From Outer Space. I always thought Cramer killed it in that film and wondered why I had never seen him in other genre films. Though Hardbodies was not a horror flick it still was a fun film to watch.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Scotty (Cramer) who lives the simple life at the beach. That is until his landlord kicks him out for not paying his rent. He finds himself on the street but that does not damper his spirits. He soon finds some older gentlemen moving into a rental for the summer and offers to clean their car. They agree so he uses it to pick up some girls while they are not around. When they catch him they offer to pay him and let him live with them as long as he shows them how to pick up girls, or hardbodies. Things go good for awhile but one of the men gets a small taste of having any girl he wants he turns his sights on Scotty’s girl resulting in the two going at it in a hilarious way. **Spoiler Alert**
Private Resort was a fun film and set the pace for the set but Hardbodieswas a much better film with a much better cast and an even better story. The characters were better written and the humor was top notch.
The acting in this one is great. The characters are well written and the cast has a lot to work with. The cast delivers some great performances and really makes their characters memorable. We also get a light-hearted performance from Courtney Gains who most of you may know as Malachai from the original Children of the Corn. The entire cast does a great job and made the film so much more fun.
The story for this one is fun. It is cliched and a story that has been spun before but it still delivers on the entertainment. The film is crammed with laughs, beautiful women, a couple of tits here and there, with some great characters. The story, just like Private Resort, puts the viewer in the middle of a beautiful beach with sexy women and guys who want those women. Nothing new but it does offer up some laughs that make the film well worth it.
Finally, the film is full of laughs. It has simple puns, well written laughs, and cliched humor. The humor is dated but that is what makes it so fun. Overall, Hardbodies is one of those amazing films that time has forgot. The film is funny and well written but has since found itself collecting dust on the shelf and it’s time to dust it off again. This will be one I venture back to sometime in the near future.
Director – Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th)
Starring – David Knell (Six Feet Under), Perry Lang (The Twilight Zone), and Paul Land (Wild Orchid)
Release Date – 1983
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Like it’s really, totally, most fun a couple of bodies can have. You know?”
It’s weird how horror legends and icons are known for their contributions to the greatest genre on Earth but horror fans often pay no mind to their contributions to cinema outside of horror. Way back in 1972 Sean S. Cunningham produced the Wes Craven directed Last House on the Left and cemented himself as a staple in the horror genre.
He would then further plant himself in the horror genre when he directed one of the greatest slashers to ever come out of the golden era of slashers, Friday the 13th. He would go on to be very lucrative in the genre but he did dabble in other genres. Way back in 1983 he would direct a teen comedy simply titled Spring Break. This was another one sent to me in the Sun, Sand, and Sweat bluray set from Mill Creek Entertainment.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows two college students who head to the beach for their spring break. One them is the step-son of a high influential politician and left for the beach without telling him. They are accidental roomed with two more twenty-somethings from the Bronx and start hitting the bars and parties hard when their antics are photographed and put in the newspaper. His father sees it and sends his goons to get him and bring him back. A game of cat and mouse soon plays out as his goons chases him through the beach and various parties while his friends tries to stop them while helping him get the girl he fell in love with.**Spoiler Alert**
Before I started watching this film a filmmaker on Facebook told me that this one was a constant watch in his home. That really intrigued me and made me even more curious. The film was on the same level as Private Resort but not as good as Hardbodies. I enjoyed myself and will be revisiting this one very soon.
The acting in this one is fun but nowhere near the best I have seen. The cast is clearly having fun with the film and it shows in each scene. What they lack in experience they more than make up for with enthusiasm.
The story for this one is strikingly similar to the previous two films in the set. It follows a group of guys trying to have fun during the hot months of summer only to have an obstacle placed in their path. In Private Resort it was the jewel thief, in Hardbodies it was the older guy looking for tail that tries to snatch the lead’s girl, and Spring Break it is the young man’s step-father trying to force him back home. The stories are all fun and take on the story in different ways. The story may not be original but it is still fun and great for the summer.
Finally, this one has laughs and the humor is crude like National Lampoon’s Animal House. With that being said, the humor is not piled together. Instead, it is sporadically spread throughout the film leaving several scenes feeling dry and bland. The humor needed to be even throughout the film. Overall,Spring Break is a summer must from horror legend Sean S. Cunningham. It may not be his best work but it is still quality and will now be one I check out every summer.
Director – James Bridges (Urban Cowboy)
Starring – John Travolta (Pulp Fiction, Grease), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Prom Night), and Jann Wenner (Almost Famous)
Release Date – 1985
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis work up a sweat together”
I grew up watching all genres of film. I loved comedies, dramas, action, fantasy, adventure, horror. I loved them all. I was a typical child. However, horror started to take root when I was in fourth grade and soon found myself consumed by it. However, before then I remember watching so many films from other genres that starred John Travolta.
We had Look Who’s Talking, Look Who’s Talking Too, Pulp Fiction, Michael, Grease, Face/Off, and so many more. He was a regular in my house growing up. Once horror took over I didn’t see him that much but one face I did see often was the talented Jamie Lee Curtis. She is a living horror legend that has been in so many classics. Back in 1985 the two met and would star in the workout film Perfect. This film is the fourth and final film in the bluray set Sun, Sand and Sweat sent to me from Mill Creek Entertainment.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Rolling Stone reporter Adam (Travolta) who travels to California to interview a man who was arrested on drug trafficking. He also wants to work in another article on health clubs and how people use them now to pick up dates instead of bars and the like. His editor agrees and hes flies out. He finds the perfect health club and quickly meets aerobics instructor Jessie (Curtis) who agrees to show him around but refuses to let him interview her.
She’s polite to him but there is some animosity towards him for being a reporter. They eventually start falling for each other. He starts meeting other members of the club, as well as, some of the employees and starts building a personal relationship as well but once he is pulled from the story the editor and photographer takes stuff they have seen along with some of Adam’s notes and makes their own story involving members of the club and Jessie’s past. On top of it all, Adam is now facing jail time over his interview with the drug trafficker. He has to try to get Jessie back while facing jail time.**Spoiler Alert**
I’m going to be completely honest and admit that I was not looking forward to checking this one out. Thought I like both Travolta and Curtis, this film did not look that fun and honestly did not look like it fit the whole beach vibe that this set had going for it. The film did prove me wrong but was still out of place among the other films in this set.
The acting is great. Travolta and Curtis fucking kill it in this one while their supporting cast knock it out of the park. This film would be nowhere what it is now if anyone else would have been cast. The pairing of the two looks stupid on paper but Travolta and Curtis work very well together and make the film what it is.
The story for this one is your typical romance comedy with some drama tossed in for good measure. The film is cliched and follows the same formula that we have seen so many times before in a romance film. People meet through usual causes before they fall in love. Something major happens to split them up before they realize that they can’t stand to be apart. This story can be adapted to any situation but the fact it involves a Rolling Stone’s journalist and an aerobics instructor does make it very unique.
Finally, the film does have some laughs but the main focus of the film is around the characters and the bonds the viewer has with them. I would have loved more laughs but the comedy portion is very thin with the drama and romance taking center stage. Overall, Perfect may have not been perfect but it was one of the better films in the Sun, Sweat, and Sandals set. It was entertaining and had one hell of a cast.