As Robert Freese pointed out in his “Exploring: 80s Comedies” featurette for B&S About Movies, the late ’70s one-two punch of National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) and Meatballs (1979) opened up a cottage industry of comedies featuring snobs vs. slobs, lovable losers, and harmless, misguided man-children behaving badly — with Caddyshack solidifying the genre to carry us through the rest of ’80s . . . and beyond with the likes of American Pie and all of its subsequent knockoffs.
Sadly, for every Easy Money and Revenge of the Nerds . . . well, as Freese points out, there’s was a LOT more swings and misses than hits in the ’80s . . . and we’re scrapin’ the grease pits and threadin’ the reels with four of ’em.
You’ve been warned.
Movie 1: Joysticks (1983)
Oh, man. Movie tough guy Joe Don Baker as a curmudgeonly businessman who wants to shut down the local video arcade? Greydon Clark, who directed The Uninvited, Without Warning, and Wacko, and acted in Satan’s Sadists is behind the beeps n’ boops? Nicholas Josef von Sternberg, the guy who lensed Petey Wheatstraw and Mistress of the Apes, sat behind the camera?
I’m all in.
This movie was such a big deal that Midway allowed the image of Pac-Man to be used, as well as their new game Satan’s Hollow, and the as-yet-unreleased Super Pac-Man during the big showdown at the movie’s end.
What the . . . did I just program both a Greydon Clark and a Nicholas Josef von Sternberg Drive-In Friday tribute nights?
Movie 2: My Chauffeur (1986)
Sigh . . . Deborah Foreman, as Sam pointed out in his review, is our favorite 1980s comedy girl that caused our hearts to weep in the frames of Real Genius, Valley Girl, and April Fools Day. And she was always reliable and dependable on screen. How she never broke though to the A-List in major Hollywood films as the next “Meg Ryan” with her plucky Carole Lombard crossed with early Shirley MacLaine vibe is anyone’s guess.
Well, movies like this certainly didn’t help.
The “golf course” in this one is replaced by the Brentwood Limousine Service run by Howard “Dr. Johnny Fever” Hesseman and owned by E.G Marshall from Creepshow. And, of course, love blooms between Foreman’s commoner driver and E.G’s son played by Sam “Flash Gordon” Jones — on his way to the late ’80s post-apoc slop that is Driving Force and the early ’90s Basic Instinct wannabe that is Night Rhythms.
What the . . . did I just program a Sam Jones Drive-In Friday night?
Intermission! Let’s Eat! You need a Chilly Dilly!
Back to the show!
Movie 3: Hamburger: The Motion Picture (1986)
Not to be confused with Hot Dog: The Movie starring David Naughton (yep, the Dr. Pepper “Making It” from Meatballs American Werewolf guy). And not to be confused for being an actual movie. And no, you’re not confused: writer and director Mike Marvin — yes, the guy who concocted one of the most F’up car flicks ever, The Wraith — is behind both fast food oddities.
So, if you think that any movie that needs to suffix itself with a colon and remind you that it’s a “motion picture” and a “movie” has to be good . . . think again. But, as Sam pointed out in his more complete review: when you’re in a small town with one duplex theater and one quad drive-in back in the ol’ pre-cable TV days with no Internet streaming, you ended up seeing suffix n’ colon’d movies for lack of anything else to do during the summer.
So, if you ever wanted to see a movie where — I am safe enough in my masculinity to admit — the very hot Leigh McCloskey from Dario Argento’s Inferno can’t seem to stop being a
hornburger horndog and hooking up with ALL of the girls on campus, this is your movie. And Leigh keeps getting kicked out of schools as result. And his reputation is so bad, Faber College won’t even have him. So he ends up at Buster Burger University run by Dick Butkus in the John Vernon role.
Dude, let’s get the hell out of here and head on down to the Delta House . . . to escape the “The Movie” marathon at the local theater also showing California Girls: The Motion Picture and The Kentucky Fried Movie.
Movie 4: Golfballs! (1999)
We dug up this way-late-to-the-course direct-to-video oddity during our “Police Academy Week” tribute because, well, you think you’re getting a Caddyshack redux, but your really getting a Police Academy rip sans cops and lots of
No, it’s not “alright,” when you blatantly steal a whole lot from Caddyshack (right down to a camouflaged Bill Murray clone) and add lots of gratuitous boobs from the likes of Playboy and Howard Stern’s perpetual radio guest Amy Lynn Baxter and adult film star Jennifer Steele. And there’s jokes about blue (golf) balls and bent “wood,” a farting Chihuahua, cussing grannies, and more golf double entendres about “sticks” and “balls,” vaudevillian spit-takes, shower scenes, and public urination.
Maybe if they added a colon and reminded us this was a “motion picture” it would have helped? Nah.
About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.