Friday, October 23, 2009

"HARDBODIES" IS SO BAD IT'S GOOD

One of the advantages of having your own blog is that you can write whatever you want about any subject you feel like writing about, without having anyone tell you what you should write or having to tailor your writing to the whims of a particular audience.

With that said, I am going to talk about the Eighties movie Hardbodies. (Yes, this blog is going back to the deep end. Deal with it, world.)
There's been a bit of a revival of Eighties movies this year. We've had big screen remakes of horror movies like Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine, and some classic Eighties flicks that were aimed at the teen crowd have been released on DVD, flicks like Spring Break and Screwballs. These were the types of low-budget movies millions of people in my age group grew up watching on late night cable TV on Friday nights -- mindless and sometimes reprehensible entertainment. If you want to know why Dave Letterman turned out the way he is, look no further than these flicks.

Recently, the folks at Anchor Bay Entertainment released the Eighties teen skin flick Hardbodies and its sequel Hardbodies 2 with a DVD set called The Hardbodies Collection. It is exactly what you expect it to be: two mindless movies about guys chasing girls in bikinis (known as "Hardbodies") on the beach. And in the sequel, they actually go to the Greek Islands. And of course, the girls in both flicks get topless a lot -- best part of the movie.

The opinions out there on the Hardbodies movies are pretty polarizing, although there seems to be more consensus about the terrible sequel than about the original. Many people see these flicks as mindless and sexist, and they are right. Others complain that these flicks are Eighties relics, and that they don't hold up well in our 21st century with all the graphic sexual material that is out there now from the likes of Jenna Jameson and other such people. When this flick came out the film critics of America absolutely crucified the movie, and they weren't entirely wrong to do so. Siskel and Ebert gave the original two big thumbs down, way down, and the studio put out a self-effacing trailer where they basically admitted that the movie was no potential Oscar winner and a pile of rubbish.


Defenders, though, love Hardbodies and think it's good clean escapist fun.  Who wouldn't want to be on the beach hanging around with the gorgeous and charming Hardbodies?.Also, there's a certain "cheese" factor to Hardbodies. The movie was mentioned in an episode of Gilmore Girls (a sure way to get laughs from the audience), and in an episode of Entourage it was revealed that Mrs. Ari was an actress who appeared in a very revealing role in Hardbodies 3 -- which, in real life, was never made. Two were enough.

Well, I saw both these movies again on DVD recently. All I have to say is: Hardbodies is a hoot to watch.

What a blast, and the reason it's so fun is the nostalgia factor. It just brings back so many memories of the bad Eighties and reminds you of how cheesy and stupid that whole decade was. The big hair. The music.The outfits, Actually, you'd think the women would be embarrassed by the skimpy outfits they wore, but they actually come off well compared to the guys. The outfits they made the guys wear in the movie were the most embarrassing of all. Those guys look ridiculous today in those skimpy shorts they wore. To think there were people in the Eighties who actually thought this was fashionable? This is truly a movie so bad that it's good.
In fact, I'm sure stuff like Baywatch was inspired by this flick. You almost expected David Hasselhoff and Pam Anderson to show up and save people. It was that kind of movie.

It's too bad the guys in the movie had so much screen time. What they should have done is get rid of all the guys in the movie and just focus on the babes in the bikinis. Really, the girls are the reason to watch this movie. If they ever do get around to making Hardbodies 3 one of these days, they should just leave out the guys and go with an all-girl cast. They're the real stars of the whole freaking show and they deserved a lot more screen time -- like perhaps the entire movie.

I especially liked that cool chick played by Teal Roberts, who played the girlfriend in the movie. I don't know if Teal Roberts is truly the hottest babe ever, but there was, I dunno, a genuineness about her performance that I liked. She just seemed so carefree and laid-back. It's easy to see why guys would want a girlfriend like that - so friendly. In fact all the female actresses are appealing. I got the impression the actresses were just having a blast making this stupid movie. The guys also seemed to have too good a time. Nobody in the cast looked like they were taking life seriously, they were just doing a movie .

I'm not going to spend any time on the Hardbodies 2 sequel. Why they bothered with it, I don't know. It had girls in it, too, and it had Fabiana Udenio in it (who was in the Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery movie as "Alotta Fagina"), but in general the movie was a waste of time. I guess they made the sequel because the first one made a lot of money.

The second movie isn't even bad enough to sit and ridicule with your friends when you watch it -- it's just boring. Anyway, the second movie may have been dull and a piece of crap, but I wasn't let down by the first movie, the original. Just based on the movie posters I knew I'd like that one, and I was not disappointed. It delivers on something that I truly need after a long hard week of using my brain, and that's cheesy, mindless stupidity. Besides, the movie delivers exactly what I want out of life -- I want to live on the beach and hang out with the surfer chicks. Maybe one day I'll get my green card and move to California, and I'll be able to live the life and won't have to watch movies like this.

I know, I know -- you are an uptight person and you think both movies were trash. Well, they were, but they were our trash. For our age group, flicks like Hardbodies were absolutely the kinds of mindless, stupid drivel that made life in the Eighties worth it. These were the Beach Party movies of our generation.

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Incidentally, my Reject Report box office column is now up -- obviously not one of my better efforts but that's what happens when you end up overworked like I was this past week. Saw VI and Astro Boy are among the highlights for this weekend.

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