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  Hardbodies Beach Party: The Next GenerationBuy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: Mark Griffiths
Stars: Grant Cramer, Teal Roberts, Gary Wood, Michael Rapport, Sorrells Pickard, Roberta Collins, Cindy Silver, Courtney Gains, Kristi Somers, Crystal Shaw, Darcy DeMoss, Antony Ponzini, Marvin Katzoff, Kip Waldo, Michael Miller, Kane Hodder, Joyce Jameson
Genre: Comedy, Sex
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Scotty (Grant Cramer) has just woken up to enjoy sexual intercourse with his girlfriend Kristi (Teal Roberts), which he regards as an ideal start to the day he plans to spend the same way he has the other days of the year, as a beach bum taking odd jobs for the visitors to this stretch of golden Californian sand. However, maybe he had better think about a more comprehensive life plan for his landlord serves him with an eviction notice from his apartment, and now he has nowhere to live; Kristi can't help, and he doesn't know anyone else who could. But who can tell where the day can take him, as after escaping a gang of morons he happens to meet a trio of middle-aged guys with a proposition for him...

Hardbodies, as with Screwballs and even the big hitter among the eighties sex comedy, Porky's, was a film that became best appreciated for the amount of young ladies willing to doff their togs for the camera. There was a plethora of such cheap to make efforts arriving in this decade before a certain new puritanism took over in the following decades which saw fewer and fewer examples of gratuitous nudity in mainstream movies, specifically comedies, and there are many of a particular age who shed a small tear for that lapse, so much so that it's genuinely surprising to see it in the twenty-first century. Before Columbia released it in cinemas, Hardbodies had actually been made by Playboy TV as an opportunistic cash-in on the Porky's-led phenomenon, which may not raise your hopes.

Unless your hopes involve seeing lots of those ladies in a state of undress, in which case you would be more than satisfied, yet if you sought a little more substance to such things because you want to feel as if you're not some creature operating on its most carnal instincts, then funnily enough Hardbodies did have that as well. Obviously watching it these days nostalgia plays a large part in the appeal, but Scotty, our hero, was not some brainless sex fiend, he did have integrity and though he flirts he stays faithful to Kristi. However, when you hear the plot which involved the trio of older guys hiring him to get attractive women to be interested in them, i.e. be persuaded into bed, then you could be forgiven for having reservations, but then the film makes it clear Scotty isn't keen on being the pimp.

Though he does need the cash, and the leader of the sleazy guys, Hunter (Gary Wood) does offer him a place to live in his beachside apartment so how can he refuse? Then the film becomes a how to pick up girls manual for presumably the sort of fellow who would be watching Playboy TV as Scotty puts his new acquaintances through their paces, with the result that against the odds they do appear fun to be with the nubile young lovelies and it's all going very well. If this is sounding rather insulting to the women who according to this fall for such patter then all of a sudden a more interesting element pops up as Kristi surveys the scene of one of her boyfriend's organised parties and doesn't like what she sees. And she tells him as much in no uncertain terms, conjuring up the kind of soul searching you wouldn't have expected.

Of course there are flaws to this movie, its trashy and silly and goes for the obvious whenever possible, not to mention this is the whitest Californian beach you ever did see (not talking about the sand), but there were more laughs than you might anticipate, nothing fall down hilarious but enough to endear itself to you. Then there's that self-analysis of the genre (now that does seem Californian, putting sex comedies on the psychiatrist's couch), which may not amount to much more than Kristi's sister Kimberly (Cindy Silver) admiring her own topless form in the mirror and wondering aloud "Why do guys like boobs so much?" (I dunno... aesthetics?) but there was also a scene where Candy (Crystal Shaw - lots of very eighties names for the actresses in this movie) nearly has the increasingly overbearing Hunter force himself on her after getting the wrong idea from her raunchy chat and Scotty sympathetically makes her see sense. All this and Courtney Gains fresh from the cornfields, plus the rare, all-female hair metal band Vixen in speaking roles and playing tunes offered more value for this ephemera.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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