HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
   
 
Newest Articles
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
   
 
  Free Ride The Eighties loved a douchebag
Year: 1986
Director: Tom Trbovich
Stars: Gary Hershberger, Reed Rudy, Dawn Schneider, Peter DeLuise, Brian MacGregor, Warren Berlinger, Mamie Van Doren, Renee Props, Chick Vennera, Anthony Charnota, Mario Marcelino, Joe Tornatore, Ken Olafson, Liam Sullivan, Frank Campanella
Genre: Comedy, Sex, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  1 (from 1 vote)
Review: At a party smarmy college kid Dan Garten (Gary Hershberger) tries to impress an attractive woman by stealing a flashy sports-car. Only to find stashed under the seat: $250,000. Money that belongs to the Garbagio Brothers, mobsters so ruthless they just sawed off their own father's hand for stealing. Back on campus, Dan and his equally obnoxiously preppy pal Greg Novak (Reed Rudy) take time off from pranking stuffy Stockwell (Warren Berlinger) the college dean and spying on the shower room at the girls' finishing school next door to make good use of their newfound loot. While Dan bribes a teacher to give him good grades, Greg hires a hooker to pimp out to his horny friends. When the Garbagios (Anthony Charnota, Mario Marcelino, Joe Tornatore) circle the college campus, Dan hides his money in the butt crack of a nude statue at the girls' school. There Dan meets his next romantic conquest, Jill Munroe (Dawn Schneider) whose father happens to chair the college board. On discovering them in bed, Stockwell goes out of his way to mess up Dan's plans just as the Garbagios close in.

Few genres have dated as poorly as Eighties teen sex comedies. To discern why one need only examine our protagonist in the odious Free Ride. No doubt back in 1986 a wisecracking, self-entitled preppy misogynist douchebags like Dan and Greg (who at one point refer to themselves as 'the classiest duo since Redford and Newman') were ideal identification figures for future Supreme Court Justice nominees across Ronald Reagan's America. To modern eyes however they come across as not only relics of a bygone era but likely the root of everything wrong with society today. Which renders their charmless antics throughout Free Ride's rambling, painfully episodic plot, a decidedly painful viewing experience.

Clearly the film wants us to find Dan a lovable rascal whose fast-talking ingenuity gets him in and out of various scrapes. And yet it imbues him with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Even taking into account the unpalatable nature of the protagonist the film needed a lead as inherently likable and charismatic as the young Michael J. Fox to sell us on his scam. Gary Hershberger, a perfectly serviceable actor elsewhere including his reoccurring role in Twin Peaks, is simply not up to the task. In his defense neither veterans like Frank Campanella (as Papa Garbagio who replaces his severed limb with a gadget-laden prosthetic) and Ken Olafson nor future 21 Jump Street star and Disney Channel staple Peter DeLuise (as token dumb jock Carl, forever undone by Dan and Greg despite being twice their size) struggle just us hard to elevate the sort of tired slapstick routines that went out with vaudeville. Look out for horror and exploitation director Joe Tornatore (The Zebra Force (1976), Grotesque (1988)) and sitcom and animation regular Chick Vennera (a lot funnier on Animaniacs) among the eclectic cast. Especially embarrassing is the spectacle of Fifties B-movie bombshell Mamie Van Doren (High School Confidential (1958), Sex Kittens Go to College (1960)), past her prime but still vamping it up as Stockwell's wife: a frisky nurse who (in the the kind of scene found only in Eighties teen sex comedies) gives the students a very intimate physical ("Pull 'em up and tuck 'em in").

From tricking DeLuise's dimwitted Carl into mistaking a tube of glue for 'penis enlargement cream' to sneaking into the shower to cop an accidental eyeful of Kathy (Renee Props) (the inexplicable lone-girl-at-an-all-boys'-college, whose subplot goes nowhere, Free Ride's dubious attempts at humour veer from hopelessly dumb to just plain crass. Eventually things reach a crescendo of awfulness when the boys mistake 'nice girl' Jill for the hooker Greg hired and, in a scene that plays deeply uncomfortable today, come within a hair's breadth of gang rape. Mercifully Jill escapes but then tries to share her experience with Dan who just says "stop!" and manhandles her into bed. Jill evidently suffers from very low self-esteem judging from how often she falls for Dan's horrendous lines and eventually forgives his liaison with the prostitute. It ends with an absurd showdown tied into the omnipresent Rambo: First Blood Part 2 (1985) posters adorning Dan and Greg's dorm room walls as the gang don camo gear and improvise homemade weapons to take on the mob. Witless and really quite nasty in spots, Free Ride stands as yet another oddity in the eccentric filmography of Syrian-born Moustapha Akaad, best known for producing the original Halloween series and directing The Message (1977): a biopic of the Prophet Muhammed. One imagines Free Ride was aimed at a very different audience.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 589 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: