Screwballs/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Screwballs
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After the massive success of Bob Clark's Porky's, Producer Roger Corman decided it was time for his studio, New World Pictures, to cash in on the teen sex comedy craze as well. Roger hired two writers, Linda Shayne (who also plays Bootsie Goodhead in the film) and Jim Wynorski to pen a script for a new movie based in Canada. The two screenwriters came up with what would later become a smash/cult classic. When the opening credits roll, the movie gets off to a rollicking start with a catchy, albeit corny theme song as the kids all make their way to their high school.

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At T & A High (great name), four students are all given detention after being caught in various sexually related situations. The gang represent the different kinds of high school student. Theres the innocent new kid: Tim Stevenson (Jim Coburn), the cool ladies man: Rick McKay (Peter Keleghan), the snobby preppy: Brent Van Deusen (Kent Deuters), the uber-nerd: Howie Bates (Alan Deveau) and the sloppy fat kid: Melvin Jerkovski (Jason Warren). Part of the overall humor comes from the fact that these guys end up together when they wouldnt find themselves in that situation otherwise. Soon the boys start discussing something they all have an interest in: the hot girls in school. One girl is the apple of their eyes. Her name is Purity Busch (Linda Speciale), a virginal beauty. They all make a pact that one of them will get to make it with her...or at least see her tits. What follows is a sidesplitting sexy farce filled to the brim with hot babes bearing their breasts and a ton of sight gags (some bordering on surreal) that will have you laughing out loud. Noone in this film is played serious, every supporting character is either a clown or a smoking hot chick.

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The great thing about Screwballs is that the laughs never stop and theres always something crazy going on whether its Howie trying to hypnotize the girl's gym class with a giant inflatable hot dog, Melvin peeping on Purity through a Coke can telescope while hes buried under the sand on the beach, a riot during a drive-in movie, a Spanish Fly spiked punch party or a trip to a strip club. One of the most hysterically funny sequences takes place at a bowling alley where the school cheerleaders and our four heroes dance around like cartoon characters. To top it off, Howie manages to somehow get a bowling ball stuck on his johnson. This just illustrates what kind of reality we're dealing with. According to director Rafal Zielinski, the Archie comics were the inspiration for the overall cartoon-like atmosphere of the movie. One of the main aspects I really liked about this film was that it truly is an intelligently written screwball comedy, not just your standard teen sex comedy. I found myself guffawing at a lot of the scenes which just went completely over the top humor wise. The satirical element definitely amps up the laugh factor, since as the film plays, its actually poking fun at a lot of the genre's known cliches. This is what sets the film apart from even Porky's which I like, but I think after seeing Screwballs, its now my favorite film of the entire ouvre. Recommended!

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Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. He is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life.
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