Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Summer Fun Double Feature

So, I watched Meatballs the other day. I'm a big fan of the teen/camp flicks and watch a lot of them. I decided to watch one I had never seen before and one that I remember from my youth.

First up is WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER. I thought I would have it made with this flick. I like Janeane Garafolo. Elizabeth Banks is pretty. Paul Rudd is funny. This was a win win situation, right?
Yeah, not so much.
It takes place on the last day of camp in 1981. The objective is to hook up if you haven't had the chance for one last summer fling. Also, a piece of Skylab is headed straight for the camp. Pretty basic plot which, if done correctly, can make for a million laughs.
This one not so much. A lot of it just felt flat and boring. Unfunny abounds. Plus, where is the naked??? IF it's supposed to be a raunchy teen camp comedy then there had better be some damned boobies. Yeah, none.

This worried me as I plugged in a blast from the past.

I saw this film as the first half of a double feature at The Portage Drive-In. The second feature was SWITCHBLADE SISTERS and any double feature with that in the line up is going to be burnt into your brain. I found a copy under the title of PICK UP SUMMER and thought it would be fun to see how I remembered it.
PINBALL SUMMER follows the adventures of Greg (Michael Zelniker) and Steve (Carl Marotte). School is over and it's time to cut loose, have some fun, chase girls and win a pinball tournament. The girls are sisters Donna (Karen Stephen) and Suzy (Helene Udy) and they like giving the boys a hard time. Add in a tiny motorcycle gang led by Bert (Thomas Kovacs) and you have the recipe for a fun little film.
The movie exudes small town. Shot in Canada it looks significantly different than they plethora of teen comedies that live on the California Sands. You feel like you are in this little town, sharing madcap adventures with the cast of characters.

To be honest, there are two scenes that replay in my head after seeing the film once. And they were stuck in there for decades. One is the group of teens driving in a vehicle with the pinball trophy. Check. That looks exactly like I remembered it so that synapse is still functioning properly.
Then there is a party at the girl's house where they play strip pinball. The hot girl in the film, Sally (Joy Boushel) in a leopard print bikini is playing the pinball machine topless. I still see the memory in my mind. rewatching the film showed me how much teenage hormones can affect memory. I recalled her having much bigger breasts. Don't get me wrong, they are magnificent, but I just added a couple of cup sizes.

In the end the kids win the tournament. The girl becomes Miss Pinball and all is right in this little world.
This is what I would call a good, solid film in the teen comedy genre. There's your goofy antics, tons of gorgeous girls, nudity, wacky characters and some sweet pinball machines.
Speaking of pinball machines;
The end of the film with the tournament has the two players, Bert and Greg, playing a machine that is modeled after the movie. It has the title of the movie on it and the kids from the movie are on the machine!
What kind of bizarro world stuff is that? Beats me, but it just adds to the fun as far as I'm concerned.

So, while WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER was a monumental failure, PINBALL SUMMER was all that I remembered and more.
Now, excuse me I'm gonna go watch it again.



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