Suburban Grindhouse Memories # 9 – PREPPING FOR FAILURE!
By Nick Cato
Although this is my eighth column for cinemaknifefight.com, it’s my first where I’m truly relying on my MEMORY to get things going (because, there’s just NO WAY I’m sitting through this thing again).
1984: Just a year after the third PORKY’s film, it seemed there was still a market for the teen sex comedy. Films such as FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and lesser known gems such as H.O.T.S. and SPRING BREAK had whet teenage boys’ appetites (and pants) for such film fare. Needless to say, when I spotted the ad for PREPPIES on a Friday in my local paper (see pic above), calls were made and a small crew got together to hit the Amboy Twin Cinema (yes, yet another now-defunct theater here on Toxic Staten Island that always let the underage into R-rated features).
Despite being directed by Chuck Vincent (a semi-famous porn director) and being co-produced by the Playboy Channel, PREPPIES features little nudity and almost no sex (hence stretching it’s inclusion into the “teen sex comedy” genre). There’s a couple of topless scenes thrown in to grant it its R rating, but when it comes to a COMEDY, you need more than a few jiggling can cans: you need humor.
PREPPIES doesn’t have much.
The plot actually had potential for a laugh-fest: Three college friends need to pass an exam or they’ll be expelled. Their girlfriends are hoping they pass so they’ll become doctors/lawyers (talk about a couple of self-service dates!). There’s also a mention that one (or all) of these guys are set to inherit a lot of moolah. Things get silly (or at least they try to be) when someone hires a group of girls to go into the college and distract our sophomoric heroes from passing their final exam. Oh yes…this is gonna be classic…
…Ummm, no. Sure, the set up WAS there. PREPPIES has the genuine feel of a fun summer-time T&A comedy, but due to the non-acting skills of the ENTIRE cast (along with a horrible script), the film only gets off the ground for a scene or two.
In one instance, one of our henpecked protagonists is humiliated by his rich girlfriend; she makes him kiss her butt and feet through a glass door. It’s the only time I remember the audience laughing, but I actually felt bad for the guy (and not only because I have an ANTI-foot fetish). I think even back then I was wondering how this schmuck would feel 20 years from now if his kids saw this. What would he say to them? Would he try to destroy copies of the film when it came to VHS (this was still at a time when digital video discs and MP3’s were a long way off)? Would he somehow try to deny that was really him on the screen?
Did I really just put that much thought into this STUPID film?
Anyway, PREPPIES tried to cash in on the (then) trend of teen sex comedies, but failed miserably. When a flick that includes a bondage-S&M antagonist with a machine gun, and tons of cute girls dancing to generic 80s music, fails to deliver, it’s safe to say the teen sex comedy has jumped the shark.
Thankfully, a few years later, SUMMER SCHOOL (while not a sex comedy) came back to give the summer comedy a much needed re-boot.
PREPPIES is strictly for lovers of bad acting and wasted boobies. And even then, you’re taking a chance. I think I’m gonna go rent a copy of a GOOD summer T&A flick, SPRING BREAK (1983), just to get the memory of PREPPIES out of my head…
© Copyright 2010 by Nick Cato