Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SCHOOL SPIRIT (1985)

Believe it or not, there once was a time when you didn’t have to make a second guess as to whether putting a naked woman in your movie was a good idea or not. It was always good thinking, and it still is. The only difference now is, if even the faintest pink of some chick's areola should rear for just a second, you have a thousand epic ham beasts spraying their disapproval all over place. These days, if you want to enjoy a good titty flick, you have to practically meet up in the Catacombs like the goddamn Templar. It's not that people are incapable of making sex comedies like "School Spirit" anymore, but rather, they are prevented by fear of burning crosses and hanging ropes.

Nudity has always been used to titillate. No matter how arty or tasteful the presentation of bare skin is, it’s almost always going to be considered erotic by the vast majority of the audience. I just don’t understand how American adults went from thinking stuff like “Behind The Green Door” and "Deep Throat" was sophisticated and enjoyable to labeling even SIMPLE on-screen nudity as a human rights violation. At some point between the late 80s and now, someone decided that showing tits or ass was a political humiliation tactic and women were getting the short end of the stick. Never mind that male nudity was prevalent throughout the seventies and eighties. There’s a huge cache of notable male actors who’ve strutted their junk on screen. No one ever really speaks negatively about seeing dong in mainstream film, though. And I don’t necessarily think that it’s a male liberty. Men just don’t give a shit about other guys, and if they feel inadequate by comparison they’ll keep it to themselves. However, anytime a hot chick shows her shit off, you can bet your bottom dollar that some uptight broad is going to lose her fucking mind about it. Let’s face it, women are competitive. They rat fuck each other’s looks in wolf packs. They congregate in bathrooms to trade nasty gossip about the bitches they don’t like. Women buddy hug each other, and then once out of ear shot they’re giggling over her cellulite ridden ass. Women, in general, don’t like one another, no matter what they claim. Any woman who claims she doesn’t hate other women is either a lesbian or a bald-faced fucking liar. When a woman balks at onscreen nudity, it’s usually because she feels inadequate by comparison to the standard of beauty on screen, and so she masks her jealousy by acting offended. She’ll say the nudity on screen is exploitive – which is an obvious statement. Fuck yeah, it’s exploitive, but exploitation and degradation aren’t even remotely linked. Women only stick up for other women when they feel threatened by the other woman. Need proof? What about Kathy Bates’ nude scene in “About Schmidt?” No one was protesting that nauseating spectacle because they didn’t feel threatened by her. If the naked woman on screen is fat, ugly, or past her prime, the girls in the audience will either laugh, or go, “oh, gross!”

Recently, a slew of female reviews vilified the makers of "Piranha 3D" for allowing a meager flash of vagina. However, they all roared with approval when some dude got his wang bit off by prehistoric fish, as if it vindicated the poor exploited women who'd been forced to show their skin throughout this movie. I often sense that male nudity in film exists out of pure vindictiveness. When we see a dick in a movie, it’s like a strike back for all those boob shots women have had to endure over the years. But in reality, men have been naked for years in mainstream films. In fact, if someone were to comb through all the major releases from 1970 to 2010, the ratio of dicks to pussies on screen would be outrageously disproportionate. Male nudity only exists to humiliate now because of the wildly incorrect perception that “women have appeared nude in movies for years.” Newsflash, honey: the female equivalent of the penis is not a breast shot.

With all that out of the way, "School Spirit" has tons of awesome nudity. And it's not just fear of reprisal that prevents producers from making movies like this anymore, but it's also out of self interest. Most producers don't want to risk turning off any demographic group. People are too worried about who they're going to offend, so they wind up cutting corners simply because they don't want to deal with the grief. There are tons of faggy people out there who stay bland just so they have something to complain about. Being offended is like a hobby to them. I've seen people whip out their sensitivity level like they're in a dick measure contest, to see who can get offended first or more by something. They dig and even contrive. It is because of these bleeding heart fuck buckets of misery that there is no bravery in the world of entertainment. These assholes guard the limit of decency, fighting their own cold war. They write hate mail in vanilla, but ironically, their intolerance is stoked by the same ignorance that motivates your most common hate monger. Seriously, never pass up the opportunity to punch a PC twat in the fucking face.

Once again, I can’t really comprehend WHY people write negative reviews for films like “School Spirit.” Doing such a thing is a certification of your idiocy. It’s like picking a fat chick up at a bar, going back to your place, and then getting pissed at her when she’s still fat once she gets undressed. What do these people require from a movie about a horny ghost in order for it to qualify as competent or good? It's basically an impossible task because the concept is absurd to begin with. But then again, that's the entire point. “School Spirit” cannot possibly be bad because it’s completely self aware. It ASPIRES to be sophomoric and perverted, and it delivers. This movie is so stupid that it approaches the genius level.

The story follows Billy Batson, counter culture’s answer to the big man on campus. Cast from the usual sex comedy protagonist mold, Billy is both handsome and cunning, but he just doesn't seem satisfied by status or materialism. Drifting through his college experience, Billy has focused more on his own happiness than he has on the approaching future, so he spends most of his time partying and getting laid. He's carefree, but occasionally somber and completely aware that he's going absolutely nowhere in life.

The movie begins in the midst of Billy's attempt to nail the conquest of his dreams. But there's just one small problem: no condom. He solves his prophylactic dilemma only to get creamed by a truck. Batson later regains consciousness as a ghost in the county morgue, where his body lays on a cold slab, still clutching the rubber he'd scrambled to find.

Billy is soon in the custody of his dead dirt bag uncle Pinky Batson, whose primary goal is to usher his nephew toward the light. But Pinky gets distracted by a horny nurse, and reveals that ghosts can actually turn flesh and blood by simply waving their hand above their head. Billy picks up on this, and while Pinky is wooing the nurse, he wrenches the condom from his cold dead hand, and heads back to the campus to cure his spirit boner.

Billy gets distracted by some French broad with a guarded identity, and sparks start flying. The rest of the movie is kind of a fiasco, with Batson pissing off the crusty old dean, making time with the babes, humiliating rich kids with his ghost powers, and trying to avoid Pinky, which isn't hard sense his uncle pretty much spends all his time molesting sleeping co-eds.

Batson knows he can't run forever, though, and he's got some unfinished business with his weird pseudo frat known as the Hogs, which is a sort of club for poor kids and misfits. As their leader, he's got to find a suitable replacement president for his rowdy band of party animals.

Coincidentally, I actually watched this back-to-back with “The Entity,” which was oddly complimentary. Both movies have roughly the same theme, with a ghost molesting vulnerable women, but “School Spirit” plays the whole thing for laughs. In or out of context, some of the scenes in "School Spirit" are actually kind of fucked up as hot, nubile girls are ogled and felt up unwillingly by invisible forces. The absurdity of the concept barely exonerates what is essentially supernatural rape.

Perhaps the best thing about this movie is that it features Sparks-related band, The Gleaming Spires. Many may recall this Posh Boy group for providing memorable soundtrack cuts for such eighties classics as “Revenge and the Nerds” and “The Last American Virgin.” The Spires actually perform in the film as the Hog’s party band, making this film a relevant piece of punk rock culture. Record jerks, take note: you need to see this movie. Check out this rad video for “Are You Ready for the Sex Girls?

Breasts are great, but even the sweetest pair of knockers can't save a movie with poor performances. Otherwise, you're just sitting there, fast forwarding. TV veteran Tom, or Tommy Nolan, as he was often billed throughout much of his child-hood career, plays Billy Batson, and he actually comes off as both funny and likable, but he's also sympathetic at the same time, which is a unique spin for the character type. Usually, the sex comedy hero is an untouchable jerk who can't lose. Batson on the other hand is completely capable of dropping the ball. Another TV notable, Larry Linville plays the crusty old dean, while John Finnegan plays Pinky Batson. Beyond that, there are a slew of attractive women throughout the movie who bare all. Perhaps my favorite performer in the movie, though, is Brian Frishman, who plays Barducci, a tall, goofy, party animal. Generally shirtless and almost always with a beer in hand, and a girl on each arm, this guy totally fuckin' rules. He steals almost every scene he's in.

Overall, this is an unsung eighties classic which represents a time when people knew how to shut the fuck up and just cut loose. I recommend this movie, highly. In fact, it deserves its own drinking game. And that's forthcoming, I assure you.

3 comments:

  1. Gotta see it, hope it beats Lunch Wagon. I'll bet the production is better anyway, i.e. no boom.

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  2. It's better than Lunch Wagon by MILES. Daniel really wants to see it, too. So, next time he's in town, we should have a movie party.

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