GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
You see, last week I failed disgracefully to give the teeming masses the Friday Silly Movie Of My Youth Of The Day they so richly deserve. So after a heartfelt, yet unconvincing, demonstration of contrition, I opened the floor to suggestions, requests, demands, and shout-outs to determine the FSMOMYOTD you are about to read. And from a list that included the sweet coming-of-age-at-camp tale, Meatballs, and a richly-textured journey through the twin worlds of comedy & horror, Fright Night, the dirty old men known as my readers chose a mid-eighties, straight-to-video smutfest.
And let me say . . . well-done, fellas (and ladies -- Maurinsky also opted for this one).
So, without any further ado (and with many a bare booby), I present to you this Reader's Choice Friday Silly Movie Of My Youth Of The Day . . .
Take a good look at the poster. The gal in the picture is wearing more clothing than 99.6% of the actresses in the actual movie. Need I inform you that as a 16 year-old, I loved this one?
The set-up: 1984. The peak of the Skin-a-Max classic. The premise of this one, as far as I recall, was three middle-aged, divorced guys go to California to rent a cool house on the beach, with the express goal of bagging dozens, if not hundreds, of the "hardbodies" frolicking on the sands. But, this being a very silly movie, their money, their beach house, and their experience mean nothing to any of the girls they meet. In fact, one of the geezers tries to pick up a girl at a party, and she shoots him down with a harsh declaration: "I don't fuck fossils for free." Ouch.
So they turn to Scotty Palmer, a teenage lothario, to teach them how to score with the babes.
Sil-ly. But -- and this was the key -- the flimsy plot facilitated maximum bare-breastedness. Along with The Beach Girls, Hot Dog . . . The Movie, and Porky's, this may have been the apex of the early-to-mid-80's Cable TV Titty Flick. Hardbodies' IMDB page contains no "Memorable Quotes," no "External Reviews," no "Official Site," no "Trailer." It doesn't even feature a "Photo Gallery," which in the case is very unfortunate. It does, however, contain one piece of "Trivia," which I think comes closest to summing it all up: "Originally made for Playboy TV, but released as a feature film instead."
"Feature film," huh? Film featuring naked boobs is closer to accuracy. Anyways, apart from the main cast members -- "Breasts" -- there's really not a whole lot to say about the movie. So, let's move along to . . . The Cast:
Gary Wood, Michael Rapport, and Sorrells Pickard (who sang a song called "I Don't Fuck Fossils For Free," as he plucked his gee-tar on the beach) played the three old dudes. More on them in a bit.
(And no, that's not Michael Rappaport. It's Michael Rapport; no extra "ap.")
Courtney Gains was, of course, "Rag." Being 1984, and Rag being a surf dude, he wore Vans. And one of those baseball cap-safari hats that were somewhat popular at the time -- a cap with material that hung down in back, covering the neck. Gains was also the random, red-headed gangbanger in Colors, which never made any sense to me at all. His character's name in that one was "Whitey," so at least we know Dennis Hopper cast him on purpose. It wasn't one of those "crazy Dennis" moments. He knew he was white; it wasn't a flashback or anything.
Gains also played one of Patrick Dempsey's two geeky friends in Can't Buy Me Love, one of the "Second Wave" of straight-to-video teenage sex/comedy/horror flicks. These films, which contained far-less gratuitous nudity than their First Wave brethren, always tried to contain some vaguely moral lesson, rather than just embracing the anarchic glee of the earlier sort. Other examples of this second wave include The Heavenly Kid (with Mark Metcalf -- the actor who played Niedermeyer -- as the grumpy-but-kindly stepfather), Just One Of The Guys (with Billy Zabka playing one of his three "Pantheonic Blonde Bad Guys" and Joyce Hyser's beautiful breasts in the unnecessary-but-much-appreciated boob shot), and The Stepfather, which featured one of the 80's most underrated Creepy Guy performances by Terry O'Quinn. These movies showed up in the latter half of the 80s, when every shred of fun that had seeped over from the 70s was ceremoniously purged and sent to prison on trumped-up drug-related charges as the nation marched to the "Just Say No" drumbeat.
Anyway, in Can't Buy Me Love, Gains delivered a heartfelt rant, explaining to Dempsey how he'd sold out to make new friends, be popular, and get laid by hot chicks (somehow innappropriate for a high schooler?). You may recall him punctuating his plea by declaring, "And then you trashed my house!" Very funny scene. Nothing funnier than a bad actor -- and a goofy-looking one at that -- trying to screw on the "I'm angry!" thing.
Speaking of Dennis Hopper, Gary Woods' first role came in 1968's The Glory Stompers, one of those late 60's biker gang flicks, playing "Pony," while Hopper was "Chino." Of course, in West Side Story, it was Chino who shot & killed Tony, which is but one letter away from Pony. Natalie Wood, who played Maria, Tony's girlfriend, was James Dean's girlfriend in Rebel Without A Cause. And who had his first credited film role in that 1955 classic? Dennis Hopper.
(And the point of that ridiculously attenuated association game? I have no idea, but it proves yet again that it's all connected.)
Grant Kramer, who played the teenage playa/pimp, Soopah Cool Scotty Palmer, had his first film role in George Romero's original version of Night of the Living Dead, also in 1968. He was 7 years-old. Like introducing a kid to porn or weed or violence at too young an age, this exposure to zombies (and black & white filmmaking) during his tender years obviously scarred him. Hardbodies was a foregone conclusion. A co-starring role with dozens of naked breasts, as a teenage pimp for aging divorcees, was the only path his career could take.
Among his other career highlights: Jo's cousin on "Facts of Life"; playing "Mike Tobacco" in Killer Klowns From Outer Space; a part in Auntie Lee's Meat Pies, starring Karen Black and Pat Morita (!); and Leapin' Leprechauns.
(Incidentally, I thought "Mike Tobacco" was the euphemism for "party favors" at my place back in the early 90s.)
Sorrells Pickard left us a few years back (fossils indeed). But before that point he managed to fill his resume with a grand total of three other movies, including Hardbodies 2, and Ultraviolet, starring Esai Morales. Now, admit it: you think I'm gonna make fun of Esai Morales, don't you? I would, but his role in Bad Boys, when he and Sean Penn fought it out with barbells and shivs, is just too cool a role. Penn filling his pillow case with filled soda cans at the beginning of that scene is an image I've never forgotten.
(Though I have to assume those cans exploded in a big way when he decided to quench up after the epic throwdown.)
Anyway . . . so Pickard didn't have much of a career. But he did sit on that beach singing "I Don't Fuck Fossils For Free." I can't keep repeating that fact enough (obviously). And though I've searched high and low for the full lyrics, I can't find them.
Teal Roberts was Scotty's chick, his number one hardbody you might say. Other than a pretty strong suspicion as to her favorite color, I know very little. She "broke into" the entertainment world as an "actress" on Starsearch in 1984, and by year's end had parlayed that moment of exposure into some real exposure, in both Hardbodies and a role in the slasher flick, Fatal Games. From there, you can pretty much fill in the details on your own: Beverly Hills Cop II, Night of the Warrior, The Last Boyscout, and an episode of "Silk Stalkings" as, respectively, "Stripper," "Still Model," "Dancer," and "Dancer." For the last 13 years, her "acting career" has stalled.
Although I don't remember it, apparently there were roving gangs of dorks, nerds, and geeks on the beach competing with the fossils for hardbody action: Marvin Katzoff was "Dorky Geek" in Hardbodies. This role as "nerd in the skin-a-max movie" seems to have been the extent of his career, as he was in H.O.T.S. as "Big Boy," and "Egghead Herman" in Delta Pi, starring Ruth Gordon (!!) and FSMOMYOTD alum, Eddie Deezen, best known as Eugene in Grease. Delta Pi's tagline? "These Girls Go All The Way." In his relatively short film career Katzoff also played "Debater #1," "Cricket," and "Man With Kitten."
Along with Katzoff was Kip Waldo as "Head Geek." Unlike poor Katzoff, pigeon-holed as a nerd for the entirety of his film run, Waldo mixed it up in his six movie career: in addition to "Head Geek," he managed to play "Gang Member," "Waldo," "Gross Waiter" in the ludicrous-but-fun Streets Of Fire featuring a young & hot Diane Lane, "Heckler at Rally," and the "Convenience Store Clerk" in Diehard, presumably the fellow who sold junk food to Reginald VelJohnson before he headed over to Nakitome Towers. Not bad, all-in-all.
I'm not gonna talk about the guy who played "Young Geek," but I will riff a bit on the fellow responsible for bringing "Old Geek" to life: Kane Hodder. Hodder's done plenty of stunt work over the years, in a bunch of not-very-good flicks. But as an actor, his resume is somewhat interesting, including most-notably, Michael Tolkin's almost-great apocalypse/revelations film, The Rapture. But . . . far more importantly for this post, Hodder played none other than Jason Vorhees in Friday The Thirteenth Part VII: The New Blood and Friday The Thirteenth Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. I know we're all more inclined to laugh at this, but that's crazy. This dude played Jason! A lot of people have acted. But not many played a character -- even in sequels -- that everyone knows.
At one of the parties that Scotty, Rag, the old guys & the gang attend, an all-girl band plays: Vixen, which was a real band at the time. I remember the name, but honestly, if you told me that Vixen was the name of an all-male hair-metal band in the 80s, I'd believe you. Anyone own an album? Seen 'em live? (C'mon, you can admit it.)
The wonderfully-named Julie Always played one of four "Photo Session Hardbodies." It shouldn't surprise you, but I think I remember that scene. And during the many times I watched Hardbodies, that might've been the last scene I saw before turning off the TV and heading to bed. When the mission was accomplished, it was accomplished, you know?
And finally, Roberta Collins, nearly 40 by the time she appeared in Hardbodies, started appearing in sexploitation flicks much earlier: The Big Doll House, a 1971 women-in-prison piece; Women in Cages, another 1971 women-in-prison job; Unholy Rollers, a 1972 roller derby movie; and Caged Heat, a 1974 women-in-prison movie. She might as well have actually gone to prison in the early 70's. She was also "Matilda the Hun" in 1975's Death Race 2000.
And her final screen appearence was in Hardbodies 2. It would've been nice to have seen her cast in a better vehicle than that, but I guess they don't cast fossils for free.