“Screwballs” is an undisputed masterpiece in the ’80s teen sex exploitation world because it was the one film that dared to be about nothing else but the sleazy exploits of five young men. This movie has no summer camp that needed to be saved, no volleyball match to be won, no nerds that became heroes, no heartbreaking ending or nostalgia of the past.
Instead, producer Roger Corman gave the audience exactly what he believed they desired.
Sex and laughs.
At T & A High, all the guys dream of Purity Busch, but she is truly an ice queen that refuses to give any guy the time of day. That is all about to change after a chance encounter in dentition between five guys (jock, nerd, fat dude, snobby rich guy and a new guy- all cliches of the genre) who decide it is time to make this the year that somebody gets to third base with Busch. That is all there basically is to the simple, yet somehow hysterical plot that defies reality but is so bizarre and absurd that you can’t help but laugh.
For example, you can’t help but smile when the jock poses as Dr. Pepper and pretends to be in charge of the yearly breast examinations at the school.
Wait a second, when did they start doing that?
The movie will also teach you what Bootsie Goodhead’s secret talent is and why all the boys love her. It’ll also induce memories of hot summer nights in a bowling alley, that lead to strip bowling
Wait a minute. That never happens in real life either.
Who cares- it’s funny.
But maybe the funniest thing in the movie is that it gives new meaning to the phrase, “Ward, I’m worried about the beaver.”
All that you need to know about the characters in this film are present in their names and that explains why they all end up in dentition early on. The chubby Melvin Jerkovski has some control issues. The nerd was fixing mirrors to look up skirts. The jock was providing free breast exams and with no doubt you can only imagine how the rest of the flick proceeds. This is unpretentious, juvenile fun for anyone that remembers life in high school or the ’80s- a free-spirited romp with no hidden agenda that refuses to apologize.
Severin films has also done an amazing job reproducing this DVD because they have provided a wealth of extras that shed light on the production of this 1983 curio from the B-movie mogul Corman.
First up is an enlightening commentary and interview with the director, Rafal Zielinski. He openly admits to how some scenes make him cringe, but overall he is proud of the zany madcap tone to it all.
Co-Writers Linda Shayne and Jim Wynorski (“Chopping Mall”) provide an 18-minute interview that explains that the movie was intended to be a spoof. Shayne discusses her part as Goodhead also and astonishingly looks pretty much the same as she did back then. Wynorski discusses the early days with Corman and what he looked for in a script. The experience is well worth it for anyone that enjoyed the picture.
Kent Deuters, who plays the rich snob, Brent Van Dusen III, discusses what it is like to be in your twenties making a film that requires a lot of topless women. The funniest is part of the interview is when he admits to getting his Grandma a copy of the VHS before he watched the final product and his embarrassment at the nudity she was subjected to.
Special FX Artist Gerald Lukaniuk and Canuxsploitation scholar Paul Corupe provide short, but slightly dull interviews. Corupe’s interview manages to suck all the fun out of the movie and makes the genre seem very nerdy.
The best interview however is with Mr. Skin and McBeardo who discuss the impact of the teen sex genre and the difficulties of having to fast forward to the nudity on VHS when kids today can just go on-line. Mr. Skin’s funny approach and appreciation for the genre is always a joy to listen to.
Then finally there is an inclusion of several deleted snippets taken from a Spanish VHS. They are a welcome treat after the movie and a fond memory of the old format.
Severin’s stunning transfer of the picture also allows one to forget the Warner Brothers home video of the eighties, making it a great flick to watch with friends and six-pack.
While it’s not your normal teen sex exploitation flick, this film is a laugh riot that isn’t scared to be as raunchy as it wants to be.
Rather than fight it, just sit back and enjoy “Screwballs.”
You might just find yourself a sexy new guilty pleasure.