After last week’s Malibu High, a movie that is not at all as fun and lighthearted as the poster looked, I decided it’s time for me to actually go for something that is exactly what it appears.
Screwballs – “The nuts who always score!” I mean just look at that poster. The simple composition of a girl in her underwear running away from a dude in his boxers while he pulls the strap to her bra tells you exactly everything you need to know about this movie. Mainly that there will likely be lots and lots of sexual misconduct. And I’m gonna see boobs. But mostly the sexual misconduct. But even more mostly that I’m gonna see boobs.
Back in the late 70s, National Lampoon’s Animal House hit theaters and set the stage for a comedic renaissance that would sprout into what I can best describe as a few distinct sub-genres of comedy. The first was, of course, the college comedy. It usually would have characters who were in college, or college aged and served as a sort of coming-of-age type of flick. That’s what Animal House was and it would later include the Rodney Dangerfield classic Back to School.
Next was the shenanigans sub-genre. The best example of this would be Caddyshack. Usually, this included people (mostly guys) behaving poorly, or at least immaturely. It might serve to stick it to the man or feature some sort of likable jerk who annoyed, or set out to directly opposed, another person. Sometimes it was a group of friends trying to help a main character win a girl or win some sort of other contrived situation.
Finally, you had the sex romp. The popularity of this sub-genre was launched into the stratosphere by Porky’s. It pretty much entirely focused on a set of guys whose main goal was to get laid, but also tended to wear the disguise of the coming-of-age type of story – but with lots of sex. Typically, these characters were high school, or recently graduated, characters. They were almost always immature in their use of low brow comedy, but every now and then, you’d get a super well done, mature, and, at times, touching movie like Fast Times at Ridgemont High that could utilize the drive young men have to lose their virginity with the girl they have a huge crush on to great affect, but not completely lower the standard of comedy or characterizations.
While many comedies of the 80s could utilize a venn diagram contraption to marry multiple sub-genres together, Screwballs is absolutely most directly influenced by Porky’s.
I’m not going to give you a synopsis because, instead, I’ve got a pull quote from a website review. “4 STARS! HALL OF FAME NUDITY! The essential epic of horny high school kids!” Where did that quote come from, you ask? Mr. Skin – the website devoted to giving you the exact time stamps for nudity in film. Bravo!
Let’s just dive right in, shall we?
I guess I need to start with some character names. This IMDb listing of characters reads like I was asked to come up with random names while drunk on Funky Cold Medina and overdosing on Viagra. We have:
- Campus virgin Purity Busch
- Chronic masturbator Melvin Jerkovski
- Repressed principal Stuckoff
- Blonde Bombshell Bootsie Goodhead
- Miss Anna Tommical (played by Russ Meyer vixen Raven De La Croix)
- Miss Boudoir
- and let’s not forget cheerleader Chesty Colgate
I already love this movie and I’ve not even pressed play.
Right out of the gate, this movie tells you exactly two things – that there is no studio or production company logo letting you know that this might be a snuff film, and it’s all about sex. There are two sexy waitresses hanging up a sign for a hot dog joint for the 69-cent homecoming special while an animatronic wiener man pokes them with a giant dick… I mean hot dog while they make suggestive moans and comments like “Can’t you get it in there a little higher?” and the such. Goddamn I miss movies like this. Movies unafraid to be immature movies about boinkin’ hot dog waitresses with, well, hot dogs.
The girls get picked up for school while a rockin’ theme song plays. We see a bunch of shenanigans going on around the campus with girls distracting guys and vice versa. I’m instantly nostalgic not just for movies like this, but for showing up early in the morning at high school and seeing shenanigans before it’s time to get down to the business of schoolin’. Also, just generally bird-doggin’ chicks, man.
Meet Rick McKay – all around Big Man on Campus. He pulls a prank to get the student nurse to leave so he can administer a freshman student breast exam to a room of comely lasses.
Was this a thing?!? Did freshmen girls get breast exams in school? What are they being tested for? Seriously… Was this a thing?
WHY DIDN’T I PULL THE SAME PRANK? Or shit, why didn’t I even think of the prank? Okay, granted, Rick gets busted and gets detention (and you know this movie takes place in the past because today it would jail time), buuuut I gotta say this would be a pretty worthy few days of detention to get in on some breast exams. I mean, guys… Dudes. Bro-chiefs. It would be worth it.
Let’s shift focus to French class with the exceptionally sexy teacher, Miss Boudoir. She speaks in a super hot French accent. She’s played by Kimberly Brooks who has appeared in three movies – 1983’s Screwballs, 1984’s Oddballs, and 1985’s Screwballs II: Loose Screws. Jeez, I think she might like balls. Anyway, she gets off on the class speaking French correctly and has to leave the room to flick la bean, if you catch my drift. Brent, another major player on the campus, takes over, but after sexually teasing the virginal Purity Busch, he also gets detention.
This cuts to new transfer student Tim. He runs into Purity and she tricks him into going into the girl’s locker room which leads to him also getting detention.
So here’s what’s happening. Purity is a bit of a tease, and maybe even a bit of a virgin whore. She is tricking these guys into getting detention. Granted, Brent went to her first to fuck with her, but when Miss Boudoir came back into the room, she entrapped him further to get into trouble. She next teases Melvin Jerkovski into getting hot and steamed over things she asks for in the lunch line which leads to him going into the fridge to rub one out and get caught and sent to detention. Finally, Purity witnesses nerdy Howie Bates rearranging the mirrors in the halls so he can look up the cheerleaders’ skirts as they come down the stairwell.
So our “heroes” are sent to Principal Stuckoff to get their punishment – which he plans to make severe in the sentence of five full days of detention. When Purity comes into the office, Tim learns about how Purity is the last hold out for the goods and the guys all fawn over what she must be like in the sack and what her tits are probably like. The guys make a pact to try to score with Purity before homecoming – or at least get a glance at a tit.
Tim gets first crack. Brent drives him over to the Busch household and the plan is he’s going to climb up to Purity’s room. In Purity’s room, she says her prayers and thanks god for being the smartest, most beautiful and sought after girl in all of Taft and Adams High School. Oh yeah, that’s the name of the school so it can be abbreviated as T&A High. Brilliant. Anyway, the Busches are kinda weird. Purity’s mom, June, is constantly horny, and in a reversal of type, practically has to beg to be screwed by the dad, Ward. Oh, and yeah, Purity’s mom and dad are a take on the Leave it to Beaver characters Ward and June. Why? So June can simply say “I’m worried about the Beaver” when begging for sex. Super brilliant.
But what about Purity herself? Oh, she fucks her teddy bear.
Purity orgasms just as Tim asks if he can come inside – which makes him think she answered affirmatively. He accidentally breaks a planter outside which brings Ward out with a shotgun to protect his family from the Ruskies – for real, Ward thinks they are being attacked by Russians. He accidentally goes into the wrong room and fucks June so hard she makes tiger sounds. Unfortunately, Ward catches him and tries to kill him. He barely escapes but admits failure to the guys.
We now get to know a few girls. There’s the buxom blonde cheerleader Bootsie who really likes Tim and makes friends with his sister on the T&A cheer squad. Despite being sexed up herself, Bootsie is almost played off as a decent kid and kind of sweet. She could be played as a slut, but isn’t. I’m not sure if it is because she has a nice smile or what, but she’s cute and likable.
The cheerleader practice sets up Howie’s attempt at Purity. He devises a convoluted plan have Purity called to meet the principal at the pool where he’s set up an intercom to try to hypnotize her into making love to him. Needless to say it fails because she doesn’t stay in the pool house and the other girls come in to finish off their exercises with a swim. Also, the plan doesn’t succeed anyway because the other girls laugh everything off. They even play off that they are hypnotized and overwhelm him before the squads coach ends the ruse.
At the drive-in, where the guys are on various dates to see The Wild Women of Wongo – except it isn’t what they are watching. The movie playing is The Arena with Pam Grier. My guess is that they needed to have everyone going to a movie that had a ton of nudity, and the movie with the better title had none, so they went to the ol’ Roger Corman (who produced this movie) bucket for one that did. Tim is about to play “hide the salami” with Bootsie when he sees Brent making moves on his sister which leads to a big fight breaking out. The fight includes food, lots of bonkers stuff going on, and Bootsie’s topless body forcibly pressed against a van’s back windows to show everyone her boobs. It’s wonderful.
Melvin’s attempt at trying to see Purity’s boobs is truly ingenious. Melvin has the guys bury him under Purity’s normal spot on the beach with a contraption for him to look through. They buried him in the morning, and during the day, he’s subjugated to a group of volleyball players who pitch the net right in his crotch and play over him and a dog pissing on him. However, it’s worth it when Purity finally shows up. Everything goes perfectly as she lies down and unties her top, but his contraption used to keep the sand out of his face fails and he scares her off.
Brent’s plan involves spiking Purity’s drink at a school event with some Spanish Fly he bought at a sex shop. Rick is distracting her while Brent tries to poor it into her cup, but he gets bumped and douses the entire punch bowl with the stuff. Brent’s only response in super close up is “Oh my god… T&A orgy” with a smile on his face. Have I said yet that this movie is amazingly brilliant? Everybody, high on the Spanish Fly, lets it rip except Purity.
This naturally leads to the most logical next scene you can possibly imagine in a movie – a competitive game of strip bowling between the guys and girls that ends with a bowling ball getting stuck on Howie’s dick that only comes off when he has an explosive ejaculation. I have nothing else to say about this scene. It’s just as amazingly brilliant as every other scene in this fucking masterpiece of a movie.
Finally, we come to Rick’s plan to see Purity’s tits. And it might be the best one yet. The guys have kidnapped and tied up the home economics teacher and Rick is in drag posing as a substitute teacher. He plans to help the girls with their dresses for homecoming and can hardly contain his excitement with being in a room full of naked girls checking to make sure their dresses are just right. For some reason, this makes me think this would have been a scene in an episode of The Monkees if that show was an R-rated sex romp instead of what it was. Just as Rick is about to touch Purity’s boobs to measure her bust, the home economics teacher busts in and chases him off.
All five guys have failed. There’s still 15 minutes left in the goddamn movie. I’m not mad, just confused. What is there left to do?
Oh that’s right… We haven’t seen Miss Anna Tommical yet. Remember, this is played by Russ Meyer staple Raven De La Croix. So, in order for the guys to see that kind of business, they have to go to a strip club where she’s performing. I mean, that’s perfect. Just a perfect way to get a little extra time and titty into the movie. I kind of kid, though. It also sets up that the principal is there too and they get a picture of him with Anna Tommical to gain their freedom from detention. I’m not sure why they are still in detention other than for shenanigans, but these guys probably owe so much time to detention they will never graduate.
There’s one final plan up the guys’ sleeves. They are going to line Purity’s dress with metal and then use magnets to make it drop at the homecoming pep rally. I worry that this will end like Carrie with them all getting totally fucking murdered by the evil sociopath chick. But who am I kidding because I love it when a good plan comes together and it certainly does here. Purity sings the National Anthem and, at the conclusion, Howie flips the switch and off comes the dress in front of the whole school!
The last shot of the movie before the credits start is a shot of Purity’s breasts in close up. Literally, the last shot of the movie before the credits is a look at the tits the guys have been wanting to see for the past 75 minutes. Fucking genius. The credits play over everybody celebrating, shit flying around toward the massive magnets Howie set up, and Purity horrified and trying (poorly) to hide her boobs from everyone. I mean it. This is fucking genius.
This movie is utterly insane in all the right ways. The characters are over the top archetypes of the various girls and guys and teachers that populate a school. The rich guy is always dressed like he’s ready to pick up a game of tennis. The nerd is a cartoon character (but not like the cartoon character jerks on Big Bang Theory), the girls are almost overly idealized, the big dumb guy is really dumb and always eats, and the teachers almost seem like they are more in line with what kids joke about them being than actual adults. Even the librarian is maniacal in her need for NO TALKING – she even gets angry with deaf girls signing to each other. No shit, the librarian can even hear boys getting erections over the smut mags they sneaked in with them.
While all the shenanigans are funny and the movie is overall hilarious, I find the entire motivation really suspect. Now, I get it. Purity is super hot. Like really, really hot, but she’s an utter bitch. They said it before being sentenced to their detention – they were all there because of her. Honestly, they should probably be trying to find their revenge by knocking her down a peg or two for all the uppity shit she pulls with people, not just trying to see just one of her tits.
Actually, upon further review, I agree. I’d like to see a tit too.
Next week, we’re gonna stick around in the exploitation genre, but revisit my favorite form of it – blaxploitation as I take a look at the action spectacular, The Muthers!