Tuesday, January 10, 2017

#2,284. Hardbodies (1984)

Directed By: Mark Griffiths

Starring: Grant Cramer, Teal Roberts, Gary Wood

Tag line: "If you don't know what they are, you don't know what you're missing"

Trivia: The movie was originally made for television to be broadcast on the Playboy Channel

You would think the poster for Hardbodies would tell you everything you need to know about the movie (a close-up shot of a bikini babe’s midsection fills the entire thing). But there’s more to this ‘80s sex comedy than that, and while it certainly won’t linger in your mind for long, it’s far from the worst that this particular subgenre has to offer.

Three wealthy middle-aged friends: Hunter (Gary Wood), Rounder (Michael Rapport) and Ashby (Sorrells Pickard), rent a spacious beachside house for the summer, all in the hopes of scoring with some of the area’s hottest girls. But when their tired pick-up lines fall flat, they turn to Scotty (Grant Cramer), a local who’s just been kicked out of his apartment, for help. Scotty, it seems, has a way with the ladies, and in exchange for room and board (plus $600 a month), he agrees to teach the old guys a thing or two about impressing babes. But will his new “teaching” job land Scotty in hot water with Kristi (Teal Roberts), who may just be the love of his life?

The title sequence for Hardbodies makes it look like your standard, run-of-the-mill ‘80s sex comedy, with scantily-clad beauties lying on the beach, rubbing lotion on themselves; and a trio of gorgeous girls roller-skating down the boardwalk, moving as if they were rocking to the film’s theme song (performed by a band named Krak). We even get our first glimpse of flesh during the credits, when a group of gals rushes into the ocean, playfully splashing water on each other (as a prank, one girl grabs hold of another’s bikini top and yanks it off). Based on this opening alone, it’s fairly obvious Hardbodies was geared towards frustrated teenage boys, and seeing as I was one of them when the movie was released in 1984, believe me when I tell you it delivers everything its target demographic could have possibly wanted!

Usually, you wouldn’t expect much more from a movie like Hardbodies, but I have to admit it made me laugh quite a few times, especially the early scenes featuring the three older guys (at one point, Rounder is gob smacked to see a hot young girl hanging all over Scotty’s “ugly” friend Rag, played by Courtney Gains, a realization that gives the trio of newcomers some hope that they, too, have a shot with the ladies). Once we get to know them, we even root for these guys (when Ashby does finally land a babe, he finds he doesn’t have the stamina to keep up with her). Later on, when one of the three shows his true colors, we’re as disappointed as Scotty; and the finale, where a few locals crash a party thrown by this turncoat, has some genuinely funny moments. Perhaps most surprising of all was how Hardbodies handled the relationship between Scotty and Kristi, which, believe it or not, is actually kinda touching at times.

With lots of nudity and a decidedly ‘80s attitude towards the fairer sex, Hardbodies definitely aims low, but if you’re willing to wallow in the filth with it, you just might enjoy yourself

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