Lionsgate // 2006 // 100 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // October 6th, 2006
Sexy maids. Salty dogs.
Insipid script. Inept direction.
Those nutty students from Billingsley University are spending a semester at sea, but education is the furthest thing from their minds. Rusty (Owen Skoog, Gacy) is desperately trying to lose his virginity. Marla (Danielle Fishel, Boy Meets World) and Lynne (Jennifer Lyons, That '70s Show) are trying to shake their sordid reputations. Gerri (Marieh Delfino, Jeepers Creepers 2) is hoping no one finds out she turns into a slut when she drinks. Newmar (Tony Denamn, National Lampoon's Barely Legal) and Violet (model Vida Guerra) are looking for the perfect time and place to consummate their relationship. Booker (Chris Owen, National Lampoon's Gold Diggers) and Rachel (Gable Carr), who have recently called it quits, are looking for the perfect time and place to get back together. Professor Cavendish (Charles Shaughnessy, The Nanny) is looking to unload a hot diamond. Honey Dunkley (porn star Jasmine St. Claire), wife of the ship's captain, is secretly a porn star. Captain Dunkley (Richard Riehle, Joe Dirt) has no idea his wife is secretly a porn star. Dean Dryer (Larry Drake, Dr. Giggles) is looking for a student worthy of an artistic grant, so he sets up a theatrical competition. Robin (China Shavers, Adam and Eve), who hopes to win the grant, decides to stage a play in the competition. Dr. Joyce Brothers, Ted Lange, and Kato Kaelin sign on as the competition's celebrity judges. There's also a stereotypical gay guy, a couple of stereotypical stoners, and a murderer who attempts to be nondescript amidst all these college kids by donning a raincoat and a pair of black leather gloves. Oh, yeah, there's also a thieving monkey.
Given that the brand name has been in serious decline for the past fifteen years, there are now only two reasons to watch these National Lampoon flicks:
1) To see if they've finally crossed the border between Awful and Excruciatingly Awful. (If you ask me, they already have.)
2) To see if Chris Owen will be collecting Social Security checks before he finally stops playing college kids. (It's quite possible.)
If you're expecting to find any entertainment value in this movie, you're pretty much out of luck. This movie is bad. Really bad. Painfully bad. This movie is unfunny. Really unfunny. Painfully unfunny. It's quite possibly even worse than the original flick (hard to believe, huh?). There's not a laugh to be found. Not even the so-called acting job turned in by Vida Guerra (who shouldn't give up her day job) can muster some unintentional laughs. The same goes for the so-called acting job turned in by Jasmine St. Claire (who also shouldn't give up her day job). Hell, not even the monkey gets a laugh (although at least it gives a better performance than the two aforementioned ladies). Returning writers Patrick Casey and Worm Miller (it took two people to write this?) continue their tradition of recycling jokes that were stale before the invention of the wheel. Returning directors David and Scott Hillenbrand (it took two people to direct this?) continue their tradition of filming the action in the flattest, most boring manner possible. And talk about slow. Call me crazy, but aren't madcap comedies supposed to move? This one certainly doesn't. It drags like Sean Connery after Billy Drago has pumped him full of lead in The Untouchables.
The first two acts of this movie consist of pointless, repetitive scenes in which the characters talk about sex, try to have sex, talk about drugs, try to score drugs, or sit around doing absolutely nothing. You get the tired old gag about the guy who can't turn off a TV on which a porn flick is playing, the tired old gag about a temporarily blinded guy who stumbles into the women's shower, and the tired old gag about the naked guy whose bare ass slaps against a window after he's dangled over a rail. The last third of the movie is given over to Robin's play, a murder mystery set at an old English manner. Things naturally go awry: one person ends up dead, several naked men run across the stage, the gay guy gets high and thinks he's Peter Pan, and the play's prop diamond gets switched for the real diamond the professor is carrying. And of course the audience and the judges eat it up, awarding Robin the highest scores of the competition. Gee, how original. I kept hoping Benny Hill and that little bald guy would pop up and show these idiots how these things are supposed to be done. Then I remembered they're both dead. Screwed again.
One last thing: Anyone hoping to see Vida Guerra in the buff will be sorely disappointed. I can only assume nobody was carrying a cell phone.
One last last thing: Jasmine St. Claire should consider suing her plastic surgeon.
The anamorphic transfer is soft and grainy, especially in interior shots. The audio, which can be a bit on the tinny side, is primarily chained to the center channel; the low end is weak. Extras include a commentary from David and Scott Hillenbrand, editor Dave O'Brien, and executive producer Brian Farber (who are all way too pleased with what they've concocted), nineteen (nineteen!) deleted scenes (complete with optional commentary), an unfunny gag reel, a few previews, and a behind-the-scenes featurette focusing on Vida Guerra's onset experiences. (This featurette also features some footage of Guerra, Jennifer Lyons, and China Shavers posing for a layout for a men's magazine, which proves to be the only worthwhile material on the disc.)
Next time you see my name attached to one of these reviews, book me a rubber room.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Vida Guerra Featurette
* Blooper/Gag Reel
* Deleted Scenes
* Official Site
* Dorm Daze Review