BCI Eclipse // 1984 // 92 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 23rd, 2007
Seventy-two hours of liberty to forget everything the Navy ever taught them.
An obscure 1984 sex comedy about four horny friends from the Navy on leave makes a splash on DVD. Actually, it's more like a tinkle.
These four sailor pals Webster (Patrick Houser), Bunker (Chip McAllister), Fricker (D.W. Brown) and Lester (Peter Ellenstein) are granted a 72-hour leave from their duties with the Navy, and set loose upon Los Angeles. The quartet has pretty much one thing on their mind: girls. Their first stop is a strip club and from there on it's an adventure populated with gang fights, vibrators, nerd love and the worst soundtrack I have ever heard in a film.
I suppose this movie is considered a "sex comedy," though there's no sex and certainly no comedy to be found anywhere within its 92-minute runtime. Really, Weekend Pass wants to be a semi-serious coming-of-age story, something that tackles the worth of friendship and all that crap. You see, Bunker is a former gang member, returning to his roots to show all the haters from the hood that he's made something of himself, Fricker wants to pursue a career in comedy, despite his utter lack of talent, Webster is reuniting with his life-long love, only to find out he's -- gulp -- changed as a person, and Lester is the typical virgin nerd struggling with the urges of his genitalia. These guys play most of their stuff straight, and the comedy takes a back seat, especially in the second half of the film, where it pretty much drops off the map.
Not that the laughs were rolling in fast and furious prior to this, because they weren't. To give you a taste of the high-larious high jinks in store for you, the central comic set-piece of the film is a massage session involving Lester and a topless Asian woman who -- are you ready for this? -- walks on his back with her high heels! But, wait that's not even the super-duper-terrific funny part! You see, the three other guys called the masseuse in thinking she was a prostitute and now they think all that screaming from the other room is Lester's yelps of ecstasy. Oh, the irony!
So, no, this movie isn't funny.
Nor is it sexy. There's some nudity, limited mainly to some '80s-looking strippers shedding their tops early in the film, but the rest of the film is pretty tame. Don't expect any cheap thrills from Weekend Pass (though I am pleased beyond words to report the writers managed to resist the urge of throwing in "seaman" jokes).
All in all, this is a completely forgettable film, and if wasn't for the brief appearance by a very young Phil Hartman as the host of a comedy club and the unholy theme song, there wouldn't be a neutron of purpose to its emergence on DVD. Even so, I'm still wondering why it founds rebirth on the digital market. Again, to sum: Weekend Pass is a) not funny and b) not sexy. The half-baked chummy drama is not nearly enough to salvage this shipwreck.
The biggest selling-point of the DVD treatment is the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, which looks pretty good, considering the age and obscurity of the film. It looks a lot better than that beat-up old VHS version in your local Mom and Pop video store, where, frankly, Weekend Pass should have resided...for eternity.
The disc cover shows a pair of shapely female legs twirling a sailor's cap on its toes. That is simultaneously the funniest and sexiest part of the entire DVD. Keep this one in dry dock.
Go to be the brig, and don't come out until you're mildly entertaining!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BCI Eclipse
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 1984
MPAA Rating: Rated R