Appellate Judge Tom Becker doesn't understand why people in 2008 insist on movies like it's 1979 about partying like it's 1999.
"Todd was trying to break Mel and I [sic] up because he was worried that
I was gonna replace him at Mel's Dad's company!"
Along with the Saturday matinee, was there ever a more social movie-going experience than the drive-in? Both served as a rite-of-passage—at matinees, elementary schoolers were able to go off safely with their own kind, escaping the watchful eyes of their parents; at the drive-in, teens got to flex their new drivers license muscles, have some "alone" time, and benignly "get over" by sneaking in friends via the car trunk or a large blanket.
At these venues, the films being shown were largely irrelevant. People might have seen The Sting or Taxi Driver at a drive-in, but the likelihood is, they'd have been at the drive-in that night no matter what was showing.
Drive-in movies are their own entertainment subset. Some—the films of Roger Corman, for instance—have aged fairly well and have been re-discovered and re-evaluated thanks in large part to home video. Other films were just throwaways, something to project on the screen while people ate hot dogs, talked, and fooled around. One might have fond memories of going to a drive-in to see The Van, for instance, but how many of those memories have to do with what was happening on the battered screen or being broadcast through those tinny window speakers?
I say all this because Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation is nothing more than a drive-in movie being released directly to home video. Take away the excitement of being young, stupid, and crammed in a vehicle with your peers, and you take away any reason to sit through this derivative film. If there's anything notable about Bachelor Party 2, it's that it's so unnotable.
The plot: Ron (Josh Cooke, Farewell Bender) is engaged to marry Melinda (Sara Foster, The Big Bounce). Melinda's dad likes Ron, which irks Melinda's scheming brother-in-law, Todd (Warren Christie, Beneath), who's afraid Ron will now be in line to take over the family business. So Todd takes Ron and his clueless friends to South Beach for a bachelor party in the hopes of catching Ron in a compromising situation.
That's pretty much it. Temptation—in the form of topless women—is constantly being tossed in Ron's path, and Ron constantly sidesteps it. His stereotypically annoying friends get lucky here and there, there are poop jokes, gay jokes, Viagra jokes, and Todd gets his comeuppance at the end. Some business with Ron's friend Seth (Danny Jacobs), who is Jewish and neurotic, and a German exchange student who might be Hitler's granddaughter, is kind of clever in that it assumes the viewer has a rudimentary knowledge of 20th century history; beyond that, if there's a joke, situation, or reaction that you didn't see coming, then you're probably too young to be watching this film.
So what we basically have here are stale jokes bracketed by shots of topless women, and my question is: Why? Decades ago, in the heyday of the drive-in, this might have made sense; after all, people didn't have 9,000 cable channels and the Internet, where bare breasts are but a mouse-click away. They also didn't have the specter of American Pie hanging over every film that used the words "sex" and "comedy" in its synopsis. Bachelor Party 2 brings nothing new to the table; it's just another lazy, lowball effort in the now-generic "sex-and-gross-out" canon of direct-to-video releases.
The DVD itself is fine, with a nice, clear picture and decent audio. The disc has a whole bunch of tedious extras, including an unfunny gag reel, uninteresting deleted scenes, an uninspiring look at the making of a fight scene involving strippers, an unenlightening "making of" featurette, and an unendurable commentary featuring director Jim Ryan and all the guys in the cast.
In what should have been uncanny verisimilitude, Nixon-era pinup girl Audrey Landers appears as the mother of the future bride. Staring at her waxen visage and shockingly well-preserved—or reconstructed—form, I thought, "She must have graced a few drive-in screens back in the day." Sadly, her only drive-in worthy appearance was in a 1981 programmer, Underground Aces. If only the producers had enticed her sister, Judy, to play a part, they would have gotten the star of The Yum-Yum Girls and Skatetown U.S.A., thus giving Bachelor Party 2 a solid tie to its drive-in pedigree.
Alas, it was not to be.
If I was 14 and my older brother and some of his friends smuggled me and some of my friends in the trunk of my parents' Chevy into a drive-in to see this, I would have thought Bachelor Party 2 was a kick-ass movie.
I'm not. They didn't. It isn't.
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Scales of Justice
• Commentary with James Ryan, Warren Christie, Greg Pitts, Harland Williams, Danny Jacobs, and Josh Cooke
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