Judge David Johnson fondly remembers his lewd, early '80s hijinks—but those mainly had to do with picking his nose and eating it.
Not the subtlest of titles, eh?
The '80s were a breeding ground of teen sexploitation, and Getting it On!, at first glance, looks like it may be an able participant in the sleaze and cheese. But look a little closer and…well, the flick fails to live up to the lewdness its title promises.
Facts of the Case
Alex Carson (Martin Yost) is a horny teenager. He has a best friend who is equally horny named Nick (Jeff Edmond). They've put together a plan to satiate their horniness by setting up secret video cameras and taping girls in their bedrooms. Creepy, sure; but as far as sexploitation goes, so far so good.
Alex manages to convince his father that he wants to get a video production job to make some money, and amazingly gets his old man to cough up the seed money to finance his endeavor. The equipment Alex buys goes toward making his voyeuristic dreams a reality, with Nick—a high school delinquent—only too happy to tag along.
One of Alex's neighbors, a spunky girl named Sally, is the first to receive the Peeping Tom treatment—and shockingly doesn't have much of a problem with it. She spots Alex sleazing around her front yard one night, holding a pair of binoculars, and isn't offended, even agreeing to go no a date with him! (What was I doing all those years being nice and jocular?!) Then the plotlines begin to unravel…
…and suddenly, we're hip-deep in the relationship foibles of our protagonist, Nick's dysfunctional family life, and the efforts to deep-six the Puritanical-but-morally-spineless school principal.
Getting it On! is a tame, unfunny, dated comedy that wants to leave you hot and bothered. But in the end, it just bothered me. Hey, I'm as big a fan of nostalgic '80s trash as the next guy, but Getting it On! will leave all comers disappointed.
Those looking for a flesh-fest won't be satisfied; those hoping for a few laughs—purposeful or inadvertent—will sit tight-lipped; those wishing for a coherent string of plot ideas will scratch their heads; those interested in the goofy shenanigans of some funny teens will revile these on-screen clowns. I suppose the only group that would embrace the 90 minutes or so of suck that Getting it On! provides will be political prisoners in North Korea seeking a brief respite from hours of brutal torture. ("Hmmm, Getting it On! or electro-shock to my genitals? Tough one.")
See, it would have been nice for Getting it On! to make an attempt at a story that made a modicum of sense. But instead, we get a mish-mash of unamusing ideas that probably found their roots in casual urinal chit-chat on set: "Gee, you know what would be funny? (zip, flush) Having the boys hang out at the track and watch the girl runners bend over and tie their shoes!"
The whole "clandestine video voyeurism" angle doesn't really last, and wasn't even that prominent in the first place. In fact, I'm not entirely sure what the point of the movie was. Was it Alex's quest to be stripped of his virginity? Or maybe the unshackling of sexual taboos? My vote: it was all an excuse for the filmmakers to get their flat-chested actress friends some screen time, and throw in a superfluous pillow fight. (Do girls really dress up in revealing negligee and pound each other with pillows at sleepovers?)
The film receives a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen revitalized transfer, thought there isn't much here to laud. The colors are faded and the new transfer doesn't do anything to take away from the scratchy, dated look. The original mono mix gets a little bit more muscle when converted into Dolby Pro Logic II, but overall it's shallow.
A fair amount of extra features accompany the film. Director William Olsen gives a stilted commentary, relaying the trials and travails of a first-time director. A photo featurette is cool and unique, as Olsen takes the viewer through the documented history of the film; the auteur is much more animated this time around. Lastly, some audition footage is included, leading me to believe the casting director intentionally wanted charisma-free actors.
Long story short: this movie holds nothing of interest for anyone.
The accused is sentenced to hard labor in the Films-of-Zero-Consequence Gulag.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: VCI Home Video
• Director's Commentary
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