Saturday, June 14, 2014

"Meatballs Part II" (1984) d/ Ken Wiederhorn

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Remember everything that made Ivan Reitman's 1979 summer camp classic, Meatballs, such a good time? Forget about finding any of it here, in the first of many awful, name-only sequels, as piloted by the guy who brought you aquatic nazi zombies in 1977's Shock Waves. Soap (1977-81) co-stars Richard Mulligan and Hamilton Camp are reunited as rival head counselors, with names like John Larroquette, Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens, Misty "Hee Haw" Rowe, and Kim Richards (insert lustful eyes/wolf whistle/cat call right here) as the choicest piece of teen eye candy that this miserably unfunny mess has to offer, all vainly jockeying for laughs. The original had Bill Murray's frenetic party-based humor while he was arguably at his very best, while Part II boasts of ...well, John Mengatti levitating in a dress and the sorriest-looking alien since Badi : Turkish E.T (1983).

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Notfahnuttin', but....eyyyy-yo, fahgeddabouddit, awready.
As Albert the bus driver (Paul Reubens) races a kid in a rocket wheelchair to Camp Sasquatch, his bus is stopped by police cruisers, who dump off "Flash" Carducci (John Mengatti), an Italian punk troublemaker who's forced to C.I.T. as terms of his community service. Coach Giddy (Richard Mulligan) runs the show at Sasquatch, amid forty-something counselors who can't seem to find a place secluded enough to fuck, teenage girls giggling about penis jokes, and a young alien dropped off for the summer by his Jewish-sounding parents via flying saucer. Across the lake is the aptly-named Camp Patton, a militaristic unit headed by the cartoonish Col. Hershey (Hamilton Camp) and his effeminate Lieutenant, Foxglove (John Larroquette), where the kids wear camo fatigues and stab dummies with bayonets.

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My favorite moment in "Meatballs Part II", far and away.
When Hershey sells the lake property to a group of American Indians, Giddy is forced to bluff, claiming some Hare Krishnas are looking to buy his Camp, leaving both men to settle their differences through the "Champ of the Lake" boxing match between the camps. Giddy wants the street smart loner Flash to don the gloves for Sasquatch, and he's stereotypically reluctant until he notices the virginal Cheryl (Kim Richards), who's never even seen a boy's "pinkie" yet. There are midnight flashers, cockblocking grizzlies, jibber-reefing aliens, and a semi-retarded guy named Boomer gets dusted up by little kids packing brass knuckles. It all comes to a head during the fucking ridiculous boxing match between  a cross-dressing Flash (it's Larroquette's dress) and Patton's representative, the cross-eyed, raw steak-eating Mad Dog (Donald Gibb), who gets K.T.F.O.ed with the otherworldly help of little Meathead the Alien (Felix Silla) who saves the day for Camp Sasquatch, before getting picked up, you know, in the saucer. I assure you I didn't write that with a straight face.

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"Elmore Tibbs! It's me, Burt Campbell! Why is Dan Fielding looking at me like that?" 
Tammy Taylor, who plays Kim Richards' girlfriend here, can also be seen in 1979's Don't Go Near the Park. Comedienne Elayne Boosler scores a brief cameo, while Flash's paisan, Ralph Seymour, you'll remember was memorably run through at the crotch by mutant hillbillies in Jeff Lieberman's Just Before Dawn (1981). Jason Hervey of Wonder Years fame turns up as one of the little rugrats, too. The delectable Kim Richards would follow this role up with Tuff Turf the following year, and we'll be looking at that one somewhere down the road, as well. The schizophrenically stupid Murray-less sequel to a Bill Murray hit movie, a teenage sex comedy without so much as a bare boob (or an honest laugh), Part II barely manages to rustle up a single Wop on the ratings scale. Less fun than getting poison sumac on your undercarriage.

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"Can you use telekinesis to open the outhouse door? Paul Reubens has been locked in there all morning."
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