Sunday, May 28, 2017

Movie review - "Screwballs" (1983) **1/2

I watched this after the inept Loose Screws and it comes a lot better in comparison. It introduces five characters separately, establishing all of them having a grudge against Purity Bush, because she got them all on detention. Mind you, the only one who doesn't deserve it is the newcomer, awkward Tom. The fat guy was masturbating in the storeroom, the nerd was perving on everyone, the rich guy was mocking the French teacher and the womaniser was impersonating a doctor to feel up women. But having an innocent victim does help make the leads more likeable.

This is an odd sort of movie. It's got some terrible moments - for instance it gets off to an atrocious start with someone giggling on the soundtrack; there's something very dodgy about a film about essentially trying to sexually assault someone; so many of the gags sink like a stone.

But it's handled in a comic book way that is entirely appropriate; some of the acting is very strong; while the leads are guys, there are prominent female roles who have very healthy sexual appetites too (Tim's sister, the girl who likes Tim, the library, the school teacher) - I assume this was the contribution of Linda Shayne, who co wrote the script with Jim Wynorski (who didn't direct).

The film actually could've been better - some really promising subplots aren't developed, like one of the boys dating Tim's sister (what happens to her?), the romance between Tim and the girl played by Linda Shayne, Purity's horny (step?) mother and commie hating father.

Good performances from Peter Kelaghen (the womaniser) and Linda Shayne. Linda Speciale is pretty as Purity Bush.

This is not a classic - maybe not even a good movie - but it has it's own integrity and is full of energy and verge. And it's a lot better than many in this genre.

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