1980’s Teen Sex Comedies or How Everything I Needed To Know About Sex Was Thanks To Cable Television….
Years ago, in my adolescent age the realization that girls might not be completely yucky hit. Suddenly Star Wars, cartoons, comic books and all that great stuff weren’t the only things to get excited over.
Back in the days of the 1980’s when hormones started raging for kids, porn was difficult to come by. There wasn’t such easy access to the stuff as today. Adolescents back then could only dream that typing a few words on a keyboard could satisfy their craving of seeing some skin.
So how did all of us poor horny kids accomplish seeing naked women? Well, you could either hope that one of your friends was able to smuggle a Playboy or Penthouse or some random nudie magazine out from their fathers collection to the gang where you could all gather round and gaze at some sexy model with a staple through her stomach. OR you could do what millions of kids did – you turned on your cable box!
It seems like such a common device now, but there was a time when having a cable box was something to brag about. Almost overnight households could watch full, uncut movies in their own living rooms! Plus, without commercial breaks!
|These ancient devices were your
key to movie heaven!
This was a first. This was heaven. This was the future. This was the 80’s!
Home Box Office, The Movie Channel, Cinemax and all these cable stations obviously needed movies to fill airtime and fortunately a lot of their late night programming consisted of teen-oriented films. These weren’t usually deep, reflective coming of age stories of characters who were trying to find their way in life – they usually just wanted to get laid.
Much of the young male audience could identify with that goal.
I guess these films really got started in the 70’s. Looking at that time now it almost seems like it was the next step from ‘Jiggle TV‘. While you could tune into Charlie’s Angels or Three’s Company to see actresses bounce around that’s as far as it would go. I’m betting filmmakers figured – if having stacked women in tight sweaters on TV was this popular, then what if we film completely naked women for the movies? Do you think people might like to see that?
|John Belushi getting an eyeful in Animal House|
I always considered Animal House (one of my favorite flicks) the grandfather of this genre, but I guess Porky’s really ignited the flame. I think that film has become the one that seems most commonly attributed to the beginnings of this popularity of teen-sex films.
When it made tons of money on its very small budget it opened the flood gates and soon it spawned countless other films about horny teenagers on the hunt for a good time. There was no shortage of them.
They were completely silly and most were really, horribly bad, but you still wished that your life played out like one of these lousy movies. You would dream of having all these wacky adventures with topless women running around everyday. Alas, that was only in these 80’s movies.
Most of these teen-sex movies would have a lot of the same ingredients: young characters trying to get lucky, buxom women, the nice girl, the crazy friend, the older authority figure ripe for mocking, geeky characters, the mean bully, the stuck up girl, shiny spandex, a peeping tom scene, naked women in showers or a pool, an aerobics scene, alcohol being consumed, a large dance or some kind of big public gathering, quintessential early 80’s music and of course some juvenile humor tossed in.
|This was a common scene in many
houses late at night in the 80’s
These films weren’t PC or prudish. They blatantly flashed boobs across the screen and the 1980’s adolescents were tuned right in (and sure adult males liked watching too). There is a shared generational experience of sneaking downstairs late at night, turning on that magical cable box to watch Hardbodies for the ninth time. Of course you would have to keep the volume really low so the parents didn’t hear you satisfying your adolescent curiosity. Pervert!
I think if you were to look back over the decades of film, the 1980’s would probably come out on top for the most boobs shown in that cinematic ten-year span. I’m not counting porno, but widely released films one could find in general theaters. Actually I’m not sure if I would say the entire 80’s decade – maybe the tail end of the 70’s and the early 80’s. These films seemed to taper off towards the late 80’s and soon were a thing of cinema history.
I’m tempted to say audiences are much smarter now and demand better quality with their movies, but considering some of the popular films nowadays….I’m not sure that’s the case.
It could be one of the big selling points these movies had – boobs – are just much easier to see in other places than in bad movies today.
Why would anyone want to waste an hour and half of watching a putrid film to see a pair appear on the screen when you can just surf the web and see the same thing in under a minute. It’s almost as if the attraction of flashy CGI effects have replaced the allure of seeing….young women flashing in lousy movies.
These flicks targeted a niche audience, they were clearly aware of who that audience was and what they wanted to see and tried to deliver the goods, in most cases in the most shameless ways possible. Today studios want to market their films to as wide a range of an audience as they can and don’t want to alienate anyone with an R-rating. Back in the 80’s films wore that R-rating proudly!
That old adage of ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to’ is a pretty accurate description of these flicks. Teen sex movies have become a rarity today. Some could argue that the teen comedies of today have become more sophisticated and not as exploitative and dumb as back then, but they’re not anywhere near prolific as they once were. I don’t know what kids are expected to watch today.
I suppose they can get their nudity fix by watching any random pornographic clip online and everyone is pretty much tuning into their own stuff. That shared experience of you and your friends recounting the elaborate plot of Hot Resort that you all managed to watch over the weekend is gone.
|The Sexy Besty Russell in 1983’s Private School|
There were hundreds of these flicks during the early 80’s. And they all had silly, suggestive names that made it hard to mistake what you were going to get when you watched it, – juvenile comedy and nudity.
I suppose John Hughes was really responsible with the idea that films about young people could be smarter and better made. There were indeed good teen films before Hughes came along, but after he got ahold of the genre these poorly made, immature, gratuitous movies were on their way out and he raised expectations of the quality the genre had to offer.
Regardless of the actual cinematic merits these nostalgic 80’s nudie teen movies had, (there must be a better way I could define them) thanks to the lovely ladies who bared their chests for the sake of art, these movies have become affectionately remembered by those who grew up watching them.
Viewings of them usually didn’t just happen once. Luckily these cable stations would play these films over and over and over again, and you can bet that kids watched them everytime they could.
|The quintessential topless 80’s scene –
Phoebe Cates in Fast Times At Ridgemont High
That might be one of the reasons why that generation regard such dopey films with such fondness. There was actual work involved in trying to watch them. It wasn’t just popping in a videotape, a DVD or logging onto the computer. You had to be strategic about it. Usually it was only one television in the house that had that cable box and it was your sole gateway to viewing a lovely lady’s blouse buddies (and possibly….even more).
You couldn’t very well attempt this television experience with Mom and Dad in the room. So you would have to wait until they were preoccupied and there was no chance they would catch you watching Hot Dog: The Movie. You were risking some major repercussions trying to watch these flicks back then.
Plus, most houses didn’t have instant replays, no VCR, no way of recording these movies. You had to watch them live! Whatever time they were scheduled to air you had to sit right in front of the tube to catch them. And if you blinked and missed that one crucial moment…..then you had to start planning another viewing the next time it was on. What a prehistoric time that was.
This now grown audience might not have seen these films since then, but they sure do remember them. Or at least the actresses and….certain scenes.
They provided relief to a badly needed itch that needed scratching. How else were we expected to make it through puberty? Hey, it was much better than just looking at a magazine!
I’m guessing if you didn’t grow up during this period and didn’t watch these movies at that particular age and time then all this sounds pretty ridiculous and it’s hard to relate. Younger generations might view these films as bottom or the barrel of entertainment and can’t imagine anyone getting excited over them. But in the 80’s these were great and they ended up being a major part of that generations youthful years. Every generation has their thing.
|The Last American Virgin (1982)|
With that nostalgic perspective in mind I thought it might be fun to revisit some of these flicks. I don’t want to just base reviews on how hot the actresses are and give the film boob scores – there are plenty of folks who do that (although I’m sure those attributes will be worth noting in some cases. I’m betting most of these films really wouldn’t stand up to any hardcore cinematic examination).
Fellow 80’s horny brothers in arms all have their own personal favorites. The list of these flicks are endless. Even today occasionally I’ll hear a title of one and it will be news to me. I never heard of Cavegirl (1985). It’s probably awful, but I probably would have watched it given the chance back then.
So whenever I get a chance and a title pops into my head I’ll check it out. I’ll rewatch them with an adult perspective and see how they are. Would they hold up for the older version of me or was it just the younger me deep in the throes of puberty that could actually sit through these flicks? Are they actually any good or is showing off some skin the only redeeming value they have
This could be a short-lived venture. I can picture myself getting bored of this pretty fast and forgetting all about it. But until then, stay tuned when I start this archeological expedition into revisiting some of these 80’s teen sex comedies…..