Hardbodies (1984) – A Review
“Do you want to party?”
“What do you have in mind?”
“Whatever turn you on. A little wine. Jacuzzi-A-Ruski. Sex”
“How much are you going to pay me?”
“You kidding??? I don’t pay for sex!”
“And I don’t fuck fossils for free.”
Three middle-aged gents rent a beach house with their sights set on scoring with babes. However, they’re sorely lacking in the pickup department. It’s not until they meet young beach bum Scotty (Grant Cramer) who happens to know a thing or two about attracting girls when their fortunes change. The older trio convince Scotty to teach them the ropes and before long they’re beachhouse is filled to the brim with young willing beach babes!
This was not based on any of the works of Shakespeare.
I sometimes have to remind myself that some of these films in this teen/sex/comedy series I revisit every now and then were actually shown in theaters. I occasionally forget that. Looking at a lot of them now it’s amazing to think they actually graced the silver screen at one point. They look more at home airing on a high-numbered cable channel at 2am or sitting inside a dusty bargain basement VHS/DVD dollar display box in some far off corner in a supermarket.
Some movies can be a timeless experience and still be viable entertainment decades after they were first made. There are movies that are even reaching centennial birthdays since their creation – and movie fans can rewatch them today and still enjoy them as much as the first audiences who saw and experienced them did.
But the majority of teen/sex/comedies (not all, but most) seem like they had an extremely short shelf life. The best and most they could offer to those original audiences (typically young horny adolescents) was silly humor and some mild titillation. There’s not much more in them for young moviegoers today to go back and rediscover other than that.
Maybe there’s the opportunity of seeing a well-known actor show up in an early role who welcomed any work at the time or there’s the possibility of hearing some decent 80’s songs that you completely forgot about. But most teen/sex/comedies’ best chance at having any kind of renaissance was approximately a year after their theatrical releases having cable subscribers watching them over and over again in the late night hours.
Horror/slasher films were also a popular genre during the 80’s before they petered out. The quality dropped and audiences lost interest in them. It wasn’t until filmmakers began to revisit them, give them updated tweaks, try to raise the quality of them, add more gore, reintroducing (or just flat out remaking) them for new audiences when they became a viable and popular genre again.
Teen/sex/comedies haven’t had any kind of a major rebirth and they don’t appear to ever will. Peaking in the early to mid-80’s these movies were everywhere! And once they disappeared man, they’ve been gone for good.
I’m not sure what one could do to revitalize them. Would a wealth of creativity, bigger budgets, a more sophisticated approach and more talented casts really add anything to their value? Their popularity and what they offered their audience really didn’t depend much on their artistry or the actors or the stories that were contained in them.
What could filmmakers do to reintroduce, revive and improve on them today? Throw in more hot chicks? Make sure they have bigger boobs? Toss in more cheesy montages with corny music?
What is their place in the history of cinema? Is there any reason for anyone to rewatch these films other than the curious few unfussy movie lovers who have an hour and a half to kill or original fans taking a nostalgic visit. They just seem to be movies that are sitting in cryo-freeze whos only value now are being time capsules of a dead movie genre.
I’m getting way too heavy and philosophical in a review about Hardbodies. It’s an interesting thing to think over and I’m sure there are much better qualified and intelligent cinematic historians to do that – if they even wanted to bother to spend time on this study. Anyway, let me get back to talking about this boob flick!
Despite being rich and successful with a big beautiful beach house, the guys still can’t score with women. In reality I doubt they would need the help of a homeless beach bum to catch womens attention, but this is a movie.
The middle-aged leader Hunter (Gary Wood), overweight Rounder (Michael Rapport – who always reminded me of a schlubby Albert Brooks) and country gentleman Ashby (Sorrels Pickard) commence on a crash course of tutelage from Scotty on the art of picking up ‘hardbodies’ ie foxes on the beach.
They begin to learn all the cool phrases that come with this ability – you have to ‘dialogue them’, offer them the ‘the B.B.D.’ – ‘the bigger and better deal’. Although the movie appears to be attempting to introduce these terms and catch phrases into the English language, these never made it into websters.
First of course is giving the guys a makeover, which inevitably leads to a shopping and pickup montage. It’s somewhat startling to see some of the outfits that were considered ‘cool’ at the time, but that’s one of the fun things about watching these kind of movies.
After many embarrassing and failed attempts at meeting women, the guys finally start getting lots of chicks numbers when they send out invitations to a party. So they really didn’t learn that much from Scotty so far. Just throw a big party, invite hot women and they will show up. “If you throw it they will come“. There doesn’t seem to be much ‘dialogue’ skills to it.
Some of the chicks are lured to the party under false pretenses and when the guys score with them it has very little to do with the art of picking them up and having the girls swoon over them, but more like blatantly lying to them.
Scotty lies to one blonde telling her there will be modeling agents there, Rounder continues the charade as he frantically photographs topless wannabe models looking to impress these agents. Hunter spills his drink on a hardbody forcing her to remove her dress and then he scores with her. The ‘B.B.D.’ Scotty was talking about basically means to bullshit the women. But heck there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s all in good fun. It’s the 1980’s afterall!
As our three elderly heroes start getting a lot of tail and morph into party animals, Scotty and his freckled skateboarding pal Rag (Courtney Gains) are dealing with their own gal problems. Scotty’s main squeeze Kristi (Teal Roberts) doesn’t like his new friends and all this lying going on. Rag is desperate to hook up with Kimberly (Cindy Silver), but she continually turns him down. What emotional drama unfolding here!
The biggest scenes mainly consist of comedy hijinks and sexy hardbodies coming together at big parties. We get two shindigs at the beach house that consist of lackluster laughs, boobs and some music.
Then there’s a party involving a band and an army of aerobic hardbodies (there’s really no point in explaining how or why this happens). So if you’re a fan of spandex and bad 80’s music you’ll be in heaven with this scene.
But it gets even better. There’s a beach party with a girl group headlining the ‘Hardbody Spectacular’ event. I’m not sure what the point of this is in the context of the movie. I think it’s supposed to be promoting exercise guru Rocco’s (Anthony Ponzini) gym or something, but mainly it’s just another excuse to show off hardbodies and have music accompaniment for a clunky jet ski chase.
The admirable Ashby has taken his leave of his pals not liking the shallow people they’ve become – which is ironic since all these characters started out pretty shallow in the first place. Hunter and Rounder have sunk so low that they plan on using their newly formed skills of acquiring
hardbodies to pass them over to business associates and get deals made. Bigger better deals I suspect.
On top of all that, Scotty’s in the doghouse with Kristi and now Hunter is making a play for her. Now it’s up to Scotty to destroy the monsters he created – much like Dr. Frankestein. And what do you know – the climax takes place during a party! Who woulda thunk?
It’s ridiculous to expect anything more out of this movie than what you get. It’s called Hardbodies and that’s what it gives you. There is plenty of eye-candy running across the screen and they all willingly drop their shirts and we’re in topless 80s nirvana.
Even the lead girls Kristi and Kimberly show off their goods, which is kind of a bonus. Typically the lead girl is supposed to be above having to resort to showing off her boobs. She’s usually meant to be this virginal good girl amongst all the debauchery. Not here. Hey, you want to be in this movie lose the top sister!
The humor is of the juvenile variety, not surprisingly. Prat falls, slaps, Rounder fainting when he sees a pair of boobs, Rag acting all zany. There’s nothing sidesplittingly hysterical anywhere to be found.
I will say Hardbodies is somewhat unique in the genre with the addition of middle-aged men in lead roles. This wasn’t something very common with these kind of movies. Mainly they would stick with twenty-somethings as its heroes and anyone over thirty was a square, evil person who was only there to be an authority figure trying to ruin the good times and just waiting to be mocked.
So Hardbodies could be enjoyed by both the young horny adolescent teen and his horny old man. There are characters here that they both could identify with and root for! It’s great to see a movie that welcomes a bonding experience between father and son and their shared love of looking at naked boobs.
Hardbodies was released by Columbia Pictures. The same studio that released Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Moscow on the Hudson and Starman the same year! It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that Hardbodies was one of their mainstream offerings to movie audiences. It just doesn’t fit. I watch it now and all I can see is a poorly made teen/sex/comedy that I can’t imagine anyone being very proud of making it, let alone a major studio.
Columbia must of known they were scraping the bottom of the barrel with this movie and were simply trying to capitalize on the popular trend of tawdry flicks for young audiences. Having their name associated with it was possibly somewhat embarrassing and they were keenly aware it was not their proudest moment.
Like you know how in the hallways and lobbies of some studios they have framed posters of movies they’ve made through the years. Could you imagine walking the halls of Columbia and spotting a Hardbodies poster prominently displayed?!?! I highly doubt that poster is used as an example of the high quality of films they’ve made.
To counteract the clear slumming they were doing Columbia marketed the movie in a way to poke fun at the shoddy quality of it. The trailers for the movie embraced it’s superficial worthlessness trumpeting it as – “A film with absolutely no redeeming social value whatsoever. A film that luminaries like Bergman, Fellini, Spielberg and Lucas had absolutely nothing to do with. A film that every critic in America has unanimously hailed as a motion picture.”
The design of the trailer and how they marketed Hardbodies is actually funnier than anything in the movie itself.
I always get curious as to what the women in these films now think of their participation in movies like this. How did they get cast in these flicks in the first place? What was the audition process like? Did they happen to know someone on the production and were willing to show off their boobs for $200 bucks or did they think this would lead to bigger roles and an actual acting career or did they just know this would be just a fun one-shot kinda thing and didn’t think twice about it. A lot of stuff runs through my my mind with these movies when naked boobs aren’t on the screen distracting me.
I never bothered watching Hardbodies 2. It just didn’t seem worth it. I got all my answers at the end of the original Hardbodies and really felt they explored every avenue of human existence in it’s ninety minute timeframe. Plus, I heard the sequel is even worse than the original.
Anyway, there’s not much more to say about Hardbodies. It gives you a plethora of naked 80s boobs packed in an awfully silly movie. That should be enough for fans of these flicks.