Wednesday, March 14, 2007

JOCKS

BCI Eclipse has acquired the old Crown International exploitation film library, and has been making good use of these classic drive-in crowd pleasers. Crown was around from the Sixties through the Eighties, and their prodigious output covered the gamut from horror films to action flicks to teen comedies – any genre that could be produced cheaply and profitably appeal to a young audience.

JOCKS (1986) is one such Crown "classic" from BCI, a college sports and sex comedy with a decidedly unusual supporting cast for the genre.

Directed by exploitation veteran Steve Carver (LONE WOLF MCQUADE, BIG BAD MAMA), JOCKS’s performers include a very young Mariska Hargitay (LAW & ORDER SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT), Tom Shadyac (who later directed the Jim Carrey vehicles LIAR, LIAR and BRUCE ALMIGHTY) and B-movie stalwarts Richard Roundtree (SHAFT) and Christopher Lee (HORROR OF DRACULA, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT).

The story follows a small college tennis (!) team made up of misfit players (including Donald Gibb, REVENGE OF THE NERDS, BLOODSPORT) who travel to Vegas for a tournament, unaware that if they fail to win the championship, their dean (Lee) will shut down the tennis program. Of course, the boys are more interested in partying in the pre-Disneyfied Sin City than playing tennis, and their coach (Roundtree) finds it nearly impossible to ride herd on them. Will they win the tournament and save their team? More importantly, will they get laid?

What, haven’t you seen one of these flicks before?

Despite the racy cover art, the film is relatively tame sexually, with only a little bit of female nudity (not Hargitay, unfortunately) and lots of innuendo. While JOCKS is utterly predictable, the cast is appealing, the pace is good, and the movie is fairly entertaining, if not particularly memorable; the kind of movie that used to endlessly run on Cinemax in the wee hours.

BCI’s DVD is quite nice. It’s a bare-bones package, but the 20-year old movie is given a solid, sharp 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that belies its age and low budget. The film looks damned good. The disc also includes trailers for four other Crown teen comedies of the era, THE BEACH GIRLS, WEEKEND PASS and the popular cable programmers TOMBOY and MY CHAUFFEUR – all of which will (hopefully) soon be on DVD from BCI, if they’re not already.

If you happen to remember this movie or just have a fondness for teen comedies of the era, JOCKS is an inexpensive, nicely packaged trip back to the Eighties.

BUY: Jocks