Wednesday, May 9, 2007

HUNK

Another Crown International Pictures comedy "classic" from BCI/Eclipse, HUNK (1987) is actually a fairly pleasant diversion, that makes up for an impoverished budget through good casting and decent direction by Lawrence Bassoff (WEEKEND PASS).

Steve Levitt (THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS) is a skinny computer nerd with a big nose, who longs to be one of the beautiful people. Taking a leave of absence from his job, he rents a California beach house and tries to fit in with the residents of the exclusive community. Rejected, he meets a beautiful woman (Deborah Shelton, SINS OF THE NIGHT), who offers to make him the hottest guy on the beach – in exchange for his soul. Yep, she’s working for the devil, portrayed here by James Coco. The nerd takes her up on the deal and is transformed into "Hunk Golden" (John Allen Nelson, DEATHSTALKER 3), a handsome, muscular guy with a sports car and plenty of dough. Of course, being a standard-issue morality tale, he soon discovers that he misses his own life and needs to find a way out of his deal.

Nothing new here – it’s basically BEDEVILED on a budget. But, while the lack of resources threatens to scuttle the flick (a "trendy" nightclub looks like somebody’s basement), it somehow manages to work. Levitt and Nelson are both appealing and likable, Shelton is hot in that distinctly 80’s sort of way, and the movie sails along at such a brisk clip that it just rolls over you both brainlessly and painlessly.

BCI’s disc presents the movie in a sharp, but non-anamorphic, 1.66:1 widescreen transfer. There’s virtually no debris or print damage. (I gotta say this about Crown: they kept their masters in good shape.) Audio is 2-channel stereo, and the only extras are trailers for other Crown drive-in comedies of the same vintage: TOMBOY, WEEKEND PASS, MY CHAUFFEUR, and MY TUTOR.

I wouldn’t suggest buying this, but if you miss late night 80’s Cinemax (and who doesn’t, really?), it’s worth a cheap rental.

BUY: Hunk