So inept, low-rent, and shamelessly derivative is David Kendall's Dirty Deeds that I'm absolutely stunned that it doesn't arrive bearing a "National Lampoon Presents" banner. And if you've ever been tied down and forced to sit through a triple feature of Gold Diggers, Last Resort, and Dorm Daze, then you already know what I know: the formerly brilliant name of "National Lampoon" has long since become anonymous with "witless, laughless, worthless sex comedy."
But I digress; Dirty Deeds is not affiliated with National Lampoon. It's just that the flick is so damn awful I can't imagine how it wouldn't be.
Plot: A wise-ass high school senior decides to tackle the legendary "dirty deeds," activities that require a contestant to do numerous very stupid things, while offering no clear indication as to said contestant's motivation. (If the completion of the "dirty deeds" offered some kind of cash prize or Banana Republic gift certificate, I could maybe understand what the hell is going on.)
As it stands, our alleged hero (who looks like a drowned rat and behaves like a 15th-generation sneerer of the Tim Matheson variety) accepts the "dirty deeds" stipulations in an effort to humiliate the resident bully / football star / hateful asshole character. There's also a completely unrelated subplot about a high school freshman who gets conned into throwing a wild bash at his parent's house, but this footage exists only to pad out an 85-minute running time while offering a few naked breasts to keep the younger viewers happy.
So Zack Harper (Milo Ventimiglia, displaying all the leading man prowess of a cactus) takes on the "deeds," and here's what he's required to do:
-Drink a beer in front of a cop. (I assume these "deeds" were created before the invention of styrofoam cups.)
-Snag the bra of a homecoming queen.
-Make off with the artificial leg of a grumpy security guard.
-Transport a giant balloon from a used car lot to the local hangout.
-Snag a dead body from the local morgue and deliver it to the high school.
-Punch the local psychopath in the face.
And on and on and on. Very few of these deeds are all that dirty, and none of 'em are even remotely amusing. The screenplay is a paper-thin amalgamation of components found in the 2,200 other teen comedies you've already seen. The direction is flat, dull, aimless, and entirely lacking in energy. The cast (which also includes Lacey Chabert playing a teenaged hottie for the 8th consecutive year and Charles Durning as the legless security guard) looks sheepish and embarrassed to be doling out this patently plagiaristic stew. (In another movie, a horny dude humps a pie; in this movie ... he humps a loaf of bread! And someone eats the bread! My sides are splitting, trust me.)
It's not that I'm unable to get behind a stupid little teen-sex comedy, but it takes approximately 14 minutes of Dirty Deeds' running time before it's more then evident that we're dealing with some filmmakers who are very, very lazy, or very, very untalented. Me, I'm voting for a little from both columns.
Video: The flick is presented in a fairly crisp anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) transfer. The movie's paltry budget and flimsy visual presentation seeps through every pore, which could be forgiven if there was any semblance of wit, cleverness, or creativity on display. Alas.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0, with optional subtitles en Espanal solamente.
Extras: While the back of the DVD case ravingly promises "Sizzling Hot Extra Scenes" and "Tons of Unrated Footage!!!" (their exclamation points, not mine) the truth is decidedly less ... um, sizzling.
Perhaps you'd describe a series of deleted scenes in which two topless girls are required to remain topless for an extra two minutes because their co-star is intentionally flubbing his lines as "sizzling," whereas I'd just classify that as "pretty classless." That's literally it regarding the "sizzling hot extras." 120 seconds of two topless gals.
A 6-minute series of behind the scenes interviews does nothing to explain why this movie was made, while a 2-minute collection of bloopers and outtakes offers about as many laughs as the main feature. The 80-second Soho House Party clip indicates that Red Bull was a heavy sponsor of the sparsely-attended Dirty Deeds world premiere. Rounding out the platter is the Dirty Deeds trailer.
This low-end and agressively unpleasant entry into the teen movie canon will vanish from your frontal lobes in about the same time it took to watch the thing. Too bad for the fine folks at "Green Diamond Entertainment," which is an outfit bankrolled by Todd Zeile, Jason Giambi, Mike Piazza, Al Leiter, and several other professional baseball players. So I'll put it this way: Dirty Deeds is a lazy pop-up to left field, one that doesn't even manage to advance a runner to second base.
(Gotta say it: Dirty Deeds offers one very cool little treat: It's an end credits song called "Almost" by Bowling for Soup, and it's a fun little tune. At first I thought I was simply overjoyed by the appearance of the end credit scroll, but the song's really quite catchy.)