When you think of Troma, you typically don't think sex comedy. At least not automatically. Oh sure, Lloyd Kaufman and the gang are notorious for keeping their Gyno-Americans naked and nubile, but with a history and fame geared towards horror and gore, fetching female pulchritude with a humorous bent has fallen by the wayside. Yet the famed independent film company actually got their start in raunch, bringing noted nookie extravaganzas like The First Turn On and Squeeze Play to horny exploitation fans everywhere. Yet once The Toxic Avenger hit, boobies gave way to blood (and b-movie schlock). Now back from a Poultrygeist-induced repast, Troma's DVD department is tracking down some fan favorites to unleash on the new home video format, beginning with an oft-mentioned cult 'classic' Getting Lucky. This tepid teen sex comedy, revolving around a dork, a babe, a hunk, and a drunken leprechaun (yes, you read that last part correctly) was one of the company's most requested back catalog titles. After seeing this boring mess, it probably should have stayed hidden away.
Poor Bill. The nerdy towel boy for the Middlevale High basketball team has the hots for cheerleader Krissi. Naturally, she doesn't even know he's alive - or to put it another way, she's too busy pre-bonking Tony the team captain to care. When our horny hunky meat makes advances that our heroine can't handle, she's primed for a little pocket protector love. But Bill has no confidence - that is, until he meets Lepky. Forced to live in a beer bottle due to a drinking problem, this inebriated leprechaun promises our feeb three sexy wishes. Unfortunately, the road to Krissi's coos is paved with booze-fueled miscues, youthful inexperience, and one character's tendency toward statutory rape. Ew.
Is there really room for the simple '80s sex comedy in 2008/9? Have we graduated beyond the naïve peep show particulars of the potent genre, especially in light of porn star produced efforts like The Ghost in the Teeny Bikini (to name one of dozens) where simulated sex is omnipresent? It used to be that adolescents, hopped up on all manner of out of control hormones and unable to access the more explicit XXX material, made these peek a boo productions overnight sensations. Now, with a 'Net overloaded with Google-ease gratuity, who needs hunt and peck pulchritude? Sure, some manner of sense memory could be involved, or a knowing nostalgia for a more naïve time, but that doesn't change the fact that something like Getting Lucky sure feels like a fossil. It's so outdated that even Apu Nahasapeemapetlion wouldn't sell it in his Kwik-E-Mart. Still, Troma claims a massive underground audience for this long lost gem. Maybe they meant that the former fan base is now six feet under, pushing daises with the best of them.
Let's begin at the basics - no one here is attractive. Nerd herder Steven Cooke is about as far away from 'geek' as supposed stud Rick McDowell. Both would be frat boys in a college skin flick. Apparently, the Members Only makeover is supposed to make Bill the butt of every joke. Yet Tony's tendency toward sexual assault turns him into something far more laughable. And then there's Krissi, the monotone Miss who everyone wants to bed. Talk about your libido let downs - this gal never gets nekkid, spends most of her free time in a gloom and doom funk, and feels the need to crap on everyone who isn't on her sour sop wavelength. She'd be a supermodel if she had looks, drive, determination, and a facet other than a producer's girlfriend/daughter dimension to her persona. Even the addition of a guaranteed head scratcher in Lepky, the drunken leprechaun, fails to generate the intended laughs. Instead, we keep wondering who came up with this crap.
There is just something weak-willed and underdeveloped about Michael Paul Girard's efforts here. The script appears cobbled together from several divergent ideas, with the last act going off on a series of tangents that seem desperate, not artistic. Flourishes like a man dressed as a barbarian riding two horses simultaneously (he looks like Conan the Kook, not Destroyer) and a shish kabob fight delivers nothing but groans. It's clear that Getting Lucky goes loopy toward the end because Girard has simply run out of story. Bill and Krissi have already made a connection, and Tony's attempt to undermine them legally provides little or no tension. Even Lepky disappears, poised for a postscript comeback that elicits nary a giggle. Maybe, back when poontang was still an unseen social stigma, reserved for late night showings of I Like the Girls Who Do on Cinemax, Getting Lucky was hot to trot stuff. Now, it's just exceedingly dull.
Looking like it was made during the Reagan era (though actually a product of the George Bush Sr. administration), Getting Lucky has a soft, slightly washed out image. The 1.33:1 transfer is never really crisp and the lack of detail really hurts. This is especially true of the film's sole shot of nudity - a faux French babe soaping up her sweetbreads. Fans won't really care about the less than reference quality picture. There are other issues with this film that keep it from feeling fresh.
Standard Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 - nothing more or less. The dialogue is easily discernible, and the holdover synth pop scoring circa 1982 is decent, if slightly dopey.
Troma treats us to two interesting commentary tracks. The first comes from Mr. Girard himself, and the filmmaker is actually quite fair in his assessment of the film. It's still his pride and joy, but the feverishness of his support is rather muted. Then onset still photographer Mark Adams provides a series of photos for a slideshow gallery, adding his own thoughts on the movie as they pass by. His thoughts are more pragmatic and anecdotal. Finally, Lloyd Kaufman does a classic drunk bit as the introduction for the flick and there's a collection of corporate come-ons, including trailers and promos. In typical Troma style, this DVD gets a decent digital packaging.
Nothing overrides personal arousal faster than abject boredom. Jenna Jameson could be giving you the hottest lap dance since Salome, and if she decides to add a running monologue about birth defects in rare Polynesian hummingbirds, you'll be sporting a coma, not wood. It's the same with Getting Lucky. Whatever minimal softcore the film provides is more than offset by a dead derivative feeling of erotic ennui. Still, some might get a kick out of the era-appropriate arousal, so a rating of Rent It will be offered. It's the least we can do for a long unavailable Troma title. But be warned - watching an episode of The World's Nastiest Tumors would be more sexually satisfying than this film. Some things from the '80s have made an easy transition to the new millennium. The PG lust/laugh fest is, sadly, not one of them. Getting Lucky proves that in slack, spongy spades.
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