There is little to distinguish Bachelor Party from the horde of 1980s crude comedies except one thing, and it is a doozy: Tom Hanks. Fresh off the success of Splash, Hanks joined a cast of relatively unknowns in Director Neal Israel's low-budget comedy that is surprisingly light on laughs. If anything, Bachelor Party is an interesting time capsule, and Hanks manages to inject his expected charisma and charm into the lowbrow material. Neither as clever as Airplane nor as crude as Porky's, Bachelor Party is mainly a curiosity for fans of its lead actor.
Rick Gassko (Hanks) drives the Catholic school bus and begins the film by assuring one of the Sisters that she looks especially good today. He is set to wed Debbie Thompson (Tawny Kitaen), a pretty girl from a W.A.S.P.Y. family. Debbie's parents (George Grizzard and Barbara Stuart) are none too pleased that she is marrying Rick instead of her ex-boyfriend Cole (Robert Prescott), a country-club snot with nice hair and a Porsche. When Rick springs the happy news on his buddies, including Adrian Zmed as Jay O'Neill, they decide to throw Rick a last minute Stag Night before he settles down.
The plot is not of much concern here, obviously, and the movie mostly involves booze and sex hijinks for the guys. Debbie, her girlfriends and her mom have their own bachelorette party, which the guys supplement with a little inappropriate action after learning the women are at a male revue. Debbie is kind of sweet and innocent, but her motley crew of friends includes the expected floozy and awkward plump party girl archetypes. Cole is tangentially involved, too, and tries to pay off Rick to give up Debbie. The best bits of Bachelor Party involve Sir Douche getting humiliated by Rick's company.
The film is kind of out there in terms of humor - at one point a donkey snorts cocaine - but it is less crude than many of its classmates. There is a sweetness to Hanks' performance, and you can see why the then-budding actor has made such a prolific career as America's good guy. There are enough laughs to fill the slightly overstuffed 105 minutes, but nothing in Bachelor Party really stands out. I cannot recall any one-liners, and most of the gross-out gags are forgettable. The narrative and supporting cast simply evaporate under Hanks, who is decidedly the best thing about this movie.
Fox presents Bachelor Party in high definition with a pleasing 1.85:1/1080p/AVC-encoded transfer. Detail is quite good, as are texture and depth. Colors are bold and nicely saturated, and there is a pleasing natural layer of film grain. There are a couple of speckles here and there and a few of soft shots, but this transfer is solid considering the material.
The 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio mono soundtrack is perfectly adequate and offers decent fidelity for the sometimes-cluttered soundtrack. Dialogue is clear and without distortion, and the action elements and score are mixed appropriately. English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles are included.
The disc does not provide retrospective comments from Hanks, unfortunately, and all you get are a couple of vintage promotional featurettes: Behind the Scenes (3:10/SD); An American Tradition (2:51/SD); While the Men Play (1:43/SD); and Tom Hanks Interviews (2:44/SD). These include cast and crew interviews but are nothing special. You also get the film's Theatrical Trailer (2:07/SD).
Far from the best 1980s crass comedy, Bachelor Party is an interesting time capsule for Tom Hanks, who provides a good performance in this mostly forgettable film. Hanks plays a goofy school bus driver whose buddies throw him a wild bachelor party, and the actor shows sparks of his now-expected charisma and charm. The film is not great, but Fox's Blu-ray is technically solid. Rent It.
William lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.