National Lampoon's Gold Diggers (Unrated)
MGM // Unrated // $29.99 // March 29, 2005
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted April 4, 2005
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
The Movie:

nother nail in the coffin of the National Lampoon name (although this was actually a bit better than the dreadful "Dorm Daze"), "Gold Diggers" actually managed something of a minor theatrical release for a couple of weeks before heading directly to video shelves. The film focuses on Calvin Menhoffer and Leonard Smallwood (Will Friedle and Chris Owen, respectively), two orphans who, when not being terrible at being crooks (one tries to snatch a woman's purse and grabs her fake arm), are terrible at low-wage jobs.

Their latest scheme is to marry the two old women who are heirs to a condom fortune. What the two don't know is that the women actually don't have any money and that they're planning to off their new husbands for the insurance money. So, we get a lot of humor involving the two younger men having to do some of the things that marriage involves with the much-older women. Meanwhile, the new husbands also think about speeding things up when the women prove more lively than they'd expected.

Unfortunately, the only kind of humor to be found here isn't only unfunny, it's uncomfortable and cringe-worthy low-brow junk. Friedle and Owen don't try too hard to look for what's not there to begin with, as both offer performances that make it seem as if neither is particularly interested in the proceedings. Busty "actress" and former Playboy model Nikki Ziering is heavily featured on the cover and the main menu, but she's hardly featured in the movie.

"Gold Diggers" is another thrown-together comedy that, while not as aggressively unfunny as the prior "National Lampoon" picture, is still pretty lousy. It's yet another movie with an "Unrated" tag slapped on it to attract a couple more rents at the video store, but this one will soon end up in the bargain bin.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Gold Diggers" actually gets respectable treatment from MGM, who offers the movie in a very nice-looking 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Sharpness and detail are actually quite nice throughout the proceedings, with the picture appearing consistently rather crisp and well-defined.

Some minor shimmering and a couple of moments of light edge enhancement didn't take away much from an otherwise nice transfer. The print appeared to be in excellent condition, with no specks, marks or other faults. Colors looked bright and vivid, with no smearing or other faults.

SOUND: The film's Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation was forward-oriented, mainly remaining a "comedy" mix, with very little in the way of real surround use. Audio quality was fine, with clear dialogue, music and (limited) effects usage.

EXTRAS: A couple of minutes of "Nude Nikki Outtakes" featuring Ziering (although not always nude), a couple alternate endings, a few bloopers, a couple of pieces on "Gold Digging" and photo shoot footage.

Final Thoughts: "Gold Diggers" isn't the lowest the "National Lampoon" name has sunk, but it's still nothing resembling a decent comedy. The DVD offers fine audio/video quality and a few minor supplements. Skip it.



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