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Weekend Pass

BCI Eclipse // R // September 26, 2006
List Price: $9.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by David Cornelius | posted November 26, 2006 | E-mail the Author
Sad But True: the 1984 T&A comedy "Weekend Pass" stars one guy from "Hot Dog... The Movie" and one guy from "Hamburger... The Motion Picture."

Sad But True no. 2: They really did name movies like that in the 80s.

Imagine, if you dare, the classic musical "On the Town" reimagined as a low budget "Porky's"-wannabe jigglefest. The notion is horrific, I know, but it happened, in the aforementioned "Weekend Pass." There's no music and no dancing in this version, however - unless by "dancing" you count the overlong trip to the skeeziest strip joint in L.A. (in which the women may not be attractive and are quite possibly riddled with a potpourri of venereal diseases, but they sure will take off their clothes for you anyway), and by "music" you mean the wretched soundtrack, consisting entirely of two synthesizers, a drum machine, and some woman they dragged in off the street.

The theme song alone is enough to make a grown man cry. It's a hideous chunk of cheesy 80s pointlessness that is, to my dismay, still stuck in my head, thanks to its mind-numbing simplicity. Consider the lyrics: "Weekend pass! It was just a weekend pass! Weekend pass! It was just a weekend pass!" This is the sort of movie we have, people - it can't even muster up enough excitement about itself for the opening music. So instead of something along the lines of "Weekend pass! Nothing's better than a weekend pass! Best time ever!!!," we're reminded, rather glumly, that "it was just a weekend pass."

(Side note: John Baer, the composer of this music went on to make only one other film, and it is 1987's "Beach Fever," which starred Kato Kaelin as somebody named "Chet Frederick IV." Makes the whole "Hamburger"/"Hot Dog" connection seem tame now, doesn't it?)

Anyway. Our adventure finds four generic Naval Academy grads - Cool Guy (Patrick Hauser), Wise Guy (D.W. Brown), Token Black Guy (Chip McAllister), and Nerdy Virgin (Peter Ellenstein) - enjoying one last weekend of freedom before shipping off on Monday to their first assignments. It's a weekend spent doing nothing but tooling around Los Angeles for a couple of days, trying to get laid. That's it. It's just a weekend pass.

After some awkward and tiresome episodes (the strip club, the day at the beach), the movie takes a bizarre left turn and winds up Token Black Guy's old neighborhood. You see, he used to be the head of a badass gang (assuming that dressing like rejects from "Breakin' 2" is remotely "badass"), and now that he's in the Navy, his former friends don't respect him anymore. So we get a showdown between Token Black Guy and New Gang Leader, complete with violence-don't-solve-nothin' moralizing and what I assume to be some sort of failed attempt to show a social awareness through the exposure of "life on the streets."

When the scene ends, it disappears from relevancy as quickly as it entered, replaced by a crummy love story in which Token Black Guy keeps hitting on an aerobics instructor he met at the beach, to eventual (yet unlikely) success. Meanwhile, Cool Guy goes on a date with an old flame, who turns out to be a rich snob (oddly, it's not her boorish behavior but her kinkiness in the bedroom that finally sends Cool Guy packing); Nerdy Virgin, after a run-in with a Chinese masseuse named (sigh) "Chop Suzi," hits it off on a blind date with a girl who turns out to be just as nerdy and virginal; Wise Guy preps for his grand debut as a stand-up comic (the late, great Phil Hartman cameos as the loathsome comedy club emcee in what is possibly the most embarrassing moment of his career, and yes, I'm counting "Coneheads" and "Jingle All the Way"), although one wonders why an entire plotline would be constructed out of a character being unfunny.

Yes, Wise Guy is intentionally not funny. Sample joke: "What do you get when you cross an aircraft carrier with an IUD? An unidentified flying contraceptive!!" Yet we spend the first hour being asked to laugh at his yuks, then get all melancholy when his act bombs. No thanks.

The whole thing wraps up with a dance party at the aerobics club - why yes, there are indeed breakdancers, thanks for asking - and if you make it this far without jabbing something very pointy into either your eyes or ears (or both), then you will be rewarded with one of the sloppiest, most meaningless finales to ever grace late night cable. After spending some eighty-plus minutes with these losers, the least we could get is an epilogue whereupon we learn how all four were killed in the line of duty, preferably at the hands of their fellow seamen.

The DVD

Video


Considering the age and original cheapness of the film, I'm surprised to see just how not-bad it looks here. The anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) transfer is a bit soft but not that grainy at all.

Audio

The Dolby stereo track is quite clean. The down side: that means nothing gets between you and that music.

Extras

Just a handful of trailers for other Crown International titles being released on disc by BCI. The trailers are all full screen and range in quality from "scratchy film print" to "VHS fuzzy."

Final Thoughts

"Weekend Pass" is a Bad Movie that's only for the truly daring. Its comedy is agonizingly unfunny, its T&A sequences disturbingly unsexy, its attempt at any form of actual storytelling simply unbearable. It's the sort of cinematic failure where the awfulness just makes you feel sorry for everyone involved. Skip It.
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