"Raging Hormones" could be the title of every beach-girl, summer-break, frat-party, weekend-in-Vegas, high-school-sex-comedy and nerd-vacation movie of the past 30 years, so if you're gonna play with the big boys, you better know how to spring those babies out of the chute.
Michael Dugan of Boca Raton, Fla., may be the first filmmaker in history to spend 10 years making a sex farce -- it started out in 1979 as a novel called "Macho Housewives" -- so you gotta admire his sheer single-minded lunatic-level devotion to his chosen art form. But when we finally get to his payoff "American Pie"-type moments, this first-time writer-director WUSSES OUT on us.
He's working with an all-Florida cast, and his female star, Darlene Demko, plays the time-honored role of the stuck-up sexually frustrated ice queen who fuels the summertime fantasies of the 18-year-old virginal clown-suited grocery boy next door -- basically the same guy we saw in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." But in Michael's version of this oft-told American fable, the guy scores by the end of the second reel.
Michael, Michael, Michael, Michael, MICHAEL! The ice queen gets conquered at the END of the movie, preferably with soft-focus close-ups and dubbed moaning. Everybody ELSE has sex during the part that drags in the middle.
But that's not all. Darlene gets nekkid exactly ONE time. Uno. Glimpse-a-rama. Cutaway city. This would be excusable except that Michael already confessed to me that, "When you consider that half the cast is either a stripper or bartender in real life, the success [the movie] has had so far is even more amazing than everyone showing up for an early morning call time."
When you got the strippers and bartenders on the payroll, you got to USE EM or LOSE EM.
That's OK though. We'll forgive the guy on his first time out. The flick has a nice feel to it, and it's obviously conceived as a tribute to John Waters, complete with a Divine-type housewife played by Della Hobby. The problem when people other than John Waters try to DO John Waters is that the acting gets too broad, and that's what happens here, with a couple of the girls so over the top they'd have to tone it down for the Seaquarium dolphin show.
What we end up with is the aforementioned minimum-wage drone, trying to make tuition for state college, who stops by the ice queen's house to collect for his paper route at the very moment when the babe of the hour has run out of batteries, if you know what I mean and I think you do.
Two scenes later he's dressed in head-to-toe leather gear, consigned to sex slavery as the working part of a bimbo sandwich, and his brain has turned to Jello. Meanwhile, his bowling-champeen daddy is getting jacked around down at the lawnmower-repair shop by Mistress Frigidaire's husband, who turns out to be a washed-up former football star who's dumb as a box of bent paper clips and sorely in need of instruction by the local thunder-thighed hooker.
Sure we've seen it before, but have we seen it punctuated with supermarket scenes featuring Harry the Gigolo Butcher, who barters his marbled rump roast for backroom marbled rump? I think not.
Call it "Made-for-Cinemax Pink Flamingos." And those drive-in totals are:
No dead bodies. Ten breasts. Aardvarking. Rancid liver spitting. Kinky barking. Body lice. Whipping. Spanking. Gratuitous clown abuse. Scorned wife Fu. Leather Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Topher Hopkins, as the $4-an-hour buccaneer at Shiver McTimbers who moonlights as a sex slave and becomes "a hostage to my libido," for saying "If this is the road to hell, then give me a Porsche and eat my dust"; Antoni Cornacchione, as the ear-picking key-chewing redneck lawn mower repairman and bowling champeen, for saying "I didn't go to college, look how good I done!"; Rene Orobello as the oversexed society girlfriend, for saying "When you have your first Big O, you'll know"; Darlene Demko, as the fantasy woman with the legs that reach all the way to the floor; Della Hobby, as the Divine Clone who dreams of a Winnebago, adores Big Time Wrestling, uses Tiger's Breath perfume, and does terrifying cannonballs into the swimming pool, for telling her 16-year-old daughter "You got at least twoo good years to catch a man"; and Michael Colquette, as the spurned dumb jock who says "I'm the man! I'm the king!"
Two stars. Joe Bob says check it out.
"Raging Hormones" Web site: thrillstreet.com
(To reach Joe Bob, go to joebob-briggs.com or email him at JoeBob@upi.com. Snail-mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas, 75221.)