a Primal Root review
Man, was there any place worse than high school? That scarring, disturbing hellish melting pot of awkwardness, hormones and stomach churning maliciousness that sticks with you and haunts your dreams the rest of your miserable life. Really, there have been only two entertainment incarnations that have ever done the experience justice. My So-Called Life and Oz.
I attended high school in the declining days of the 1990’s. Limp Bizkit was causing teenagers across the nation to start cutting into their own flesh with razors in hopes of drawing the pain to their bodies as opposed to their souls as some ape-man shit nookie into their ears. This was the seed that lead to the emo music wave in the naughties. And we all know how that turned out.
I am getting off track here, I went to high school in the 90’s so I have no idea what it was like in the 80’s. But as it is portrayed in the 1984 stinker, Joy of Sex, it may have been just as bad. If not worse. It was a time where all you could do to entertain yourself was super glue sexually suggestive items all over school and join the exclusive all male flatulence club, “The Blue Flamers” where you pile about eight guys into a midsized car and light your farts on fire. Yes, this scene is graphic and glorious and one young man nearly immolates himself asshole first. Yes, I did laugh out loud.
The title of the film in question, Joy of Sex, is possibly one of the most misleading I’ve come across in a while. You hear ‘Joy of Sex’ and you see a moderately attractive bikini clad woman on the VHS box and you assume you are in for a light hearted sex romp ala My Tutor or Porky’s. In actuality the whole film revolves around Leslie Hindenberg (Michelle Meyrink of The Outsiders and Revenge of the Nerds fame) a thirty something year old high school virgin. As is the tradition of most high school sex films she is on a deadline to get that mystical and precious cherry popped. But there’s a twist! Leslie went to get a mole on her chest checked out by her doctor whom she overhears talking about a plant dying within a couple weeks and she mistakes this as her diagnosis. So, now that we’ve established she’s an absolute moron her time table for getting fucked has just stepped up.
Despite the complete lack of sex in the film Joy of Sex it does manage to deliver in the comedy department on occasion. A good majority of the laughs are delivered by the obligatory foreign exchange student who pisses on Richard Nixon High School’s ( cover up the right letters and you get HARD ON High School! What a hoot!) principal, Mr. Porter (played by a bald Ernie Hudson who must have served as the inspiration behind Stranger’s with Candy’s Principal Blackman) and when presented with a stuffed beef heart by his American hosts, proclaims “Thank you for the shit!”
This is some very low level comedy, maybe I am an easy audience, because I laughed at all this stupid shit.
Christopher Lloyd also turns up in Joy of Sex as Leslie’s over protective gym teacher father. Sadly, he shows more skin than anyone else in this film when he strips down to a pair of yellow bikini briefs. Of all the most unflattering underwear colors to choose from yellow is just a notch above brown. I remeber Robert Zemeckis claiming on some Back to the Future special features that BTTFp3 was Christopher Lloyd’s first ever on screen kiss. This simply is not so. Not only does Lloyd get to make out with the lady playing his wife he also gets a blow job out of the deal. Not too bad, Emmet!
There’s no violence outside of an out of place graphic and bloody face plant on a padded mat during gym class and the nudity is almost non existant and kept to one pair of fleeting bare lady breasts as a woman flees down a hotel hallway. However, ladies get Doc Brown in his banana hammock along with some other guy and plenty of illustrations of cocks in various stages of erectness during sex education class. Which apparently lasted all year back in 80’s high school. Apparently you could graduate with a degree in dick studies.
Despite it’s shortcomings, flat jokes, lack of sex and/or nudity and failed attempts at conjuring up any honest human emotions, I recommend checking out Joy of Sex. It’s a terrible film. It’s bad but not any worse than the other thousands of teen sex comedies they hurled into theaters and video stores during the 80’s.
Does Leslie finally get some beef in her fajita? To be honest, I have no idea. The end credits start rolling before we ever get to see any action. Who the fuck made this movie?
So now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go practice lighting my farts so I may impress the ladies.
-The Primal Root