In the wake of the financial success of Porky’s, a slew of teen-targeted movies which allowed for the showcase of bared female breasts made their way to the marketplace. One such flick comes in the form of 1985’s Loose Screws, a half-million-dollar-budgeted follow-up to 1983’s Screwballs which reunites many of the terrible actors and the director of that insipid, inane Porky’s rip-off.
Distributed Stateside by Roger Corman’s company, the movie’s “story” centers on four Beaver High screw-ups (Bryan Genesse, Lance Van Der Kolk, Jason Warren, Alan Deveau) who after repeatedly being held back during their senior years are for some reason sent to “Cockswell Academy,” a postgraduate school where they swoon over French teacher Mona Lott (Cynthia Belliveau) and have run-ins with their new thick-browed, sexually frustrated douchebag principal (Ken Taylor).
Any further synopsis or analysis of either plot or nuance is basically pointless. If you’re going to rent or purchase a 1980s teen sex comedy called Loose Screws which features partially hand-drawn cover art, you’re wanting and/or expecting some combination of the following: bad new wave music, even worse hair, chicks in spandex workout attire and jelly bracelets, walkmans, “cross-dressing” comedy in which a guy interloper gains admittance to girls’ rooms, a spirited pop song which works in the title of the movie, a pointless beach dance sequence under extremely cloudy skies, a wet T-shirt contest and a nincompoop adult foil. Loose Screws delivers all those moments, as well as a scene with guys “playing doctor” with unsuspecting ladies, and ending with a skeleton falling out of a closet, causing one girl to run screaming. And oh yeah, there’s also a moment where the guys run down a hall, round the corner and slide to a stop in exaggerated fashion. Ha! Seriously, though, this is all terrible — the acting, writing and execution. That it’s terrible in familiar ways makes it “nostalgic” and therefore appealing to some. Not in my book, however.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case, Loose Screws comes to DVD presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, with an English language Dolby digital 2.0 stereo audio track. Bonus features include an active-screen main menu, an often unintentionally amusing audio commentary track with Polish-born director Rafal Zielinski, and a pair of interview featurettes — a 10-minute chat with producer Maurice Smith, who comes across as less skeevy than some of his other credits (Flesh Gordon) might suggest, and a five-minute talk with production manager Ken Gord. While Smith owns up to the material’s, um, straight-up commercial nature, the latter is most engaging, as he cracks up when an offscreen interviewer asks, “So, did you guys ever feel like, ‘Wow, we really have something here!'” While the regular “director’s cut” of the feature tracks at about 76 minutes, there’s also an 88-minute cut of the movie, “presented in
authentic VHS-vision” (read: a crappy dubbed VHS version, in 1.33:1 aspect ratio), for what it’s worth. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. D- (Movie) C+ (Disc)