South Beach Academy (1996)

PLOT:

South Beach Academy stars Corey Feldman at his absolute lamest as Billy, a 20-something-year-old virgin from North Dakota who spends spring break at his crazy uncle’s school for tan hotties in Florida’s sizzling South Beach.  His older brother Spencer is the coach for the women’s volleyball league, so naturally Billy expects to drown himself in sandy beach poon.  What he didn’t count on was love.

Ok, it is really hard to describe this film without sounding like I’m copying the back of the box.  I think that must be one of the true markers of a real shit movie.

Anyways, the movie is really less about Billy getting laid and more about how Spencer deals with the crazy uncle (played by Al Lewis, or Grandpa Munster as most of us know him), who has a severe gambling problem.  See, crazy uncle Grandpa Munster somehow ends up betting the whole academy on one volleyball game and it’s up to Spencer to put together the hottest, bestest, biggest-breasted women’s volleyball team South Beach has ever seen.  Oh, and he falls in love too.

Honestly, the plot really takes a backseat to the hot bodies, I don’t know why I’m even bothering to talk about it.  Basically, the whole movie is like one big live-action Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition with Corey Feldman and Grandpa Munster.

AMBITION: 1

I can’t tell if South Beach Academy was made with Corey Feldman as a vehicle for a lot of T&A, or if it was made with a lot of T&A as a vehicle for Corey Feldman.  Either way there was no admirable motive behind the film.  It didn’t even make women’s beach volleyball look good.  Besides, why you even make a 90’s movie about women’s beach volleyball unless you’ve got Gabrielle Reece on board?

PRESENTABILITY: 5

If any of your friends are Feldman fans, they obviously have not seen this movie.  But they should.  It ends here.

SEX/VIOLENCE: 2

Fake tits, tan butts, and some homely bimbo hanging all over Grandpa Munster.  Boo.

PERFORMANCE: 4

Feldman’s performance suggests that he wasn’t completely cool with his role.  It’s as if he was embarrassed to be playing a virgin, so he chose to deliver all his lines with an almost sarcastic lack of conviction.  It is arguably the worst performance of Feldman’s career, but oddly enough it somehow comes off as being very natural for him.  Where all the other actors appeared to be reciting the dialogue out loud for the first time ever, Feldman’s easy delivery of such immortal lines as, “I like breasts, fake breasts,” and his spot-on Butthead impression, “Huh huh, butts are cool,” left me wondering if maybe it was all just Corey being Corey.

DATABILITY: 4

This movie was dated the minute it was made.  It came out in 1996, but damned if it doesn’t look like it was filmed in 1990.  The odd discrepancy between it’s actual release date and the general time-feel of the movie only adds to its WTF factor.  WTF?  Maybe it really was filmed in 1990 but for whatever reason it sat on the shelf for 6 years.  Maybe Grandpa Munster’s family was so embarrassed for him they pulled some strings and got it tied up in post-production, perhaps hoping he’d die naturally before the film murdered him with humiliation.  Or maybe Corey was in and out of so many rehab centers the producers postponed release in the hope that his image might improve in a few years (tough luck, guys).   Whatever the case may be, the amount of neon thong bikinis in the movie will leave you wondering why Color Me Badd isn’t featured heavily in the soundtrack.

SCRIPT: 1

One great way to make a shitty movie is to start by showing the main character in some crazy, inexplicable situation, and then have him address the camera with a line like, “I’ll bet you’re wondering how I got into this crazy, inexplicable situation.  Well, it all started two weeks ago…”  On second thought, the best thing is to start with naked butts all over the place, then move on to the convenient flashback set-up.  To make sure the movie stays shitty all the way through, return to the narrative device at odd, inappropriate times throughout the film.  It’s also important that most of the characters experience complete, 180 degree emotional turnarounds with little or no plausible motivation for doing so.

And let’s not forget the quote of the century: “I like breasts, fake breasts.”

RELEVANCE: 1

The only relevance this movie has is that it’s hard proof of Corey Feldman’s suckiness.  That may be a moot point to some, but as a former fan I can say that if it wasn’t for this movie, I might have forgiven him.  I forgave him for Rock n Roll High School Forever.  I forgave him for Dream a Little Dream 2.  I even forgave him after seeing his terrible band perform last year to a rowdy crowd of a dozen fat 35-year-old women.  I felt sorry for him then.  Now I know what he did to deserve it.  South Beach Academy is incontrovertible.  Corey Feldman sucks.

ORIGINALITY: 1

Nope.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: 2

The camera work during the big important volleyball game is shameful.  They made no effort whatsoever to keep the camera on the ball.  It was almost as if they were more concerned with the bodies of the half-naked women playing the game…..

Also, it became obvious very quickly that they were trying to disguise Corey Feldman’s true height.  Corey Feldman is a midget in real life.  So what do you do when his tall, tan love interest is wearing roller skates, making her a full foot taller than him?  Well, in this case they make him sit up on the headrest of the seat of his convertible, and they shoot the scene as if it were being witnessed by a medium-sized dog.  Feels totally natural.

PRODUCTION DESIGN: 2

If this movie really was made in 1996, somebody needs to tell the production designers that 6 years ago is not ever interesting or fresh.  You need to wait at least 15 years before you start recycling fashion, music or just out of rehab former child celebrities.

+5 BONUS POINTS for a stellar RON JEREMY cameo appearance! Possibly the only redeeming thing about South Beach Academy is Ron Jeremy’s role as the manager of the strip club Billy frequents.

TOTAL: 28, or the rectal equivalent of severe constipation necessitating multiple enemas, with the eventual result of said enemas being a brick of shit so large that it refuses to stop making movies even after multiple flushes.  Huh-huh, butts are cool.

The following is an excerpt from the March 1996 edition of Playgirl magazine.  Enjoy!

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~ by mgjk on March 8, 2011.

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