Written by: Carroll Jenkins on January 10th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: Israel, 1978
Director: Boaz Davidson
Writers: Boaz Davidson, Eli Tavor
Cast: Yftach Katzur, Anat Atzmon, Jonathan Sagall, Zachi Noy, Dvora Kedar, Ophelia Shtruhl, Denise Bouzaglo, Rachel Steiner
Approximate Running Time: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Hebrew, Dolby Digital Stereo English
Region Encoding: Region 2 PAL (Israel)
Retail Price: $89.95
Synopsis: Three teenagers seek love, sex, and instant gratification but mostly experience the pangs of adolescence. Except not so much the good looking one, it’s all water off a duck’s back to him (maybe it’s the hair grease does that).
Lemon Popsicle was inspired by American Graffiti, set back to the early sixties and features a golden-oldie rock and roll soundtrack. It actually rocks a bit harder as it includes Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bill Haley & The Comets (see DVD section). The plot will be familiar to many, first because it was remade by the original writer / director Boaz Davidson as The Last American Virgin, and secondly because it was used as a blueprint for many (if not all) of the 80’s teen sex comedies such as Porkies and Fast Times At Ridgemont High. The primary ingredient that it introduced to the genre was the raunchy comedy and considerable doses of nudity. A monster blockbuster in Israel and Germany upon it’s release, it spawned 7 official sequels.
It seems a bit redundant to describe the episodic nature of the narrative, especially since the remake is an almost scene by scene recreation. The big difference between them (plot wise) is the inclusion of the ‘couch party’ scene from Lemon Popsicle 3.
This is the Hebrew release which includes English subtitles and also English dub for those so inclined. The subtitles are translations of the Hebrew dialog and vary greatly from the English dub. Not only is the lingo Westernized, but song lyrics are subtitled and the English language soundtrack varies somewhat. When Little Richard is replaced by Elvis Presley in a party scene you hear ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ against the lyrics for ‘Tutti Frutti’. The music is more in the foreground in the English mix. The image is full screen 4:3 format instead of the OAR of 1:75, but image quality is quite good. Extras are substantial but not subtitled, therefore the B&W behind the scenes footage is the most interesting. An interview with Zachi Noy (Yudale / Hughie) is taken in his ‘trophy’ room with lots of Lemon Popsicle posters and memorabilia.
The Last American Virgin is the better film because it’s slicker, raunchier, and just more fun than Lemon Popsicles. On the other hand, the dramatic aspects of the last act are dwelt upon in a more heavy handed manner in the remake. Either way you cut it, this is the original that spawned numerous imitations, the first of which was the immediate sequel.
Note: This release is part of a eight film box set which also contains seven more Lemon Popsicle films.