Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 31st, 2009
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1984 (Hardbodies), USA, 1986 (Hardbodies 2)
Director: Mark Griffiths (Both Films)
Screenplay: Eric Alter, Steve Greene, Mark Griffiths (Hardbodies), Mark Griffiths, Curtis Wilmot (Hardbodies 2)
Cast: Grant Cramer, Teal Roberts, Gary Wood, Michael Rapport, Sorrells Pickard, Roberta Collins, Cindy Silver, Courtney Gains (Hardbodies), Brad Zutaut, Sam Temeles, James Karen, Fabiana Udenio, Sorrells Pickard, Roberta Collins, Alba Francesca, Louise Baker, Alexandros Mylonas, Curt Wilmot, Brenda Bakke (Hardbodies 2)
DVD released: August 18th, 2009
Approximate running times: 87 minutes (Hardbodies), 88 minutes (Hardbodies 2)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
Subtitles: SDH English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Anchor Bay
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
There are two kinds’ of teen movies that emerged during the 1980’s ones that were edgy yet never vulgar like the John Hughes films Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and then their where the films that where downright raunchy and focused heavily on sex like Porky’s and Hardbodies. The later film Hardbodies was directed by Mark Griffiths a relatively new comer who had only one film under his belt before directing Hardbodies.
Surprisingly all the male characters except for Hunter don’t come off as perverts and one is able to feel some sympathy for most of them. Hunter it the King of leaches as he uses everyone he comes in contacts with and when he is done with them he then discards them. Look out for the all girl metal group Vixen who are essentially playing themselves in this film only they have a retarded band name “Diaper rash”. The music they play in the film show’s signs of what was to come from these ladies with tracks like Computer Madness and Give it a Chance being prominently played through out the film.
The acting is this one is nothing spectacular still it more then gets the job done with the films two main characters Scotty and Rag who are played by Grant Cramer and Courtney Gains giving performances that often exceed this films less then stellar aspirations. Actor Grant Cramer who has kept busy since making Hardbodies appearing films like Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Cramer gives the performance of his career as Scotty Palmer and in the years since Hardbodies he has failed to capture so brilliantly the essence of any character he has since played. In the 1980’s no one played the sidekick better then Courtney Gains as the character named Rag. Other stand out performances from Courtney Gains which include his work in such films like Children of the Corn, Colors and Can’t Buy Me Love. Courtney Gains is hilarious as Rag who is blessed with skill of flipping someone in forty five different languages’. Ultimately what makes Hardbodies so damn enjoyable is that it never pretends to anything more than what it is a irreverent comedy with an ample amount of T&A.
Hardbodies 2 is primarily a sequel in name only to Hardbodies with the main link between the two films being the Scotty and Rag characters (this time around portrayed by different actors). The plot for Hardbodies 2 revolves around a movie that is being filmed in Greece with stars Scotty and Rag. The plot cuts back and forth between the movie with in the movie that is being made and the reality of what happens to the characters when the camera is not rolling. The transitions between these two extremes are never too obtrusive to the progression of the story at hand. Visually director Mark Griffiths takes full advantage of the beautiful Greek locations. A lot of the film’s visual style is reminiscent of its predecessor Hardbodies.
One of the biggest challenges facing Hardbodies 2 had to be finding new actors to play the lead roles of Scotty and Rag, especially after the iconic performances from Grant Cramer and Courtney Gains who had portrayed the characters the in Hardbodies. Brad Zutaut performance as Scotty feels more like a retread of what Grant Cramer had previously brought to the role. Surprisingly the performance in the film that standout above all others is Sam Temeles in the role of Rags. His re-envisioning of the character is without a doubt this film greatest asset since it would have been impossible to top what Courtney Gains had done with the Rag character. The only cast members to return from the first Hardbodies film are Sorrells Pickard and Roberta Collins, who are cast in minor secondary roles. The film also features a handful of familiar faces like James Karen (Return of the Living Dead), in the role of Logan a tight fisted sleazy movie producer, Fabiana Udenio (Summer School), in the role of Cleo, the girl who Scotty falls in love with and Brenda Bakke (Last Resort), in the role of Morgan, Scotty’s fiancee.Ultimately despite it short comings, Hardbodies 2 is a rather enjoyable film that grows on you.
Both films are presented in an anamorphic widescreen and flagged for progressive playback. These transfers blow away any of the previous home video incarnations that these two films have had. Colors look robust, flesh tones look healthy, black levels fare well and details generally look crisp throughout. Outside of some very minor instances of print debris, both of these films look pretty damn good.
Both films come with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English and removable SDH English subtitles have been provided. Also some dialog in Hardbodies 2 is in Greek and these moments are all given English subtitles. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear and at times robust.
The only extra included with this release is a trailer for Hardbodies (2 minutes 24 seconds – Anamorphic Widescreen). This trailer is filled with hilarious ‘hyperbole’ like “A film that luminaries like Bergman, Fellini, Spielberg and Lucas had absolutely nothing to do with” and “It was shot with movie film, like E.T.”. Overall while more extra content would have been greatly appreciated the more than reasonable price for this double feature help soften the blow.