Good-hearted malingerer Scotty Palmer (Grant Cramer) has finally pushed his landlord too far and finds himself without a place to live, crashing on the beach with nothing but a blanket and some beer. A natural with the ladies and hotshot bullshitter, Scotty insists that “dialogue” is the key to a woman’s heart – even if said dialogue rarely comes from his own. His girlfriend, Kristi (Teal Roberts) and best dude, Rag (Courtney Gains) are the only people he isn’t constantly trying to get over on, as three thirty year-olds soon find out when they discover him joyriding with babes in their convertible. The trio asks Scotty for tutelage on how to score with the beach’s many Hardbodies, even going so far as to offer him hundreds of dollars a month and the use of their luxurious beach house as a home and party pad in return. With his back against the wall, the reluctant Scotty sees he has no choice and takes on the arduous task of turning the sleazy businessmen into babe magnets.
Hardbodies is among the upper tier of eighties sex comedies, this time hurling older characters into the young man’s beach comedy mix with dynamite results. Each adds their own distinct mark on the film; there's a country boy in the manure business just looking for a good time named Ash (Sorrells Pickard) and Rounder (Michael Rapport), the chubby one with the biggest hose in the garden that has zero game. The odd man out is Hunter (Gary Wood), who seems untrustworthy from the get-go being the one in the bunch that really shouldn’t need much help scoring with chicks, especially considering his fat bankroll. We soon find out why. Many props should go to director Mark Griffiths, who crafts a stellar looking film for the genre, featuring at least a half dozen splendid beach and ocean shots that radiate the screen with colourful pizzazz accentuated by a rockin’ 80s soundtrack and obligatory original theme song.
Aptly named, Hardbodies features some of the finest trim of the eighties with oiled up, roller skating T&A girls, a gorgeous love interest for Scotty and an even cuter one named Kimberly (Cindy Silver) for the homely red-headed, Rag. Kimberly wants little to do with the freckle-faced, trout-lipped heartacher, and it’s ironic that Scotty’s best friend probably needs more help than the older guys that actually hire him to train them in his ways. Rag’s unabashed by it all, he’s a pretty cool guy, all things considered, who says “dude” all the time and rocks out to his stereo under the sun like he’s the lord of all creation despite not even being able to pay back the c-note he owes to Scotty. Naturally, we’re cheering this underdog on and hoping Kimberly will come around. Given the good nature of the boys and the all-inclusive tone of the movie as a whole, there is a quiet confidence that Rag will bag himself the keeper.
A truly despisable bastard, Hunter ends up being a little too touchy-feely and hurts the feelings of a girl named Candy (Crystal Shaw), who constantly talks about sex but doesn’t participate. This culminates with Candy spilling her soul out to a consoling Scotty on the beach in the film’s most heart-tugging scene. Moments like this propel the sex romp to a higher realm than its contemporaries by subtly shunning those who tag these movies as feature length tit shots without giving them their due. It adds a level of dignity and respect to all the intermingling characters (after all, one’s company best represents oneself) and serves as a way to prove which side the audience is on no matter if they’re watching a low-brow skin flick or an Ingmar Bergman arthouse film; they always want good to triumph over evil. Hardbodies is a lovable, sexy, feel-good 80s gem that can be enjoyed time and time again thanks to its big breasts and even bigger heart. (Brett H.)
8 out of a possible 10 inches.