Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A tale of two movies: Incoming Freshmen

I'm a sucker for cheap movies. I started with double-feature DVDs and moved my way through the DVD 4-pack and 10-pack before graduating to the 50-movie megapack.

That's 50 movies on 12 DVDs, so we're not talking HD-DVD picture quality. It's pretty hit and miss. The movie I intended to review here, Invasion of the Bee Girls was one of the movies in the 50-pack, but the picture quality was so abysmal (lots of night scenes didn't help what looked like a 2nd-generation VHS transfer) that I had to go for my backup plan.

Actually, my very first intended movie was "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies, but the disc arrived broken twice from Netflix, so I took it as a sign that I should pick something else.

So, hoping that the third time is the charm, I picked "Incoming Freshmen," a film from the 10-movie pack called "Toga Party."

Today's movie in a nutshell: Quoth the box copy (verbatim, mind you): "This comical college hi-jinks begins when a somewhat innocent country girl travels to a large city to attend a university. Upon entering her new dorm room, she finds her roommate in an extremely compromising position! 'Incoming Freshmen' is full of the kind of fun that you can only have when you're too young to know any better!"

Keep in mind that the description to one of the other movies in this set, "Toga Party," bears no actual resemblance to the movie itself. It's not even a college comedy. We'll see how this one fares. Cross your fingers.

Poor Jane. She accidentally barges in on her roommate Vivian engaging in some extracurricular activity. Viv catches up to Jane, who ran away, and tells her it's okay.

The people who wrote the box copy at least watched the opening credits, so good for them.

In what is supposed to pass for a classroom, Professor L.P. Bilbo addresses his students. The prof is a very big man with a very twangy accent. He mentions that it's always nice to get to know the student body. There's a boingy sound effect, and one of the coeds stands up, topless but for a red sash and sunglasses.

I feel a headache coming on.

Sgt. Laverne Finterplay steps in to talk about the women's ROTC. As she speaks, Bilbo imagines her with less and less clothing, until all she's wearing is a set of rank stripes on her butt.

Holy cow, this is going to be a long movie. It's also a bit disjointed, so don't be surprised at the lack of transitions.

Randy is getting advice on meeting girls from his pals. Meanwhile, Jane is getting the same kind of talk from Vivian. Jane just wants to know boys as friends. She's got a boyfriend back home.

Suzi Sharp and Betsy Bingham, annoying sorority types, pop in to welcome Jane to Delta Pi.

The dean tells Bilbo that a student, Skunk Henderson, is said to have bored a hole to the girls showers, and he wants Bilbo to check it out. He says he'll look into it. (Ha-ha.) Bilbo waltzes into the girls locker room and asks if anyone is there. No one answers, so he goes into the showers.

He's looking for the peephole, and a janitor, Booker T. Rabinowitz (don't ask), comes in to clean out the showers. He turns on the main shower valve (conveniently marked as such), and soaks Bilbo.

Yok! Yok!

Viv and Jane are still talking about Jane's boyfriend and the perils of long-distance relationships. Viv mentions that her boyfriend has a friend who needs a date, but Jane is staying true to Steve.

Back at the dorm, the phone keeps ringing for Viv, and Jane is waiting for Steve to call.

Viv finally gets home and tells Jane about all the "fun" she missed. Viv can't believe Steve didn't call. Jane sticks up for him. They decide to call Jane's friend Cindy to see if she knows what might have happened to Steve.

Cindy answers, and Jane asks about Steve. Not only is Steve okay, but he's "better than ever." Jane doesn't quite pick up on it, so Cindy explains the situation to her. Viv tells him off and hangs up on him.

Bilbo time again. Oy. He starts talking about Europe. The students are to put pins in the capital cities of Europe. If the lass he picks. Miss Seymour, can get them all right, there will be no homework. As she names the capitals, she does a striptease -- once again in his imagination.

Strangely, Jane and Viv are not in Bilbo's class.

Jane goes with Randy, Phil and Viv to the drive-in. Randy sees his friends at the concession stand and mentions that Jane isn't how he thought she'd be. He brings back a popcorn, which she dumps on him accidentally.

The next day, Jane talks to Viv about how she wants to get to know him better.

Elsewhere, Randy is talking to a friend about his date with Jane when they both spot Tubetop Girl. Yes, that's how she's billed. While Randy's brushing his teeth, he daydreams about Tubetop Girl and overdoes it with the toothpaste.

Yok! Yok!

Jane and Viv are walking around campus, talking yet again about the guy situation on campus, this time about the teachers. Jane is carrying a bundle of books, but Viv only carries a notebook. I thought that was a nice tough.

It's time for Bilbo to check out the showers again. There doesn't seem to be anyone there, so he goes in. Once he's in, a bunch of girls come into the locker room behind him. He hides in a shower stall with some laundry. One by one, the girls trickle in to the showers. He needs to get out of there without getting caught, so he ambles out of the showers with a robe on and a towel over his head.

Randy finds Jane and apologizes for their date. She says she had a good time. Randy hints that he'd like to get a drink with her, but she doesn't pick up on it.

Jane goes to a sorority mixer, and it's a flurry of activity.

Across campus, some guys are making use of a pair of binoculars to steal a peek at showering coeds. This goes on for quite a while. It's safe to say that the girl they're all ogling is very clean.

The next day, I guess, Bilbo is teaching his ever-dwindling class. He imagines the girls in various states of undress.



Near the end of the scene, he imagines one of the guys mooning him.


Jane is worried that Randy is going to think that she wants to jump into bed with him. Randy is playing foosball with his pals trying to give the impression that more is going on than really is.

I'm really glad I was too young to miss out on disco bars.

Randy gets hassled by a group of guys at the bar, but they back off when he mentions his friend Earl. Later, Randy and Jane talk and make out a little bit.

The next day, Jane goes over what had happened the night before with Christy, a psychology major.

Another useless Bilbo interlude ensues in which he appears to have a breakdown. He says he's off to take a nap.

Jane and Viv are getting ready to attend the big football game.

A bunch of girls hear that Bilbo had a breakdown, so they play a prank on him. They strip to their underwear, put on pig masks and throw him in the shower.

Yes, that's exactly what I'd do to get revenge. Oy.

Jane and Viv leave their boyfriends after the game to go to a "special sorority function." There are going to be a bunch of guys there, and Jane is worried about what she's going to wear. Viv explains to her that girls don't wear bras anymore.

Elsewhere, the guys are talking about giving up on their girls.

At the party, there's live music, lots of people and lots of booze. The frat has a birthday present for Skunk Henderson, even though he says it's not his birthday. Two guys haul in a giant cake, and a girl pops out. Skunk is, uh, happy about his present. The band goes back to playing the song they were playing when Jane and Viv got there.

Suddenly, Bilbo busts in, wearing a white disco suit. He apologizes for being such a jerk and wants to make friends with all the kids. Then everyone starts dancing.

Crap, this is one long song.

Now it's time to cram a bunch of girls in a phone booth with one guy.

Randy and Phil are at a bar, lamenting their lack of dates. One of their friends introduces Randy to Tubetop Girl, and they go off together, never to be seen again.

Back at the party, the band is finally playing another song, "Do the Goat." Uh, yeah. Okay.

For the first time in the movie, Bilbo and Jane are seen together. He's now wearing black and is smoking. Jane decides to jump up and join the dance.

The end. Huh?

Afterthoughts: This started out fairly well, but punked out at the end. It seems like two relatively unrelated movies got crammed together. All the scenes with Prof. Bilbo seem out of place. That's where most of the nudity is, and he's only seen with Jane in the very last scene, although Jane might have been in one of the early classroom scenes, but sporting the look she has at the end of the movie. It's hard to tell, so I can't say for sure, but considering Jane is the main character, she's not featured as she should be.

The tone of the Bilbo scenes is different, too. Most of the rest of the movie is kinda sweet, just about a shy girl going away to college. In fact, without the Bilbo scenes, this could probably have been PG, or maybe a very soft R.

I found a little bit of information about this movie at this site. It explains why the film seems so disjointed. It was originally filmed in 1977 and was recut with extra scenes when it was sold to Cannon a year later. It was released in 1979. Go there to find out more.

It's a shame because while it was a bit slow, it wasn't bad. As it is now, it's just a hash of a movie with a non-ending ending. I assume we're supposed to think that Jane has finally cast off her small-town inhibitions and has decided to enjoy college, but it's a bit of a stretch to pull that from seeing her sitting and then stretching her arms and getting up.

I'm always interested in seeing random movies, and this one is definitely pretty random.

Yok! Yok!

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